Week 15, Day 56 (Another Motion Bites The Dust)

We start out late this morning, with Judge Zuniga making apologies for being late to the courtroom. I learned yesterday that her sister has passed away, and I fully understand the difficulties that she is experiencing. I was frankly surprised that she would show up for court today. My sincerest condolences to her at this time of grief for her.

Out of the presence of the jury, we start out at 9:40AM by hearing a motion for a mistrial by the defense. The whole motion centers about questioning of Christina DeFelippo by Detective Jon Evers and Detective Cory Brown a day after Christina DeFelippo had been arrested for involvement in this case. Christina DeFelippo had retained the services of defense attorney Mary Lynn Belcher the day before she was questioned by Detective Jon Evers.

Defense attorney Percy Martinez starts out his arguments by stating that Detective Jon Evers was fully aware that Christina DeFelippo had been advised by her attorney to not talk to the investigators. Christina DeFelippo told Detective Jon Evers that she was represented by Mary Lynn Belcher. She made a statement to Evers that said: “They will yell at me if I talk to you.” Percy Martinez tries to show that Marlisa Ferreira had tried to ask restricted questions to Christina DeFelippo while she was testifying that would leave the impression that Frank Carson was the person who had told her to not talk to the investigators. This would be used against Frank Carson in obstruction of justice charges that were lodged against him. The only problem with this argument is that Frank Carson had already been arrested, and was in custody when Christina DeFelippo was arrested, and when Detective Evers questioned her. Percy Martinez argues that Judge Zuniga has ruled that the defense has been forbidden from disclosing that Christina DeFelippo was arrested in this case. Christina DeFelippo did a good job of making this statement while she was on the stand, and I am sure the jury is aware of what really happened.

Percy Martinez argues that the People are creating a false impression that cannot be corrected unless the defense is allowed to talk about Christina DeFelippo’s arrest. Percy argues that this denies the defense the right to effectively cross examine Christina DeFelippo. He states that Marlisa Ferreira was guilty of misconduct. He states that this situation goes to Christina DeFelippo’s credibility, and the motive that she had. He states that all of this is relevant under 780, even though Judge Zuniga has discretion on this issue. Jai Gohel states that Marlisa Ferreira opened the door with her line of questioning.

Marlisa Ferreira goes into one of her patented rants concerning the arguments. She states that in order to grant a mistrial, the defense would have to show that the defendants had been denied a fair trial. She states that this issue was not mentioned in the motions illiminae. She states that the contact by the detectives was turned over to the defense in the discovery. She describes Christina DeFelippo’s statements as being a consensual encounter. She states that Christina DeFelippo was not in custody. She states that there was no interrogation, and her statements were not coerced. She states that this encounter happened pre-arraignment and post-arrest.

Percy Martinez responds by stating that the issue he raised was that the defense knew that mentioning Christina DeFelippo’s arrest was off limits. He states that when Marlisa Ferreira asked Christina questions concerning her reasons for not speaking to the investigators she was making Christina DeFelippo make the impression to the jury that she was told by Frank Carson to not to talk. Percy Martinez states that Marlisa Ferreira then did a motion to exclude the defense from mentioning the arrest. This motion was redundant because the defense had already been told they could not mention her arrest. Jai Gohel argues that this is misconduct by Marlisa Ferreira, and that Marlisa Ferreira is using the arrest as a sword and a shield, knowing that the defense can’t mention the arrest.

Judge Zuniga states that the issue is that Marlisa Ferreira is trying to elicit a response from Christina DeFelippo and is trying to infer that Frank Carson was trying to obstruct justice by telling Christina DeFelippo to not talk to the investigators. Judge Zuniga states that the defense wants her to disregard a whole body of law with their motion. Judge Zuniga states that the defense wants the jury to know that Christina DeFelippo was discharged from this case. Judge Zuniga states that Frank Carson was already in custody in jail when Detective Evers contacted Christina DeFelippo. Judge Zuniga denies the motion for a mistrial, and states that the defense can’t mention that Christina DeFelippo had been arrested. Christina DeFelippo did a good job of blurting this out on the stand, so I am sure the jury is aware of what happened. Judge Zuniga now has a short in camera meeting with the attorneys in her chambers.

It is now 10:30AM, and the jury is brought into the courtroom, and self-proclaimed cell phone expert Jim Cook is brought to the stand. He continues his mind-numbing Power Point presentation of 229 slides that show the cell phone towers and sectors that concern the devices that involve the defendants in this case on certain dates. We were able to go through over 40 of the slides before the morning session ended. I refuse to take notes on his crap presentation. It is technical, and repetitive, and induces sleep. I could see the jury gazing around the courtroom during his slide show. They are having the same problem that I am having staying awake. It will be much more interesting when the defense gets to ask him to justify his voodoo analysis. He got destroyed during the preliminary examination. I expect the same in front of the jury this time.

Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)