“On the phone with this fat chick… where my IHOP.”

My criminal defense attorney friends not-infrequently lament that their clients foolishly post incriminating information to facebook, twitter, myspace, etc.  But, it turns out that social networking sites can help criminal defendants too.  From New York comes news of a robbery suspect who had the charges against him dropped because of a facebook status update that gave him a rock-solid alibi.  At the time of the crime, the now-cleared Rodney Bradford was on his computer and posted the message that is the title of this post to facebook: “On the phone with this fat chick… where my IHOP.”

Update: Though I posted this as a quick, semi-humorous, item, SueSimp raises a good and substantive point in the comments that this case presents an example of the difficulties of eye-witness ID.  The suspect in this case was originally picked out of a lineup and, if not for his facebook status update, he may very well have ended up in prison on the basis of what we now know was a mistaken ID.

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2 Responses

  1. Christa says:

    Note: his alibi was proven because the IP address of the post was at his father’s house miles away, proving true his and his father’s statements about his location.

  2. SueSimp says:

    Taken out of context, the message makes him appear to be a complete asshat. Apparently it was an in-joke and not a mocking taunt.

    But the article should send up a red flag about the use of police line-ups as the sole or primary evidence for obtaining a conviction. If it hadn’t been for a fortuitously timed facebook update, he might well have ended up in in prison.