FRANK CARSON ET AL CASE
FOR ALL THE MARBLES
BY WILLIAM THOMAS JENSEN (TOM)
Week 4 day 14
Today, court started out early for a change. I checked my watch as the jury was ushered into the courtroom, and it was 9:23AM. This is simply amazing to me after the history of late starts I have endured.
We start out with Detective Frank Navarro on the stand. I must say that Navarro is better on the stand than any of the other investigators involved in this case. DA Prosecutor Marlisa Ferreira starts out asking Navarro questions. Marlisa asks him what he did working with the group (Task Force) that was investigating the disappearance of Korey Kauffman. She was specifically asking him about his work during the first week on the case. Navarro answers that he interviewed family members and friends of Korey Kauffman in an effort to locate Korey Kauffman. Marlisa asks Navarro about an interview done on 07/10/2012 where he spoke to Daljit Atwal. He testifies that the interview was done at Pop N Cork Liquors on East Ave. in Turlock. Navarro was accompanied on this interview by DA Investigator Kirk Bunch, and the interview was recorded. Navarro testified that Daljit Atwal was the subject of a wire- tap at the time of this interview. Navarro said the purpose of the interview was to get information for the investigation. Frank Navarro states that Daljit Atwal was working behind the counter of Pop N Cork Liquors when they entered the store. He testified that they went to the back of the store to a room that Daljit Atwal described as a bar. Navarro testified that Daljit told him that he normally began work between 3:30PM and 4:00PM and worked until Midnight on week days and 2:00AM on weekends. Navarro testified that he returned later on that same day to see Daljit Atwal to ask him a question concerning Michael Cooley. He asked Daljit if he knew Michael Cooley, and Daljit said that he did not. Navarro asked Daljit if he had any information concerning Michael Cooley, and Daljit told him that he had no information concerning him. Navarro asked Daljit if he had ever had a confrontation with Michael Cooley, and Daljit denied ever having one.
The name Keith Hobbs came up during questions from Marlisa Ferreira, and Navarro says that Keith Hobbs is Eula Keyes son. Navarro asked Daljit if he had ever gone to the recycling center, and Daljit said that he had not. Navarro asked Daljit if Robert Woody worked for him, and Daljit said that he did not work for him. Marlisa asks Navarro if he asked a question to Daljit concerning Frank Carson. Navarro said that he did ask such a question. Navarro said that Daljit told him that Frank Carson was an old man who was kind of goofy. Daljit said that he was not friends with Frank Carson, but that his brother Baljit Athwal was friends with Frank Carson. Navarro testifies that Daljit Atwal told him that he had never made any threats to Michael Cooley. Daljit told Navarro that he had seen Frank Carson only one time. He saw Frank Carson in court when Robert Woody had been accused of receiving stolen property, and Frank Carson was representing Robert Woody. It ended up that Robert Woody’s brother was the one who received the stolen property. Daljit told Navarro that they did not pay Frank Carson to represent Robert Woody. Daljit said that the case against Robert Woody had been dismissed. During this interview, Navarro testified that he saw a bulge in the pants of Daljit Atwal, and Daljit Atwal showed him a handgun that was in a holster.
Marlisa Ferreira now asks Navarro about a 07/15/12 interview of Daljit Atwal at the Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department. Daljit told him that he and his brother Baljit Athwal were the owners of Pop N Cork Liquors. Once again Daljit Atwal was asked if Robert Woody was an employee of Pop N Cork Liquors. This time Daljit told him that Robert Woody was not an employee, but would go the store and help with things and they would pay him for his help. Daljit Atwal told Navarro that he did not know Korey Kauffman. Daljit told Navarro that he had no involvement in the disappearance of Korey Kauffman. Daljit recognized a picture shown him of Frank Carson. Daljit Atwal told Navarro that he did not know where the Carson property was located.
