FBI's Newfound iPhone Unlocking Prowess To Be Used In Arkansas Murder Case

A prosecutor in Arkansas will get an assist from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a murder trial where key pieces of evidence may be contained in a pair of Apple devices. Having just recently thwarted the security on an iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, the FBI has agreed to help prosecuting attorney Cody Hiland with breaking into an iPhone and iPod that belonged to the two alleged teenagers assailants.

The case involves the killing of Robert and Patricia Cogdell, both murdered at their home in Conway, a town that sits half an hour north of Little Rock. Authorities believe 18-year-old Hunter Drexler and 15-year-old Justin Staton, the latter of which the Cogdell sraised as their grandson, are responsible for the murders.


Prosecutors in the case came into possession of Drexler's iPhone after he and two other teenagers were arrested in Texas and hauled back to Arkansas a few days after the murders. They also secured an order for Staton to relinquish his iPod. Authorities believe the two teens discussed plans of the killings on their respective mobile devices.

"We're not concerned about anything on that phone," Drexler's attorney Patrick Benca told NBC News.

The FBI will help the prosecution unlock both devices, though it's not known if the agency will use the same method that it used on the iPhone 5c that was the centerpiece of a legal battle between the FBI and Apple. It's also not known what generation iPhone and iPod the prosecution has in their possession.