Nearly two years after the homicide of financial aid counselor April Jace, detectives at the Los Angeles Police Department hacked into April’s phone, according to documents filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court. This occurred at the same time as the FBI’s widely publicized battle with Apple to unlock the iPhone 5C of one of the San Bernardino shooters.
The contents of April’s cell phone have proven significant to the investigation and trial, which was postponed until May 23 to gather data from the phone. Jace’s defense team claimed that text messages exchanged between Michael and April before her murder could provide jurors insight into their client’s state of mind, as police said the couple argued about their relationship in the hours before April’s shooting.
An Apple technician retrieved data from Jace’s phone and met with the LAPD in February 2015, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, after two further attempts to access the information stored on the phone left the phone disabled, investigators hired a forensic cell phone expert to override the phone’s security features.
declined to disclose
Like the FBI, detectives with the LAPD declined to disclose the alternate method the forensic expert used to unlock the iPhone.
Although Michael entered a plea of not guilty at his initial arraignment on June 18, 2014, defense attorneys told the Los Angeles Times they do not dispute that he killed April.
If convicted, Michael faces 50 years to life in state prison.