Marlisa Ferreira now asks Navarro about an interview that was done on 07/11/2012 with Baljit Athwal. This interview was done at Pop N Cork Liquors. Kirk Bunch accompanied Navarro for this interview. Navarro said that a subsequent interview was done with Baljit Athwal. Navarro said that this interview was recorded. Navarro said that the second interview was done at Starbucks, and that Baljit had given the investigators a piece of paper. This paper was the famous “Stolen book alert” that had been prepared by Frank Carson. Navarro has a copy of this stolen book alert in court with him. On this paper, Frank Carson had listed many antique leather bound books that had been stolen from him, and the names of Eula Keyes, Michael Cooley, and Linda Sue Burns listed as suspects. Frank had instructed people to contact the Sheriffs Department, or himself and his family concerning any information related to these stolen books. Navarro testified that he worked on this missing persons case for two months, and then Officer Tim Redd took over for him on the case. Navarro testified that he returned to the investigation after the body of Korey Kauffman was found in the mountains near Mariposa. Korey Kauffman’s body was found. Navarro testifies that he came back to the case to ask Frank Carson questions concerning the case. Navarro states that he was asking questions about Frank Carson because Daljit Atwal, Baljit Athwal, and Robert Woody had brought up Frank Carson’s name.
Frank Navarro testifies that he went to Frank Carson’s office on 07/12/2012 to conduct an interview. He stated that a lady was sitting at the desk when he entered the office. He said that Frank Carson came out and invited the investigators to go to a conference room. After a few questions, Frank Carson told him to put his questions in writing, and asked him to leave. Navarro testified that this meeting was recorded.
Marlisa brings out a CD, and it is entered into evidence. The CD is played for the jury. We can hear Frank Carson telling Navarro to put his questions into writing, and telling Navarro: “I have tried to be civil with you, I have a witness now, I know how you do things, put your questions in writing, and leave. Marlisa Ferreira asks Navarro if he left, and he said that he did leave. Marlisa asks Navarro if he put his questions into writing, and Navarro said that he did so, and delivered them to Frank Carson. Navarro testified that he never got any response to the questions that he gave Frank Carson.
Judge Zuniga now states that it is time for the jury to have their morning recess. They are taken out of the courtroom. Frank Navarro steps down from the witness stand. Now it gets interesting folks. Marty Carlson voluntarily leaves the courtroom at this time. Marlisa Ferreira starts talking about an incident that occurred during the Motions Illiminae proceedings that happened before the actual trial began. Marlisa states that Frank Carson had accosted Frank Navarro, Kirk Bunch, and Jon Evers while leaving the courtroom. Apparently Frank Carson told the investigators that they were all: “Pieces of Shit” as he walked past them while leaving the courtroom. This was apparently witnessed by Marty Carlson, and Marlisa Ferreira claims that Marty Carlson made a comment to Kirk Bunch that: “That was totally inappropriate.” I think that Marty may be drug into this situation. The tight rope that he and I walk every day reporting this trial is narrow indeed. Marlisa Ferreira states that this incident has been provided to in discovery. Judge Zuniga states that she received this information on 04/02/2018. None of the defense attorneys wanted to say anything concerning this situation. Judge Zuniga states that this issue is relevant, and that she will allow it to be used by Marlisa Ferreira.
Marlisa Ferreira now goes into an issue that involves one of her overt acts that she claims in this case. She starts talking about how the Athwal brothers had filed complaints against Frank Navarro, and I believe other investigators involved in this case. Marlisa states that she wants to ask Frank Navarro about that issue in the presence of the jury. Defense attorney Percy Martinez states that she should only be allowed to ask Navarro if a complaint was filed, but that the rest is irrelevant. Marlisa seems to want to bring up an internal investigation that was done, but the Turlock Police Department could claim privilege on this investigation. Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson states that he still has not been provided requested information concerning this issue. Hans states that during the preliminary hearing, Marlisa had tried to ask Navarro: “Based on that complaint, were you disciplined?” Hans states that the judge did not allow her to ask that question. Hans: “Now, Marlisa is going into it.” Defense attorney Jai Gohel states: “This is 352, if there was any internal affairs investigation we will get into a wild goose chase.”
