By Warren Yates
THE WORM TURNS
Well that’s a pretty nice article that the bee reporter put in the bee today. He was there to the opening bell at 9:40 AM. He left again at 10:45 AM. Then he came back in again at 1:45 PM.
I’m going to begin writing again indicating what some of the answers are for Ronald Cooper Junior who I tongue-in-cheek call the inmate of the year at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga California. In reality he could be called the snitch of the year in the California Department of Corrections. He is certainly earning his mark and his reputation.
One of the Athwal brothers had a medical situation with his leg in a doctor was summoned. After a short recess having received some medication for Mr. Athwal the hearing began. Ronald Cooper went back on the stand and was then cross-examined by Robert Forkner. Cooper stated that his drug of preference is methamphetamine. He stated he was on methamphetamine when Frank Carson visited property and confronted Michael Cooley.
Mr. Forkner asked if Johnny Padilla who was this mysterious one X 14 confidential informant the prosecution wanted to keep secret was a cellmate of Ronald Cooper. Cooper stated that he had been. Mr. Forkner asked if Johnny Padilla had told Cooper that he Padilla was an informant on the Frank Carson case and whether Padilla told other people in jail that he was a paid informant. Cooper stated that he did.
Mr. Forkner asked Cooper if he called the DA to try to get out of jail early if he had information on the Frank Carson case. He was then asked about the meeting that Cooper had with deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira and Kirk Bunch in the little ante room in the downtown courthouse. Ronald Cooper’s charges were being reduced to a misdemeanor under prop 14.
Cooper stated that DDA Ferreira told him that she hopes he would do the right thing when it comes time for the Frank Carson case. Ronald Cooper then stated that he had stored some stolen items from the Frank Carson property but wasn’t sure that they were really stolen. He had accepted the property in exchange for methamphetamine was dealing.
When asked to name some names on his client list for methamphetamine sales, Cooper stated “Turlock”. As stated in the Bee article, Cooper won the laugh of the day contest as everyone in the courtroom including Judge Zuniga chuckled. Cooper again related that he received a lot of stolen property in exchange for the methamphetamine he was dealing.
Cooper stated he provided Michael Cooley with methamphetamine at least four times during their association. When asked if he ever gave Michael Cooley any methamphetamine, he stated while sometimes throwing horseshoes and partying he would give away a little. Ronald Cooper stated that both he and Michael Cooley shot the methamphetamine.
Judge Zuniga then asked attorney Percy Martinez if he had any questions of Mr. Cooper. DDA Ferreira immediately objected stated that the cross-examination was over of Mr. Cooper. Judge Zuniga checked and stated that your incorrect Ms. Ferreira and the cross-examination will continue.
Mr. Martinez asked Cooper what the origin of the curio cabinet that he had was. He stated he wasn’t sure but he didn’t believe it was Mr. Carson’s property. Mr. Martinez then asked Cooper if they use of amphetamine had affected his memory. Mr. Cooper said no! Mr. Martinez asked if on a November 13, 2013 interview with Kurt Bunch if he had been promised consideration if he provided information? Stated that Frank Carson’s name had been mentioned.
Cooper stated that he had contacted Frank Carson saying he could tell him about some of the stolen property. Frank Carson met with Cooper in jail and told Frank Carson that he knew people that had been stealing his property and selling it at antique stores in the county. Cooper also stated that one of the times that Frank Carson came to the property, he was with Amber in the front house helping to hide some of the stolen items from Frank Carson’s property that Amber had.
Stated that Frank Carson confronted Michael Cooley that he was a little upset but not a lot upset. Frank Carson told Cooley your stealing from me and you’re not can get away with it. During a confrontation Cooley spit in Frank Carson’s face and Frank Carson did nothing other than scream at him telling him he would not get away with it.
Cooper stated that he saw people around Frank Carson’s property because Michael Cooley’s property had a fence between them. He stated that he was out there at night throwing horseshoes Cooley that he was see people going into Frank Carson’s property. Stated that he had known Robert Woody for quite a while and that he had sold methamphetamine to Woody for about two years. Ronald Cooper stated that a female named Dawn Langley was his girlfriend at the time.
Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson asked Cooper if he had been released on his own recognizance when a felony conviction in prison priors and Cooper stated that he had. Cooper was then asked if Cooley had pulled a knife on Cooper stated that he had. It was having to do with a romantic interest that Cooley thought for had in Eula Keyes. Cooper stated that that was over that but he had no interest in Keyes.
Martha Carlton Magana then began cross-examination. She asked him if when he was in jail for possession, at this point Cooper interrupted her stating he had never been in jail for possession. Cooper stated that every time he was incarcerated possession he was in prison not a jail and appeared to be proud of that. When asked Cooper stated he had been in custody all of 2012.
