SHOCKING MISCONDUCT REVEALED IN MOTION TO DISMISS
FRANK CARSON CASE
BY WILLIAM THOMAS JENSEN (TOM)
It has been quite some time since I last wrote an article on this case. We have been in a holding pattern, waiting for January 9th, 2018. That is when this case will actually go to trial.
Today, we spent the entire day hearing arguments on a motion to dismiss due to prosecutorial abuse. Defense attorney Robert Forkner spent 5 hours detailing what he felt were the most serious instances of this abuse. When we left for our lunchtime break, I felt that there was no way that we would ever complete this hearing by the end of the day. I was wrong. I will now try to paint yet another picture for you of what I witnessed in the courtroom, mixed with some of my opinions.
Today was supposed to start out at 9:30 AM in Department 2 of the old courthouse. We sat outside of the courtroom until 10:23AM waiting to be allowed inside. Judge Zuniga was presiding, and she virtually never starts out on time. It frustrates me, and I am sure it has contributed to the excessive length of this case.
This is what the judge called a 995 hearing. We start out with the judge talking about starting the preliminary hearing for the CHP Officers on August 29th. She states that it should last until around September 15th. After this, the judge talks about moving this up to September 22nd to resolve some scheduling conflicts. Talk then goes about a 1385 motion. I am not sure what that refers to. Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson joins in on this motion. An attorney named Pat Chaka (sp?) is filling in for Jai Gohel in representing Baljit Athwal today.
Judge Zuniga now speaks about a motion where the defense had asked for the identity of an informant. Prosecuting DA Marlisa Ferreira states that the people have no objection to disclosing the identity of this informant. One of the audience members suggested to me that this informant was former Sheriff’s Deputy Carrie Abby, but I do not know if that is true or not. Judge Zuniga agrees to sit on the 1385 motion. She states that she has read Robert Forkner’s binders, and the opposition to it from the prosecution.
Robert Forkner now begins five hours of his arguments concerning the voluminous misconduct that has been conducted by the prosecution during the 18-month preliminary hearing. He states that this case revolves around the Poletti (sp?) case. This case deals with what he called the commuted error doctrine.
Forkner speaks about day one of the preliminary hearing where an employee of the Department of Justice named Sanchez focused about the garage on the Carson property. Forkner stated that the misconduct started out on day two of the preliminary hearing with the testimony of Cathy Grinnolds. Forkner states that DA Investigator Kirk Bunch had spoken to Ms. Grinnolds previous to her testimony, and had withheld evidence that she had seen 3 men on the roof at the Carson property. Robert Forkner states that the prosecution was admonished by Judge Zuniga concerning this matter concerning willful non- disclosure of evidence. Forkner stated that defense attorney Percy Martinez demanded an offer of proof from Marlisa Ferreira, and that she refused. Forkner states that the information had to come out on his cross examination of Grinnolds. Forkner then states that Marlisa Ferreira moved to strike the testimony of Cathy Grinnolds, and said that she was simply too busy to disclose the evidence. Forkner states that the judge called this an example of “Bad lawyering.”
Robert Forkner now goes into the testimony of Eula Keyes, and states that the day after she was done testifying, Marlisa disclosed that Eula Keyes son had been involved in a brutal armed robbery, and that the case had been rejected by the Stanislaus County DA’s office for prosecution. Forkner states that items were found in Keith Hobbs car that included property from the armed robbery and weapons involved with the crime. I guess it pays to testify at court for the prosecution. It could protect your family members from prosecution. What a country!
Robert Forkner now goes into the testimony of Linda Burns. He states that Linda Burns testified that she had committed no thefts from the Carson property. He states that Kirk Bunch and Marlisa Ferreira both knew that this was not true. He mentions a man named Mark Cavenaugh, who was introduced by Linda Burns to Eula Keyes. Mark Cavenaugh was the alleged “fence” who they would sell the stolen goods to. I believe he lived in Sonora at the time. Forkner states that Linda Burns finally admitted a lie on the stand, and that Marlisa Ferreira had known that it was a lie. Forkner states that this is suborning perjury.
Forkner states that Eula Keyes denied any thefts from the Carson property during his cross examination of her. He states that Eula Keyes testified that her Father in Law had given her the set of antique oil bottles that had actually been stolen from the Carson property. He states that Kirk Bunch and Marlisa Ferreira knew of these thefts, and were again suborning perjury. He states that the cumulative effect of all of this is denying the defendants from due process. He states that the defendants were sitting in jail, while the prosecution was withholding exculpatory evidence, and suborning perjury. Forkner states that he orally moved to have all charges dismissed, and was told by the judge that he would have to do a motion. He states that Marlisa Ferreira stated: “Bring it on.” Forkner states that: “We have done that.”
