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Tennessee church shooting suspect objects to phone evidence

Emanuel Samson, center, enters the courtroom for a hearing Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. Samson is accused of fatally shooting a woman and wounding six other people at a Tennessee church in September 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The man accused of fatally shooting a woman and wounding seven people at a Tennessee church in September 2017 is objecting to using evidence from his cellphone.

Emanuel Kidega Samson made his first public court appearance Wednesday during a Davidson County Criminal Court hearing. The 27-year-old faces a 43-count indictment, including a first-degree murder charge, in the Nashville shooting at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ.

Samson’s attorney, Jennifer Lynn Thompson, said a search warrant affidavit doesn’t tie the phone’s potential contents with Samson’s charges.

An arrest affidavit says Samson waived his rights and told police he arrived armed and fired at Burnette.

Prosecutors have said they’re seeking a life sentence without parole.

Samson is black and the victims are white. Authorities haven’t definitively said whether they believe Samson targeted them based on race.

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