NASHUA – Police illegally seized and then searched the cell phone of a man charged with hitting and killing a woman in a car crash just a few hundred feet from her parent’s house the day before Christmas in Brookline, according to the man’s lawyer.
A lawyer for Greg Cullen, 32, of 166 Badger Hill Road, Milford, filed a motion at Hillsborough County Superior Court asking a judge to rule that Brookline and state police illegally took Cullen’s cellphone following the crash in front of the Brookline Safety Complex that killed 30-year-old Brookline resident Katie Hamilton. The motion also asks a judge to rule that even if the seizure was proper, the search warrant shouldn’t have allowed police to look information stored on the phone regarding text messages and phone calls, according to a motion filed this month.
“The affidavit in support of the search warrant did not establish probable cause that a crime had been committed or that evidence of a crime would be found within the cellular telephone,” defense attorney Michael Iacopino wrote.
Brookline police officer Nicholas Lavoie was one of the first officer on the scene and spoke with Cullen after noting he was “walking around slightly disoriented “and then that he “came around and appeared to be fine,” according to the motion.
Cullen told Lavoie he saw Hamilton’s SUV about to turn left off Route 13 and that he glanced down at his cellphone to check the GPS directions he was following. When he looked up, Hamilton’s car hadn’t turned and he could not avoid striking it with his 2009 Toyota pickup truck.
The impact pushed Hamilton’s vehicle into oncoming traffic where it was struck by another pickup truck, according to police.