Robert Forkner now goes into Michael Cooley. He states that Marlisa Ferreira said that Michael Cooley was promised no jail because he was too sick. Forkner states that this is not true. Forkner states that Michael Cooley got released on his own recognizance. He asks the court if this was not a benefit. Forkner states that Kirk Bunch gives the go ahead on this, and that the defense only found out about it until after the 402 hearing. Robert Forkner speaks about how Marlisa Ferreira kept saying that there was “No formal agreement” concerning Michael Cooley.
Robert Forkner states that the prosecution made the preliminary hearing go on and on till December 22nd, 2016, when Judge Zuniga released all the remaining defendants in custody on their own recognizance. Forkner states that nobody has ever heard of another case where Murder defendants with special circumstances were released on their own recognizance.
Robert Forkner speaks about some court records on Keith Hobbs that had been withheld by the prosecution. Marlisa Ferreira had stated in court that the defense could have obtained these records from the court by request. Forkner states that Marlisa Ferreira and Kirk Bunch knew that this would not work in Stanislaus County.
Robert Forkner now goes into Sabrina Romero. He called her testimony appalling. He said she was called as a percipient eye witness to threats that were made. Forkner states that during cross examination he was able to get her to testify that Justin Reedy had told her about the alleged threats. Robert Forkner states that Kirk Bunch’s report on Sabrina Romero clearly shows that the prosecution was suborning perjury with the testimony of Sabrina Romero.
Robert Forkner now goes into Linda Burns, and her testimony concerning pipes on the Carson property. Forkner states that Linda Burns remained uncharged for her crimes because of her testimony. He stated that Kirk Bunch had met with Linda Burns prior to her testimony, and that it was after this meeting that she testified about pipes being set out as bait on the Carson property. He stated that Linda Burns had testified that she was “Too scared” to say anything about the pipes earlier.
Robert Forkner states that Eula Keyes was given drug diversion instead of jail on a drug conviction even though she was ineligible for such diversion by law.
Forkner now speaks about how Ronald Cooper was involved in a home invasion where he hurts his girlfriend. He speaks about how Marlisa Ferreira had met with Cooper at his prison where he was facing 27 years of incarceration in 2013. Forkner states that Cooper’s sentence was reduced to four years. Forkner states that Marlisa had denied 5 times that any deals had been done for Ronald Cooper. Forkner: “We saw him in recorded interviews asking for a deal.” Forkner says that Kirk Bunch can be heard telling Ronald Cooper: “We’ve got the juice.”
Forkner briefly goes into how the prosecution had resisted the term “Task Force” for the first 6 months of this trial. He stated that this was due to the inference that the “Task Force” would be using Federal dollars in its investigation. There has been some talk in the past that the “Task Force” had diverted drug/gang enforcement dollars into this investigation. I do not know if this is true or not. Robert Forkner states that the misconduct came up on a day to day basis.
Robert Forkner now goes into the testimony of TJ Samra Singh. He states that Marlisa and Bunch went to his home and confronted him before he testified. Forkner states that they told TJ that Robert Forkner was going to come over with some papers for him to sign. Forkner states that they told TJ: “Don’t sign the papers.” He said they began advising him on the law. Forkner states that TJ was a former client, and that it was improper for them to do so. Forkner: “That can’t happen.” Forkner now states that Kirk Bunch had told TJ: “We weren’t here.” Forkner calls that consciousness of guilt for Kirk Bunch. He states that Marlisa had said: “I know I am going to regret this” before she allowed him to testify out of order. Forkner states that TJ had been threatened by Kirk Bunch. Forkner states that Marlisa Ferreira had tried to blame the court for this whole situation. Forkner states that TJ had a warrant for his arrest, and that Kirk Bunch knew he had a warrant for his arrest before he testified. Forkner states that Kirk Bunch had several meetings with TJ before he testified, and never had him arrested for his outstanding warrant. Forkner states that TJ Samra Singh had angered Marlisa Ferreira with his testimony, and that she blurted out in the courtroom that he had an outstanding warrant. Judge Zuniga had to have him arrested on the spot. The “B Word” comes to mind to me at this time. Forkner calls this: “Blatant Misconduct.” It is now time for us to take our lunchtime break.
