Apple’s Health app has many useful functions that a lot of people are unaware of. One of these is apparently helping to solve murder trials.
How did the Health app provide condemning evidence?
47-year-old Jeff West from Alabama has served three years in prison, all the while maintaining that he didn’t murder his 42-year-old wife, Kat West. She was killed on January 12, 2018, but West maintained that a drunken fall was her cause of death.
As it turns out, a key piece of evidence in the sentencing trial was Apple Health data from both their phones.
Forensics teams found data on Kat West’s phone that showed the last time she moved was at 10:54 pm when she took 87 steps.
Jeff West told investigators that he fell asleep around 10:30 pm and didn’t get up again until 5:15 am. However, his Health app showed he took 18 steps between 11:03 pm and 11:10 pm, which contradicted his claims.
A neighbour found the body at 5am the next morning. She was lying with her phone and an absinthe bottle by her side, which witnesses said seemed staged.
The prosecutor argued that West threw his wife’s phone out the door during a drunken fight. The phone was found at the scene with a cracked screen. When she went out to retrieve it, Jeff West followed her. He then used the liquor bottle to deliver a fatal wound to the head.
Another convicting piece of evidence was the presence of Jeff West’s fingerprints at the neck of the absinthe bottle. Investigators said this showed he used the bottle in the inverted position as a weapon.
It’s believed he killed his wife during an argument about her work, which included selling adult pictures of herself online. Jeff West was convicted to a further 16 years in prison for reckless manslaughter.
This isn’t the first time an Apple health device has helped to solve a criminal case. Last year data from an Apple Watch helped to capture a victims time of death which was used as key evidence in an Australian murder trial.