Mobley v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
After he was tried and convicted of two vehicular homicides, Victor Mobley appealed, claiming that the trial court erred when it denied his pretrial motion to suppress evidence of data that law enforcement officers retrieved, without a warrant, from an electronic data recording device on his vehicle. Before the vehicles were removed from the scene of the collision, a supervisor in the Traffic Division of the Henry County Police Department, directed officers to retrieve any available data from the airbag control modules (ACM) on the two cars: a Charger and Corvette. An investigator entered the passenger compartments of both vehicles, attached a crash data retrieval (CDR) device to data ports in the cars, and used the CDR to download data from the ACMs. The data retrieved from the Charger indicated that, moments before the collision, Mobley was driving nearly 100 miles per hour. In denying the motion to suppress, the trial court had concluded that, whether or not the retrieval of the data was an unlawful search and seizure, the evidence was admissible in any event under the inevitable discovery doctrine. A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals affirmed, one judge reasoning that the retrieval of data was not a search and seizure at all, and two judges agreeing with the trial court that the inevitable discovery doctrine applied. The Georgia Supreme Court concluded the trial court erred when it denied the motion to suppress. The State failed to lay an evidentiary foundation for the application of the inevitable discovery exception in this case. And the State has failed to identify any other established exception to the exclusionary rule that was applicable to the facts as shown by the record in this case. The judgment of the Court of Appeals, therefore, was reversed.