Data From An Apple Watch Was Used In An Australian Murder Trial

Data From An Apple Watch Was Used In An Australian Murder Trial
Image: Apple

Apple Watches can track a lot of things in your life: your heart rate, how many steps you take and how you’re sleeping. And now it’s being used to track when someone’s life abruptly ended.

In the past, murder trials have used data from smart devices. And now, they’re using data from wearables.

A murder trial appearing in front of the South Australian Supreme Court has featured data from the victim’s Apple watch as part of the proceedings, the ABC reports.

29-year-old Caroline Nilsson was accused of murdering her mother-in-law, Myrna Nilsson, and then staging a home invasion afterwards to cover up the murder. After five days of deliberation, the jury was unable come to a verdict.

But during the trial, Myrna Nilsson's Apple wearable played a key role in the prosecution's case.

What did prosecutors use Apple Watch data for?

Prosecutor Emily Telfer SC claimed that Apple Watch data was part of the evidence that showed Nilsson had fabricated her story about the murder.

Caroline Nilsson told police that she and her mother-in-law had been bound and gagged by two men "who looked like tradies" in their home in Valley View, Telfer said, before escaping. Nilsson was found by neighbours hours later.

But none of the versions of events that Caroline Nilsson told police were true, said Telfer.

The prosecution claimed that data from the victim's Apple Watch disproved Nilsson's story of a home invasion.

"The Apple Watch is more than just a watch — it records and keeps track of the wearer's level of activity and the amount of energy they are using as they move through the day," the ABC reported Telfer saying during the trial.

Telfer said that the Apple device recorded a "flurry" of 65 movements in 39 seconds her heart rate stopped at 6.41pm.

Nilsson's defence lawyer told the jury that their team agreed that the Apple Watch's data capturing the time of death was accurate.

As the trial returned a hung jury, Nilsson will face trial again.