A young 20-year-old female of Campton Hills was given an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet this past Thursday, after pictures of her partying showed up on Facebook. She was with a group of college students drinking liquor and “having a grand old time” according to Judge Thomas Miller. Not only is she underage, but she also awaits a trial on charges of reckless homicide and aggravated DUI stemming from a July 2007 South Elgin crash that killed a motorcyclist.
Several lawyers, attorneys, authorities, and other legal entities are starting to realize the power in these social networking sites. Not only do they provide photographic evidence (if the profile is public) but they also allow outside viewers into the lives and character of the person with the social networking profile. Evidence of partying, especially in this case, is being increasingly relied upon by law enforcement and an increasing amount of attorneys who are attempting to get this type of evidence admitted into the court room.
The young woman, and defendant, had been ordered to not consume alcohol or to even be around people who were drinking. But due to a little online investigation on Facebook, the South Elgin police discovered photos of the accused drinking at a college in Ohio with some friends.
“It appears the defendant is having a grand old time drinking tequila,” Judge Thomas Mueller was quoted as saying in the Chicago Tribune.
Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Sims argued for the monitor, telling the court the defendant had previously violated her bail by failing to report by phone to the county court services department.
The defense attorney argued against the bracelet, saying it would hold his client up to scorn.
The judge cited with prosecutors, quoting the caption of one of the Facebook photos: “Erika passed out in bed. Ha. Ha.”