As reported by Warren Yates
For info, the Modesto Bee was standing outside court this morning down near the rest rooms but when court was called to order he was not there the whole day.
A SAD DAY FOR TESTIMONY
This will be highlights of the court session for November 20, 2015. DA investigator Dale Lingerfelt is on the witness stand. This will not be a very remarkable day for exciting things since Mr. Lingerfelt was partnered up with Investigator Bunch.
A lot of the testimony will center on Miranda (Sunny) Dykes who is a prospective witness for the prosecution. Much of the opening part of Lingerfelt’s testimony had to be disturbing for any members of Korey Kauffman’s family sitting in the gallery.
Miranda Dykes was the on again off again girlfriend of the confessed killer of Korey Kauffman, Robert Woody. Deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira BRIEFLY spoke on the prospective witness’s criminal history.
This is an in-depth look at the local criminal history of Miranda Dykes. When you see the dates involved in relation to the investigation of the murder Korey Kauffman, you can draw your own conclusions:
On April 24, 2013 she was a complaint was signed for HS 11377(A) felony possession of controlled substances.
PC 273A(B) misdemeanor willful cruelty to child.
HS 11 364.1(A) misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia smoke or inject narcotics.
On or about March 23, 2015 all of the charges were dismissed.
On July 30, 2013 a complaint was signed for two counts of PC 273A(A) felony willful cruelty to child possible injury/death.
On or about January 20, 2015 Dykes apparently the pled nolo contendere to count one and count to was dismissed.
On May 15, 2014 a complaint was signed charging a violation of PC 484(A) petty theft.
On August 7, 2014 the case was dismissed.
On June 4, 2014 Dykes was arrested for HS 11377(A) felony possession of a controlled substance and for HS 11350(A) felony possession of a controlled substance.
On August 7, 2014 the charges were dismissed.
The above information is available on the Stanislaus County court index. It was placed there to present a snapshot of another prosecution witness.
Lingerfelt testified that Miranda Dykes approached law enforcement because she was afraid of Robert Woody. When interviewed by law enforcement Miranda Dykes said that Robert had become upset with her and was going to kill her.
Lingerfelt testified that Miranda Dykes said that he was so mad at her that he said he would cut her head off and put it in a hole and bury it like he had done to Korey Kauffman.
After she contacted law enforcement, she consented to wear a wire to try to obtain information from Robert Woody.
Lingerfelt testified that on the first recording Woody told Dykes he will tell her what she wants to know. He said that he was involved in the killing of Korey Kauffman.
Lingerfelt’s testimony describing the death of Korey Kauffman is abridged in this report. Watching the Kaufman family that was present, I could see that they were understandably upset by the testimony. I believe the judge saw it also because she called a sidebar.
At the conclusion of the sidebar, the judge told both sides that this was an evidentiary hearing and the questions will be limited to 402 criteria. Prior to resuming Deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira huddled a few moments with the Kaufman family in the gallery.
At this time I want to again as in prior posts, extend my sincerest condolences to the family of Korey Kauffman. Hearing this type of testimony regarding the brutal murder is heart wrenching. As I said before, I too have suffered the loss of a son and parents are not supposed to bury their children. I want to see the killer of Korey Kauffman to be punished to the full extent of the law.
Lingerfelt went on to testify that Robert Woody found the wire on Miranda Dykes and was extremely upset. She got away from Robert Woody and the District Attorney’s Office feeling she was in extreme danger, provided funds for her in a witness protection house. She only stayed there for two days and left. A few days later when the District Attorney’s Office served a search warrant on Robert Woody’s house, Miranda Dykes was there with him.
After the situation, Miranda Dykes had let a couple of criminal cases go to warrant. The DA’s office arrested and booked her but they were still concerned about her safety. She could be in danger being in jail because someone there could hurt her for being a snitch. Lingerfelt opted to try to get her into a rehab program. The charges dropped “in the interest of justice”.
She was transported to a rehab center in Southern California by Lingerfelt and another investigator but she left there shortly after arriving. She’s now in a third program and seems to be doing better.
