This going to be a multi part series on one case in Stanislaus County and the interesting ways they have doing things.
These below pictured people have been arrested in the murder of Korey Kauffman in Turlock, Ca.
Kaufmann investigation timeline
- January 2012: Carson represents Robert Lee Woody when he is accused of receiving stolen property. The charge eventually is dropped.
- March 2012: Korey Kauffman leaves a friend’s house on Lander Avenue in Turlock and goes missing.
- Oct. 16, 2013: A body found by hunters in August 2013 in the Stanislaus National Forest is determined to be Korey Kauffman. Detectives term his death “suspicious” and appeal for help from the public to determine what happened.
- Dec. 3, 2013: Praveen Singh (aka Prajeer Singh), a Modesto bail agent accused of using his position to solicit gang members to commit violent crimes, is named as a person of interest in the case. Singh also has been employed by criminal defense attorney and district attorney candidate Frank Carson. Carson, Singh’s attorney, says Singh “has done work for us” as a private investigator.
- March 6, 2014: After a seven-month, five-agency investigation, Robert Lee Woody, 38, is arrested on charges of murder, conspiracy and a special enhancement for lying in wait. The criminal complaint against Woody also shows the conspiracy charge is supported by four allegations of involvement with three co-conspirators, who are listed only as B, C and D.
- March 15, 2014: Woody pleads not guilty on charges of murder and conspiracy and denies a special enhancement for lying in wait.
- March 19, 2014: Superior Court Judge Ricardo Córdova doesn’t reveal why he would recuse himself from Woody’s case, but he does say the rest of the judges in the courthouse likely would recuse themselves if the three other people are charged – a possible indication that the three people have some connection to the courthouse.
- March 22, 2014: Carson speaks to a group of licensed private investigators about his run to become the next Stanislaus County district attorney. He emphatically denies any involvement in an alleged criminal conspiracy linked to the death of Kauffman.
- April 11, 2014: Woody makes a brief appearance for a pretrial hearing. The hearing is continued to later in the month and prosecutor Dave Harris tells the judge that the District Attorney’s Office has not made a decision about the penalty that will be pursued against the defendant.
- July 18, 2014: Woody returns to court for a pretrial hearing. Harris tells the judge the District Attorney’s Office will not seek the death penalty against Woody.
- Aug. 2, 2014: Praveen Singh, the Modesto bail agent facing criminal charges, files a claim against Stanislaus County seeking $20 million in damages, asserting he has been harassed repeatedly by investigators from the District Attorney’s Office. He alleges the investigators abused their power, trying to pressure him into providing information that links Carson to Kauffman’s death.
- Aug. 30. 2014: Brothers Baljit Athwal and Daljit Atwal, who spell their last name differently, owners of the Pop-N-Cork Liquor stores in Turlock, file a claim against the cities of Modesto, Turlock and Ceres and Stanislaus County saying they have been repeatedly harassed by law enforcement involved in the Kauffman murder investigation. They later file a federal lawsuit against local authorities.
- June 3, 2014: Carson is defeated by incumbent Birgit Fladager in the race for Stanislaus County district attorney.
- June 27, 2015: Praveen Singh, 36, and his girlfriend, Jyoteshna Karan, 43, are arrested. Singh, who filed a civil rights lawsuit against local law enforcement officials, also faces local criminal charges for allegedly asking inmates to commit crimes for him. Singh says he has been, since early 2013, the subject of an erroneous and malicious investigation into Kauffman’s murder, according to a federal lawsuit filed by Singh’s Southern California-based attorney, Alex Herrera. The lawsuit alleges that investigators have abused their power, arresting Singh three times, and none of the charges are linked to the murder investigation.
- Aug. 13, 2015: Frank Clifford Carson, Georgia Geanette DeFilippo, Daljit Singh Atwal, Baljit Singh Athwal, Walter Wesley Wells and Robert Lee Woody are arrested; the charges include first-degree murder, lying in wait, firearm enhancement, conspiracy to commit a crime and false imprisonment. Christina Anne DeFilippo, Scott J. McFarlane and Eduardo Quintanar Jr. are arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and accessory.
Frank Carson is a prominent attorney that has beaten the DA’s office badly over the years and had an unsuccessful run for the DA’s job in 2014.
The campaign was an extremely contentious one where Carson made many claims of impropriety against the DA’s office which included illegal wiretaps, improper investigation techniques, abuses of power by investigators and the DA herself.
During that campaign the DA felt the need to serve a search warrant on Frank Carson’s property in regards to the murder of Korey Kauffman, to my knowledge there was tangible evidence recovered at the property, which included DNA testing. Yet the investigators and witnesses insist that was the scene where the murder took place.
The witnesses are the biggest piece of non-reliable evidence in this case.
On of Carson’s former clients, Robert Lee Woody, was the first arrested on charges of murder, conspiracy and a special enhancement for lying in wait and is one of the biggest reasons for all these other arrests. And it is an interesting note that the DA’s office very quickly announced they would not seek the death penalty and it also became very clear he was talking to authorities, And has changed stories several times. As with almost of the witness’s in this case they are heavy drug users, dealers, thieves, con artist and most looking at a lot of prison time and from personal experience do not make reliable witnesses due to they do not have good recall from being under the influence all the time and are extremely self-serving and are all looking for a deal in some serious pending charges.
In my opinion the DA’s office has an obvious conflict in this case but they refuse to turn it over to the Attorney General’s office for prosecution, preferring to do it themselves. Seems to me that is a built in appeal for later but Hey what do I know?
Next Is some witness and Arrest information