In answer to Ms Carlton Magana’s question, Cooper stated that Cooley had pulled a knife on him twice over Eula Keyes. When Ronald Cooper brought some of the women over to Michael Cooley’s to party, Cooley thought Cooper was bringing women over to distract him while Cooper tried to make it with Eula Keyes. Cooper again stated that he had no interest in Eula Keyes. Cooper stated that another person by the name of Tommy Dewise had a knife pulled on him by Cooley thinking that Dewise was making a move on Eula Keyes.
Cooper was asked what methamphetamine does for him. He stated that he is wired when he uses it. He denies any delusions or hallucinations while using methamphetamine. He does however state that he can’t remember dates but that his memory is not affected by the methamphetamine.
Cooper was asked if when he was brought into the District Attorney’s Office for questioning if they brought him in fast food such as McDonald’s. Cooper stated they did not. When pressed, Cooper stated that they took him to McDonald’s but he never had it brought into him. Think of how much more information Cooper could have provided had they built up his ego by bringing McDonald’s to him. Ya just gotta use the right incentive.
Cooper stated that he used to sell methamphetamine to Tony Cooley before he died he also stated that he bought methamphetamine from a Linda Foxer who lived in a trailer park there.
DDA Ferreira then took over for redirect examination. She took over while questioning Cooper it appeared that she was doing damage control because it appeared that her own witness had inadvertently become a defense witness.
While questioning him, DDA Ferreira said “thinking back”, will hold on right there people. Here she is asked a methamphetamine addict to think back. That is as big of an oxymoron I’ve seen all week. I had to keep myself from laughing out loud.
Ferreira then asked Cooper about a white minivan he had seen near the Carson property. He stated he had seen Frank Carson on the property in an argument with Michael Cooley. Carson was stating to Cooley that I am going to get to the bottom of this and you won’t get away with this. Cooper then stated that Frank Carson said I’ll kill whoever gets on my property.
During this period of time DDA Ferreira was accusing someone of trying to discourage Ronald Cooper from testifying. She stated that defense attorney Martha Carlton Magana was the attorney for one of Cooper cell mates. DA Ferreira somewhat implied that Martha Carlton Magana had somehow had her client influence Ronald Cooper.
Martha Carlton Magana immediately made a vociferous objection to DDA Ferreira’s innuendo. Ferreira also accused Ms. Carlton Magana of representing Ronald Cooper before which Ms. Carlton Magana again objected to and was slandering Ms. Carlton Magana. At one point Ms. Carlton Magana stated that the “prosecution is crazy”. Judge Zuniga stated that she knew Ms. Carlton Magana was upset but that she should not personally attack the prosecutor. Ms. Magana responded that the prosecutor was impugning her integrity and she resented it.
Defense attorney Martinez then stated that the Dist. Atty. has a lack of good faith and that Ms. Carlton Magana’s attorney-client privilege was none of the prosecutor’s business. Defense attorney Jesse Garcia stated that no one can rely on the prosecutor’s representations.
Ms. Carlton Magana then stated that she had in fact not dissuaded the witness Ronald Cooper but Cooper has become too good of a witness for the defense. And he was a witness called by the prosecution.
Mr. Martinez stated that the DA is now trying to discredit her own witness and this is total misconduct by the Dist. Atty.
DDA Ferreira stated that she had reviewed jail visiting records and that an attorney who is not the attorney of record had visited Mr. Cooper and possibly dissuaded him from testifying. Ferreira stated that she had obtained this information during a two-week break in the proceedings. Mr. Martinez stated that he wanted the copies of the records that the Dist. Atty. said she discovered in an effort to bolster her long-winded assertions.
DDA Ferreira then stated that she had made no assertions against Ms. Carlton Magana however the horse is already out of the barn. Her assertions were on record and Ms. Carlton Magana was understandably upset.
After these heated exchanges with Cooper out of the courtroom he was brought back in. Under cross-examination Cooper stated that in relation to threats that Frank Carson had said he was going to hire some armed guards and put surveillance cameras up and that he’ll find them and get even.
Defense attorney Forkner stated to Cooper that you are hopeful that your testimony here today will shorten your sentences that right? Cooper responded yea,yea but I know that won’t happen but I am hopeful. Mr. Forkner then asked Mr. Cooper if he ever heard Frank Carlson threatened to kill anyone? Cooper stated no he just implied that he would kill someone. Mr. Forkner again asked but you never heard Frank Carson say he was going to kill anyone and again Cooper replied no.
Well that’s it for today session folks and tomorrow is another dark day in court and the hearing will resume on Thursday morning at 10 AM. This is an interesting day in court with one of the prosecution star witnesses actually aiding the defense. Mr. Cooper might be careful or it may be forgotten that he was promised he would not have to go back through DVI prior to being return to his home prison in Coalinga California.