A Harlem teen managed to save his own posterior legally with a three word Facebook status update. (“Where’s my pancakes?”)
Rodney Bradford, a 19-year-old resident of Farragut Houses, posted the seemingly inconsequential update from his dad’s apartment at 11:49am on October 17th. In a refreshing twist, rather than coming back to get him arrested, fired or sued for paternity, Bradford’s words managed to keep him out of jail. On the 18th, Bradford was arrested for burglary and wound up finding Facebook to be his sink or swim alibi.
Up until now, we’ve mainly seen Facebook used legally against a defendant, such as the burglar that couldn’t keep his thieving hands off the site while committing a crime and later ended up in jail because of it. A legal consultant told the Times that this is the first time he’s aware of where a status update has been used to extricate a suspect from further trouble rather than land him further in it.
While the defense concedes that someone other than Bradford could have posted the update using Bradford’s logins, it was argued that it required a level of forethought and malice unlikely present in the defendant:
“This implies a level of criminal genius that you would not expect from a young boy like this; he is not Dr. Evil,” Mr. Reuland said, adding that the Facebook entry was just “the icing on the cake,” since his client had the other alibis.
The judge and DA agreed, and charges were dropped against the teen. Bradford says:
As for those pancakes: “I used to really like them,” Mr. Bradford said. “Now I love ‘em.”
[NYT via Gizmodo]