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Suspect Updates Facebook Status in Police Standoff

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mark Hillary

    A Utah man suspected of evading a felony drug warrant and holding a female hostage in a hotel room for 16 hours continued to update his Facebook account, reports said.

    Jason Valdez, 36, held the woman in a 16-hour standoff  with SWAT teams outside and all the time updating friends and family about what was going on, police said. One friend even let Valdez know a SWAT officer was hiding in the bushes, according to the Associated Press.

    "Thank you homie," Valdez replied. "Good looking out."

    When officers broke into the hotel room, Valdez shot himself in the chest, Ogden police said. Valdez remains in critical condition.

    Court records show Valdez has a criminal history, including convictions for aggravated assault and domestic violence in front of a child, according to the AP. On Friday afternoon, Ogden police tried to serve Valdez with a felony drug warrant for a missed court appearance and that's when Valdez barricaded himself inside a hotel.

    His first post, at 11:23 p.m. Friday said, ""I love u guyz and if I don't make it out of here alive that I'm in a better place and u were all great friends."

    About six posts were made during the standoff and Valdez apparently added 12 new friends. Comments ranged from support to pleading with Valdez to "do the right thing." Valdez also posted photos, including one of alleged hostage, described as "Got a cute 'Hostage' huh."

    However, those Facebook friends who may have tipped off Valdez to police or sent words of encouragement may not have just been exercising their First Amendment rights. Ogden police are now looking into arresting some of Valdez's Facebook acquaintances for obstruction of justice and interfering with a police investigation.

    "We're not yet sure how to deal with it," Lt. Danielle Croyle told the Associated Press

    Croyle isn't alone. We're not sure society knows how to deal with a suspect updating his or her Facebook status in the middle of an alleged crime, and we don't think our legal system has caught up to our real-time, 24/7 interactive world yet. Until then, expect more instances like this, hopefully without people pointing out police locations.