MORE PAY DAYS BUT NOTHING DONE…….
By Marty Carlson
Court was scheduled to start at 9:30 AM this morning and the judge had message that she was going to be about 15 minutes late and arrived around 10:10 AM. Around 10:30 AM the court was opened up an attorney’s Niemeyer and Gradford, the attorneys for Scott McFarlane and Edward Quentanar, went into chambers to talk to the judge or in there about 10 minutes. Upon returning to the court and once the judge took the bench around 11:05 AM, attorney Gradford advised the court that he is requesting a continuance because he has a time not waived preliminary hearing starting tomorrow in another homicide case.
Mme. district attorney requested that the preliminary hearing to trail that homicide case and was tentatively rescheduled for September 6th
Also of note CHP officer O’Keefe was sitting in the audience apparently under subpoena for today’s hearing. Officer O’Keefe was a onetime partner of Scott McFarland, and if I’m not mistaken judge Zuniga had told Marlisa Ferreira that she wants to hear 115 testimonies in this preliminary hearing to save time. Officer O’Keefe was not part of the investigation and is unknown why he was called but is not possible for him to give 115 testimony in this case. The judge ordered officer O’Keefe back on September 5 when that prelim is scheduled to be started.
It also of note judge Zuniga advised all parties especially the district attorney that this preliminary hearing is to be finished by September 14, 2017. It sounds as judge Zuniga is trying to lay some actual ground rules in this preliminary hearing and not let it get out of control like the last one.
The arraignment for Walter Wells was continued until the end of the preliminary hearing on the fifth so that if anybody is held to answer all three officers could be scheduled at the same time for arraignment for trial. Walter Wells, Scott McFarlane, Eddie Quentanar were then excused from the court if they wanted to leave.
At this time attorney Robert Forkner address the court regarding his 995 motion that they are in the middle of and can’t seem to finish. Forkner stated that there are some new motions that he wants to file in addition there are some extremely old motions that haven’t been addressed yet, but been previously filed. And he wants some of those old motions to be heard first before they finish the 995 motion.
He also stated he is going to file a motion to sever the perjury count against Frank Carson from this case. The judge advising that is a trial issue and not one to be heard now.
He also stated that he wants to file a motion to compel some discovery that is not yet been released from the District Attorney’s Office. The judge advised him to talk to Ms. Ferreira and see if anything can be worked out in the file a motion if necessary. He also advised there are some recusal motions in regard to some or all of the 120 search warrants that were served in this case. He also advised that he is going to make several pitches motions. And he requested the exhibits currently being secured by the court be made available for review. He also asked that the DOJ be provided transcripts of the preliminary hearing as they normally do not receive them and it takes a court order for that to be done.
The District Attorney’s Office objected to the severance motion saying it is not timely as our some of the other motions that he made. Robert Forkner advised the court that some of the motions being made are some occurrences that occurred during the preliminary hearing itself and he will submit them to the court for the judge review and she stated she would allow if it actually occurred during the prelim.
Attorney Forkner also advised he’s making a motions to return some property that belongs to Christine DeFilippo and Georgia DeFilippo that was taken during some search warrants, and the judge advised talk the District Attorney’s Office and he said he did but it takes a court order to get them returned. The District Attorney’s Office agreed that that’s what required to get his property returned. Even though the court has ruled they are not responsible in this crime the district attorney still requires a court order to return the property taken during the investigation.
The judge also advised all attorneys to have their questionnaires with the potential jurors prepared by October 6th of 2017.
So, the best court dates that I can give you at this time are as follows until I get official confirmation they are tentative:
FINISH 1385/995 MOTION ALSO TROMBETTA MOTION&SANCTIONS
MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY/RETURN SEIZED PROPERTY/SEARCH WARRANT MOTIONS
MOTIONS TO SUPRESS EVIDENCE (1538.5)
A constant theme that I’ve heard throughout with this judge is how short staffed the clerk’s office is in their ability to get some things done. My personal opinion is the lack of personnel in the court system is no excuse to be denying defendants justice. But they did to make arrangements in the next couple of days for defense attorneys to review the exhibits that are currently in custody of the court.
Also note the glossary of some of the terms used that you may not be familiar with:
Motion to Suppress for Failure to Provide Exculpatory Evidence
Asks the trial judge in a felony case to dismiss one or more of the charges. The defense makes the motion after a California preliminary hearing but before trial.
A request made by a defendant in a criminal action for access to information in the personnel file of an arresting police officer.
The judge or magistrate may, either of his or her own motion or upon the application of the prosecuting attorney, and in furtherance of justice, order an action to be dismissed
If a special hearing is held in a felony case pursuant to Section 1538.5, or if the grounds on which the warrant was issued are controverted and a motion to return property is made by a defendant on grounds not covered by Section 1538.