By: Barry Saxton
Justice Caleb McNeese presided over a case dealing with property, drugs, and self-incrimination. Petitioner 192 stated that the defendant (George Janis) was not only arrested without his rights being read, but his property was taken, and officers attempted to force Janis to incriminate himself, which is a direct violation of his 5th Amendment right. Petitioner 192 stated that attempting to force entry into Janis’ laptop could prove that George Janis is using his business Grease Monkey Mechanics as a cover for smuggling drugs. Reports state that officers asked Janis once about all of his property except for a cellphone.
Respondent 193 stated in the case that their informant, who not only signed an affidavit but agreed to a plea bargain, stated that the laptop is George Janis’. But as Justice Caleb McNeese stated, “The testimony of the informant has to be questioned because he could be looking out for his own interest based on the plea bargaining.” During the rebuttal, Petitioner 192 stated that asking three times for the answer regarding the property of the cellphone after Janis answered was a violation of his rights as well as not telling him his rights when arresting him. They also stated that the attempt to get Janis to open files on the computer that was with him without proof that the laptop actually belongs to Janis was also in violation of the 5th Amendment.