HOUSE OF CARDS FALLING DOWN
BY WILLIAM THOMAS JENSEN (TOM)
I apologize in advance for the lateness of this report. I was in the courtroom the entire day, and took lots of notes. This one is going to be a long one. I anticipate about three hours of work at the computer tonight.
Today, I can truly say that I can see an end to this never-ending ordeal. The Minute Order issued by Judge Moody on September 15th has put the prosecution on the hot seat. I have visions of them being strapped into an electric chair. They have until Friday to provide a complete list of all evidence that would show any involvement of Frank Carson with the Athwal brothers in the alleged murder of Korey Kauffman on the Carson property. I have sat through over a year and a half of testimony, and there is no evidence that I can remember that would fit this category. Robert Woody, in his latest version of lies, did not put Frank Carson, or any of the CHP Officers, at the scene of the alleged murder. We hear that they are working like lunatics trying to compile their list by Friday. No rest for the wicked. Many informed observers in this case feel that there is a very strong chance that Judge Mooney will rule that there is insufficient evidence to hold Frank Carson over for trial.
On September 13th, 2017, DA Investigator Kirk Bunch engaged in misconduct towards defendant Frank Carson within the Stanislaus County Courthouse. Kirk Bunch approached Frank Carson in the courthouse hallway, and threatened Frank by saying: “Your next” in a very menacing and intimidating manner. This followed the conviction of a murder defendant who was represented by Frank’s attorney Percy Martinez. The threat was heard by multiple witnesses, and was reported to law enforcement. It is even believed that this incident was captured on the courthouse surveillance cameras. Kirk Bunch is being charged with contempt of court.
Last week, Marlisa Ferreira rested her case against CHP Officer Scott McFarlane. There is not a shred of evidence that supports the charges that he faces in this case. Scott McFarlane was shown to be very cooperative with the investigators. Many informed observers in the courtroom feel that he will not be held over for trial.
The Preliminary Hearing for CHP Officer Eduardo Quintanar is going very poorly for the prosecution. Marlisa Ferreira, in her arguments tried to show that Eduardo Quintanar was trying to use the CHP as a shield to protect himself from prosecution. CHP Sargent Domby, on the stand last week, testified that Quintanar was following department protocol by seeking their assistance and advice with the problems that he was experiencing with the investigators. Cell phone data analysis by self-proclaimed cell phone expert Jim Cook showed that there was no communication between the CHP Officers and any of the other defendants in this case during key dates and times associated with this case. Jim Cook tried to show that Walter Wells and Eduardo Quintanar were moving at certain critical times associated with this case. It turns out that both of them were merely driving to and from their CHP offices which are out of town. Jim Cook tried to show that Walter Wells did not communicate with his CHP partner during a two-month period. They were trying to show that this was because of a “Consciousness of guilt.” It turns out that Walter’s partner was on active duty with the California National Guard during this two-month period. Most of the courtroom observers that I sit with believe that all the CHP Officers will not be held over for trial.
That just leaves us with the Athwal brothers. Why would the Athwal brothers be involved in an alleged murder of Korey Kauffman on the Carson property when Frank Carson was not involved? How can anyone believe Robert Woody’s latest version of lies when he has lied on all 14 previous versions of his story?
We are hearing that the prosecution is trying to use the testimony of Beverly Woody in some of their recent pleadings. There is a big problem with this. Beverly Woody’s testimony was almost entirely stricken by Judge Zuniga. Beverly Woody suborned perjury by holding up a sign while visiting her son Robert Woody at the jail. She was trying to get her son to change his testimony to conform to what she had testified to in the courtroom. Beverly Woody also perjured herself on the stand. Now I will try to paint for you yet another picture of what happened in the courtroom today.
Once again, we start out significantly late because Judge Zuniga did not show up on time. I heard from one of the people who drove from the Bay Area that the traffic was fairly light this morning. When we were finally allowed into Department 2, we waited an additional length of time while discussions were had in the Judge’s chambers.
