The state’s obtaining CSLI here is not suppressed. Officers worked backwards from the murder victim’s cell phone and an emergency request for text messages and got them and linked them to defendant. It was inevitable that defendant’s CSLI would be obtained in the process. State v. Stewart, 2021 S.C. App. LEXIS 144 (Dec. 1, 2021):
Moreover, we find the trial court did not err in refusing to suppress the CSLI data under the South Carolina Constitution’s express grant of privacy rights because the officers would have inevitably discovered the CSLI data under a valid search warrant. Article 1, Section 10 states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures and unreasonable invasions of privacy shall not be violated ….” “[T]he inevitable discovery doctrine provides that illegally obtained information may nevertheless be admissible if the prosecution can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the information would have ultimately been discovered by lawful means.” State v. Moore, 429 S.C. 465, 839 S.E.2d 882, (2020) (alteration in original) (quoting State v. Cardwell, 425 S.C. 595, 601, 824 S.E.2d 451, 454 (2019)). Here, only hours after the murder, officers utilized two valid warrants to search Victim’s car and cell phones. A search of one phone disclosed all of Victim’s recent phone calls and text messages with an unidentified phone number. Using a database, officers determined the unidentified number’s service provider and contacted the provider to request the name of the individual associated with the phone number. The service provider named Stewart as the subscriber. Officers also legally obtained Stewart’s address under the emergency disclosure form and had all of the text content between Victim and Stewart on the night of the murder. Finally, officers filed a proper search warrant with Verizon at roughly the same time they filed the emergency disclosure form, and Verizon provided the records a week after the murder, disclosing the same information and data as the emergency form. Because the officers legally obtained Stewart’s name and address, and his CSLI data was legally obtained a week after the murder under a valid search warrant, we find the trial court did not err by refusing to suppress the CSLI data under Article 1, Section 10. See id. (“[I]llegally obtained information may nevertheless be admissible if the prosecution can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the information would have ultimately been discovered by lawful means.”).