WILLING TO LIE TO SAVE HER SON
FRANK CARSON CASE
By William Thomas Jensen (Tom)
Today the cross examination of Beverly Woody continued. This was a very bad day for the prosecution. Beverly Woody made some admissions on the stand that, in my opinion, should disqualify all of her testimony. It is quite obvious to me that Beverly Woody is willing to do anything in order to save her son, who has confessed to the murder of Korey Kauffman. Judge Zuniga told Prosecuting DA Marlissa Fereirra that she did not see anything good that would come from Ms. Woody’s testimony a couple of days ago. It appears that her projection has come true. Judge Zuniga continues to battle a nasty cough, and seemed to become increasingly irritated by the testimony from this witness. During the day, the people in the back of the room were warned about comments that apparently could be heard by the judge. All of us will make an extreme effort to comply with her request that we refrain from such behavior.
Testimony began with defense attorney Martha Carlton Magana asking Beverly Woody whether she knows certain people. Beverly Woody denied knowing Deborah Ochoa, Donna Poma, and Kevin Pickett. Beverly Woody stated that she knew Korey Kauffman, who she had met through Bobby Branco. When asked if Bobby Branco lies a lot, she answered no. Beverly denied knowing Eula keys and Michael Cooley. Beverly testified that shadow Pickett came over to her house a couple of days after Korey Kauffman’s body was found. Shadow Pickett is the stepmother of Korey Kauffman.
Martha Carlton Magana asked Beverly if her son ever lies. Beverly responds with: “are you saying all my sons lie?” Beverly then states that: “everybody lies, I guess.” Martha: “does Robert make up stories?” Beverly: “No.” It is interesting that Beverly Woody then admits that her son Robert Woody made up stories for Miranda Dykes so she could get her children back. Martha: “was this done in your presence?” Beverly: “yes.” Beverly stated that this was done the same day that the squad car showed up at her house. Martha: “Kirk Bunch told you there is no way out for Robert and less he cooperates.” Beverly: “I don’t know.” Beverly stated that there is lots and lots of evidence against Robert, and that he was lying for Daljit and Baljit Atwal.” Martha, at this time, seemed to be getting very tough on Beverly Woody. Beverly Woody denied Kirk Bunch told her that other people were involved in the killing of Korey Kauffman.
Beverly Woody testified that the police showed up at her house at 7 AM after her son Robert went to work. Robert got arrested, and she saw him four days later in jail. Beverly Woody said she visits her son Brian Woody in the Stanislaus County jail often on Saturdays.
Defense attorney Martha Carlton Magana gets Beverly Woody to admit that Dalgit Atwall had come over to her house and assisted her when she had fallen.
At this point, I note that Marlissa Fereirra turns around and speaks with Mary Woody Branco, who was seated in the audience directly behind the prosecution. This happened several times during the day. The people in the back row were glared at by Mary Woody Branco several times during the day. Defense attorney Jesse Garcia makes a request that Mary Woody Branco be taken out of the courtroom, because she is going to be called as a witness. Marlissa Fereirra states that Mary is not going to be called as a witness in the preliminary trial.
Defense attorney Martha Carlton Magana asks Beverly Woody if the Atwal’s ever paid her utility bills. Beverly said: “No.” Martha: “Dalgit would help you when you fell?” Beverly: “No.” She then admitted he helped her when she had fallen on the porch in 2014. Martha: “Bunch told you as to murder, there are different levels of involvement?” Beverly: “No.” Martha told Beverly that Bobby Atwal had a confrontation at the Cooley property to tell Korey Kauffman to stay off of the Carson property. Martha: “did you tell Kirk Bunch Bobby got out of the car, and that Robert was there?” Beverly: “No.” Martha Carlton Magana is now done with cross examination.
Beverly Woody is now taken out of the courtroom. Defense attorney Robert Forkner then states that he has received a copy of the infamous letter that was never turned over to us. He states that this is a clear violation of the Brady law. Defense attorney Timothy Rien states that this letter talks about Korey Kauffman being killed in Modesto, and not in Turlock as the prosecution contends.
Marlissa Fereirra then goes on a tirade about how this letter was fully reported about in a report by Detective Navarro, and a report by Steve Jacobson. During her tirade, she used the term task force. It must have been a slip of her tongue, because they have avoided using this term like avoiding the plague.
Defense attorney Percy Martinez states that Kevin Pickett’s fingerprint was found on the infamous letter. We now take a 15-minute break.
After the break defense attorney Timothy Rien states that if the handwriting on the letter does not match the writing samples from Robert Woody’s girlfriend, it is a clear Brady violation. Judge Zuniga asks where the handwriting samples are being stored. Marlissa says they are back in the DA’s evidence locker sealed in a zip lock baggie. The judge tells her to photocopy them, and provide them to the defense.