Baljit Athwal’s attorney, Jai Gohel was tied up with another trial, so Daljit Atwal’s attorney Hans Hjertonsson represented both of the Athwal’s in the courtroom today.
They announced that the prelim for Quintanar will be continued until October 18,2017. Much of the testimony we have heard has involved things involving Quintanar, and it seems to me like the prosecution has failed to show anything that would constitute a crime. Robert Woody did not put any of the CHP Officers at the Carson property during his last version of lies. Perhaps Marlisa will say Woody is lying about that, but believe the rest he has to say. Why the CHP Officers are having to defend themselves, and go broke doing so, baffles me.
Walter Wells Attorney, Peter Rodriguez was not able to make it to the courtroom until a little bit later, so Eduardo Quintanar’s attorney Alonzo Gradford represented Walter until Peter Rodriguez arrived. I am really impressed with the teamwork that I see between the defense attorneys.
We start out with defense attorney Robert Forkner, who is representing Frank Carson, starting a 1385 Motion to dismiss. Forkner states that Marlisa Ferreira made misstatements (Lies) about the Stanislaus County Jail House Logs being available for the defense attorneys to view. He states that Marlisa Ferreira had stated that these logs are public information. This is simply untrue. Forkner states that all attorneys in Stanislaus County have been forced to subpoena these jail house logs in order to get them. Forkner states that the DA’s Office, and the other local law enforcement agencies are the only ones who can access this information on their computers. Forkner cites the recently tried Misetti case, where he was told that these logs were not public information, and he would have to subpoena them. Forkner: “What Marlisa said is not true.” (A Lie).
At this point I once again see both Marlisa Ferreira and Kirk Bunch shaking one foot nervously. Forkner asks Judge Zuniga to grant his 1385 motion. It is now 10:18AM, and Walter Wells’ attorney Peter Rodriguez arrives in the courtroom. Marlisa Ferreira makes an objection. Judge Zuniga tells Marlisa she wants to know how she got that information concerning the jail house logs being public information. Judge Zuniga: “I want to hear from someone from the jail.” Marlisa has the balls to object to this request from the judge. She is so full of herself it hurts. Judge Zuniga overrules her objection, but says Marlisa can cross examine on this matter.
DA Investigator Kirk Bunch takes the stand, and is sworn in. He gives his background in the DA’s Office as Marlisa Ferreira asks him questions. He states he is a Criminal Investigator II with 18 years of experience at the DA’s Office. He starts testifying about a program named ICJAS that originated at the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. This program allows authorized persons to access jail house visit logs, criminal histories, court dates, etc. concerning persons being incarcerated in our county. Bunch states that this program is available with no restrictions to the Sheriff’s Department, Modesto Police Department, Ceres Police Department, Turlock Police Department, and the Probation Department.
Defense attorney Robert Forkner takes over on cross examination of Kirk Bunch. Forkner tells Bunch that he described ICJAS as a valuable investigative tool. The problem I see with this program is that the prosecution can immediately know if a lawyer visits a prisoner, or if the prisoner is visited by a specialized person involved with his/her case. It seems to hinder the prisoner’s ability to mount an effective defense when the prosecution knows immediately what he/she is doing, and who he/she is talking to. The whole legal system seems to me like it forces you to defend yourself with one arm tied behind your back.
Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson asks Bunch if he had ever observed attorneys in the DA’s Office accessing the ICJAS program, and Bunch said he had not.
Defense attorney Peter Rodriguez brings out the fact that access to the ICJIS program is specific to the attorneys in the DA’s Office, and that other attorneys have to resort to subpoenas in order to access them.
At this point, Marlisa Ferreira steps out of the courtroom to speak to someone.
When Marlisa returns to the courtroom, she calls Detective Jon Evers to the stand.
While Evers sits on the stand waiting for Marlisa to ask questions, the Contempt of Court issue concerning Kirk Bunch threatening Frank Carson comes up. Judge Zuniga schedules a 1538.5 Hearing on November 14th to settle this matter. This is the day before the Pitches motion is scheduled to be heard.
