'Fat defense' appeal impacts wiretapping rules

New Jersey news from Eyewitness News

May 17, 2012 5:43:13 PM PDT
An appeals court has ruled that police in New Jersey can wiretap a suspect in another state without obtaining a warrant from the judge of that state.

The Record of Woodland Park reports that Thursday's ruling also confirms the murder conviction of Edward Ates, a Florida man who was sentenced to life in prison after failing to persuade a jury of the argument that he was too fat to have committed the 2006 murder of his son-in-law.

Ates' attorney, Walter Lesnevich, tells the newspaper he plans to appeal Thursday's ruling to the state Supreme Court.

Ates was convicted in 2009 of fatally shooting his former son-in-law. An investigation by Bergen County prosecutors included wiretapping calls Ates made from Florida to his mother and sister in Louisiana.

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