This a report by William Jenson who was in court in the afternoon session yesterday and was initially reported on the The Back Story, See original post here: http://www.backstorynews.com/?p=92
Lack of Modesto Bee coverage prevents public comments. Good for DA.
I was not able to attend the morning session because of personal business. I arrived at 1:47 PM while a taped video interview of Ronald Cooper was being played in court.
Mr. Cooper was sitting in the witness stand in his orange and white striped Stanislaus County Jail jump suit as the video recording was played.
Mr. Cooper is basically a man who has spent more of his life in prison than not. He is not a young man, and has spent literally decades locked up for one thing or another over the years.
I was told that he was serving a sentence in Prison, but has recently been housed in the Stanislaus County Jail to be available for this trial.
He is being used to testify in this trial because he was a cellmate of an individual who had information pertaining to the Korey Kauffman case, and also had supposedly witnessed some incidents personally pertaining to this case.
In the first video recording that was played, Cooper said that Frank Carson had asked him for names of people who could help him out with the thefts from his property.
He remembered seeing a man named Steven Duden in a white minivan around the residence of Michael Cooley.
Steven Duden was a Private Investigator for Frank Carson.
Ronald Cooper said that a female named Robyn Cooper thought Frank Carson had “Gotten Korey Kauffman.”
In the interview, Kirk Bunch wanted Mr. Cooper to get specific names of who was in Cooley’s back yard.
Kirk Bunch told Mr. Cooper not to tell Frank Carson about this interview.
Mr. Rosenstein of the Public Defender’s office was representing Mr. Cooper at the time. Ronald Cooper denied thefts from the Carson property by himself.
He said that Michael Cooley was stealing from the Carson property. Bunch told Cooper, “Don’t be surprised if Carson wants to visit you.”
Bunch then pointed out to Ronald Cooper that he had a December 02, 2015 court appearance coming up for his latest arrest.
Bunch then told Mr. Cooper that he had corroborated a lot of stuff that they had heard from other people.
Bunch said, “We didn’t talk to you before you got in this room-Right?” Ronald Cooley answered yes.
In the second video interview of Mr. Cooper, an investigator says to Cooper
“Real quick, there is no deal on the table right now. Kirk Bunch is then heard saying, “If it pans out, I will make sure you will get considerations, you know I am a man of my word.”
Talk went into discussing a man named Fernando Maharas who was supposedly feeding information to Percy Martinez, one of the defense attorneys on this case.
Percy Martinez was representing Robert Woody at that time. Mr. Cooper was heard telling the investigators that he had bought Crystal Meth and Pseudo fed from Robert Woody at a store where Mr. Woody was working.
It was brought out in the tape that Frank Carson had gone to visit Mr. Cooper at the Public Safety Center to ask him questions about who was stealing items from his property.
Cooper was heard on the tape saying that paintings, glass figurines, vases, county fair video, games, curio cabinets, and an antique train set had been stolen from the Carson property.
He said that a lady named Amber had the antique train set in her house. Cooley said in the tape that while he was at Amber’s house, he saw Frank Carson going through the glove boxes of I think two cars that were parked out front of the house.
Michael Cooley spit in the face of Frank Carson. Carson was said to get a red face, and was upset, but did nothing violent in retaliation.
Cooper said that Frank said “I am going to get you guys.” Cooley also said that Frank said “We have armed services, Guards.”
Bunch is then heard talking about being open about a deal, (consideration) for Cooper. Bunch asks Cooper if he is back in court next week. Cooper says yes.
Bunch tells Cooper, “I am going to talk to the DA. It will help us out the more information you can get us, and it will help you out more the more information you get us.” Bunch tells Cooper no one will know about this interview, but eventually a report will be made of the interview. Bunch tells Cooper, “No Worries.”
At 3:22 PM, after the afternoon break, Defense Attorney Robert Forkner cross examines Mr. Ronald Cooper on the stand.
Forkner gets Cooper to admit that during the interviews, Cooper had never said that Frank Carson had made death threats to anyone.
It was brought out in testimony that Ronald Cooper was high on Methamphetamine at the time of the things he supposedly witnessed.
Cooper testified that the cops were investigating his cell mate named Johnny Padilla, who Cooper said was making up a story.
Ronald Cooper had seen Michael Cooley get violent with people using knives several times. Cooper testified that Michael Cooley had physically threatened people that Cooley had seen going through Cooley’s back yard to steal items from the Carson property.
He testified that Michael Cooley had demanded his share of the stolen items. Ronald Cooper testified that Michael Cooley had pulled a knife on him when Cooley thought that he was messing around with Eula Keyes.
Ronald Cooper was told to leave the court room, while the attorneys and judge figured out how much time Mr. Cooper was looking at with all the charges that are pending on him
This took a long time, but eventually it was determined that Mr. Cooper is looking at a maximum of 23 years, and a median sentence of 19.8 years for his crimes.
This seems to be more than enough motivation for the prosecution to get Ronald Cooper to say anything they want.
Court was excused, and will not resume until December 14th, at 9:30 AM. No mention was made today about Marlissa Fereirra’s tirade about people like myself who are blogging on this trial, and how they had been provided copies of the transcripts of testimony by one or more of the defense attorneys.
It appears that our First Amendment rights are protecting us at this time.
I am only doing my blog from my notes, and I will always strive to be as accurate as I can possibly be. I am not perfect, but this is certainly light years better than the silence we have heard from the Modesto Bee lately.
The Bee reporter is hardly ever in the court room. It appears to many of us that the Modesto Bee is being told to hold off on their coverage of this trial. To the prosecution it seems like ignorance is bliss, when the general public is concerned.
William Thomas Jensen
Just a note: I was there through the whole day yesterday and the lack of progress in the courts have not changed since I was a Bailiff a few years ago.
Williams report is a very good and accurate accounting of what transpired.