by Marty Carlson
The afternoon session at the Frank Carson et al. started at 1:45 PM court time but it actually started at 1:55 PM real-time.
Ofc. Perry was back on the stand and Jesse Garcia was asking him the questions to start the afternoon. Did he confirmed that the date Korey Kaufman’s body was found was August 19, 2013. The officer stated that he had made several trips to Mariposa County some with Kirk Bunch, and John Evers. They placed 3 game cams initially to monitor the area where the body was located. One camera was placed on the road to try to ascertain vehicles and license plate numbers, and two were pointed at the what they call the grave site where the remains were located. He also testified that it he had a sergeant by the name of Crawford at one of the trips to Mariposa County but that was probably only in the initial trip.
He stated the scene was on Greeley Road, a utility road or sometimes they are called fire roads, and also mentioned there are some campgrounds in the area. He stated they made more than 20 trips to retrieve the data off the same cards and they were downloaded onto CDs on a laptop and then the Sim card was wiped clean. Then he stated carte blanche and told him that you download the images to a CD on a laptop and he keeps repeating the same thing that his knowledge and involvement in this case is minimal. He then stated is unknown if he saw photos of particular people of interest on the cameras Betty’s did say that he had viewed all the images are on the cameras from online and that was done from the DAs office.
He also stated that it was we could not remember of the password was needed to watch the cameras remotely online and Mariposa County nor the forestry Department had access to those same cameras. He also stated that he saw no marijuana grows or other crimes being committed on the cameras.
Robert Forkner began questioning and inquired when he had moved to Tracy PD and he stated it was in February 2015 he could not remember when he was asked to provide the photographs in question. He also stated even though there was a camera put on the road that can read license plates that no license plates were provided in the pictures, even though there been some vehicles that traveled through the area. He stated that Kurt bunches told him someone was seeing on the cameras but he was not advised when or where or which desk that picture had been transferred to.
The now missing thumb drive, as he put it, was looked at by the high-tech task force at Ceres Police Department, which by the way the officer that he mentioned was his father-in-law. He said there was a copy of the desk with the damages at the DAs office but has since gone missing.
Mme. DA started asking questions about looking evidence in regards to the the DS and reports in such in evidence lockers at the DAs office. And he also stated that he downloaded DMV pictures of people of interest and kept it in a binder for reference in the game cams and they were kept at Ceres Police Department, in addition the people on the list that were people of interest also had their DMV photos downloaded and placed next to their names on the list.
He stated he was involved in daily briefings on the Korey Kaufman case while on the task force and was familiar with the Atwal brothers, Frank Carson, and some of the other players in this case.
But he did say when he was questioned by Jesse Garcia that he did not see anyone in the room at this particular time that was on the cameras during the monitoring periods.
He also stated that he never talked to anyone in the area about the cameras and Kurt bunches told him about the Hunter and about another person being seen at the scene. He stated that Kirk bunch had access to the binders with the pictures and was transferring data to other agencies through the flash drive that he is carrying around constantly on his person. He said that the company that created the software that encrypted the flash drive was now out of business and he was unable to find anyone that could open the drive, he tried several computers in several different operating systems and with no luck. He also stated that he did think he had the password but it been a while.
At this time during his questioning Percy Martinez makes an objection as to discovery not given to defense, he staying that the prosecutor is asking questions that show she has more knowledge them the information is been discovered to the defense. The judge inquired directly to Mme. DA asking her if she has any information not giving to the defense and after a long narrative as usual chief finally flat-out said no she’s not she’s finding that out that she goes right now. And she also stated that they had only been looking for Frank Carson on the CDs from the game cam.
The witness said also stated that other officers had had some problems with the flash drive on the other computers since there been a problem with that company that they got the software from.
After we’d come back from break the Dist. Atty. revealed that some Bates stamp numbers of what she said was already discovered material to the defense.
She then asked the witness if he had a discussion with Dale Lingerfelt and he said very few, but he had worked many cases with Kirk bunch in regards to officer shootings in addition he is a good friend that they have family activities together off duty. And apparently he had left a partially completed report on the table at the DAs office and did not either finish the report or notify anybody of the existence of the location of the report and apparently it has since disappeared. And nobody is ever asked about the report since.
Again Robert Forkner began asking questions and the witness said he forgot the password and knows no software to open the drive, in addition the drive was never sent to Quantico, Virginia to the FBI to see if they could help in this homicide case.
Jesse Garcia asked him again if the thumb drive was kept on his person at all times and he said yes, and he also asked him if the software that he is trying to use was cloud-based or internal on a computer, and he said it was not on the computer but the machine will still not work and other officers are having trouble too.
I guess if Microsoft goes out of business everybody with Windows programs are going to quit working.
Jesse Garcia also asked if he what the password was that he did reveal it to the court and he never went to a developer site or anywhere else to try to get some drive open that contain evidence in a homicide trial. Apparently the thumb drive has sense gone missing because he has moved and he says it’s in a box somewhere and he looked briefly the one day for but couldn’t find it, the judge’s ordered him to look harder and find that thumb drive.
Robert Forkner asked again if the cameras work that night and he said yes they did have night vision. Percy Martinez as a witness if he knew the Frank Carson was a primary target investigation, and if the Awals were also involved. A stated he knew Carson was a target but it was not aware of the Atwals.
He was also asked if he knew some other people like Mike Cooley, EULA keys or any of those people and he said he knew the names but was not familiar with the people themselves. And that the images from the game cams were made available to the daily briefings at the DAs office.
Also Robert Woody was not a person of interest in the game cam pictures, and he did not know who Robert Woody was prior to him getting arrested and never has seen him on an image of on the cameras.
Attorney Hans asked if Baljit was ever a person of interest and he told him no.
Martha Magana began asking questions and asked if he was involved in the installation of the poll cam at pop and Cork. This is where he began a few I don’t recalls his memory did seem to be really good but he didn’t remember sending a series city crew to Turlock to install the poll cam. She then began asking him a long list of people’s names which he did not know any of them.
We’re finally done with the testimony of this officer and the judge began to dismiss the officer but did tell him that he has to produce that thumb drive by next Thursday, and he has to look more diligently that he has up to this point for it because it got lost during his move.
Some general business was discussed as it was late in the day and Jim Cook is coming back to be on the stand next Monday as he is finished his testimony in Santa Clara.
And Percy Martinez requested of the court to direct Jim Kirk that he review some of the calls that he referred to but then again could not remember in his testimony.
The judge also discussed the billing records that was requested by the defense for the work that Jim Kirk was doing and there does not seem to be a lot of records themselves as he just kept getting paid without sending bills somehow, and the DA was asserting privileges much of the records there were privilege as work product. The judge told Mme. DA that sense she is not actually the client as a Sheriff Department was paying the bill she has no standing to claim privilege and a DA argued that she does has standing at the County employee but sounded like she wanted her cake and eat it too.
Court was adjourned for the day to be continued to Monday morning at 10 AM