JUDGE ZUNIGA IS LATE AGAIN
FRANK CARSON CASE
BY WILLIAM THOMAS JENSEN (TOM)
Today was a very short day in the courtroom. It was supposed to start at 9:30AM, but we were not able to enter the courtroom until 10:30AM. As we sat on the benches in the hallway, we saw the judge arrive at 10:15AM.
There was something going on in the judge’s chambers, and things actually got going at 11:00AM. At the conclusion of our last courtroom session, we were told that we would be continuing on Defense attorney Robert Forkner’s motion to dismiss due to misconduct from the prosecution. No such luck today. We were supposed to start the preliminary hearing for CHP Officers Walter Wells, Eduardo Quentanar, and Scott McFarlane. No such luck today.
We spent the next hour going over the scheduling of the numerous motions that have been filed by the defense attorneys. Nearly all of these motions have been filed by Robert Forkner.
It was very difficult to figure all the dates that were discussed, but I will try to give you the best information that I was able to ascertain. It appears that the Preliminary Hearing for the CHP Officers will start on September 5th, and end by September 14th. Alonzo Gradford will be representing Eduardo Quentanar, Mr. Niemeyer will be representing Scott McFarlane, and Peter Rodriguez will be representing Walter Wells. Peter Rodriguez is replacing Timothy Rien. Walter Wells could not afford to keep paying Timothy Rien the huge amount that his services command. Peter Rodriguez was appointed by the court to represent Walter Wells, and I am quite impressed with him thus far.
Robert Forkner has a 1385 Motion that he wants to be heard before his recusal motion is to be heard. The recusal motion is an effort to remove Judge Zuniga from handling the actual trial that is starting in early January, 2018. The defense attorneys would like the State Attorney General’s Office to take this case over. Robert Forkner also wants his motion on sanctions against the prosecution to be heard before his recusal motion is taken up. Both the 1385 motion and the sanctions motion will be heard on September 19th and September 20th. Both these two days will start at 9:30 AM, but nothing ever starts on time with this trial.
Robert Forkner announces that he has five more motions that he is filing today. He speaks about a motion to sever the perjury count against Frank Carson from this trial. Judge Zuniga seems to have a problem with this, and questions if it is necessary for Forkner to file a motion on this subject. Forkner speaks about a motion to compel the disclosure of a large amount of discovery that has been withheld by the prosecution. All this discovery has been requested by the defense attorneys for a long time. There is mention about discovery concerning the cadaver dogs that was requested, but not received.
Judge Zuniga states that the list of questions that will be asked to the prospective jurors is due on October 6th from both the prosecution and the defense. She states that she will go through the questions and produce a master list of questions that will be asked to the jurors.
Judge Zuniga now states that the motion concerning the discovery will be heard on October 17th. A 1539 Motion will also be heard on October 17th.
Robert Forkner now speaks about a motion that he is filing to compel the return of cell phones and computers to Georgia DeFelippo and Christina DeFelippo that were seized when the search warrants were served.
There was talk about being in the courtroom on November 7th at 9:30 AM, and on November 15th to hear some Pitches Motions that need to be heard. It is now 12:00 Noon, and we are done for the day.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)
Forkner speaks about a 1359 Motion that concerns the search warrants that were initially denied by another judge. It appears this motion will be heard on September 25th, which is the day before the Recusal Motion is to be heard.