By Marty Carlson
The afternoon session started about 1341 hrs. with Jim Cook back on the stand talking about the cell phone mapping that he had done any had 89 total pages of PowerPoint presentation to go through.
I’m not going into the boring details of everything, the basically he was mapping the devices of Edward Quintanar, Scott McFarlane, and Walter Wells for his big concerns during this mapping. It concerned the contacts made with the Atwals and such.
They talked about Edward Quintanar on March 30 two 2012 in his cell phone data showing him at Drs. Medical Center tower which covers his home and multiple calls to multiple people with some included the out walls and some were unknown numbers. Also talked about how he was moving and hitting’s multiple towers throughout Turlock, Hilmar, and Livingston. These contacts were all calls, texts, or data connections.
They also talked about what the district attorney called the body movement date on April 27, 2012 and some of the cell phone connections that were involved on that date and again I will not going to all the details because there were too many to technical and I would just bore you to death.
The same type a mapping was done for Scott McFarlane as his residence is the Cal State University cell tower, and they discussed his connections on March 30, 2012 and March 31, 2012. He talked about there was some movement through multiple cell towers on that date in addition to April 26, 2012, again the district attorney’s theory on the date of the movement of the body, in addition to cell phone contacts of all sorts on July 15, 2012 the day of the search warrants.
Some of the pictures that were put up on the overlays in the PowerPoint presentation showed pictures of the defendants, which were their booking photos, and also some the splash screens mentioned the murder investigation. The judge told the district attorney those things absolutely are not be done in these presentations especially if it were to go to a jury, this was the exact same thing that the judge told the district attorney in the last preliminary hearing when the same type of things were done.
Larry Niemeyer started cross examination of Jim Cook, and Cook advised he had no idea of the content of the calls for the content of the text or type of data connections was actually done. All he had was the call detail records that showed connections but no content of those messages or calls. He also noted that there were numerous calls and messages that had no names next to the number and he stated he didn’t know who those numbers belong to.
In regard to the month Gap between McFarlane and O’Keefe from July to almost September that Jim Cook had called unusual, Larry Niemeyer asked him if he was aware that O’Keefe was deployed in the National Guard during that time for almost 2 months. I noted that Jim Cook’s face kind of dropped and he stated he was not aware.
Larry Niemeyer also asked him in April 2012 if he was aware of the employment that Scott McFarland was working at the time. Cook said he was working as a CHP officer out of the Merced office and patrolled the Turlock area. Niemeyer asked Cook if being a CHP officer and on-duty if it would show him traveling between different towers while on patrol, like noted in the mapping, Jim cook said yes that would account for that. No further questions were asked by Larry Niemeyer at this time.
Alonzo Gradford began his cross-examination and started discussing other information that he had mapped regarding the Atwals, and he stated he didn’t have all their information in front of him that he was testifying to, in addition he was asked about the information on Walter Wells or Scott McFarlane and he said he did not have the specific information in front of him only his PowerPoint presentation.
So, all the dates listed that he mapped from March 2012, July 2012, in April 2012, he did not bring the records with him only his PowerPoint presentation. Alonzo Gradford at that time asked him if he is Christopher J Cook, and he got a funny look on his face and said no. Then there was some private conversation between attorneys and Mr. Gradford moved on.
Attorney Gradford inquired about the length of the phone calls between Quintanar and Daljit Atwahl and there was a total of about six minutes’ worth of calls on March 30, 2012 and March 31, 2012. Again, he did not have any idea of the content of any of those calls. He asked Jim Cook if Scott McFarlane’s number had been called he said no. Asked if Walter Wells a number had been called he said no. Jim Cook said there was no connections whatsoever that he could see between Scott McFarland and Eduardo Quintanar during that period.
Alonzo Gradford went through page by page of the presentation with Mr. Cook, during that timeframe, and there were no contacts with Scott McFarlane. He also asked Jim Cook if he was aware of the employment that Quintanar had in 2012 and he said that he was a CHP officer working out of Atwater, he was then asked where he lived he said in Modesto, so would be unusual to have moving cell phone connections just driving back and forth to work and at work itself, Jim Cook said no. At that time Alonzo Gradford had no further questions.
District attorney Marlisa Ferreira wanted to recross Jim Cook and asked him some technical questions about text notations are data notation that show it as text on the CDRs. And of course, the CDR to not show the content of the text it just is a generic view of date and times. No further questions asked.
At this point it was late in the day but Steve Jacobson got on the stand with more wiretap recordings to play.
They played a wiretap from March 20, 2015 it was around 1332 hrs. for Quintanar had contacted a Lieut. Frost again repeating his complaints about Kurt Bunch and the incident at his house, and apparently Kurt Bunch was emailing Quintanar’ s wife at her work. Continually saying he wanted to talk to her. Quintanar was asking Lieut. Frost for some assistance in dealing with this, and Lieut. Frost basically told him he was on his own because this was the issue outside of the office in Quintanar at the time was on administrative leave. He also said that he can’t give advice in regard to Kurt Bunch investigation and Frost said Quintanar is the only one to decide if he wants to talk or not talk to Kirk Bunch.
There was a second recording then played from March 20, 2015 around 1345 hrs. Quintanar was talking to I believe of the union rep, I didn’t catch the name, in Quintanar was telling him that the Lieut. had no advice to help him and kind and bailed out on him it appears at this time. In union rep gave Quintanar basically a pep talk and told him that he would probably need to get an attorney and deal with that that way.
At that time, it was the end of the day and court was dismissed and supposedly to be continued tomorrow. All of us had left the courtroom in fact we were outside talking for a short while and we left. I was notified after I got home that McFarlane and Quintanar were called back into the court room after 5 o’clock and we advise that Alonzo Gradford had some issues about having court tomorrow and he requested a continuance.
Scott McFarlane was not agreeable to waving time for a continuing preliminary hearing, and the judge says I guess we in court tomorrow. At that time, the district attorney advised Scott McFarland that they will rest their case against him if they agree to a continuance. After conferring with his attorney Scott McFarlane did agree to waive time for his hearing and it is now been rescheduled for October 18, 2017 at 1330 hrs. in department #2.
At that date, they will probably just to final arguments if Quintanar’ s attorney decides not to put on any witnesses.