By Marty Carlson


Court was scheduled to start at 9:30 AM and in fact the judge did walk-in right at 9:30 AM but we did not get into the courtroom to almost 10:45 AM and the judge took the bench about 10:55 AM. Apparently there were some issues discussed in chambers which included some decorating that the judge wanted done.

When the judge finally took the bench, she stated that she had been calling this a 1385 PC hearing but it was in its actuality a 995 hearing that the judge was told by the Atty. Gen.’s office that she would have to hear and it was regarding prosecutors misconduct that Robert Forkner had been continuing on throughout the entire preliminary hearing.

They also discussed there was a motion to disclose a confidential informants name, and the District Attorney’s Office was not opposing that disclosure and in fact they stated that the had turned over the name to the defense, but it was not revealed in court.

Robert Forkner began the hearing stating that the court as a magistrate during the preliminary hearing makes for different type a ruling that would’ve been heard. He stated the district attorney on the first day of the prelim had put Department of Justice testimony with pictures of the alleged scene, and the chicken coop or barn in those pictures

he then discussed on day two of the testimony of Kathy Grinolds, and there was no previous notice of her change in statements to law enforcement. There was a change in her statements after her original statements that had not been turned over to defense. Attorney Forkner stated that that was the beginning of a pattern of ongoing conduct throughout the hearing, which caused the hearing to last 18 months. He also stated the district attorney had said at the time that they were just too busy to reveal the information.

Robert Forkner then discussed Eula Keyes and her testimony, and in fact the day after she testified the District Attorney’s Office reveals that her son and boyfriend Mike Cooley, were involved in some type of armed robbery or felony assault with a knife. He stated that some of the benefits received in special considerations to one or both were given to the witnesses but not revealed.

In regard to Linda Sue Burns she testified that she was never involved in the thefts, but the District Attorney’s Office put her on the stand knowing full well that she was lying. He stated that Linda Sue Burns was involved in having possession and selling the stolen property and transporting it in her car. He said that was more misconduct knowing a witness was giving false testimony, which also created long delays in the hearing by creating more research into the people involved. In addition, there was people in custody that were getting considerations and the District Attorney’s Office was withholding truthful testimony.

In regard to Mike Cooley he said the district attorney had said that he was real sick so he is not going to prison, in his possession for sales case. He says it also became clear that Cooley has been an informant and has a long running court case from 2014, that still has not been resolved to this date. In addition, Kurt Bunch had authorized Mike Cooley to be released from jail on his own recognizance and the information was not released to the defense and the district attorneys kept saying no deals were made.

Keith Hobbs, which is Eula Keyes son, the police reports in regard to his activities were finally turned over after some legal maneuvering by the defense.

He discussed Sabrina Romero getting a sweetheart deal, On felony embezzlement charges, after telling Kurt Bunch she didn’t see Frank Carson at the property that day, but that statement was not turned over to the defense, only that Carson was there.

Linda Sue Burns later on told investigators about the pipes that were stacked in the backyard, after talking to other witnesses, and has remained uncharged in all the thefts that she was involved on after several contacts by Kirk Bunch. Again, the District Attorney’s Office kept repeating that they were no deals made.

Ronald Cooper received a release on his own recognizance, after a home invasion charge, and Marlisa Ferreira personally got involved in the context of attorneys and or Ronald Cooper on that.

Robert Forkner said that the district attorney had stated five times to the court that no deals were made, but Cooper had said otherwise in his interview with Kurt Bunch. And Kurt Bunch had told him that we can make this happen if he agreed to talk.

Robert Forkner stated disclosure of these information probably would have streamlined this preliminary hearing, but the DA kept saying on the record “no deals have been made.”

He also stated that the district attorney kept insisting that there was no “task force” involved, but the term is used in some of the affidavits, but the district attorney Referring to the multi-jurisdictional investigative team. Also of note Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christiansen had used the term task force in the press conference when they announced the arrests.

Attorney Forkner stated that the DA has responsibility reveal or disclose information to the defense and started quoting some case law where the prosecution has an obligation to reveal any witness statements.

He also discussed Mme. DA’s, along with Kirk Bunch, visit to TJ Samra’s house the day before he was supposed to testify. He said that Kurt Bunch had told TJ to not sign the papers from his attorney, which were from Robert Forkner, and in fact Mme. DA was giving Mr. samara legal advice and what he could do or not do. Both Mme. DA and investigator Bunch knew that TJ had an outstanding warrant because he told them that he was not taken into custody when they went to his house. They also stated as they were leaving “we were not here.” After TJ revealed there visit on the stand the next day in court Mme. DA was not happy with what he had said and asked him if he had a warrant for his arrest, which led the judge no alternative but to take him into custody. More misconduct.

