Defendant’s Social Media and Phone Records Evaluated in Burglary Trial


By Jamie Moddelmog

Instagram and cell phone records were extensively reviewed in the long-running burglary trial of Joseph Hernandez, Rakhem Bradford, and Joshua Givens.  Sergeant Michael Munoz, a Davis police officer who investigated the burglaries, returned to the witness stand.

Sgt. Munoz focused specifically on Instagram posts and text exchanges from September of 2013, and their alleged connection to several burglaries that took place in that month.

The first text exchange that was reviewed using Cellebrite extraction records occurred on August 28.  In the exchange, Mr. Hernandez’s phone received a message from a contact labeled “my right hand” that said, “we need more lappies.”

Next, the People projected an image from Mr. Bradford’s Instagram, depicting a MacBook.  The photo had the caption “#15 inch #macbookpro $700.”  A 15-inch MacBook had recently been reported stolen from a house on Drexel Drive at the time of the post.

Another text conversation that was shown was between Mr. Hernandez’s phone and an unknown recipient, taking place on September 1.  In the conversation, Mr. Hernandez referred to himself as “Macintosh Manu” and the other individual called him the “flyin’ Hawaiian” and “Mac Maui.”  Texts from Mr. Hernandez’s phone also refer to a MacBook Pro and an iPad, saying, “Send it and I might be like MacBook Pro and an ipad.”

An Instagram post created on the same day from Mr. Bradford’s account was displayed.  The picture showed another MacBook with the caption “#13inch #macbookpro $575.”  Another picture posted by Mr. Bradford on the same day was shown, depicting an iPad with the caption “#iPad brandnew $325 32ab.”

Cellebrite records show that in a text conversation between Mr. Hernandez’s phone and witness “NQ,” Mr. Hernandez told her he “wanted to drive around to see if the students had left for class yet” and asked if she wanted to come.

Sgt. Munoz said that he knew the texts were exchanged between Mr. Hernandez and NQ, because he recognized the phone number which was listed on the Cellebrite report, and also because he had seen their exchanges outside of the Cellebrite data.

Next Munoz was asked about a series of photographs.  The pictures depicted the faces of different people and Munoz testified that they were pictures in a “photo lineup.”  He had shown the pictures to a witness of a burglary on Albany Avenue on September 3 of 2013.

The witness had been able to see the burglar’s head shape and teeth.  One of the photos depicted Mr. Hernandez, and was identified by the witness as the photo of the man he saw in the backyard of the burglarized residence.

Sgt. Munoz also briefly testified about how he connected other burglaries, not mentioned to him by witness NQ.  He said he looked for similar time, method of entry, location and type of items stolen to find commonalities between other burglaries and the ones in which he believed Mr. Hernandez had been involved.  The Crimes Analysis Unit of the Davis Police Department assisted him as well.

Another text message exchange obtained through Cellebrite technology was shown and discussed.  Mr. Hernandez’s phone sent a message on September 4, a day after the burglary at the home on Albany Ave., to a contact labeled “Kev B” which stated, “I called to tell you I got a macky but it’s whatever.”

Later on in the exchange another text from his phone stated, “Aye bro ima come get the white macky now.”

On the same day, Mr. Hernandez’s phone records show a conversation with a contact labeled “Joshy,” which was the phone number of Mr. Givens. In the conversation, texts from Mr. Givens’ phone ask if he can have $40.  Mr. Hernandez’s phone replied, “I got 35.”

“What happened to the rest of the money?” Mr. Givens’ number asked.

Mr. Hernandez’s phone texted, “Bro I’m not dipping into that.  This is money I made off weed.”

“You just sold the mac,” Mr. Givens’ phone texted, “and the laptop.”

Mr. Hernandez’s phone replied, “I didn’t get the money yet. And the PC was so old he didn’t want it.”

Another photo showing a MacBook from Mr. Bradford’s Instagram was displayed.  The photo, posted on September 3, was captioned “#13inch #MacBook $550 I got iPads on the way.”

According to Cellebrite data, on September 8 a text was sent to Mr. Hernandez’s phone by an unknown individual he was having a conversation with saying, “My friend Cedric said there are iPads.”

On the 6th of September a picture was posted on Mr. Gibbons’ Instagram depicting a large pile of cash, consisting of mainly $20 and $100 bills.  The photo had the caption: “we just livin life to the fullest. Me and @macintosh__manu creme of the crop.”

On September 10 there was another burglary of a MacBook, reported at the same house on Albany Ave.  The burglary had the “same circumstances as the other,” according to Sgt. Munoz.

Four days after the burglary, a picture of a MacBook was posted on Mr. Bradford’s Instagram account.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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