It is now 11:47 AM, and Beverly Woody is put back on the stand. Defense attorney Robert Forkner takes over on cross examination. Forkner: “do you remember telling us that law enforcement told you they were going to take Sunny’s kids?” Beverly: “yes.” Forkner: “did Robert tell you he wanted to help Sunny? He made a story out in order to help Sunny?” Beverly: “yes and no.” Forkner: “on the tape he said I killed Korey Kauffman?” Beverly: “Yes.” It is now time for a lunchtime break
At 1:37 PM, defense attorney Robert Forkner talks about how Robert Woody has a daughter, and a son, who live in Washington state. Since 2010, Robert has visited them at least once a year, and it is not unusual for him to go up there more often than that. It was brought out that the Atwal’s would provide money for Robert to go up there and visit.
When law enforcement came over to Ms. Woody’s house looking for Robert, an officer with an assault rifle had the laser pointer on her daughter’s head, and also on the other children that were present. Her daughter tried to change her oxygen tank during the raid, and was told to get away. Ms. Woody said the officers told her they came there to kill her son. They said that if he is here and hiding, we are going to kill him. Robert Woody was booked at the downtown jail, and was held there for several days. Beverly Woody stated that her first visit with Robert was at the public safety center. Forkner: “did Robert tell you a second officer was out there on ninth Street?” Beverly: “Yes.”
At this point, Beverly Woody stated that she was tired, and all she wants to do is go home. Judge Zuniga states I am going to give you another one half hour. Beverly Woody has testified that this officer was from the Turlock police department. She now says that it was either a Turlock Police Department squad car, or a Highway Patrol car. She stated that the other officer was definitely in a Turlock police department squad car. She stated that the other officer did not tell her how he got there. Beverly stated that Robert Woody told her that Frank Carson left with an officer to Modesto after the incident. She stated that this was done to show an alibi, so that everyone could see him being elsewhere.
Talk then goes to a visit that Beverly Woody had with her son Robert Woody at the DA’s office on April 11, 2016. It was brought out that the first time she visited her son was 1 ½ years ago. She stated that she has had 4 to 5 visits at the DA’s office with her son.
Now for the $20,000 question. Forkner asks Beverly Woody: “would you lie to protect your son?” After thinking for a protracted amount of time, Beverly answered: “Yes a mother would lie to protect her son, yes I would lie, anyone would.” There was an audible gasp from the audience after this comment. I think this might have irritated the judge.
Forkner asks Beverly Woody why her son was scared when the officer told him to get back in there, and clean up the mess. I am not sure how she responded to this question. Her voice was getting weak at this point. Forkner asks Beverly Woody if Robert told her that they left the body in the tall grass. Beverly stated that they were in a hurry, so that no one would see them there. Beverly stated that she does not know whether they even brought a shovel to the scene. Forkner asks Beverly whether Robert told her whether they dug a hole. She stated he did not tell her that. Beverly Woody is basically shot, and allowed to step down.
Marlissa Fereirra is now forced to call another witness. Marlissa states that she is going to call her and Investigator Rick Dodge, who is a DA Investigator assigned to traffic safety. He has been a sworn police officer for 41 years. It is brought out that he works with STANCAT on stolen vehicles.
He was brought in to investigate the theft, and the burning, of a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pickup license number 8655483 that was owned by Baljit Atwal. Testimony goes into the fact that this truck had a chipped key fob, and it could not be started without the key fob. I was seated next to a police officer who told me that these trucks are stolen routinely. There are ways that a thief can bypass this anti-theft feature. This theft was turned over to AAA, and the claim was paid. The theft was not investigated by AAA. The pickup was found in an almond orchard at the intersection of loony and East Avenue in Turlock. This location is approximately 11 ½ miles out of Turlock. The police officer sitting next to me says that several vehicles have been found burned at that location. The vehicle had been totally destroyed by the fire, and no witnesses or evidence were collected. The vehicle was found on April 27, 2012, the same day it was reported stolen.
Talk then goes to 10,000 phone calls that were intercepted during wiretaps on this investigation. Marlissa Fereirra states that around 95 of these intercepts will be used during this trial, and that 23 of them are spoken in Punjabi. There was much discussion by defense attorney Martha Carlton Magana about the possible use of the ever present court interpreters with these 23 intercepts. Judge Zuniga will not allow Martha to use the court interpreters with these intercepts. It seems as though the defense will have two get their own interpreters to deal with this matter.
Court resumes on Monday at 10 AM with the continuing cross examination of Beverly Woody.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)