Foltz v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of abduction with intent to defile and commission of a subsequent violent sexual assault and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Defendant appealed, contending that the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress testimony of the police officers regarding their surveillance of Defendant on the evening of the attack. Defendant argued that the officers, without first obtaining a search warrant, unlawfully installed a GPS device on his vehicle and traced his movements through use of the device, and therefore, the officers' testimony was fruit of the poisonous tree of an unlawful search. The court of appeals affirmed the conviction. Before the appeal to the Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court decided United States v. Jones, which held that the government's placement of a GPS tracking device on a vehicle and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle's movements was a violation of the Fourth Amendment. In this case, the Supreme Court affirmed the convictions, holding (1) the installation of the GPS device on Defendant's van, without a valid search warrant, constituted an unconstitutional search; but (2) the admission of the officers' testimony was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.