Week 4, Day 13

Court resumed this morning at 9:30AM sharp. At 9:42 I detected the smell of a dirty rat in the courtroom. The courthouse is ancient, and dilapidated, this must be the reason for my sensory overload. Perhaps the county needs to hire a pest control company to sort things out.

We start out with private investigator John Hodson being called to the stand. Defense attorney Percy Martinez starts out asking Hodson questions. He asks Hodson if he had contacted law enforcement in 2013 concerning private investigator Steve Duden. John Hodson said that he had not. In his questioning, Percy Martinez gets Hodson to admit that there was a meeting on 11/08/2013 at his office where Steve Duden was discussed with DA Investigator Kirk Bunch. John Hodson testified that he saw his wife Ali Hodson viewing some papers that Steve Duden had brought over for her to see. John Hodson states that he was present in 2011 when Steve Duden had brought over some papers for his ex-wife to view.

John Hodson testifies that both he and his ex-wife had spoken to Kirk Bunch in 2013, and that their bail bonds business had already ceased operation at the time of the visit. He testified that they had opened up a private investigator business named Hodson and Hodson Investigations. Hodson testifies that this business was formed in May of 2011. John Hodson states that he was working on the Frank Drummond case at the end of 2011. He states that he quit working on the Drummond case in October of 2011. John Hodson testifies that he was initially hired by Frank Drummond.

John Hodson tells Percy Martinez that he worked for attorney Mark Sullivan during the Frank Drummond case, and had been directed by Mr. Sullivan to send his billing to Frank Carson. Hodson testifies that he does not remember Frank Carson “Letting him go.” Hodson testifies that he is aware of the duty of private investigators to maintain confidentiality for their clients.

Percy Martinez asks John Hodson if after the 11/08/2013 meeting with DA Investigator Kirk Bunch he had an incident with a rat showing up on the doorstep of their house. Hodson: “Yes.” Hodson states that he was not present when the rat was found. Percy asks Hodson if this incident occurred in 2014. Hodson: “I don’t recall.” Percy Martinez: “Did you ever contact law enforcement concerning this rat incident?” Hodson: “Yes.” Percy: “Did you contact law enforcement in 2016 concerning this?” Hodson: “I don’t recall.” Hodson testifies that he contacted Detective Corey Brown concerning the rat incident, and intimidation. He testifies that he never took a photograph of the dead rat. He testifies that he told Detective Brown that he told Detective Brown that the dead rat was put on his doorstep for intimidation purposes. He testifies that he felt this intimidation was related to the statements that he had given DA Investigator Kirk Bunch on 11/08/2013. Hodson talks about other instances of intimidation. He testifies about a burglary at his office in 2014. After refreshing his memory, he agrees that the burglary occurred in March of 2014. Hodson testifies that his office is within 25-30 feet of Frank Carson’s office. John Hodson states that he told the police that he believed Frank Carson was involved in the burglary at his office.

John Hodson states that he gave his reports on Frank Drummond to attorney Mark Sullivan. He states that he told the police that he believed that Frank Drummond and Steve Duden were also involved in the burglary of his office. He testifies that he did not recall when his wife Ali Hodson was working on the fugitive recovery of Joshua Ware. Hodson did not recall if he and his wife were separating in December of 2013. Hodson begins to get very testy on the stand. This man has a temper. He gets testy again after Percy Martinez tries to refresh his memory with some paperwork. Hodson says he does not recall if Kirk Bunch met with his wife Ali on 11/08/2013.

Percy Martinez hits a nerve with Hodson when he asks him if he was aware that his wife was disclosing information to investigators on Frank Drummond in 2015. John Hodson: “I think that is a lie, and I think you know it is a lie.” Objection, sustained. Oh Johnny, you are such a tool. Percy: “On the day that Steve Duden showed up and was showing your wife something did he come back on another day?” Duden: “I don’t recall.” It seems like this private investigator has a recall problem. Percy tries to refresh Hodson’s memory with some papers, and Hodson states that Duden had come back on several occasions. Percy asks Hodson if Steve Duden had come back and said that Frank Carson had told him that he wanted a GPS tracking device put on a vehicle. Hodson: “I don’t recall.” Percy Martinez: “Nothing further.”

Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson starts asking the questions from John Hodson. Hans: “Was the conversation between you, your wife Ali, and Steve Duden?” Hodson: “No, Duden was talking to my wife.” Hans gets Hodson to testify that Steve Duden was talking to his wife before Hodson was a private investigator. Hodson: “He was showing her
some papers.” It was brought out that the Hodsons had separated in December of 2016, but were still living in the same house. He testifies that he subsequently moved into another house, and that she remained in their original house.


