Progressive Snapshot Car-Monitoring Device Helps Man Beat Murder Charge

There may be an upside to having a device in your car that monitors your driving habits on behalf of your car insurance company. Yes, really. A Cleveland-area man who also happened to be a Progressive customer with a Snapshot device at the time his infant daughter suffocated to death was acquitted of murder thanks to its data.

A record of what time you were in your car and how fast you were going could be bad in the wrong hands or if you’re an irresponsible driver, but in the case of this dad, it saved him from fifteen years to life in prison.

He came home from a late-night shift as a nursing aide to find the infant in her swing, not breathing. Her mother was asleep. He rushed the infant to the hospital, and mistakenly told authorities that he had found her in her car seat, instead of seated in the swing. Changing his story brought suspicion on him.

There were two theories regarding how the seven-month-old suffocated: a pathologist testified that she could have fallen asleep in her swing and suffocated as she slumped down, since babies aren’t really equipped to sleep sitting up. The prosecution accused the father of holding the baby’s nose to make her cry and wake her mother. (Why do that? He wanted sex, but the mother wouldn’t be very happy to see him if he woke her up.)

Data from the Snapshot device showed that the car was turned off, then turned on again only three minutes later: just enough time to discover that the baby wasn’t breathing, wake her mother, and rush the infant out to the car. The jury only deliberated for an hour, and the father was cleared of all charges.

This was the first use of a Snapshot device in any kind of criminal trial.

With help from Snapshot insurance device, Parma Heights man is cleared of murdering his 7-month-old daughter [Cleveland Plain Dealer]