It is now 11:30AM, and we start the Trombetta Motion concerning missing exculpatory evidence in this case. Evers is on the stand. It is stated that Officer Derek Perry is sick for at least one month. How convenient, so Evers can do Prop 115 testimony for him. Defense attorney Robert Forkner tells Judge Zuniga that he has marked all of Perry’s pertinent testimony from the preliminary hearing. He provides these marked transcripts to the judge. (Joint B and C) Perry’s testimony concerned missing game cam images that contained game cam photos of several people of interest in this case at the grave site of Korey Kauffman.
It is now 11:36AM, and defense attorney Robert Forkner has Evers on the stand. Evers describes how Derek Perry took game cams to where the remains of Korey Kauffman were found in the Stanislaus National Forest near Mariposa. Evers states he went with Perry to set up the game cams. He remembers two game cams, although testimony earlier in this Preliminary Hearing indicate there were three. He states that both game cams were identical. One was placed in the bushes facing the roadway leading to the grave site. The 2nd game cam was placed in the trees close to where the bones of Korey Kauffman had been found in a gully. He stated that at one-time Kirk Bunch, Jon Evers, Derek Perry, Navarro, Hendricks from Mariposa Police Dept., went up to check on the game cams.
Evers tells Forkner that Derek Perry went up to check on the game cams after they were initially set up, and got the discs from the game cams, and downloaded them to his computer, and made CD’s of the images. Evers testified that he was able to view the CD’s with the images from the game cams. He saw the images full screen on a computer.
Evers testified that Perry told him he deleted the images from the game cams after downloading them to his computer. Forkner: “Did you confront Perry about deleting the images from the game cams?” Evers: “Yes.” Forkner: “Did Kirk Bunch confront Perry about deleting the images from the game cams?” Evers: “Yes.” Forkner: “What did you tell Perry about deleting the pictures from the game cams?” Evers: “I told him to preserve all the images, and to stop deleting the images from the game cams.” Forkner: “When did you find out Perry was deleting images from the game cams?” Evers: “The first time he went up and retrieved the images.” Evers: “He said he did not see any people on the images.” Evers testified that he did not know if images from any vehicles were deleted from the game cams. Evers testifies that Perry brought his computer with an image of a person of interest in this case. He stated that this person was associated with Bobby Tickner. Evers states that Bobby Tickner was also a person of interest in this case. Forkner: “Did a white pickup truck owned by Bobby Tickner come involved?” Evers: “Yes.” Forkner: “Did this pickup truck come up during one of the statements from Michael Cooley?” Evers: “I don’t recall.” Forkner: “Did Michael Cooley describe Korey Kauffman’s body being put in a white pickup truck that matched the description of Tickner’s truck?” Evers: “I don’t remember.” I remember something about this earlier in this Preliminary Hearing. Forkner: “Was the pickup truck white, full sized?” Evers: “Yes.” Evers states that David McMillan and Jason Armstrong were all friends of Kevin Pickett.
Forkner: “Was anybody captured on the game cams?” Evers: “David McMillan.” Evers said he was able to identify McMillan on the game cam image from information from Kirk Bunch. Evers states that the information about the grave site came from Kevin Pickett. Apparently, he had gone up to the forest, and came across the grave site which was marked with pink flags. Forkner: “Was there a name on the pink flags?” Evers: “No.” Forkner: “Was this before the Robert Woody arrest?” Evers: “Yes.” Forkner: “Was this before he told Miranda Dykes Korey Kauffman’s body was laid on the ground?” Evers: “Yes.” Forkner: “Was the picture of David McMillan ever printed?” Evers: “I think so, not sure.” Forkner speaks about the transcripts as to how they concern this issue. It is now time for lunch.
It is now 1:35PM, and we are back with the 1385 motion. Maureen Keller takes the stand. She is the Chief Public Defender for Stanislaus County. She states that in her 21 years with the Public Defender’s Office she has never had access to the jail visitation logs. She states that she has had to subpoena them in order to get them. She states that the Public Defender’s Office does not have access to the jail visitation logs. Keller: “We do not now.” It seems the Public Defender’s access to ICJAS is limited, and they can’t access the jail visitation logs. She states that they can’t access the booking information, or the visitation logs.