Like usual, we start out in the afternoon a half hour late. Judge Zuniga can hardly ever start on time. Robert Forkner continues his presentation of misconduct in this preliminary hearing. He starts talking about Patrick Hampton. He is what many of us call Mr. F Bomb. Hampton has mouthed the F Bomb to many of us during his testimony. Forkner speaks about how Marlisa Ferreira steadfastly denied that Hampton was an informant that had been used in the past, and on this case. Forkner states that Hampton had worked for the DA’s Office previously, but that Marlisa had stated that she was unaware that he had done so. Forkner states that that was untrue. I call it a lie. That is much more accurate. Forkner states how Kirk Bunch had told Hampton that: “I’ve dealt with you on a previous case, and you were very reliable.” (Defense #87.” Forkner: “We found out through documents that 20 years ago he worked on a case with Brad Nix of the Stanislaus County DA’s Office. Forkner: “This was calculated.” Forkner states that Hampton was moved from Pelican Bay to a prison in Susanville. Forkner states that this was: “A Huge Benefit.” Forkner states that Hampton had two cases pending against him that concerned a stabbing and a shank. Forkner states that Brad Nix told Hampton: “Don’t Worry.” Forkner states that the DA had all this information in their possession, but withheld it from the defense. Forkner calls this: “A pattern to withhold.” Forkner states that Marlissa Ferreira had accused the court of putting Hampton at risk.” Forkner states that Stanislaus County had essentially issued a: “Get out of jail for free card.” Forkner states that only after the Hampton incident in Oakdale did the prosecution admit that they were communicating with Hampton.
Forkner now speaks about the polygraph examination of Robert Woody that was denied by Marlisa Ferreira. He states that Marlisa and Kirk Bunch knew about the polygraph examination when they denied it in the courtroom. I call this another lie.
Robert Forkner states that Marlisa Ferreira had made allegations that Frank Carson had represented Robert Woody and Ronald Cooper in the past. Forkner: “Evaluation of the records indicate that not one time did Frank Carson represent either man.”
Robert Forkner now states that Marlisa Ferreira had made false accusations to judge Manukian in the Bail Hearing. Forkner states that the stolen book alert made no mention of Korey Kauffman as contended by Marlissa Ferreira.
Forkner states that Detective Dale Lingerfeldt had made false accusations about Daljit Atwal being a gangster and a Northern Rider. Forkner: “That is not true.”
Forkner states that on March 11, 2016 Marlisa Ferreira continued to maintain that Patrick Hampton was not an informant. He states that Hampton had tested dirty on 15 drug tests, but was not violated for any of these dirty tests.
Forkner now speaks about the invasion of Frank Carson’s Law Office. He states that Marlisa Ferreira had lied about Frank Carson not knowing who was invading his office. He states that Detective Bejarin had said that the DA had a significant interest in the Carson case.
Forkner states that Korey Kauffman was last seen leaving Michael Cooley’s property until very late in the testimony.
Forkner states that the prosecution violated the judge’s orders by talking to Patrick Hampton after the Oakdale incident. Forkner states that Hampton spent 10 hours at the DA’s office talking to Steve Jacobson. At this time, I notice that Kirk Bunch is very nervous, and is fidgeting with his pen.
Robert Forkner speaks about Judge Manukian’s Discovery orders, and Judge Zuniga’s Discovery orders that were never followed.
Forkner now speaks about how Judge Zuniga released all the in-custody defendants on their own recognizance, and how he had never seen this before in a Murder case with special circumstances. Forkner states that Marlisa Ferreira stated: “I feel like I am being sucker punched.”
Forkner states that it was HUGE where Marlisa Ferreira talked about a bullet being found in the body at the Bail Hearing. He speaks about how Judge Manukian asked her about this, and that she knew full well that the bullet was found days later, and that they could not even be sure that the bullet was found where the body of Korey Kauffman had been found. The bullet was actually found in the ground in an area where many bullets have been fired by hunters in the past. Forkner speaks about how Marlisa Ferreira spoke about a bullet hole in the jacket. Evidence shows that the jacket is full of random holes after being exposed for an extended time to the elements. None of the holes match up to show a “through and through” path through the jacket. Forkner states that Detective Corey Brown could: “Not see any such holes” in his cross examination.
Forkner states that Cathy Grinnolds stated on cross examination that she heard no threats, and that Frank Carson was calm and civil to her. Forkner states that Frank Carson did not threaten any of the witnesses.
Forkner now goes into Beverly Woody, and how the prosecution was proffering her as a witness without any foundation. Forkner states that the prosecution was suborning perjury with Beverly Woody.
Forkner states that Marlisa Ferreira stated that the defense should not be calling Mr. Atala an informant when they knew it was true. Forkner states that Kirk Bunch knew in 2013 that he was an informant. Forkner states that the prosecution argued that Frank Carson was not Mr. Atala’s attorney. Forkner: “He was, and we proved it.” Forkner: “They knew it was true.” Forkner states that Mr. Atala’s brother was given a deal on a case he was involved with. Forkner: “That was a benefit.”
Robert Forkner states that the prosecution said that Frank Carson instructed his family to not call law enforcement about the thefts. Forkner: “This is not true.” Forkner: “The intercepted text messages prove that this is not true.”
