A judge threw William Montanez behind bars for failing to unlock his phones Thursday, which wasn’t how Montanez or his attorney expected their day in court to end.
“Basically, my client has been denied his liberty today without due process,” said attorney Patrick Leduc.
On June 21, Montanez was pulled over for not properly yielding.
A small amount of marijuana was allegedly found, and cops asked to search his cell phones. Montanez refused, so detectives got a warrant — which brought us to this constitutional challenge in court.
“There is no information that the state can show, until I can challenge the warrant itself, that says, ‘Hey, what’s on these two cell phones are directly related to a possession of misdemeanor marijuana,’” argued Leduc.
After several minutes of vigorous arguments, Judge Gregory Holder ruled cops could go through the cell phones. Montanez claimed that the two phones were new and that he couldn’t remember the passwords to unlock them.
Judge Holder then had Montanez try to unlock the second cell phone, but it was the same result. So the judge found him in civil contempt and threw him in jail.
Judge Holder also ruled if Montanez suddenly remembers his passwords then he will be released from jail. Otherwise, he could spend up to six months locked up.