If You Commit a Felony, Don't Google It or You'll Go to Jail

Illustration for article titled If You Commit a Felony, Don't Google It or You'll Go to Jail

Lee Harbert was a San Francisco-based investment banker with a history of DUIs. On Jan. 11, 2005, he killed 55-year-old Gurdeep Kaur in a hit-and-run with his Jaguar. Google got him convicted.


Harbert claimed he thought he'd hit a deer, which meant he wouldn't have needed to stop and help the person he mowed down, and police had originally said they were looking for a burgundy Jag, while his was black, so he had no idea what he'd done.

But, when police searched his computer, they found Google searches from a couple days after the accident like, "auto parts, auto dealers out-of-state; auto glass, Las Vegas; auto glass reporting requirements to law enforcement, auto theft," according to the prosecutor. The coup de grace? He searched for "hit-and-run," which he followed to a page about the hit-and-run he committed.

The judge sentenced Harbert to three years (that's it?). Harbert appealed, and got his argument smacked down last week. So remember kids, don't search for a crime you recently committed, or at least do it on someone's computer. [Cnet]


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He still lucked out, had they have caught him right away, they'd have known he was drunk and the penalty would have been much higher then a hit and run manslaughter.