Forkner now speaks about July 22, 2016 when Robert Woody suddenly testified that Frank Carson took the gun from Daljit Atwal after Daljit had shot Korey Kauffman. This was later proven to be a lie. Forkner speaks about how the court struck Beverly Woody’s testimony, and how Marlisa Ferreira had argued that Beverly Woody was confused. Forkner: “For the prosecution to offer Beverly Woody as a witness with no foundation shows misconduct.”
Robert Forkner now goes into the interrogation techniques that were used by the investigators. He speaks about how Kirk Bunch had threatened Robert Woody with the death penalty, and how Steve Jacobson had given Robert Woody a sermon citing the Old Testament. Forkner cites Rodgers v Richmond concerning this.
Robert Forkner now goes into the testimony of Jim Cook, and how Cook had testified that he was the only person that analyzed cell phone data on this case. He kept saying this despite Kirk Bunch knowing all along that Alicia O’Brien of WSIN had done extensive work prior to Jim Cook’s work. Bunch allowed this testimony from Cook to go on even though he knew it was not true. Forkner states that the prosecution was once again suborning perjury.
Forkner now speaks about how the DA allowed Patrick Hampton and Robert Woody to be housed together on two separate occasions while Robert Woody was on the stand. This was hidden from the defense for a long time.
Now Robert Forkner speaks about what he considers to be the worst of the worst. He speaks about how the prosecution refused to gather exculpatory evidence from Patrick Hampton. He speaks about how Hampton told Kirk Bunch that Robert Woody had confessed to being the sole killer of Korey Kauffman, and how Kirk Bunch had told him: “I don’t want to hear about that.” Can you believe that? Forkner: “That about sums up this whole case.” Submitted. He asks the court to dismiss the charges against all the defendants in this case.
Marlisa looks pale at this point. I can’t believe she did not interrupt Robert Forkner during his presentation.
Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson now briefly goes into his thoughts on this matter. He speaks about how on 12/22/2016 Daljit Atwal and Baljit Athwal were released on their own recognizance to preserve the integrity of this case. He speaks about how he requested a dismissal of all charges at the time. He speaks about how over and over again Discovery was being withheld by the prosecution, and how the defense was told that certain Discovery did not exist. He speaks about how there are no checks and balances in the DA’s Office, and how the prosecution can’t say that all the Brady Material has been provided to the defense. Hans states that therefore the prosecution is not in compliance with the Brady laws. All the other defense attorneys state that they are submitting. It is now time for Marlisa to try to put lipstick on the pig of a case she has presented thus far.
At this point of the day, Marlisa has 45 minutes left in the day. She speaks about what Hans Hjertonsson has said, and says that the prosecution has no obligation to provide what he was complaining about. She states that she: “Could be in violation.” She states that what Robert Forkner was speaking about are only allegations. Marlisa invites the judge to reconsider the statements made by the witnesses. Marlisa states that the prosecution’s responses to the allegations are recorded specifically in detail in their papers. She states that the rule of law on 1385 is whether or not the withheld information is something that would affect the holding order. She states that we are at the preliminary hearing stage of this case, and that the case law is more specific to the actual trial stage. She states that the prosecution has failed to provide the court with one single instance where this would change the outcome. Marlisa states that the delays in this hearing are almost always view as being her fault. She cites injuries to a defense attorney that fell in the street. I fault the judge as well with the length of the preliminary hearing. She is simply hardly ever on time. Many times, she was late by hours. She seems like my wife at times. Sorry honey. Marlisa states that the defense was not denied a fair trial. I beg to differ on that one. This preliminary hearing has been a sham, and makes me believe that our judicial system is broken and bastardized. It is really true that any competent attorney can get a ham sandwich indicted.
Marlisa speaks about how the defense stated that the Cathy Grinnolds information was not provided in a timely manner. Marlisa: “They fully cross examined her.” Marlisa denied giving the witnesses incentives. I really don’t think she really believes this to be true, but truth does not seem to predominate in this courtroom. She says that the defense had everything that the prosecution had. I know this to not be true.
Marlisa tries to say that Robert Forkner knew his client TJ Samra Singh had an outstanding warrant, but insisted on putting him on the stand anyway.
Marlisa states that the defense said that she knew Baljit Athwal was getting a new attorney. She says Robert Forkner was the first one to tell the prosecution that Baljit Athwal had a new attorney.
Marlisa Ferreira states that the defense has established no prejudice concerning the polygraph examination. Once again, I beg to differ on that one. Marlisa is now done, and we are done for the day. The next hearing will be on August 4th. This one took me quite some time to type. I apologize for the lateness of the post.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)