Worthman Seeks Limits On Phone Records Search

GERING – Box Butte County Public Defender Jon Worthman wants the Scotts Bluff County judge in his drug case to stop the state from searching his phone records.

Worthman was arrested Tuesday night in Scottsbluff and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver after allegedly purchasing “two 8-balls” of the drug in a controlled buy set up by the WING Drug Task Force.

Worthman’s attorney argues in a motion that limits are needed because Worthman is a criminal defense attorney and uses his cell phone for calls and text messages with and from clients – many of whom still have cases active or pending.

The motion warns that allowing the state free access to those phone records could result in police gaining access to confidential client communications unrelated to the drug case, violating those clients’ 6th Amendment rights to counsel, due process, and a fair trial.

As a buffer, the motion asks that an independent third-party look at the phone records and decide which data should be made available to law enforcement in connection with the drug case.

Court records show the 52-year old Worthman allegedly told officers he uses cocaine himself and has exchanged legal advice for cocaine in the past. Worthman, who often represents defendants in Dawes and Sheridan Counties, will make his next court appearance next Friday.

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