Police cell phone seizure invalidated in home invasion case

DOVER — The police seizure of two cell phones from a man accused of a Felton home invasion was invalidated in Superior Court on Thursday.

In an 11-page order, Judge Jeffrey Clark pointed to ample opportunity authorities to obtain a search warrant for the phones Marquan Richardson had on Aug. 8, 2016.

According to the order, Mr. Richardson was developed as a suspect in June before arriving at a probation office appointment in New Castle County two months later. A detective arrived and seized two phones Richardson possessed without a warrant.

Mr. Richardson is charged with home invasion, three counts of first-degree robbery and other alleged offenses regarding an incident on June 9, 2016.

According to documents, the State maintained that “had the detective not obtained the phones while he was at the probation office, it would have been easy and expected for Mr. Richardson to destroy evidence contained on the phones.” Also, the State pointed to alleged consent to seize the phones.

According to Judge Clark, “the State failed to meet its burden of establishing that Mr. Richardson consented to the seizure of even the first phone.

“Furthermore, as to both phones, police had adequate time to obtain a warrant prior to the scheduled meeting. …“

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