Marlisa Ferreira states that the defense has claimed that the officers had a vendetta against Frank Carson. She states that this is central to their defense theories. Marlisa states that the People need to rebut their complaint. She states that the complaint was dismissed, and that the dismissal is relevant to negate the defense. Defense attorney Percy Martinez states that the dismissal of the complaint is relevant, but any other information is not relevant. Percy: “They can’t get into the dismissal without bringing in the Turlock Police Department.” Judge Zuniga states that this situation is problematic, and that she will have to think things through. She tells Marlisa the issue is relevant, but that if she goes into it, she is opening up a door to an internal affairs investigation, and the agency has a right to assert privilege. Judge Zuniga states that Frank Navarro has been the focus of a lot of negative comments, and she needs to think about it. Judge Zuniga: “This is really a slippery slope.”
Marlisa Ferreira now asks the judge about the dismissed civil law suit that was made by the Athwal brothers. Judge Zuniga comments that Marlisa Ferreira is now using this for a different purpose. Judge Zuniga tells Marlisa that she can only bring up the fact that it was dismissed. The judge states that Navarro can’t bring that out because that would be hearsay. Judge Zuniga states that she is concerned about the Pichess Motion. At 11:17, she instructs the bailiff to get the jurors. Marty Carlson is allowed to re-enter the courtroom at this time. I don’t think we have heard the last of the issue that involves Marty.
Frank Navarro is brought back to the stand after the jury is seated. Marlisa Ferreira tells Navarro that he was called to testify on 03/28/2018. Navarro states that he was seated in the audience with Kirk Bunch and Jon Evers. Navarro describes how Frank Carson was seated at the council’s table. Navarro states that as court was recessing, Frank Carson was walking out, and stared at the investigators, and called them: “A piece of shit.” Navarro testified that after that, Frank Carson left.
Marlisa Ferreira then asks Frank Navarro if he participated in the arrest of Daljit Atwal. Navarro said that he did participate in the arrest. Navarro said that he had further contact with Daljit Atwal after the two interviews that he had done on Daljit.
Defense attorney Percy Martinez asks Navarro about 07/12/2012 when he went to Frank Carson’s office. Navarro states that he had been on the case since 05/08/2012. Navarro testifies that an officer named Jason Tosta had declined to be involved in the Korey Kauffman investigation after being briefed. Navarro said that he was summoned, and agreed to participate in the investigation. Navarro said that he did not know that Frank Carson was involved at that time. Frank Navarro testified that he knew at that time that Korey Kauffman was last seen at Michael Cooley’s house. He testified that the investigation became a murder investigation between 05/09/2012 and 07/12/2012. Navarro seemed to not remember when the body of Korey Kauffman had been found. After Percy Martinez refreshes his memory, it is brought out that Korey Kauffman’s body was found on August 19, 2013.
Percy points out to Navarro that when he went to Frank Carson’s office to interview him, that he was already speaking of a murder investigation. Navarro testified that he was working on several murder investigations, and he was not talking about the Korey Kauffman murder investigation. His nose seemed to grow significantly at that point to me. Percy Martinez gets Navarro to admit that Frank Carson had told him that his father had just died, and that Frank wanted him to put his questions into writing, and that Navarro had never said that Frank Carson was uncooperative. Percy gets Navarro to say that during the 07/10/2012 interview of Daljit Atwal, Daljit explained that Baljit Athwal had hired Frank Carson to represent Robert Woody, and that Daljit Atwal had told Navarro that he did not pay Frank Carson any money. Percy asks Navarro if he had asked Daljit Atwal if he had gone to Michael Cooley’s house. Navarro said that he did ask this questsion to Daljit Atwal. Percy Martinez attempts to ask Navarro why he asked this question. Judge Zuniga states: “Folks, it is time for the lunch recess.” It is now only 11:42AM. For some reason, she did not like that question. Judge Zuniga tells Percy Martinez that he will have to get to this some other way. I really don’t understand. I will be there again tomorrow morning to report on the morning session.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)
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