Forkner also talked about the police report from Tim Redd from Turlock Police Department that the District Attorney’s Office continually said had been turned over, but he says it never was.

In addition, the district attorney made representations that defense counsel was tampering with Ronald Cooper while he was in jail, but the jail records showed different they had not had those visits. There was also a notation by the judge in the record where she started expressing concern about things represented by the District Attorney’s Office.

After we broke for lunch Court was then again restarted around 1405 hrs. and Robert Forkner began talking about Patrick Hampton, and the information about his prior activities of being informant which the District Attorney’s Office continually denied. Robert Forkner had read from the record with the DA denied again and Kurt Bunch stating that he had interviewed Patrick Hampton. During that interview Kurt Bunch stated to Hampton that they had worked well together in the past and that Patrick Hampton wanted immunity for his testimony. Around that point they finally admitted that he had worked with the DAs office before, and that was after a subpoena, was served for his records at the Department of Corrections.

In addition, he says Hampton received a benefit by being removed from Pelican Bay State prison to another lower security prison in northern California. Hampton also had to pending cases at the prison, for having a shank in his possession or cell, additionally he had many probation or parole violations as he was constantly testing dirty and he never went to jail or was violated until the hostage situation in Oakdale.

The investigators nor the DA ever corrected the information on Hampton’s past informing. Additional misconduct.

There was also the polygraph test that was taken at the District Attorney’s Office but was continually denied by investigators and Mme. DA.

He stated the District Attorney’s Office also contended Frank Carson had represented Ronald Cooper or Robert Woody in the past, and was trying to get some type of conflict involved there, which was a major misrepresentation. This representation was given to judge Manukian at the bail hearing after the original arrest. He stated they also claim Frank Carson focused on Korey Kauffman personally in the thefts, and the district attorney also stated that Frank Carson had threatened Korey Kauffman but they had never seen or talked prior. More misrepresentation at the bail hearing as they were trying to get Bail denied.

He also stated that Dale Lingerfelt had represented to the court that Daljit Atwahl was a member of the gang “northern riders”, it was another attempt at prejudicial information that was not accurate at a bail hearing.

The District Attorney’s Office is also represented to the court that Frank Carson has personally identified Korey Kauffman in the thefts which was proven to be not true in the of missing property list that was put out. In addition, Korey Kauffman’s family had a flyer prepared after he went missing that the District Attorney’s Office used for their investigations but objected to the defense admitting the flyer as evidence.

Robert Forkner stated the district attorney had represented Frank Carson had lied during that office visit by the officers, and said he didn’t know who they were, but the tape of the visit proves that he did not lie and identified all of the officers involved to 911.

He also discussed the start of the investigation by the District Attorney’s Office started on April 2, 2012 just three days after Korey Kauffman went missing. Which was very unusual as normally that is done by the sheriff’s office. In addition, Steve Jacobson had testified that Kurt Bunch was on the case on April 2, 2012, for the disappearance and homicide of Kory Kauffman. Robert Forkner stated this is a consistent pattern of behavior by the investigators in the district attorney on the case.

He also discussed the district attorney’s claim that Frank Carson was visited by many attorneys, in the jail, during his time in custody turned out to be not true.

The district attorney’s claim to judge Manukian, during the bail hearing, that a bullet was found in the clothing at the scene with the body was found, was not true. Later they admitted that the bullet was found elsewhere. It was an obvious attempt to distort the facts to keep the defendants in custody. He also mentioned Deputy Cory Brown and his testimony about the bullet holes in the clothes.

The District Attorney’s Office had claimed that Kory Kauffman was last seen on Frank Carson’s property, that the testimony had stated otherwise as Korey Kauffman was seen leaving and walking a different direction away from the property.

He also stated that the district attorney was trying to coach the witnesses on the stand by blurting out comments during cross-examination trying to help them out.

Also, the District Attorney’s Office had denied the gentleman by the name of Attahla was an informant the during Kurt Bunch’s testimony it came out that he had worn a wire in one of the meetings in Frank Carson’s office.

He stated there was a July 22, 2015 Robert Woody admission and just prior to that the DA was making statements that Beverly Woody must be believed, because of course, it is his mother.

He also stated that Steve Jacobson had been given Robert Woody many considerations and gratuities like cigarettes, food, and praying and discussing God with him which is misconduct. And he cited some case law were using religion to induce statements is illegal.

