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  1. ITV Report

Judge orders Amazon to hand over Echo recordings in double murder case

Credit: PA

A judge in the US has ordered Amazon to hand over audio recordings from an Echo device which was in a house where two women were killed.

The smart device could become a star "witness" as police investigate a double-murder in Dover, New Hampshire.

Timothy Verrill is accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of 48-year-old Christine Sullivan and 32-year-old Jenna Pellegrini in 2017.

Verrill pleaded not guilty and is due to go on trial.

Prosecutors believe there are Echo recordings capturing the attack on Sullivan and the removal of her body that could be found on the servers maintained by the tech giant.

A spokesperson for Amazon said on Friday it wouldn't release customer information “without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us".

The Amazon Echo is activated by a wake-up word, the default setting is usually the name Alexa, but fragments of audio are recorded as it awaits a command.

But the data is only sent back to Amazon if the trigger word is uttered.

Last year, Amazon dropped its objection to an Echo search warrant in another murder investigation after a suspect, who owned the speaker, agreed to release the information.