Unsealed iPhone 4G Affidavit: Phone's Sellers Allegedly Tried To Hide Evidence

Earlier today, at the insistence of a coalition of media organizations including Wired and Cnet, a judge unsealed an affidavit the iPhone 4G leak case that has uncovered many more details about the case. The documents, which contain the affidavit of Detective Matthew Broad of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, affirm that it was Apple that sparked the police investigation, and offers a timeline of events leading up to the police raid of Gizmodo editor’s Jason Chen’s house. We’ve embedded the full document below, via Cnet.

In the documents, it’s revealed that Steve Jobs personally contacted Gizmodo about getting the phone back (Gizmodo responded that it wanted Apple to officially state that the phone was theirs). It also reveals that Apple has claimed that Gizmodo damaged the prototype iPhone during the course of taking it apart:

“Sewell said that upon returning to Apple, employees attempted to power the phone and found that it no longer functioned. Upon examining the phone, they found the following damage occurred to it as a result of the phone being disassembling[sic]:
1. Broken ribbon cable
2. One screw was inserted into the wrong location and caused an electrical short
3. Back plate snaps were broken.
4. Stripped Screws.”

At one point in the document, the story of how Gray Powell probably lost the phone is detailed (note that this supports the claims by Gizmodo that it was not actually stolen out of Gray Powell’s possession):

“Powell said he sat at the bar with his uncle. He said the last memory he had of the prototype phone was placing it in his bag, which he then put on the floor by his feet. Powell said that his bag was knocked over at one point in time and it was possible the prototype iPhone fell out of the bag onto the floor.

I asked Powell if it was possible that someone stole the prototype iPhone from his bag. He said he did leave his bag with his uncle at one point during the evening when he went to the bathroom and it was possible, although unlikely, that someone removed the prototype iPhone from his bag”.

But most interesting, at least on our first read-through of the documents, are the bizarre chain of events that took place as the investigation closed in on Brian Hogan and Thomas Warner — the two young men allegedly working together to sell the phone after Hogan found it in a bar. Police were allegedly tipped off about the involvement of the two men by their roommate, a woman named Katherine Martinson, who was concerned that she would be considered an accomplice to the young men because Hogan had used her computer to try syncing the iPhone 4G prototype.

“Orloff said that Witness Martinson contacted him due to the fact that Suspect Hogan connected the stolen iPhone to her computer and she believed that Apple would eventually trace the iPhone back to her via IP address. Therefore she contacted Apple in order to absolve herself of criminal responsibility…”

The documents allege that when Martinson tried to talk Hogan out of selling the iPhone because it would “ruin the carer of Robert ‘Gray’ Powell”, Hogan responded “Sucks for him. He lost his phone. Shouldn’t have lost his phone.”

The documents then go on to detail the night of April 21, when Hogan and Warner allegedly tried to hide evidence that tied them to the phone. It’s a bizarre tale. Warner, who had two outstanding misdemeanor warrants, allegedly tried to hide a laptop at a church, and after saying he didn’t know where a missing thumb drive and flash card were, said that they were hidden in a bush in Redwood City. Here are the passages describing the events of that night:

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