Registe's motion to suppress phone records goes to high court - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Registe's motion to suppress phone records goes to high court Monday

Michael Registe is appealing a ruling by Muscogee County Court. Michael Registe is appealing a ruling by Muscogee County Court.
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A Columbus man who was once featured on "America's Most Wanted" is scheduled to make his second appearance at the Supreme Court of Georgia Monday.

Michael Registe is appealing a ruling by Muscogee County Court that denied his motion to suppress cell phone records when he goes to trial for murder.

Supposedly, the cell phone number one of the victim's had was linked to Registe. The defense claims police did not file the proper paperwork to obtain the phone records from the carrier and violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

In July 2007, Columbus police were called to the Cross Creek Apartments where they discovered Bryan Kilgore, 20, and Randy Newton, Jr., 21 in a Chevrolet Blazer. The men, both Columbus State University athletes, had been shot execution-style.

A day after the murders, a detective requested information from Cricket's legal department stating the Columbus Police Department was investigating a double homicide, "We have information that the victim last met with the owner of this phone (XXX)-XXX-XXXX which makes him a suspect at this time... We are requesting information as to the owner of this phone as well as any calls to and from this number within a two hour period starting at 8:30 p.m. to 13:30 p.m. on 07-20-07 EST. Thank you for your cooperation."

Cricket sent the records. After calling the numbers listed on the account, police interviewed a number of people who described picking up Registe on the night of the murders.

Warrants were issued for Registe's arrest for murder on July 22. Police also executed a search warrant days later at Registes apartment where they found a bloody Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver and a cell phone number matching their records.

Two months later, police obtained a court order for the cell phone records covering July 10 through July 25, 2007 – including the same periods obtained earlier by investigators. Registe was put on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list and was featured on "America's Most Wanted."

A year later, in August 2008 Registe was captured on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten and was extradited to the United States a year later.

Registe's attorney filed a motion in January 2011 to suppress the cell phone records and the evidence obtained. The defense team argues the records were obtained unlawfully and violated state, federal, and the constitutional amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures. A trial court denied the motion. The appeal will be heard at the state Supreme Court Monday.

News Leader 9 is following this case. We'll have the latest information on the developments in court as soon as it becomes available.

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