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Fresh Trial of Murder Case Ordered following Virus Deleting Court Records from Computer

An appeals court in the United States has discarded the murder conviction as well as life sentence pronounced for an individual from South Florida following a virus infection on the PC of one court reporter which caused the official transcript of the trial being deleted, published WAtoday on January 5, 2012.

Reportedly, during July 2009, 26-yr-old Randy Chaviano, the man from Hialeah, Florida faced charges in a Miami court for murdering Carlos Acosta on a September day of 2005.

However, while investigating lately to see if there was any basis for appeal by the defendant, the court found that his trial's records were missing in stenography, which should have been maintained on both a compact disk and paper.

Actually, Terlesa Cowart, the stenographer, had moved the trial data onto a PC from her stenography machine and subsequently deleted all of the data off that machine. At that point, a virus hit the PC implying that all notes were lost, while lawyers managed to locate merely one transcript on an earlier hearing before the trial and the concluding deliberations.

Consequently, it's now necessary for rehearing the trial, meaning more expenses and time-consumption as also police officers and witnesses requiring their re-appearance in court.

Also seemingly, the stenography machine-made records on paper were incomplete, a reason attributed to the failed process of legal recordings within 3 different media.

Therefore, as the lawyers hunted to find the transcripts in connection with the appeal, merely a single chief pre-trial hearing as well as the closing deliberations were obtainable. Eventually, since there was almost no transcript available with regards to the 8-day long legal trial, it was ruled at the Third District Court of Appeal that fresh trial be conducted for Chaviano.

Significantly, stenographers of Florida court refuse to substitute machine-made records with digital ones unlike several court-rooms within Miami-Dade that'll shortly move to digital recording. In the meantime, Ms Cowart has been sacked from her employment.

However, as per security experts, it's a mystery as to what precisely turned problematic on the steno's computer since it'd have required just a small expense to recover the data lost.

Related article: Fark.com Files Suit against Suspected Hacker from Fox13

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