I sense a made-for-TV-movie in the works.
In an embarrassing about-face, federal prosecutors yesterday abruptly dropped criminal charges against an Indiana man who they accused of bugging his ex-wife’s automobile.
The FBI last Friday arrested David Voelkert, 38, largely on the basis of messages the South Bend man recently exchanged with a purported 17-year-old Facebook friend named “Jessica Studebaker.”
In fact, the “Studebaker” account was created last month by Voelkert’s ex-wife Angela, 29, in an apparent bid to extract information she could use against him in an ongoing child custody fight.
As described in an FBI affidavit, David Voelkert’s Facebook correspondence with “Studebaker” included an admission that he had placed a GPS device in his ex-wife’s vehicle to surreptitiously monitor her movements. He also wrote about his desire to “find someone to take care of” Angela, and told “Studebaker” that “you should find someone at your school…that would put a cap in her ass for $10,000.”
For her part, Angela Voelkert sought to use the Facebook exchanges against her ex-husband. In a June 1 Superior Court application for a restraining order against him, Voelkert attached several pages of Facebook messages exchanged between “Studebaker” and David Voelkert. The messages showed her ex-husband telling “Studebaker” about the tracking device, as well as his concern the teenager could “get arrested as an accessory to all this.”
Voelkert spent four days in custody until federal prosecutors moved yesterday to drop charges against him. He was freed after proving to investigators that he knew all along that his ex-wife was the one sending him messages from the “Studebaker” account. Voelkert explained that he played along with the ruse so that he could use his ex-spouse’s machinations against her in their custody case.