FRANK CARSON CASE
BY WILLIAM THOMAS JENSEN (TOM)
Court resumed today at 1:30PM at the old bankruptcy courthouse. I think this might be the last time we use this courtroom. The lease on the building runs out soon, and things are going to be moved to the main courthouse when that happens.
We were allowed to enter the courtroom at 1:30PM, and sat there for fifteen minutes until the judge called the attorneys into her chambers for a rather lengthy in camera meeting. At 2:53PM, Judge Zuniga re-enters the courtroom and things start happening that we can witness. Defense attorney Robert Forkner was appearing for Percy Martinez and Alonzo Gradford who could not attend. Rai Gohel was appearing for Hans Hjertonsson who could not attend.
Defense attorney Robert Forkner starts talking about a motion that he has written to get the passport for Christina DeFelippo turned over to his client who has been cleared of all charges. There were some other things in the motion that should have been listed in the inventory. Robert Forkner states that he is going to take care of listing the inventory that needs to be returned to Ms. DeFelippo. Judge Zuniga states that she needs to release the passport.
Judge Zuniga now speaks about a motion she has that was written by Rai Gohel. She states that she received the motion on Saturday, and that the motion requests a continuance of 7 months to give Mr. Gohel time to digest over 22,000 pages of testimony. Marlisa Ferreira states that she has no objections to this continuance.
Robert Forkner, who is representing Frank Carson today, states that Mr. Carson is not waiving his right to a speedy trial, and wants the Athwal brothers to be severed from this trial so that the trial can start on June 19th as planned. Robert Forkner states that Frank Carson would be willing to delay the start of the trial for 90 days, but no longer.
Marlisa Ferreira objects to severing the Athwal brothers from this trial, and states that she wants a formal written notice from Frank Carson’s attorneys concerning this issue.
Judge Zuniga wants to know what prejudice Robert Forkner sees by delaying the start of the trial for 7 months. Forkner states that the witness’s memories fade as time passes. He states that the prosecution just yesterday turned over 51 CD’s of new discovery, and that the longer this thing drags on, the more late discovery will be turned over. He states that the defense is ready to go right now. Forkner states that witnesses have died. Robert Jaquish has died since the preliminary hearing started and ended. Robert Forkner states that Frank Carson has a right to a speedy trial. Forkner states that he wants the judge to order an end to new discovery. Judge Zuniga states that she can’t prevent the local authorities from continuing to investigate the case. This statement seems to run counter to earlier statements from the judge concerning late discovery. She seemed to be cutting off late discovery earlier in this fiasco. Judge Zuniga states that this case is “So convoluted.” She states that it is not unreasonable for Rai Gohel to ask for more time to prepare because there is over 22,000 pages of testimony so far. She states that the witness’s memories fail for both the defense and the prosecution. She states that any police agency has the right to continue to investigate.
Defense attorney Jai Gohel states that he will be done with two other cases by the end of October. He states that he could be ready by the end of November if necessary. Judge Zuniga states that she prefers to start the trial in January. She wants all of the motions to be done before January 8th. Judge Zuniga states that the trial will begin on January 8th.
Judge Zuniga now states that Mondays will start at 10:00AM, and all the other days will start at 9:00AM. She is leaving it up to the attorneys if they want to go 4 or 5 days a week. She states that she is good to go for five days a week if the attorneys want to work the entire week. She states that she will not have a problem with the traffic because she is going to stay in town for the trial.
Judge Zuniga sets November 27th for what she called the “Motions in limiting” These motions will continue through December 8th. She states that motions will also be heard the week of December 15th.
Judge Zuniga tells Robert Forkner to inform her when he wants her to hear his motions. She sets a 1385 motion for June 6th. She sets a hearing on June 6th for a motion. She sets a hearing on July 17th for conflicts. She states that Judge Moody will conduct the 995 hearing on August 14th and 15th, and states that Robert Forkner can argue his 1385 motion at that time. Judge Zuniga vacates the June 19th date. Judge Zuniga sets the preliminary hearing for Scott McFarlane and Eduardo Quintanar for June 20th at 1:30PM.
Defense attorney Robert Forkner states that he wants the DA to take the Ramey Warrant off the internet site run by the Sheriff’s Department. He states that this is necessary to get impartial jurors. Judge Zuniga tells Marlissa Ferreira that the Ramey Warrant being on the internet is problematic. She tells Marlisa to tell Birgit Fladager to take the Ramey Warrant down from the internet. Marlisa Ferreira starts talking about how much of this trial is on the internet, and how she wants this to be taken down. Judge Zuniga states that she is not going to control the internet. Marlisa Ferreira looks pissed at this point.
Robert Forkner now states that new search warrants were served last week on Frank Carson, Georgia DeFelippo, Christina DeFelippo, and I believe the Athwal brothers and Walter Wells. It concerns cell phones and computers and Google. Judge Zuniga forces Marlisa Ferreira to make sure these search warrants are filed with the court immediately. We are now done for the day. This trial is going to last forever it seems. It has been a marathon, and will continue to be a marathon. The truth will set them free.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)