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Updated: Jun 21

The murder case of a 72-year-old Rock Island man is set to proceed in Douglas County following a recent ruling by the state Supreme Court against the defendant, Ului Teulilo.

Teulilo had argued that law enforcement officers should have obtained a search warrant before entering his residence, where they discovered the lifeless body of his 68-year-old wife in 2018, with fatal gunshot wounds. The Supreme Court intervened in the murder case to assess the validity of Teulilo's claim, ultimately siding with the state's argument that the search was justified as part of a welfare check at the property. Consequently, a new trial date for Teulilo in Douglas County will be scheduled for June 26th.

The defendant faces charges of both first- and second-degree murder. The high court's involvement centered around the question of whether Washington's law, which permits warrantless searches in certain emergency situations, remains valid following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last year in the Caniglia v. Strom case.

The federal ruling concluded that a provision allowing such searches was not justified under the Fourth Amendment, which safeguards individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.

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