Devices like the iPhone have revolutionized citizen journalism, and this example shows how the iPhone has changed the way we view “he said, she said” crimes. A man managed to video tape his mother-in-law shooting him on his iPhone, and the footage was enough to prove his “POV” of the incident, vs. hers.
Salvatore Miglino, 39, caught the attack on his iPhone, though it’s unclear if it was an iPhone 3GS (the first with video recording capability), iPhone 4, or iPhone 4S. Miglino got a bad feeling when he drove up to his mother-in-law’s Boca Raton, Fla. home where his wife and son now live. He turned on the recording capability of his iPhone, just in case, and it was a good decision.
His mother-in-law, 66-year-old Cheryl Hepner, stood outside the home with his three-year-old son’s pillow and overnight bag. Miglino was there to pick up his son for a court-scheduled custody visit. Hepner tried to get Miglino to enter the home, ostensibly because Hepner’s ailing husband wanted to speak to him. When Miglino refused, Hepner pulled a .22-caliber Beretta out from behind the pillow, and started firing.
On the video (sidebar), gunshots can be heard. Then, Miglino can be heard saying “I can’t believe you did that. I can’t believe you did that … I can’t believe you f***ing shot me.”
Miglino took two bullets, one in the rib cage and one in the shoulder. Despite those wounds, he managed to wrestle the gun away from Hepner, and then drove away while calling 911. Ah, but Hepner also called police, setting up a he said, she said situation.
In her 911 call, Hepner told the police that Miglino pulled the gun on her. She said, “No, he pulled it on me and he’s got it. He drove away,” according to a recording of the 911 call. She also mentioned that Miglino and her daughter were in “the middle of a horrible divorce.”
Meanwhile, however, Miglino’s iPhone video corroborated his story. Dani Moscella, spokeswoman for the Broward Country Sheriff’s Department said, “As evidence goes, that was a gem. That absolutely corroborated everything that Mr. Miglino had told detectives.”
Lesson learned: with the proliferation of cell phones, not just smartphones, folks ought to make sure their mobile device, whatever it is, has video recording capability. Aside from catching some citizen journalism footage, you might just send a criminal to prison.