By Warren Yates
This will be a brief synopsis of some of the events of Wednesday, November 25 in the preliminary hearing in the Carson case. First I want to thank my writing partner, Tom Jensen. He is doing a fine job in relating the court events. He has a much better memory than I do and therefore our writings complement each other. Thanks again Tom.
People in Modesto have been asking why Modesto Bee has not been covering the progress of the preliminary hearing in the Frank Carson case. There is much speculation as to the reason why the reporter assigned to the case has vanished. Could aliens have swooped down and carried him away?
Could it be that the District Attorney’s Office is somewhat fearful that the Modesto Bee may print information regarding the quality of the civilian witnesses called so far and that are still testifying? Did the District Attorney’s Office ask the Bee to refrain from covering the criminality of those witnesses that have testified and are still to come?
Perhaps the District Attorney’s Office would rather wait until more law enforcement personnel testify to avoid further embarrassment.
Or possibly could it be because deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira is alleging that commenter’s on the Bee’s newspaper articles are somehow in her words, influencing the public perception and may taint the jury pool if this goes to jury trial. At the last closing session, deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira use my name in open court and held up something purported to be something I wrote and requested that Judge Zuniga issue a gag order to prevent anyone, particularly myself from giving our perceptions of the proceedings.
As I mentioned in a prior post, I am humbled by the thought that deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira feels that something I write could possibly influence anyone and sway their opinion regarding this airtight, slam-dunk, gotcha,”it’s in the bag” and it’s all over but the shouting case of theirs.
With the tens of thousands of man-hours expended and the hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars if not millions of taxpayer dollars rung up on the coffers of Stanislaus County, I am sure that the taxpayers of Stanislaus County will say “well done, our good and faithful law enforcement servants”.
All of the subscribers to the Modesto Bee including myself, request that the Bee once again assign a reporter to be in the court daily to report the activities of each court day. The subscribers need to be informed of the court activities as part of our subscription fees.
In checking the Stanislaus County court index Mr. Cooper, and I use the term Mr. loosely, has 21 criminal entries on the index. On the index in case number 1487780, he was charged with inflicting traumatic injury upon a spouse or cohabitant, exhibiting deadly weapon other than firearm and possession of a controlled substance. All of these charges were dismissed on July 21, 2015. Now, here we are in November of 2015, we find Mr. Cooper testifying in the Carson case. Look at the calendar and go figure.
As Cooper began his testimony he was on and off the stand a couple of times while the attorneys conferred with Judge Zuniga on testimonial matters.
Defense counsel Robert Forkner asked Cooper what promises have been made to him for his testimony. Deputy district Atty. Ferreira stated that he had received no promises, only that he didn’t want to be sent to DVI prior to his return to his “home” prison, Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga. Pleasant Valley sounds like a Boy Scout retreat so I am sure Cooper will keep his pledge to keep his hands behind his back while on the stand.
Ronald Cooper has reason to worry because he is wearing a snitch jacket. Mr. Forkner asked him if he had been snitching on people in prison and Cooper stated no. He was asked if he was put in a different cell in jail to get information from his cell mates. Cooper answered no. If that’s true why worry about going back through DVI? DUH?
Cooper’s video interview with Bunch was then shown.
Cooper said he and Cooley were at the house when the cops came but he fled out the back door because he had drugs. Cooper said that while he was in jail with Pravish there was a mention that Frank Carson needed some muscle. He heard about Frank Carson going through cars. And that Frank Carson visited him in jail.
When questioned about when Frank Carson visited him, Cooper stated he’s not sure because he tells the date by when he was busted. Frank Carson told him if he would tell him where his stuff is he would take care of him. Cooper said he never stole any property from Frank Carson’s property.
During the interview Bunch tells Cooper that if things work out, I’ll make sure you get consideration and you know I am a man of my word.
In regards to the stolen antique train sets, Cooper said that a woman named Amber who lived in the front house on Lander Avenue had one of the train sets. After this information from Cooper we still don’t hear about law enforcement working on a case against Amber for possession of stolen property.
Oh wait! My bad! There aren’t any criminal charges pending against Michael Cooley, Eula Keyes or Linda Burns for possession of stolen property either. Now whose fault do you suppose that is? And their free ride for possession of stolen property of course, has nothing to do with the testimony they are presenting in this case. DUH? Anything wrong with any of these pictures? Just saying…
Cooper stated that while he was around Michael Cooley that Cooley liked knives. Cooper stated that he saw Cooley threatening some of the thieves with a knife that were leaving Frank Carson’s property, and coming through Michael Cooley’s yard and telling them to give him his share of their booty. Cooper stated that Cooley was a small man with the big man’s complex and that’s why he liked knives.
Cooper stated that at one point, Cooley thought that he Cooper, was trying to do the “Nay Nay” dance with Cooley’s girlfriend Eula Keyes. Cooley pulled a knife and threatened Cooper who stated he had no interest in dear Eula. Cooper went on to state that Cooley was a violent person.
At this point Deputy district Atty. Ferreira interrupted the court proceedings and asked Judge Zuniga to make Mr. Garcia move. She stated that he is standing behind her to her right and as Mr. Forkner asked questions of the witness, Mr. Garcia is making comments. She stated she had asked Mr. Garcia to move but he refused.
The judge asked Mr. Garcia to move over by the podium which he did. Still not satisfied with his positioning as Deputy district Atty. Ferreira still looked concerned, Judge Zuniga asked Mr. Garcia to move to the other side of the podium. Mr. Garcia in doing so left him approximately 24 inches further away from Ms. Ferreira. That little bit seemed to take care of it. What a difference a foot or two makes.
Continuing his testimony, Cooper stated that he had seen Michael Cooley beating up people several times. He had also seen Cooley carrying knives and threatening people numerous times. It would appear that at times Michael Cooley and Ronald Cooper were trying to “out knife” each other if you will.
Testimony up to this point shows that Michael Cooley generally pulled his knives on men while Cooper preferred putting his knife to the throat of a female/s. I guess the old adage “anything you can do, I can do better “would apply in their competitive instances.
As a closing thought I might add, Deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira earlier and proceedings became quite animated when the defense attorneys were referring to the investigation being done by a task force. Deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira indicated that this was a multi-jurisdictional investigation team, NOT a task force. She didn’t want the word task force to be used again. But when I read DA Fladager’s answer to the motion to recuse the District Attorney’s Office from the Carson case, I noted that numerous times she freely uses the term task force when referring to her investigative team. It appears that Deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira and Dist. Atty. Fladager have a disagreement with semantics. My bet is that the DA wins out. So task force it is Madam Deputy District Attorney.
Court is now recessed until December 14, 2015 at 9:30 AM.