Attorneys at odds over high court's ruling on cellphone data collection


Atty. Bradley Olson Jr., who represented Austin Burke of Bristolville in Burke’s aggravated murder trial in March, says Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding cellphone-tower data is likely to play a role in Burke’s appeal.

“My opinion is that the Supreme Court ruling does directly address the challenge that I presented early in pretrial motions,” Olson said by telephone Tuesday.

“I do believe it certainly could have an impact on the outcome of the [appeals court] case,” Olson said.

Having filed a motion in the case before the trial is a way to “preserve those issues” so that they can be argued later on appeal in hopes of having the appeals court declare that the judge’s ruling was “erroneous,” Olson said.

“We’re hopeful that the appellate court finds this ruling by the Supreme Court declares that the way that they gathered my client’s cell phone records was unconstitutional and that they will be suppressed and grant us a new trial,” Olson said.

Chris Becker, the assistant Trumbull County prosecutor in the case, meanwhile, says the Supreme Court ruling “doesn’t change [the Burke case] one bit” because Burke “admitted to five people where, when and how he killed Brandon Sample.”

Burke, 19, of Miller South Road, was sentenced March 27 in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to 47 years to life in prison for killing Sample, 22, in the Grand River wildlife area of Bristol Township June 12, 2017, and robbing the Cortland Pizza Joe’s restaurant June 20, 2017.

Read more about the case in Wednesday's Vindicator or on

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