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Judge postpones decision for fatal distracted driving crash

HILLSBORO -- It will be at least two weeks before a district judge decides whether to throw out evidence obtained from a Hatton woman's cell phone in the case involving a distracted driving collision near Hillsboro last year.Abby Elaine Sletten w...

HILLSBORO - It will be at least two weeks before a district judge decides whether to throw out evidence obtained from a Hatton woman’s cell phone in the case involving a distracted driving collision near Hillsboro last year.
Abby Elaine Sletten was charged with negligent homicide, a class C felony, in state district court in Hillsboro after she rear-ended an SUV in front of her on Interstate 29 killing 89-year-old passenger Phyllis Gordon. 
The phone records show Sletten was looking through Facebook photos at the time of the crash shortly before 2 p.m. last May 27, according to court records.
The driver of the SUV, Jennifer Myers, was trying to make an illegal U-turn at a median crossing at the time of the collision, court records say.
In December, defense attorney Bruce Quick made a motion to throw out evidence North Dakota Highway Patrol troopers obtained from Sletten’s cellphone after the collision, arguing the troopers improperly seized her cell phone in violation of her constitutional rights.
Highway Patrol troopers did take Sletten’s cellphone without a warrant, but the question at hand Wednesday morning was whether the seizure fell under one of the exceptions to the rule - the rule that an officer must first obtain a warrant before seizing property.

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