SCOTT MCFARLANE & EDUARDO QUINTANAR PRELIM
by Marty Carlson
When the afternoon session started about 1334 hrs. officer O’Keefe was asked if in 2012 if Edward Quentanar had guns at PNC, he stated he did not recall discussing that issue with him, but Scott McFarlane may have said something shortly after the search warrant that the guns were stored there.
He stated he never talk to Quentin are about the guns being stored there. In addition, he was asked by the DA if the CHP had put out a memo in regard to personal gun storage and again he said he did not recall. In 2013, he was asked if he was aware that special patrols were requested at 838 ninth street and stated he did not know anything about that he was not familiar with Frank Carson was not fit familiar with any requested patrols he was not familiar with any thefts but eventually did read about some of these things later on after the arrest in the Modesto bee.
He was asked if he was aware of the Atwal brothers were doing patrols on the property he said “no.” And he was not aware of any CHP officers doing patrols for thefts on Frank Carson’s property. He did say that sometime before everyone was arrested in this case Scott McFarlane had said something about the thefts and he believes it was prior to April 2013.
He was asked if he was aware that Scott McFarlane had rototilled the field next to PNC, and had stated that he saw the field had been rototilled and then a garden with plants had been put in. For some reason, the district attorney asked if there was a water source in that field, he was not aware. He was also asked if the lot was lit at night and said he’d only been out there one time in the evening and yes it was lit. He stated he did not recall a burn pit on the lot. Nor did he see a blue tarp laying around anywhere.
He did not recall being told by anyone like Scott McFarland Walter Wells or Quentanar to not cooperate with officers. He said the only person ever told him not to talk to investigators was his union representative.
He stated he remembers something about Bobby Atwahl patrolling the property but he said he read that in the bee. He stated that no one had told him anything about Frank Carson had asked for help on his property.
He did not recall Scott McFarlane talking about the Atwahl brothers being involved after the search warrant was served.
He did not recall any conversations with Scott McFarlane in regards to a homicide that occurred on the property that involved the Atwals or anybody else. He did say thought there was normal conversation about those type of things and what they thought the theory was of the missing person and homicide of Kory Kaufman.
He also noted that Scott McFarlane had stated he saw Kory Kaufman the day after he was reported missing riding his bike down the street while Scott was outside in one of his fields of irrigating. He did not recall any statement by Scott McFarlane in regard to saying bad things happen to bad people. Nor Scott McFarland saying Korey Kauffman was a bad person and specifically a thief.
He did not recall if asked if the city of Turlock was in the jurisdiction a Merced CHP and if Korey Kaufman was stopped within the city limits which out of the jurisdiction of Merced.
He stated he was not aware of anyone that had run license plates through Department of Motor Vehicles or the California law enforcement telecommunications system, also known as CLETS. And he was asked if Scott McFarlane had done or asked to do that he said not to his knowledge, nor had he done it was asked to do it for the Atwahl brothers.
He did state at one-time Scott McFarlane said that he thought Korey Kauffman was dead and that was sometime in 2012. He stated the comment was made something to the effect maybe some farmer got tired of being ripped off.
Officer O’Keefe stated he was never told that Kory Kaufman’s body was dumped at PNC or taken to the mountains.
Sometime after he had heard about a fight between Bobby and Korey at the store. And Bobby who had hurt his hand falling down but he was not familiar of where and how that happened. He did not know about any private investigators are hired by the brothers.
During this time, the judge had stopped Melissa Ferreira couple of times telling her to tighten it up a little bit as she was getting loose and leading with her questions, and she was not going to have a repeat of the last preliminary hearing.
He also stated that Daljit Atwahl had an injury to his face that he was told that occurred in an auto accident but did not see the car, which was a BMW, and notice any damage done.
He stated that he was aware through Scott McFarlane that Tony Kaufman had come to Scott’s house and that Tony Kaufman at hired investigators to look for Korey Kauffman. He was not aware of any investigators that were hired by the Atwahl brothers.
Again, the judge had to chastise Mme. DA as getting into irrelevant information that keeps making this case go sideways and as the judge’s said to “tighten up” her case.
He was asked if it Scott McFarlane said he was actually irrigating on a different day and he said he was never told that. He was also asked if he was familiar with the out Atwahl that got burned, he was not aware.
He did not recall any conversation in regards the investigation or investigators in particular.
Did not recall any talk of GPS trackers on the cars, with Scott McFarlane or Quintanar. He did not recall Daljit discussing anything with him about a tracker on his BMW. He did not recall talking about any tracking devices was Scott McFarland or any Quentanar.
He believes there was some conversation about the wiretap intercept from the conversation he had with Scott MacFarlane because he said he got what is known as a “love letter” regarding the intercept. And he did not recall the emotions of Scott McFarlane at the time if he was angry upset what is the time.
Officer O’Keefe did say he saw Scott MacFarlane at PNC after the search warrant that he never talked to him again regarding the search warrant. He said he never told anyone how to find trackers on a car or anything else. But he did believe that Quentin are had told the Atwahls about trackers but again that was information that he had read in the bee, not personal knowledge.
The district attorney at that point started asking questions about CHP internal policies and procedures and the judge immediately cut her off said is not relevant, CHP policies do not apply to the investigation and the charges their face in this hearing. Again, the judge advised Mme. DA she was going way-word like the other prelim previous to this.
Mme. DA at that time started asking hypothetical questions about accidents and procedures and there were immediate objections and the judge shut it down at that point the district attorney said no further questions.
At this point Larry Neirmeyer, the attorney for Scott McFarlane began cross examination which was brief.