Then he went to the Jim Cook testimony where he is said he was the only one who ever analyzed any data on the cell records, and had stated there was no other reports or analysis available. Then the WISN reports had become available, after it came out in testimony, and Kurt Bunch was aware of this the entire time.

Miss O’Brien from WISN had testified that Kurt Bunch and Jim Cook both had conversations with her about her work. Forkner stated that Marlisa Ferreira had misled the court again with her denials of previous cell phone analysis.

Robert Forkner stated Robert Woody and Patrick Hampton been house together at the Tuolumne County jail during Robert Woody’s testimony was a major misconduct. As both Hampton and Woody admitted to conversing about the case in the cell. In addition, they were housed together on two different occasions.

In addition, the district attorney’s office and investigators refused to gather any evidence or statements after Patrick Hampton told Steve Jacobson that Robert Woody had confessed to the homicide of Kory Kauffman in the cell. He told Steve Jacobson when he saw him at the jail, and Jacobson stated he did want to talk about it. This amounts to extremely gross misconduct by the entire District Attorney’s Office.

At this time Robert Forkner had finished his representation to the court, as most of his points were in a brief and he was just doing highlights.

Attorney Hans made a brief argument to the court in regard to the release of the defendants on December 22, 2016. He stated the integrity of the process must be protected, and that was the judge his own words at the time of the release.

He stated the District Attorney’s Office has a major structural deficiency in its discovery system. It has been an ongoing problem for some time and is been highlighted dramatically in this case. He asked that the court dismiss the charges under 1385 PC.

No other defense attorneys wanted to address the court, and Marlisa Ferreira got to do her rebuttal.

She stated regarding Hans a statement about the not all the discovery being turned over that she could agree with that to a point, but to her knowledge all information has been discovered.

She stated that everything that was used in the preliminary hearing was discovered as required she also stated she has addressed all the points in Robert Forkner’s motion in their response brief, and then for clarification gave dates of her responses to all those motions.

Mme. DA asked if the information would have changed the outcome, as it does not apply to a problem because there was a remedy. She stated in regards to Keith Hobbs or Eula Keyes or Mike Cooley or Linda Sue Burns, none of their issues make a difference or change the outcome of the hearing.

Mme. DA stated that the defense tactics is what caused the long preliminary hearing to happen, it was not at the hands of the District Attorney’s Office. She stated they were never denied a fair hearing.

She also stated that some of the defendants were benefited, as not all charges were held to answer or some were reduced.

In regards to Kathy Grinolds the information was discovered when they got it, and again there was no prejudice to the defendants.

Eula Keyes’s son Keith Hobbs receive no benefit through her activities.

She stated defense had plenty of opportunity to call other witnesses like Keith Hobbs, but they never did.

She stated with Linda Sue Burns there was no connection with the thefts and no evidence to be charged with any crimes.

She said there was never any judicial process denied to these defendants.

In regards to Mike Cooley being sick, she never said he was, Mike Cooley did give some information and he was given some credit for it.

She stated that all other information was disclosed like denying her any deals with Ronald Cooper, there were no deals for Patrick Hampton’s information.

She stated that it is the district attorney’s duty to “disclose, disclose, disclose.” And they did just that.

She said in regards to suborning perjury with testimony, they were on strict notice not to talk to witnesses and that they complied.

In reference to Sabrina Romero she did give different statements were originally, but all future statements were discovered.

Marlisa Ferreira stated that he always complied with the judge’s orders even when they were not required to, and emphasized they never used the term “task force” only the multijurisdictional investigative team.

She stated the defense use all the above issues as a deflection in the real facts of the case. In regard to TJ Samra, she said that Robert Forkner wanted to get Kirk Bunch in trouble with the warrant issue. She says they have every right to talk to someone who has an attorney if they talk about non-case issues.

She also stated that she believed the polygraph information had been turned over, even though it cannot be used for innocence or guilt, but there could be exculpatory information revealed in the interviews.

She stated again they made no untrue allegations at the bail hearings.

And noted that Patrick Hampton involved in the Oakdale incident there were no hostage taken and Patrick Hampton came out on his own. Hampton had text Steve Jacobson as Jacobson was his handler and he was also called in by the Oakdale police chief.

She stated there is no misconduct of the bullet or representations of the holes in the clothing.

She stated this luminary hearing was so hostile due to the nature of charges but these defendants still had a fair hearing.

At this time Marlisa Ferreira had finished her rebuttal and it was the end of the day, the counter arguments will be heard on August 4 at 9:30 AM in department #2