A report today from The Information details how police in Bentonville, Arkansas, have issued a warrant for the audio records of the Amazon Echo speaker belonging to James Bates, a suspect in an ongoing murder investigation. Amazon has handed over Bates’ purchase history and account information to law enforcement, but it has declined to release his speaker’s records.
In February, police arrested Bates, age 31, and charged him with the murder of Victor Collins, age 47, according to local news. According to a medical examiner, Collins was strangled in a hot tub. Bates pleaded not guilty in April and made bail shortly after, but the case will go to trial in early 2017. Both men worked for Walmart, which is headquartered in Bentonville.