He asked officer O’Keefe if he had left voicemails with the officers in response to their cards he said yes but they did not return the calls for at least a year. The attorney stated he did not want to rehash discussing the union representation where they suggested they do not talk to investigators, and again emphasized they did return his calls. No further questions
Alonso Gradford, the attorney for Eduardo Quintanar stated that he had no questions of this witness.
Mme. district attorney felt that she needed to cross the witness on those questions by the defense attorneys the judge kinda shook her head told her go ahead.
Again, started a hypothetical question about an accident, and if they get involved in criminal natures. Officer O’Keefe stated an accident is a civil nature and not criminal. But there were both the defense attorneys objecting as to hypotheticals and the district attorney tried to turn it into a drunk driving situation but the judge sustained the objections. No further questions at that time.
Alonso Gradford asked one question of the witness, asking him do you give up your Fifth Amendment rights just because your police officer, or the right to representation. Officer O’Keefe said no.
At this time Kurt Bunch took the stand to start his testimony.
Kurt Bunch stated he received a call on April 2, 2012, from Detective Shaw of Turlock Police Department. Detective Shaw stated that Mike Cooley was concerned about Korey Kauffman missing after going to the Frank Carson property. Mike Cooley’s property which is adjacent to Frank Carson’s was actually in Turlock Police Department’s jurisdiction, Frank Carson’s property was in the sheriff department jurisdiction.
They started in interagency task force which included Cory Brown, Deputy Barringer from the Sheriff’s office, Frank Navarro Turlock PD, Timothy read Turlock PD, Kirk Bunch, ADA investigator by the name of Mariscal, Steve Jacobson, Dale Lingerfelt, and eventually Michael Brody from Department of Corrections. Eventually they received an anonymous letter stating that Kory’s body had been dumped in a dumpster in Modesto and Modesto Police Department then got involved also.
The initial missing person information was Kory Kaufman was going to the Frank Carson property to steal some pipe. That information came from Mike Cooley.
The CHP officers in 2012 were associated with the Atwahls and through witnesses and informants. In addition, in May 2012 there was an incident where two people had gone to Michael Cooley’s property to threaten him. He stated the people that threaten him were Robert Woody and Bobby Atwahl.
He stated they then got wiretaps to tap phones and the Atwahl brothers and Robert Woody phones were tapped in addition to Frank Carson. Scott McFarlane and Quentin are and Walter Wells we intercepted during these wiretaps and stated the wiretap information heard was “alarming.”
In July 2012, a search warrant was served on PNC where weapons were found to of those weapons apparently belonging to Eduardo Quintanar, who was working at the Merced CHP at that time.
He stated that Scott McFarlane had a close relationship with the Atwahls, and Kory Kaufman was his neighbor. Kirk Bunch stated that Walter wells his relationship with Quintanar and MacFarlane was close as they all worked at Merced CHP.
He stated he tried to interview Scott MacFarlane and Quintanar on March 17, 2014, but there was a brief exchange and on a recorded interview at Quentanar’ s house, the Quentin are would not talk to him at that time as he was busy. The audio of that brief exchange was played in court and basically Quentanar said he wants to finish his dinner who call him later.
Quentanar did call Kurt Bunch back sometime later that evening, and advise Kurt Bunch that he had talked to his representative in the union and that this interview would have to be done through the CHP office and his superiors. Kirk Bunch advised that in a criminal investigation he is not entitled to representation. That brief recording on that second call was also played.
Kirk Bunch repeatedly told Quintanar that he was just doing some background and assured him he is not in trouble. And if an appointment need to be scheduled to his supervisor he would do that, from that time on officer Quintanar did not return in his calls and eventually he talked to his CHP office and supervisor to make contact.
Apparently, the insistence of Kurt Bunch generated an additional internal affairs complaint with the CHP, by Sgt. Domby, who worked out of the commissioner’s office. Domby told Kurt Bunch that officers are to cooperate in criminal investigations and also said officers are not entitled to representation during criminal investigations. Apparently, there were several people that stated officers have no right to representation in criminal investigations only in departmental actions.
Some of the people involved in this investigation was Sgt. Domby, a Capt. Andy Williams, Capt. Samra, and apparently all were told by Kurt Bunch that Eduardo Quentanar was not cooperating with the investigation. He said he initially had contacted Sgt. Domby in Sacramento to look into the CHP’s including their lack of cooperation. And he had only made one attempt to talk to Quentanar after that.
He then realized he was not going to get cooperation and started developing relationships of people around Quintanar, like his wife and mother-in-law, but they both refused to talk to him.
He also stated that during this time the wiretaps revealed and figured out that the officer was not going to talk to him.
So, at that time Kirk Bunch got a search warrant for Quentanar’s house, plus after the firearms were seized at PNC in the search warrant and Quintanar had attempted to retrieve the weapon’s.
He also stated that he was told there was a Department of Justice employee that had returned to pop and cork to retrieve some property and Quentinar had showed up a was pretending to be under the hood of his car working, trying to avoid him. Again, more objections that were sustained as hearsay and not relevant.
He also stated that wiretaps revealed that Quintanar was called by Scott MacFarlane in regard to the search warrant. He also said the search warrant on Quentanar’ s house was done on March 24, 2015.
Kirk Bunch advised he tried one more time to contact Quintanar and that contact was attempted at the CHP office in Modesto that Quintanar had transferred to. Kirk Bunch was told by a dispatcher that Quintanar was going to talk to him, but saw him driving out the parking lot in his patrol car.
At this time, it was towards the end of the day and the judge called a recess to be continued tomorrow at 9 AM in department #2