After some initial confusion in regard with courtroom we were in, we finally discovered that Judge Moody was going to be sitting in department #1 on the second floor.
Judge Moody started out about 10:43 AM referring to the DAs request that the court not take judicial notice of the first transcript in the McFarlane case. No, I did not type that wrong he was as confused as I was.
After clarifying with the District Attorney’s Office, namely Marlisa Ferreira, she was requesting that he not take in account testimony from the monumental preliminary hearing of the Frank Carson et al. Case.
Judge Moody went on to say the proceedings in the McFarlane and Quintanar preliminary hearing was done with the assumption by all that everyone was aware of the information that came out in the original preliminary hearing. Scott McFarlane was charged with obstruction and accessory of a homicide, there was no evidence presented in his preliminary hearing to the underlying homicide charge. It appears that was just assumed by everybody involved, including defense attorneys.
A 995 motion he said, is to determine based on the record that the original judge had made her ruling compliant to the standards set. The judge’s ruling is that the record demonstrates reasonable guilt on all the charges.
He stated they 995 judge can take other factors involved in the situation but cannot rule either way because of outside information, can only rule on what is contained in the record.
He stated that as far as Scott McFarland is concerned it is fatal to this court as to its sufficiency of the charges and the finding. Basically, he said the information is just not there to uphold the charges.
McFarlane’s attorney Larry Niemeyer concurred with the court, and judge Moody also stated it’s easy to see this happening with the enormity of this case with all involved, and the length of the original preliminary hearing.
Scott McFarland’s motion and 995 motion revealed, the case against him was all centered-on intent and never on the homicide itself. Judge Moody also noted that he himself almost fell into that same thought process when he realized there was no evidence of an underlying crime to match your criteria for accessory.
At this time, he advised the District Attorney’s Office that he is going to give them a little bit of time to determine what their next move is but as it stands right now the case has no merit, Larry Niemeyer and Marlisa Ferreira agreed to meet this afternoon and discuss the situation and see where it can move off to then report to the judge
Marlisa Ferreira did argue that there were some underlying issues of evidence of the homicide, saying there was a writ by the officers to the judge referring to the “felonies,” and there were a number of incidents like a wiretap on July 2012 of Daljit Atwal and Scott McFarland. They were talking about a missing person in the investigation at the store which shows they both knew. Then on July 15, 2012 search warrants were served and multiple calls and texts with defendants were exchanged. The investigators had searched houses and Scott McFarland asked what was in the warrant when he talked to Daljit Atwal. And Eddie Quintanar had asked someone to pick up his guns a pop n cork.
Judge Moody stated the record show the issues were different and the luminous. The previous judge’s opinion written shows there was not a good record as far as Scott McFarland is concerned. The preliminary hearing never focused on the homicide during the Scott McFarlane prelim, and that may leave the District Attorney’s Office with another 995(a) issue. Giving the DA a chance to explore the fixes.
Judge Moody stated the record currently is sufficient that Korey Kauffman was a victim of a homicide by the Atwals or others but there is insufficient info before him now as to Scott McFarland. He stated that the same issues that the Atwals face don’t exist with Scott McFarland.
He also stated that the same issues with Scott McFarland do not exist with Walter Wells.
Peter Rodriguez stated the issue is whether the DA established intent or knowledge of crimes. Walter Wells had no knowledge of the Atwals activities and he also believed they didn’t do anything anyway. He went on to say his brief summarized his contentions of believing that no probable cause existed. He submits on his pleadings
Marlisa Ferreira also submitted on her briefs.
Judge Moody stated that Walter Wells was connected to the Atwals for some time and was around the pop and cork on March 30, 2012 in the predawn hours. He noted that Judge Zuniga found that Roberts Woody’s testimony was credible and said Walter Wells was at pop and cork after the body had been buried. Walter Wells had talked to the Atwals for some time at pop and cork and there is an inference that they talked about the elephant in the room, being the body, in addition Walter Wells had some very negative opinions of Korey Kauffman.
He also noted judge Zuniga’s ruling in regard to Jim Cook mapping efforts of Korey Kauffman cell phone, it was of the same location of Korey Kauffman and Daljit Atwal phone reading from the record he says it shows efforts were taken to hide the time of Korey Kauffman’s death by making phone calls on that phone.
Robert Woody’s participation in the pickup truck arson after the body was moved also shows more of a consciousness of guilt. Walter Wells made a number of calls during the truck burning from the same cell site sector. Judge Moody also noted that Walter Wells had given money to the Atwals to aid in the cover-up with Robert Woody.
He stated the court needed to determine there was credible evidence of Judge Zuniga’s decision and noted Natalie Emery’s cooperation of Robert Woody’s testimony of the presence of Walter Wells. In addition, he noted Jim Cook’s testimony that shows Walter Wells was around pop n cork.
The evidence presented in the preliminary hearing shows that Walter Wells was close proximity to where Korey Kauffman was buried and other circumstances. It gives it sufficient evidence of the crimes charged. As far as Walter Wells is concerned motion denied.
I thought a very good ruling for Scott McFarland and leaves him in a very good position even though he should never be in this position to start with.
I am somewhat confused about a couple of things the judge Moody referred to as far as Walter Wells is concerned.
Judge Moody noted that Judge Zuniga gave credibility to Jim Cook, but Jim Cook also testified that you cannot establish exact location of a cell phone only tower and sector which covers a large area. There’s no way to tell that the phone was in the area of pop n cork. Historical phone records do not give GPS locations, that can only be done in real-time, and only was some carriers in 2012.
Also note the judge Moody stated that Walter Wells had given the Atwals money to help with the cover-up with Robert Woody, that is the first time I personally haven’t heard that as site was never discussed in the preliminary hearing as far as money giving for Woody. Walter Wells had invested some money with the Atwals when they wanted to open a second store, not as a payment to Robert Woody to my memory.
It appears that there some bad information in the record, and at the time of the McFarland /Quintanar prelim, I did note that I felt that Judge Zuniga used some of the information from the first preliminary hearing in her ruling of the second one. Now I am more convinced of that than ever.
HELP DAWGS BLOG