WILL THE REAL UNCLE FRANK PLEASE STAND UP
FRANK CARSON CASE
BY WILLIAM THOMAS JENSEN (TOM)
There is an advantage that Marty Carlson and I have when we write our articles. One of us is constantly in the courtroom actually listening to the testimony. Many times, both of us are in the courtroom at the same time. We have been splitting up our days lately, because we both are becoming exhausted by the length of this preliminary hearing.
This morning, I get up and read a headline that states that a witness had testified that Frank Carson had ordered the killing of Korey Kauffman. If the Modesto Bee had been in the courtroom today, he would know that “Uncle Frank” refers to a red and white Hells Angel who had his Indian Motorcycle stolen by Korey Kauffman. Once again, for the Modesto Bee, ignorance is indeed bliss. Marty Carlson, Warren Yates, and myself have been frequently criticized for poisoning a potential jury pool by reporting what we see in the courtroom. In this case, The Modesto Bee should feel compelled to write a retraction to this story. The readers of The Modesto Bee deserve to at least be given the truth. Just saying folks.
I am reporting on the afternoon session. Marty Carlson was in the courtroom during the morning session. Once again, we do not get things going on time. Hans Hjertonsson was delayed in another courtroom, and we did not start the afternoon session until 2:36PM.
Johnny Padilla is on the stand, and Prosecuting DA Marlisa Ferreira is asking him the questions. Padilla states that Michael Cooley had told him on 01/25/2014 during a 2nd body wire that he just wanted to get Korey Kauffman’s body back home to bury it. Cooley told Padilla that the Korey Kauffman situation was over, and he did not want to have anything more to do with it. He told Padilla that Korey Kauffman is home and is buried.
It is at this time that I notice that the Modesto Bee reporter is not in the courtroom.
Cooley told Padilla that he did not have the slightest idea of what had happened. Cooley told Padilla that what he wanted was: “An eye for eye if he could get it.” Cooley told Padilla that Korey Kauffman was like a son to him, and that: “This is personal.” This was objected to, and the objection was sustained. Cooley told Padilla that he had not laid a hand on “That Kid.” Padilla said that Cooley told him that he was feeling sorry for Korey Kauffman, and that he had tried to comfort Michael Cooley.
Padilla said that he had known Michael Cooley since they both attended Turlock High School. Padilla said that he had told Kirk Bunch that the Bobby was the Bobby from Hickman. He is referring to Bobby Tickner, who I have heard is no longer alive.
I notice that Special Agent Brody is sitting next to Marlisa Ferreira instead of Kirk Bunch. Marlisa Ferreira has no more questions for Johnny Padilla.
Defense attorney Percy Martinez starts his cross examination of Johnny Padilla. He talks with Padilla about how he relapsed back onto methamphetamine after being released from prison. Padilla states that he went back to Michael Cooley’s house “To get high.” He talks about putting on a wire on 01/24/2016 and how he went to Cooley’s house. Padilla said that Michael Cooley had asked him how he had gotten out of prison. He stated that he told Cooley that he had been brought to town to testify in a preliminary hearing, and a witness had not showed up, and he was just released.
Padilla tells Percy Martinez that Michael Cooley had never mentioned to him that an attorney was involved in the killing of Korey Kauffman. “He didn’t say nothing about an attorney.” Padilla then states that Michael Cooley did not tell him anything concerning aluminum pipes being the reason that Korey Kauffman was killed. Padilla tells Percy Martinez that Korey Kauffman had been beaten and killed over an Indian Motorcycle that had been stolen from “Uncle Frank.” In some later testimony, Padilla states that “Uncle Frank” is a red and white Hells Angel. At this point, I realize that we are talking about a different person than Frank Carson.
Padilla tells Percy Martinez that Michael Cooley would argue daily with Eula Keyes. The arguments were because Michael Cooley was jealous of other men making advances on Eula Keyes. This makes me think of a “Total Body Condom.” There has been some talk about Korey Kauffman being interested in Eula Keyes. I guess she likes the younger men.
Padilla tells Percy Martinez that he recalls the spot that Michael Cooley had shown him on the Cooley property where Korey Kauffman had been killed. Padilla said it was by a little cyclone fence behind the barn. Padilla states that he never took Kirk Bunch to that spot on the Cooley property.
Percy Martinez asks Padilla about a picture that he was shown of “Bobby.” Padilla states that “Bobby” was the one with the white Chevy pickup that had driven away with Korey Kauffman’s body. Once again, this is Bobby Tickner, who I have been told is now dead.
Defense attorney Robert Forkner takes over asking Padilla questions. Padilla tells Forkner that Michael Cooley had pulled a knife on him when he had told Michael and Eula to shut up when they were having an argument. Padilla states that he has been in prison with Michael Cooley, but had never seen Michael Cooley with a shank while in prison. Once again, Padilla states that Michael Cooley had never mentioned anything about metal pipes being involved with the Korey Kauffman murder.
Padilla tells Forkner that Michael Cooley had told him that a man named Flacco, a man named Brandon, and a Northern Rider named Dobie, were present when Korey Kauffman was beaten and killed. Padilla tells Forkner that Michael Cooley had said that Korey Kauffman had been killed for stealing an Indian Motorcycle from “Uncle Frank” who was a red and white Hells Angel.
Forkner then tries to show that Korey Kauffman was injecting methamphetamine. Padilla says that Korey Kauffman had refused to smoke methamphetamine from a pipe, and had told him that he did not use methamphetamine by smoking it. There were many objections by Marlisa Ferreira concerning this, and Robert Forkner eventually gave up this line of questioning.
Padilla tells Forkner that he saw Korey Kauffman two to three times at Michael Cooley’s house. Padilla admits that he had told Detective Jon Evers that Korey Kauffman was buying sacks of methamphetamine from Michael Cooley. He tells Forkner that “Bobby” was the one with the white Chevy pickup that hung around a tire shop.
Court resumes tomorrow at 10:00AM. We will start out with a motion to obtain the medical records of Robert Woody, followed by putting Charlie O’Dell on the stand. The defense wants to question Kirk Bunch and Detective Cory Brown concerning the voice stress analysis that they did on Charlie O’Dell. Other upcoming defense witnesses include Keith Hobbs, and Kevin Pickett. When will this preliminary hearing ever end.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)