FBI agrees to help Arkansas prosecutors open iPhone after hack

The FBI has agreed to help prosecutors gain access to an iPhone 6 and an iPod that might hold evidence in an Arkansas murder trial, just days after the agency managed to hack an iPhone linked to the San Bernardino terror attacks, a local prosecutor said Wednesday.

Cody Hiland, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas’ 20th Judicial District, said that the FBI’s Little Rock field office had agreed to help his office gain access to a pair of locked devices owned by two of the suspects in the slayings of Robert and Patricia Cogdell.

It was not immediately clear whether the FBI planned to use the same method it used to access data on Syed Rizwan Farook’s phone. Calls to the FBI’s Little Rock field office were not immediately returned. An FBI spokesman in Washington declined to comment.

The couple were killed in their home just outside Little Rock in July, according to the Associated Press. Four suspects, ages 14 to 18, have been charged in the killings, Hiland said.

Prosecutors asked for a delay in the trial of 18-year-old Hunter Drexler on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the FBI said it had successfully gained access to an iPhone 5c that Farook used.

Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, carried out the deadly attacks at the Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2, leaving 14 dead and many more wounded. Federal prosecutors went to court to force Apple to help them unlock Farook’s phone, but the historic court battle was staved off earlier this week when a third party helped the FBI gain access to the device.

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