Evers comes back to the stand. Evers states that Kevin Pickett came by Pop N Cork Liquors and spoke about how he ran into Jason Armstrong, and how Armstrong had told him he could take Pickett up to the grave site of Korey Kauffman. Evers states that this was before Miranda Dykes wore the body wire. He states that Kevin Pickett, Jason Armstrong, David McMillan, and Bobby Tickner had been to the grave site, and that they knew where the grave site was. Forkner: “Where is the photo of David McMillan?” Evers: “Don’t know.” Forkner: “You reviewed the CD’s” Evers: “Yes.” Forkner: “Did you see the picture of McMillan?” Evers: “No” Evers: “It wasn’t there, I don’t know happened to it.”
Forkner speaks about game came one. He speaks about a three picture gap in the sequentially numbered pictures that were initially taken on this game cam. Evers admits that the three images are missing. Evers states he doesn’t know what pictures are missing on these three images. Forkner: “Were there images of guns?” Evers: “Yes.” Forkner: “Camouflage?” Evers: “Yes.” Evers states that the picture of McMillan had him in camouflage with no weapon, and his face was painted. Forkner: “Did you see anything in the background?” Evers: “Don’t remember.” Forkner: “See any vehicles?” Evers: “No.” Evers states he saw only trees in the background. Evers states that McMillan was looking at the game cam and was smiling. (Like he knew it was there.) Forkner: “Were there any pictures of Bobby Tickner?” Evers: “No.” Forkner: “Did you question Perry on the deleting?” Evers: “Yes.” Evers: “He said he deleted all the first pictures from the game cams.” Evers testifies that Derek Perry had the game cam pictures stored in his garage. Judge Zuniga ordered Perry to search his house, because initially he said he could not find them. Forkner: “Why were these pictures at Derek Perry’s house?” Evers: “I don’t know.” Forkner: “Was there an investigation about Bobby Tickner’s marijuana grow site?” This was objected to, and Forkner states that this grow site was very close to where the body of Korey Kauffman was found. Forkner states that the Stanislaus National Forest is millions of acres, and this was a needle in a haystack situation.
Marlisa Ferreira takes over asking Evers questions. She brings out through Evers that Officer Perry reviewed nothing but trees on the initial deleted game cam images, and that is why he deleted the pictures. Evers testifies that David McMillan found out about the grave site from hunter David Crosby who showed the grave site to him. Marlisa Ferreira states that McMillan was dressed in hunting attire, and had gone up to the mountains to hunt. It was deer hunting season. Evers testifies that Johnny Padilla had talked about a white pickup truck, and had done an investigation on this truck. Evers testifies that the white pickup truck had been towed before the murder of Korey Kauffman, and was still in the tow yard when Korey Kauffman was allegedly murdered. This, according to Evers, is how the investigators eliminated Bobby Tickner from this investigation. Marlisa Ferreira is repeatedly warned by Judge Zuniga to slow down. She must have had way too much caffeine during lunch. The judge’s warnings went in one ear and out the other. Marlisa brings out through Evers that the body of Korey Kauffman had been found in August of 2013, and that the information was announced to the public at the same time. Evers testifies that he could not see the hands of David McMillan in the game cam photo, and could therefore not see if he was carrying a gun. Evers testifies that nothing could be deleted from the CD’s because they were CDR’s. CDR’s can’t be deleted and used again. They are a “Read only” format. During Evers testimony, I can see Kirk Bunch nervously pumping his foot under his desk. Again, Marlisa Ferreira is warned to slow down.
