- Lowndes County, Ga. - March 24, 2012 -
Georgia's highest court has ruled that a Lowndes County sheriff's investigator did not violate a woman's constitutional rights by reading her text messages without a search warrant.
In a 2010 sting operation, investigator Andrew Denmark exchanged texts with Haley Hawkins about buying narcotics. When Hawkins showed up to purchase illegal sleeping pills the investigator checked her phone to see that she was the person he was corresponding with.
The ruling was upheld because Hawkins gave the investigator permission to search her car and purse which contained the cell phone.
Patsy Rivera works in a Valdosta law firm and agrees with the decision.
"There's no constitutional right in my opinion being broken because you've already put yourself out there by committing an illegal crime," Rivera said.
But Grant Hunnicett is a construction worker who disagrees with the decision.
"Yeah, I'm pretty shocked by that because it's their own personal privacy and not a cop's," Hunnicett said.
Hawkins was charged with four counts including "Unlawfully attempting to purchase a controlled substance".