Lawyers in Wilkes-Barre Murder Case Are Disputing Cell Phone Status

Lawyers in Wilkes-Barre Murder Case Are Disputing Cell Phone Status

Gryskewicz on Tuesday said Det. Charles Casey found an unmarked evidence bag on his desk containing a cell phone. Casey powered on the cell phone to determine its owner and immediately turned it off when a picture of Turner appeared. The cell phone is password protected. Gryskewicz said he wants to view the phone’s contents but Assistant District Attorney Brittany Quinn said she doesn’t plan to introduce the phone during trial. Lupas said the discovery of the cell phone is a “unique situation.”

WILKES-BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA — An attorney for homicide suspect Dazon Wykie Turner thinks a Wilkes-Barre police investigator searched a cell phone without authority merely by turning it on. During a motions hearing before Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas on Tuesday, attorney Leonard Gryskewicz Jr. presented the accusation. On Oct. 5, 2020, city police charged Turner, 22, of Wilkes-Barre, with firing numerous rounds from a 9mm pistol, killing Carlos Taffanelly, 47, of Paterson, N.J., and wounded Liliana Giraldo and her daughter, Jamielynne Giraldo. The shooting occurred around North River and Darling streets on North Street. Taffanelly was shot seven times, according to Coroner Frank Hacken, during a previous court hearing. Turner was arrested two days after the shooting on an open case of criminal murder, four charges of aggravated assault, and two counts of criminal attempt to commit homicide, according to an arrest warrant.

Quinn said the cell phone was likely taken from the scene by emergency service technicians when they transported Liliana Giraldo and Jamielynne Giraldo to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. Hospital staff then gave the phone to police, Quinn noted. While Quinn said she doesn’t plan to use the cell phone, Gryskewicz said he wants to know the phone’s contents without telling prosecutors. “It seems like one side wants to know what is on the phone and not tell the other,” Lupas said. “They already illegally searched it by powering it on,” Gryskewicz said.

Lupas said he’ll allow prosecutors and Gryskewicz to file legal briefs before deciding if the phone’s contents can be retrieved by Gryskewicz’s private investigator. In other issues, Lupas said he’ll rule at a later date if two criminal cases in Monroe County involving Turner and Jamielynne Giraldo can be consolidated with the homicide trial, and the number of autopsy photographs prosecutors want to show jurors. Investigators allege Turner was involved in a domestic dispute with Jamielynne Giraldo at their residence on Darling Street prior to the shooting. Jamielynne Giraldo was picked up by at the home by Taffanelly and her mother prior to the shooting

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