ST. LOUIS • A forensic examiner on Tuesday extracted data from Gov. Eric Greitens’ cellphone and email account in a locked courtroom at the Mel Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis.
The phone and email data, as well as information associated with another phone number, were being examined as part of Greitens’ felony invasion of privacy trial that is set to begin with jury selection Thursday.
The examiner taped yellow paper over the windows in the doors to a courtroom before sitting down at a desk and beginning to extract data from the governor’s cellphone.
Prosecutors and Greitens lawyers were in judge’s chambers for roughly an hour Tuesday before the examination of the cellphone began.
Defense lawyers on May 6 filed a motion to quash a sealed search warrant for Greitens’ Gmail account. The motion says Anthony Box, chief investigator for the circuit attorney’s office, cited an unusual “uptick in activity” in the email account after an investigation into Greitens was announced.
Box also claimed that most, if not all, of the activity was coming from one of the law firms representing Greitens, Dowd Bennett.
The motion quotes Box as concluding “that there may have been efforts to access or delete the photo in question.”
Defense lawyers called the accusation “absurd” in the motion and said there was insufficient evidence to support the search. They had also opposed any forensic examination of the governor’s cellphone and a request for his military service records. They declined to comment when leaving the courthouse Tuesday afternoon.
No rulings or new motions were made public Tuesday, as state courts were closed to commemorate the birthday of President Harry Truman.
The evidence will be turned over to Cole County Senior Circuit Judge Rich Callahan, a former U.S. attorney in St. Louis who was appointed a “special master” to review data collected from cellphones of the woman and her ex-husband.
Greitens, 44, who was indicted in February on one felony count of invasion of privacy, is set to stand trial next week in Burlison’s courtroom.
On Monday, Burlison rejected a defense motion to exclude testimony from Greitens’ accuser and her friend. Burlison did block testimony from three state witnesses — two computer experts and a law professor — who prosecutors hoped would strengthen their case.
Burlison also rejected a second defense motion to dismiss the case.
Defense lawyers claimed testimony from Greitens’ accuser had been tainted by misconduct from prosecutors and investigators. They also complained of failures to disclose evidence and perjury. Prosecutors have said the woman’s testimony has remained consistent throughout grand jury testimony, interviews with investigators and depositions.