Evers testifies that the information about the body being found was let out to see if any of the people the investigators had interviewed would go up to the grave site. Evers testifies that none of the three main suspects had been interviewed at that time. Evers states that the suspects in this case included Baljit Athwal, Daljit Atwal, Frank Carson, and Robert Woody. What about Michael Cooley? Evers tells Ferreira that he does not remember if the picture of David McMillan was taken during the daytime or during the night. Evers states that David McMillan was cooperative when interviewed by the investigators. Evers states that Jason Armstrong was cooperative.
Defense attorney Peter Rodriguez asks Evers if the first set of game cam images were deleted from the game cams. Evers: “That is what I was told.” Evers speaks about the three deleted pictures. Evers: “Those pictures got copied over.”
Defense attorney Robert Forkner takes over with Evers. He asks Evers if his 07/01/2016 report is in front of him. Evers: “Yes.” Forkner: “Did you get 7 CD’s from the DA’s office to review?” Evers: “yes.” Evers said this report was prepared in 2016, much later than when the events occurred. The report was prepared after Judge Zuniga ordered it to be done. Forkner: “In the press release about finding the body, did you give the name of the road?” Evers: “No.” Forkner: “Did you give the GPS coordinates in the press release?” Evers: “No.” Forkner: “Did you just say the body was found in the Stanislaus National Forest?” Evers: “Yes.” Forkner: “Is there millions of acres in the Stanislaus National Forest?” Evers: “Yes.” Forkner shows how in all of the CD’s, only three of the images were missing.
Defense attorney Peter Rodriguez: “Why did you not go to the computer to see what the three images that were missing were?” Evers: “I don’t know.” It is now time for our 3:00PM break.
We start up again at 3:20PM. Marlisa calls Robert Dan Tres to the stand. He is the Senior Software Developer at the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. He states that the Public Defenders do have access to the “Jail screens.” This was objected to by Robert Forkner. Forkner states that this whole issue centers on the Jail visitation logs only. Judge Zuniga: “They are saying that you misled the court on access to the jail visitor’s log.” Judge Zuniga rules that Marlisa’s question was not relevant. Forkner: “Was the visitors log available to the Public Defender’s Office?” Dan Tres: “No.” Forkner: “Why?” “Dan Tres: “I don’t know.” It has not been available for the Public Defender’s Office for the last 14 years. Forkner: “Is it available for the Superior Court?” Dan Tres: “Yes.”
It is now announced that we will be back in the courtroom tomorrow at 1:30PM to continue the Trombetta Motion. Kirk Bunch gets back on the stand and lists a couple of Judge’s and a couple of clerks in the Superior Court that have access to the jail visitation logs. One of the judges was Dawna Reeves. It is now announced that we will be in court Monday at 11:00AM.
Defense attorney Peter Rodriguez asks Dan Tres if he personally knows if people listed on a list have jail house visitation access. He does not know.
Kirk Bunch is now back on the stand. Marlisa: “When you saw the picture of McMillan, was it during the day or the night?” Bunch: “Day.” Marlisa: “Did you tell Perry to preserve the pictures?” Bunch: “Yes.” Bunch testifies that the picture of McMillan showed him in hunting attire with a younger child. Marlisa: “Was there a report done on this?” Bunch: “Yes, by Lingerfeldt.” Marlisa: “Did you attempt to get the photos from Perry on other occasions?” Bunch: “No.” Bunch testified that he spoke with Perry on the phone and told him that Judge Zuniga wanted him to check his property and look for the photos.
Robert Forkner asks Bunch questions now. He brings out that Derek Perry lied about Kirk Bunch asking him to go to the Ceres Police Department to look at the game cam photos. Forkner: “Did Jason Armstrong refuse a polygraph?” Bunch reluctantly admits that Jason Armstrong refused the polygraph. He states that Special Agent Brody was present to do the polygraph. Forkner: “Did you go to the Ceres Police Department to look at the game cam pictures?” Bunch: “No.” Bunch testifies that he never used Perry’s computer to show photos from the game cam to others. Bunch testifies that he saw the picture of David McMillan only once. We are now done for the day.
We are going to continue this hearing on September 28th. Walter Wells arraignment is scheduled for October 18th. This took me five hours. Time for a Coors Light.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)