NO FIREWORKS TODAY
FRANK CARSON TRIAL 05/11/2016
BY WILLIAM THOMAS JENSEN (TOM)
It is amazing the difference between yesterday and today. Yesterday, Marlissa Fereirra tried to bring in cell phone intercept evidence, and was shot down by the defense and the judge. Everything she tried seemed to backfire on her. Today she shifted gears, and avoided being hammered again. She may give it another try later, but the sting of yesterday is still too fresh in her memory banks. Today, she brought in Detective Cory Brown, of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, followed by DA Investigator Kirk Bunch, then CSAA special investigations specialist Jerri Lynn Strause, followed by American Chevrolet parts specialist Frank Fells. There was nothing significant that came from any of the testimony that I heard today.
Court started early today, so that Defense Attorney Percy Martinez could have’s motion heard about having the visit to Frank’s office suppressed.
Prosecuting DA Marlissa Fereirra brings Detective Cory Brown to the stand. She asks him foundational questions. It is revealed that Detective Brown has worked for the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department since April of 2000. He stated that he was involved with the investigation of Korey Kauffman. He stated that he was the lead detective and coordinator. Detective Cory Brown denied that he instructed Detective Frank Navarro to go over to Frank Carson’s office, but was aware of it after it happened. He was not aware initially of the letter sent to Frank Carson with the fourteen questions. He admitted that he seized a computer that was owned by Georgia DeFellipo during the search of her home.
There were heated arguments about the statements that Frank Carson made at his office when Bunch, Evers, and Navarro went over and infuriated him. They had no search warrant, or arrest warrant. They went there after hours, about an hour after a letter was sent to Frank Carson with fourteen questions. Frank Carson repeatedly demanded that they leave his office, but they did not leave for at least 15 minutes. Frank Navarro was wearing a body cam. It appears that they were there to record his anger, and they succeeded. Defense Attorney Percy Martinez stated that Frank Carson was “Instructively in custody” during this incident, and should have been given his Miranda Rights. Percy Martinez asserts that he was Frank Carson’s lawyer at that time, and Brown admitted that he knew that was true.
Defense Attorney Percy Martinez requests records on the cadaver dogs that were used to search Frank Carson’s property, and the home of his mother. He was told that he will be provided these records soon by the prosecution. Defense Attorney Martha Carlton Magana requests that the tape of the office visit be put into the record.
At 9:43 AM, a nervous DA Investigator Kirk Bunch takes the stand. He did not seem to be his usual self on the stand today. He stated that they had no arrest warrant when they went over to Frank Carson’s office. He stated that it was a group decision of the three officers involved to go over to the office. This was done about one hour after a letter with fourteen questions was delivered to Frank Carson. Bunch stated that they did not have a search warrant. Carson asked them if they had a warrant, and they told him that they did not. Frank immediately demanded that they “Get Out.” Bunch gave, in my opinion, a lame ass reason for them not leaving immediately. Bunch stated that Frank Carson had called the police dispatcher, and that they were on the way. Bunch also stated that Frank Carson was very angry, and the officers were afraid for the safety of Georgia DeFellipo, and a maintenance worker that were at the office at the time. I don’t think either of these people were afraid of Frank, but they were terrified by the presence of the officers. In my opinion, the officers were trespassing when they did not leave his office immediately.
Percy Martinez states that the statements on the video recording were involuntary, and the officers were aware that Frank Carson was represented by council. The officers all knew that Frank Carson had refused to have anything to do with Detective Frank Navarro.
Talk then goes to the July 15, 2015 search warrant on the Frank Carson property, and his mother’s property using cadaver dogs. It was brought out that Frank Carson had just buried his father. The officers trashed the Carson house, and his mother’s house.
After lunch, Judge Zuniga brings up a stipulation that was agreed to during the morning concerning Detective Cory Brown. It is stipulate that exhibit C-3 contains data that he obtained from the data on Christina DeFellipo’s telephone.
I am hearing rumors at this time that the prosecution is going to severely limit the use of the cell phone intercepts in this preliminary. I think they are still smarting from the beating they took yesterday on this subject.
At 2:00 PM, CSAA special investigations specialist Jerri Lynn Strause is put on the stand. Everything ground to a halt, as the defense attorneys, and the prosecution, argued about two packets of information were opened up by the court clerk. These packets concern the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pickup owned by Baljit Athwal that was stolen and burned in an orchard east of Turlock. Marlissa was trying to go into areas with this witness that had not been discussed with the defense. After all the arguments, she was put back on the stand, and Marlissa Fereirra was allowed to ask questions that were severely restricted.
Ms. Strause testified that on April 27, 2012, a claim was made by Baljit Athwal around 9:00 AM for the theft of the Silverado pickup. It was stolen from the front of Baljit Athwal’s house. Marlissa Fereirra was having trouble crafting her questions, and Judge Zuniga seems to be coaching her on how to proceed with proper questions. This has happened many times during this preliminary trial. It is brought out that there was no investigation done on the claim, and it was paid. Martha Carlton Magana brings out the fact that no fraud investigation was done on this claim. Marlissa Fereirra tries to question Ms. Strause about whether this was unusual, but objections shut her down on this question.
We took a break at 3:00 PM, and I left for the day. The next witness was going to be a parts manager for American Chevrolet. He will testify about the Silverado being equipped with a chipped key fob. The prosecution is trying to assert that these trucks can’t be stolen easily. That is simply not true. The 2007 Silverado pickup was the fourth highest stolen car on the list that was published for that year.
Court resumes tomorrow at 9:30 AM.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)