RUMORS OF AN ATTY WITHDRAWING
by Marty Carlson
We had long lunch hour today because the judge had a meeting with some of the court personnel as far as the juror displacement and the tables and such for the trial.
During that time, I had heard drift that attorney Robert Forkner was withdrawing as one of Frank Carson’s attorneys. I had no confirmation at that time. And was unable to talk to Robert Forkner as he was busy in court
The afternoon session started at 1420 hrs. and the judge discussed what is going to happen when the first jury panels are brought up on January 9, 2018. Each day there would be 110 jurors brought into the courtroom and expect the hardship to go in till January 26, 2018. Then going through the questionnaires there will be some time off for the attorneys and then return for Voir dire on February 6, 2018.
The judge also noted in Stanislaus County that jurors do not normally wear identification badges, so people know not to talk to them or interact during the trial. She stated they will start wearing badges as of today. And I personally think is a very good idea.
Moving back to Percy Martinez’s motions on behalf of Frank Carson:
Motion #3 regarded speaking objections will not be allowed as it’s already been addressed but the judge did make note that many of the attorneys were guilty of that but also looked at Marlisa Ferreira when she said that.
Motion #4 they again started talking about any offers that have been made to Victor Navarre, again he’s an inmate in custody on a homicide charge, and Mme. district attorney did advise that he 21-year offer has been made to Navarre. That offer was also made prior to any contacts regarding the Frank Carson case. Marlisa Ferreira also noted that Navarre had contacted them, they did not contact him.
Percy Martinez argued people like Mr. Navarre seem to be lining up with the District Attorney’s Office to make statements and get deals on their pending cases. He noted that he is expecting any information from the District Attorney’s Office about anybody that’s talk to type of people in any offers that are made on or off the record, in court, or in private. He also mentioned the subject by the name of Michael O’Neill who was apparently made some statements to law enforcement and again is requesting any other offers or benefits on these witness’s cases.
Mme. district attorney stated that she will have the law enforcement officers that have been talking to these gentlemen right memos or reports regarding what was said how it was said and how contact was made.
Jai Gohel also asked to be advised if they delay in their sensing seen, like Robert Woody, until after the trial is over to be disclosed.
Judge Zuniga stated the memos will cover all of this.
Percy Martinez also noted that the district attorney’s offers of immunity that the DA has mentioned regarding Navarre or O’Neill are not listed in their immunity motions.
Mme. district attorney said if O’Neill were to be called they would discover.
Percy Martinez argued originally the district attorney said the DA was not going to call Mr. O’Neill and now appears to be changing their story.
Motion #5 Percy Martinez requests that the district attorney or investigators do not talk to any witness once they have taken the stand as has been the case in the past with Linda Sue Burns by Kirk Bunch.
Attorney Hans requested there be no contact whatsoever, but the judge said that was too broad is there may be asked a stringent circumstance causing a necessity. The judge granted the motion with that last stipulation.
Motion #6 they again asked there be no leading questions, and this is already being covered in previous motions and again the judge looked at Marlisa Ferreira in that regard.
Motion #7 Ban any of questions or conversation with any witness while there on the stand regarding being called co-conspirators, or uncharged co-conspirators. The judge did say a put the cloud over the witness when they are testifying and agreed. But there may be some exceptions if a proper foundation has been laid and cleared with the judge first.
Mme. DA argued that they believe there are several more people involved in this case that have not been charged or been dismissed. Georgia DeFilippo, Christine DeFilippo, due to the wiretaps and texts. She also noted that Ryan Schmidt, the caretaker at the Frank Carson property, had been at the Frank Carson residence several days during that time.
Judge Zuniga stated that uncharged in spirit is s a legal term that jurors may not understand. And stating uncharged conspirators in your opening statements creates an argumentative situation.
Motion #8 they are requesting there be legal objections and the court needs to rule on the evidential value of the objection, so there is no set way this can be done at this time motion denied.
Motion #9 there are requesting that no personal attacks on the opposition during any type of arguments discussions or questioning of witnesses. Mme. district attorney stated that that motion is too broad. In judge Zuniga stated it is improper argument when some of the lawyers tend to make up some things to prove a point. So, it will not be allowed disparage other people and his property court decorum anyway.
Motion #10 Percy Martinez made a motion that there be no arguments regarding the term prestigious, Marlisa Ferreira stated that the District Attorney’s Office is not prestigious anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
Motion #11 a lot of questions were asked of Robert Woody that the DA tried to change his testimony. Robert Woody denied many things originally been changed it throughout his statements and eventually change somewhat during his testimony. Kirk Bunch had gotten him to say it was the Atwals when it was not originally said it was. The judge did not agree with this one at all and denied the motion.
Motion#12 testimony of known false witnesses like Beverly Woody, making the claims of Frank Carson being on the property that night, the District Attorney’s Office should question these witnesses for the validity and accuracy of their testimony and statements. Any false or perjured testimony will not be allowed.
Judge Zuniga stated that any prosecutor that knowingly puts on perjured testimony will cause an immediate reversal of any conviction. She also noted if Beverly Woody is called to the stand it will require a 402 hearing as an offer of proof. It was Beverly Woody that took the information from Robin at and Hoffer letter on Robert Woody. Beverly Woody’s testimony be problematic.
Percy Martinez said the letter was not written by Robin Attenhoffer as proven by an expert as they had it examined. He also noted there is no telling what Patrick Hampton will say on the stand. The DA has responsibility to ensure accurate and not deliberately perjured or testimony abusive towards the defendants or any attorneys.
We had taken the afternoon break and when we came back in the judge stated that she had received an email from the special master, who still supposedly has possession of Frank Carson’s computers, stating he has trouble complying with the court order to provide a copy of the image. The person who is now in possession of this computer needs more time. There seem to be major confusion between the special master in the court and the new people in possession of the computer. The judge advised the DA to deal with the situation as their compliance date is tomorrow.
Motion #13 the fence is asking the prosecutor to filter any statements that are not legally permissible, or volunteers more information than asked for. Percy stated that Kurt Bunch does this all the time, Patrick Hampton is constantly same prejudicial statements on the stand, Jim Cook provided more information than what is asked and needs to be admonished.
Judge Zuniga stated that Jim Cook was much better in the second preliminary hearing apparently had been reined in somewhat. There is also a long discussion regarding rambling answers and the DA said she will impress upon her witnesses of the proper ways of testifying. The judge granted this motion.
Motion #14 Percy Martinez again stated that any witnesses that are in the system, as in custody or pending cases, or about to get out, once again another disclosure of all benefits granted or promised. The judge stated that’s already been ruled on and there is some more information to be made available but has agreed.
Motion #15 the judge noted it’s the same type of motion is number 14 as it spout solicitations for benefits and/or immunity asked for or given by any witness or counsel.
Marlisa Ferreira’s stated her motion say who may request immunity went on the stand.
Percy Martinez argued people must give notice that there giving immunity to people in that invoke the right to remain silent if they have a pending case. The District Attorney’s Office would have prior knowledge and it is known, normally, way in advance.
Jai Gohel stated that there is a list by the district attorney that they may give Victor Navarre immunity or is asked for immunity, so he is asking for the agreements as it sounds like one’s been made for immunity.
Judge Zuniga stated she never allows any attorney to go into charges against the witness that has a pending or open case. She also noted if the district attorney does not comply with proper discovery of the information prior to these witnesses testifying there will be serious consequences as she will not be as lenient as he was in the past.
Motion #16 they said had already been handled through other motions. I have no idea what was.
Motion #17 Percy Martinez argued that the DAs representation of what happened with Robert Forkner and Beverly Woody was not true, which included the DA saying Robert Forkner tried to visit Woody at the jail and he said that never happened. He stated if the defense wants to talk to Beverly Woody or any other witness the DA is not to interfere or run interference for them. Investigators will continue to go out and talk to witnesses.
Judge Zuniga noted if witnesses do not want to talk they don’t have to in the district attorney knows very well not to tell witnesses not to talk to defense attorneys are investigators.
Marlisa Ferreira wanted to clarify that Beverly Woody had contacted the District Attorney’s Office to complain about Robert Forkner visiting her house. Marlisa Ferreira also noted that time that Robert Forkner approached her in the hallways today and stated that he is no longer on the case. But apparently there’s been no motion to withdraw as attorney of record to the court. It’s unknown what the status is currently.
Judge Zuniga noted she needs to know if that’s true or not, so he can stop being served with the documents when they’re sent out.
Motion #18 they said had already been covered they didn’t even say what it was.
Motion #19 a motion to ensure prosecutors are not allowing testimony knowing the information may not be accurate. Pretty much our he been covered the judge said the prosecution has an obligation to ensure accurate testimony.
Motion #20 a motion to prohibit the use of what they referred to as a jigsaw puzzle to show standard information like in a display or a poster board to a jury. Percy Martinez stated it is confusing to church.
Judge Zuniga gives some case law about reasonable doubt and told everyone to not do it is problematic.
Motion #21 a requirement that requires immunity notification during trial, if they have advance notice that they’re going to refuse to testify.
Motion #22 the jury instructions and procedures of trial shall be put in place in the of course the judge granted that one. She also noted that she normally uses a different jury instruction manual but in this case, she is required to give the Cal Crim. instructions, a modified version.
Motion #23 a motion to prohibit speculation by any witness including investigators while there on the stand again another no-brainer.
At this time, it was the end of the day and cork went into recess to be returned at 9:30am tomorrow for ½ a day of court