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Local News

Judge allows phone records in Geneva murder case

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A judge on Thursday granted the Kane County State’s Attorney’s motion for cellphone tower registration records in a murder case involving a Geneva man.

The State’s Attorney’s Office will be allowed to obtain cell tower registration records for the cellphones of Shadwick R. King and his wife, Kathleen M. King.

Shadwick King 47, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in his wife’s July 6 death. He remained in the Kane County Jail on a $1.5 million bond as of Thursday afternoon, according to online records.

The State’s Attorney’s Office requested cell tower registration records from 10:30 p.m. July 5 to 11:30 a.m. July 6 for the two cellphone numbers to better determine the cellphones’ locations throughout that time period, according to the motion.

“We need historical cell site information to be able to track whereabouts,” said Greg Sams, a Kane County assistant state’s attorney, during the Thursday hearing on the motion.

Shadwick King told police that he took his wife’s cellphone from her after they had an argument about 4 a.m. July 6, according to court records. The argument involved some type of relationship Kathleen King, 32, had with another man, Sams said Thursday, referencing the court synopsis he read during King’s July 11 bond hearing.

Shadwick King had his cellphone with him at all “relevant times,” and had Kathleen King’s cellphone with him at certain times, as well, according to the motion. King saw his wife texting the other man, so he took her phone and began texting the man himself, according to the case synopsis. A female later identified as Kathleen King was spotted on the southernmost Union Pacific Railway tracks south of Esping Park, 227 Briar Lane, in Geneva at 6:37 a.m. July 6 by a train operator on another track. Kathleen King’s cellphone was found next to her body, Sams said.

The court finds that there is no expectation of privacy in phone records with regards to determining location, Judge James Hallock said during a Thursday hearing, where King also was present in an orange jail uniform. Hallock said that the phone records are relevant material to the ongoing investigation.

King’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Brenda Willett, made a motion to find that the federal statute that the State’s Attorney’s motion was pursuant to is unconstitutional.

“To give my client’s records is an intrusion; it is something that is a privacy issue ... that falls under the Fourth Amendment,” Willett said in court.

Willett said the law does permit the state to obtain a warrant for records, but prosecutors did not choose that route. Sams referenced a 2013 case that included research on how cell site data actually is a business record.

“This is a business entity that collects routine information on a daily basis,” Sams said.

After Sams and Willett concluded their arguments, Hallock’s finding was that the federal statute is indeed constitutional. Hallock noted that the state’s motion was for historical cellphone tower data, not the actual contents of the conversations themselves.

King’s next court date is Aug. 22.

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