John Hodson tells Hans Hjertonsson that the rat incident occurred after the burglary of his office. John Hodson was not home at the time that the rat was found. He testifies that the rat was in the back yard when it was shown to him. John Hodson testifies that the rat was cut open or squashed when he viewed it, and that he believed that the rat was meant as a threat. He testifies that he contacted Detective Corey Brown concerning the rat incident. He testifies this was done either on the same day, or the next day. Hodson testifies that there was no follow up on the rat incident by Detective Brown. He testifies that he has spoken to Detective Brown around 15 times since 2013.

John Hodson testifies that $200.00 was taken during the burglary of his office. He had to be refreshed to remember this fact. Hans Hjertonsson: “Nothing further.”

Defense attorney Jai Gohel takes over asking Hodson questions. Jai: “On 11/08/2013 when you spoke to Kirk Bunch, Jon Evers, and Ali Hodson did you ever say that you spoke to the police earlier?” John Hodson: “Yes.” Hodson states that he can’t recall telling anyone that he was providing information about Frank Carson. He speaks about a general conversation that he had in 2015. Jai Gohel: “Nobody knew you had spoken to the police concerning Frank Carson until after the burglary at your office?” John Hodson: “Correct.”

Jai Gohel brings out that Frank Carson was arrested in August of 2015, which was certainly after the Frank Drummond case. Hodson has a problem knowing that fact. Hodson testifies that he and his wife were living in a house, and that they had a cat. John Hodson now testifies that the rat did not look chewed up, and that he had first seen it on the welcome mat on his front door. This conflicts with his earlier testimony that he first saw the rat in the back yard. John Hodson testifies that the dead rat was buried by one of his sons. He makes some comment about a funeral for the rat. He testifies that law enforcement never came over to his house to investigate the dead rat. Jai Gohel: “Nothing further.”

It is now 11:08AM, and Marlisa Ferreira begins to ask John Hodson the questions. Marlisa: “On cross examination you were asked about a three-person case.” Marlisa: “Were you fired for doing bad work on the case?” Hodson: “I don’t recall.” Marlisa gets Hodson to state that he had been hired by Frank Drummond, and that Mark Sullivan was initially the defense attorney on the case. Hodson testifies that Frank Carson became the defense attorney about two months later. Hodson testifies that he had built up some charges that were sent to Frank Carson after he had taken over the case, and the charges were eventually paid by Stanislaus County. Marlisa gets John Hodson to testify that he was summoned to testify on the issue between attorney Mark Sullivan and Frank Drummond. He stated that he had problems with Frank Carson after the Frank Drummond case had concluded. Hodson testifies that he had seen a document that appeared to be written on DA Office stationary that seemed to prove that the Hodsons were acting as snitches for the DA’s Office. He states that attorney Tye Bogan said that this was proof that the Hodsons were snitches for the DA’s Office, and that the Hodsons could not work for him anymore. John Hodson states that Frank Drummond was the first person that his wife Ali Hodson had bailed out. Marlisa asks John Hodson why he believes Carson, Drummond, and Duden were involved in the burglary of his office. Hodson:”Because things of value were not taken, and a file concerning Drummond had been left out on a desk.” John Hodson said that he had a “tentative relationship” with Steve Duden. He testifies that he never offered information on Frank Carson before the 2013 visit from Kirk Bunch. He starts to free- lance, and talk about his situation when Judge Zuniga sends the jury out for an early lunch. I don’t think she was liking what he was about to talk about. John Hodson is now asked to step down and leave the courtroom. At this time I notice attorney Robert Winston leaving the courtroom. He has been there lately, and I now realize that he is probably representing John Hodson.

Marlisa Ferreira tells the judge that Frank Drummond had sued attorney Mark Sullivan for violation of the attorney client privilege. Judge Zuniga still seems to be questioning Marlisa’s line of questioning, and how it relates to this case. Judge Zuniga: “I can’t
let you proceed with this line of questioning.” Judge Zuniga goes over a couple of other concerns that she has. Judge Zuniga: “I don’t know what he is going to say.” This comment concerned a question made by Marlisa where she asked Hodson if he was scared to testify today. Judge Zuniga is concerned that the threats and Frank Carson are getting linked up, and she does not want to let this happen. Judge Zuniga is not going to let John Hodson say anything more than he and his wife were concerned about things that had happened to them. Judge Zuniga instructs Marlisa that she will not be allowed to ask a follow up question to his response. We are now done with the morning session. I will be there tomorrow morning to report on the morning session.

Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)





One comment

  1. if you have a burglary you remember it. Come on lets get real here. Details are easy if are honest.

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