Judges overturn man's baby-killing conviction
PORTLAND — The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday tossed out the murder conviction of a Tigard man serving a life sentence for the death of his infant son, ruling that evidence from the man's internet search history shouldn't have been presented at trial.
The appellate judges found the warrant authorizing the search to be "impermissibly overbroad." Barring an appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court, the case now returns to Washington County Circuit Court.
Kaliq Mansor called 911 on June 12, 2011, to report his son Bryan was not breathing. He told investigators he went online for 15 minutes before calling for help to conduct research about what he should do.
Doctors diagnosed the 11-week-old baby with abusive head trauma and he died two days later. Doctors also examined Bryan's twin and found rib fractures.
Detective Robert Rookhuyzen obtained the warrant to examine Mansor's home computers. The investigation found Google searches from June 9 that included terms such as "abuser therapy," ''father hates infant" ''Oregon child abuse laws" and "afraid of abusing my baby."
Before the 2012 trial, Mansor's attorney Russell Barnett filed a motion to suppress the evidence, arguing the computer search should have been limited to the 15-minute period in which Mansor was looking up how to help the baby.
Washington County Judge Donald Letourneau denied the motion.
The appeals court opinion states the affidavit seeking the warrant established probable cause to uncover Mansor's search history while the baby was in his care June 12. But the search encompassed all data on hard drives and went back years.
"Nothing in Rookhuyzen's affidavit established probable cause that a temporally unlimited examination of the contents of defendants' computers, including of files and functions unrelated to internet searches and emails, would yield other evidence of the events of June 12, 2011, or of any other crime," the opinion states.
Barnett said Wednesday's decision could have an impact beyond the case at hand.
"It has the potential to affect almost any sort of search of cell phones or computers based on a warrant, and it will be interesting to see how that law develops," he said. "This was really the first Oregon case addressing this issue."
The district attorney's office in Washington County did not return a phone message seeking information on its plans to retry the case based on other evidence.
Barnett said it's a lock: "I'm sure that the decision to retry him was made before they got past the heading (of the opinion)."
Mansor, 38, remains in prison at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton.