FRANK CARSON ET AL CASE
FOR ALL THE MARBLES
BY WILLIAM THOMAS JENSEN (TOM)
Week 14, Day 52
Well, here I am at my keyboard once again after being banished from the courtroom for a week. I think I need one of those Hanibal Lector masks to keep people from seeing my facial expressions. It is so hard to not react to some of the things I see on the witness stand.
We start out around 9:15AM with Marlisa Ferreira putting Scott Rollins on the stand. Scott Rollins is the witness who walked into Pop N Cork Liquors and witnessed a surveillance video being played of an alleged fight between Daljit Atwal and Korey Kauffman in front of Pop N Cork Liquors.
Marlisa Ferreira starts out on direct examination of Scott Rollins. Scott Rollins starts out by stating that he knew Korey Kauffman. He says he was a frequent shopper at Pop N Cork Liquors. He testifies that he saw a tape that was being played on a large video screen as he entered Pop N Cork Liquors that showed an altercation (fist fight) between Daljit Atwal and Korey Kauffman. The fight was in front of the store, and extended to the side of the store. He described the altercation as being mutual combat, where nobody initially had the upper hand. He states that he did not see the end of the fight. Before he left the store, he saw Korey Kauffman on the ground, with Daljit Atwal standing over him in an overbearing position. He states that the fist fight had become a wrestling match at the end of what he saw. He states that he left Pop N Cork Liquors after that point.
Scott Rollins states that there was a lady with the last name of Offenhauser present watching the video, another unknown male watching the video, Steve Vigil watching the video, and another male transient by the name of Oscar watching the video. He states that the people present were making fun of Daljit Atwal, and that Daljit Atwal was red faced. Scott Rollins states that Daljit Atwal said nothing while he was watching the video. Marlisa Ferreira has no further questions at this time.
Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson takes over on cross examination. Hans gets Rollins to admit that he was initially shown a picture of Korey Kauffman by Kirk Bunch, and said: “Not Really” when asked if this was a picture of Korey Kauffman. He told Kirk Bunch that he thought Korey Kauffman’s hair was a lot blonder. Scott Rollins admits on the stand that he heard on the street that the person in the fight was Korey Kauffman, and that the stories that he heard on the street had changed quickly. He admits that he told Kirk Bunch: “No, No, No, I got that afterword from the street” about the person in the video being Korey Kauffman. He admits that he did not know at the time that he watched the video that Korey Kauffman was one of the people fighting in front of Pop N Cork Liquors. He states that the video was being played on a 55″ video screen. He admits that an ATM machine was to the left of the video monitor. He states that the screen was not showing the lottery at the time. He testifies that there was a 2nd monitor behind the counter that was not visible from the front of the counter. Scott Rollins says the screen was divided into four screens, and two of the screen showed the inside of the store, and two of the screens showed the outside of the store.
Scott Rollins testifies that he later learned that Korey Kauffman had gone missing, and that he did not contact law enforcement concerning the video. He states that in 2015, Kirk Bunch knocked on his door and asked him some questions. He states that before he talked to Kirk Bunch, he had talked to Robert Woody’s brother, and it had dawned on him that the person in the video could have been Korey Kauffman. He was not sure if he told Kirk Bunch that one of the people watching the video was a UPS worker. He did not remember this after being refreshed by reading a report. He describes Oscar as being a little heavy set Mexican who would ride his bike around town and collect cans.
Scott Rollins starts having an attitude on the stand. He appears to be very much like Patrick Hampton in his facial expressions and responses to the questions. I could see him pounding his fist into his hand while the attorneys are in a side bar. This man was “Acting Out” during the side bar, and making some scary faces to the jury. I think he made the jury uncomfortable, and he did this without the judge noticing anything.
Scott Rollins gets testy when Hans Hjertonsson tries to find out how he discovered that Korey Kauffman was one of the people fighting in the video. He denies that he heard it on the street. He then says he he heard it from Korey Kauffman himself. We have another side bar. He states that he learned it was Korey Kauffman after watching the video. Hans has no further questions at this time. Jai Gohel has no questions to ask. Percy Martinez has no further questions. I wonder at this point why Hans Hjertonsson has not pressed Rollins about learning from Korey Kauffman that he was in the recorded fight.
Marlisa Ferreira takes over asking the questions. She gets Scott Rollins to testify that he has no change in his testimony that he had seen Korey Kauffman in the recorded fight. Scott Rollins testifies that he had seen Korey Kauffman’s face several days after he had seen the recorded video, and it had scrapes on it. Marlisa Ferreira has no further questions at this time.
Hans Hjertonsson takes over asking some more questions. He gets Scott Rollins to state that he had told Kirk Bunch that he thought that Korey Kauffman had much longer hair, and that his hair was blonder than what he saw on the video. Hans has no further questions at this time.
Defense attorney Jai Gohel gets Scott Rollins to admit that Detective Jon Evers was present during the interview with Kirk Bunch, and that both of them were asking him questions. Scott Rollins states that the interview lasted for around an hour. Jai Gohel gets Rollins to admit that Detective Jon Evers had told him that if he had any additional information to provide to contact the investigators immediately. This was objected to for being out of scope, and we have another side bar. After the side bar, Scott Rollins admits that both investigators had told him to contact them if he had any more information. Scott Rollins admits that he did not contact the investigators with his belief that he saw Korey Kauffman on the recorded fight. Scott Rollins is now allowed to step down from the stand. The jurors are sent out of the courtroom for their morning recess.
Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson tells Judge Zuniga that he wants Scott Rollins back on the stand on September 18th. We now take a break, and exit the courtroom.
At 11:00AM, Marlisa Ferreira calls Bal Sindal to the stand. She is an employee of the Stanislaus County DA’s Office that is from India, and who speaks Punjabi. She was used as an interpreter by the DA’s Office to interpret intercepted phone calls from the Athwal brothers. She states that she spent her first 6-7 years in India, and is fluent in Punjabi. She states that she has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and spoke Punjabi in Sunday School at her temple. She states that she had been used a couple of time for trials, and has been used as a victims advocate interpreter around 25 times. Her credentials as an interpreter seem to be lacking as far as I am concerned.
We listen to eight recorded calls in Punjabi. They were recorded on 07/11/2012 at 12:19 24, 07/12/2012 at 10:21 36, 07/12/2012 at 16:59 59, 07/13/2012 at 10:10 47, 07/15/2012 at 20:45 46, and 07/20/2012 at 12:11 41. I could not understand anything that was being said, and I was amazed how fast the Athwal brothers were speaking.
Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson conducts a “Voir Dire” on Bal Sindal where he goes over her credentials to be an interpreter. He gets Ms. Sindal to admit that she is a victim’s advocate, and not an interpreter. She states that she has no schooling in translation, and spoke Punjabi in Sunday School when she was a young girl. She states that she is not court certified as an interpreter. She states that she has testified previously in the preliminary examination. She admits that the Athwal brothers were speaking fast in the recordings. She admits to hearing the term: “Lost in the translation.” She states that she had done a “Literal translation” of what she had heard on the first recording, but states that it was translated correctly. There was some talk about the end of the first recording being “Non pertinent.” Hans has no further questions at this time. Judge Zuniga did not allow Hans to have a side bar concerning the “Non Pertinent” content at the end of the first recording. I think she wants to keep moving along with the testimony.
Jai Gohel asks Bal Sindal which part of India she was brought up in. He mentions the many millions of people who speak different dialects of Punjabi in India, and how they use different slang terms. He gets Bal Sindal to admit that she does not know how Daljit Atwal and Baljit Athwal speak to each other on a day to day basis. Jai Gohel has no further questions. We now have the delayed side bar for Hans Hjertonsson.
Marlisa Ferreira starts asking the questions. She gets Bal Sindal to state that she had accurately translated the tapes she had listened to. Bal Sindal states that she uses Punjabi every day. She testifies that she does her morning prayers in Punjabi every day. She testifies that she uses her Punjabi skills as a victims advocate for the DA’s Office. Marlisa Ferreira has no further questions for Bal Sindal. Judge Zuniga allows her to step down from the stand.
Marlisa Ferreira now calls DA Investigator Steve Jacobson to the stand, and starts laying foundation for him. He testifies that he is a Criminal Investigator II. He states that he has worked for the DA’s Office for 20 years in September. He started out working as an Officer for Waterford for 4 months, then worked for Oakdale as an Officer for 3 years, and then worked for the Modesto Police Department for 3 ½ years before taking his job with the DA’s Office. He now goes over his extensive training in wire taps. He has worked with the SDEA, and FBI. He is a surveillance team member, and has attended training in wire taps from the Attorney General five times. He testifies that he was involved in over 30 wire- tap investigations between 1999 and 2007, and has become the “Go to guy” in the DA’s Office for wire taps. We are now done with the morning session. I will be there in the morning to report on what I observe.
Sincerely: William Thomas Jensen (Tom)
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