Lingerfelt stated that there were no promises on the first contact with Miranda Dykes or ever. He stated the last contact Miranda Dykes was mid to the end of 2014. The District Attorney’s Office is providing no support for her.
After this Lingerfelt was advised that a prisoner in County Jail may have information regarding the case. Lingerfelt along with another investigator went to County Jail to contact a confidential informant known by various monikers and I will use 14 – 1. 14 – 1 was facing three strikes but said he could provide information in the Korey Kauffman case. Lingerfelt arranged to have 14 – 1 released on his own recognizance and he was provided a TracFone and a wire. Lingerfelt stated that no promises for consideration were made to 14 – 1 upon his release.
Upon cross-examination by defense attorney Garcia, Lingerfelt stated that he has the authority to decide what to do in his case. There were numerous meetings and they would go to the District Attorney’s Office for briefings. Lingerfelt met with chief Deputy Dist. Atty. Harris quite a bit at least weekly. Investigator Bunch was usually with them when they met.
Defense attorney Martinez asked if Lingerfelt had received information as to where Korey Kauffman was killed. Lingerfelt stated according to 14 – 1, Korey was killed in Michael Cooley’s backyard.
Mr. Martinez asked if the DA wires a responsible person, how long do they have to know the person. Lingerfelt said 1 to 2 days. He was asked if Miranda Dykes was aware that her kids may be taken away. When we wired Dykes, she did not have her kids with her
14 – 1 was wearing a wire when he went to Michael Cooley’s house. 14 – 1 said that Michael Cooley showed the spot in the yard where Korey Kauffman had been beaten to death. Dist. Atty. Ferreira objected and the injection was sustained.
Lingerfelt said that 14 – 1 said that Michael Cooley showed him the exact spot where they took Korey. Mr. Martinez asked if it was on Michael Cooley’s property and 14 – 1 stated it was. 14 – 1 knew that Michael Cooley is a significant witness in the Korey Kauffman case. 14 – 1 and Michael Cooley were lifelong friends and 14-1wanted leniency.
Then the questions went to the wire that Miranda Dykes was wearing and he said that the wire recording said that Woody told Dykes that when he killed Korey Kauffman he was alone. When asked what the status of Miranda Dykes is, Lingerfelt said the she claimed that the Dist. Atty.’s office turned on her and were trying to kill her. There was no explanation given for why she wigged out. (Drugs ya think?)
Lingerfelt stated that Miranda Dykes was not presently hostile and that she had had contact with Korey Kauffman’s biological mother. Miranda Dykes is no longer a confidential informant and was not a cooperating witness until she was arrested. That is when Lingerfelt and another investigator drove her to the Southern California treatment program.
Dist. Atty. Ferreira then had questions on redirect. In answer to her question, Lingerfelt said that Miranda Dykes wire shows that he said he killed Korey Kauffman on Frank Carson’s property. Woody then said that he dumped the body top of the ground which somewhat describes how Korey Kauffman’s body was found in Mariposa County.
Dykes then said that Michael Cooley said “they took the boy. They got him last night”. Testimony showed that the boy was Korey Kauffman. Then there was testimony that a white pickup truck that belonged to a” Bobby” had the body in it. The district attorney said that Baljit Athwal’s nickname is” Bobby”. There was an immediate and loud objection by Martha Carlton Magana saying that that is misleading and stating that this is a 402 hearing and not a trial.
Judge Zuniga then took control of her courtroom again admonishing both sides that they were going too far with their questioning.
Ms. Magana said that 14 – 1 had information on another murder
Defense attorney Robert Forkner said that the wire said that Michael Cooley was there when Korey Kauffman was killed. Mr. Forkner said that another person had said that Michael Cooley says he killed Korey Kauffman. He said that Deputy McKinnon took a statement. Lingerfelt said that he had not seen that report.
That was the end of court for November 20, 2015.
If my reports seem to jump around it is because each of the six attorneys questions the witnesses independently sometimes about the same subect.