The preliminary hearing of John Michael Neuhart—the U.S. Navy Commander
that is accused of assault with intent to commit rape—has been postponed
due to a critical Fifth Amendment matter. Defense Attorney Kerry Armstrong
moved to suppress the content found on Neuhart's phone, evidence that
he believes should not have been collected via police warrant.
San Diego 7 and
FOX 5 report, upon his initial arrest, detectives confiscated Neuart’s
phone against his wishes. Ten days later, detectives re-approached Neuhart
with a warrant for Neuart’s pass code to his phone. However, after
hearing the detective's testimony, Attorney Armstrong filed a motion
to suppress the phone evidence due to the unprecedented nature of the warrant.
“As far as I can tell, it’s never been done in California,”
Armstrong told San Diego 7. “Our analysis is that it’s not
allowable under the Constitution."
"If he had put his thumbprint on the phone, that probably would have
been okay," Attorney Armstrong explained to reporters after the postponement
was granted. "But as you heard today from the detective... the way
I understand the evidence, he [Neuhart] was required to give the pass
Neuhart was arrested in September when he was caught fleeing the home of
a Navy colleague. According to the alleged victim, she met Neuhart at
a downtown hotel, socialized with him and others, and then went home with
him. Once inside, police say, Neuhart attempted to sexually assault the
colleague and fled the scene once a neighbor heard screams and summoned
According to prosecutors, Neuhart recorded 41 minutes of video on his phone
that night, but that the footage is likely to help both the state and
the defense make their case. The judge has ordered a postponement of the
preliminary hearing so that both sides of the case can look further into
the legality of the detectives' access to the smartphone.
We congratulate Attorney Kerry Armstrong's incisive work in this case
so far. Mobile technology has often changed the way we think of privacy
and determining legal and constitutional boundaries in these matters is
crucial to maintaining the integrity of our criminal justice system.
If you have been accused of a serious criminal offense, then we invite
you to contact
The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC today. Our renowned and sought-after San Diego criminal defense attorneys
have time and time again secured favorable results for our clients, even
as they have faced the most serious of allegations.
Do not hesitate to start protecting your rights.
Contact us today.