I attended the morning session today, and found it to be a total waste of time. This never ending trial has devolved into something bazar. Marlisa Ferreira is obsessed with trying to put “Lipstick On A Pig” with Mike Maunakea, and his unbelievable testimony. From the limited notes that I took this morning, I will try to give you some details of what happened on the stand. I could see Marty Carlson taking notes like crazy, so I am sure that his report will give you all the details that this article will not. I am going to focus mostly on my impression of what has happened since he has been on the stand.

We started out the morning session outside the presence of the jury and Mike Maunakea. Percy Martinez starts out with announcing that the Stanislaus County DA’s Office has now magically found the color photographs that contain what Mike Maunakea testified was his confiscated mini-tape recorder. The DA’s Office turned these pictures over to the defense only after the defense had gone to the Turlock Police Department to look for them. The Turlock Police Department seems to be cooperating with the defense because some of their officers are being accused of threatening and physically beating up Mike Maunakea. What the DA is trying to show is simply unbelievable. It is a sign of how desperate they have become to find anything that will save their failing case against Frank Carson and the Athwal brothers. The DA’s Office has provided the defense with a CD, and the color photographs concerning this issue.

The DA’s Office has just turned over to the defense the recorded jail cell phone calls from Robert Woody between the dates of 9/02/15 and 08/01/16. They also turned over the recorded jail cell phone calls from Robert Woody that were between 08/10/16 and 03/20/17. These calls were from a period of time where there was a conspicuous gap of calls noticed by the defense. Robert Woody was being housed in Tuolumne County during this time span.

We now go into a very contentious and lengthy argument by Marlisa Ferreira over three wire tapped calls between the Athwal brothers and Detective Jesse Baucum of the Turlock Police Department. Marlisa is trying to show that a close personal contact existed between the Athwal brothers and Detective Baucum. These calls seemed to be concerning Baljit Athwal speaking to Detective Baucum about being followed by a black Chrysler 300 with very dark tinted windows. We all know this car as what we call the “Death Star.” It is the car that DA Investigator Kirk Bunch has driven during most of this case. Baljit Athwal can be heard asking Detective Baucum to run the license plate number for him to identify the driver. I think Baljit Athwal was afraid that he was going to get accosted, or robbed by the occupant of this car. Marlisa Ferreira argued that it was illegal for Detective Baucum to run this plate number for Baljit Athwal. I really think this is not true. We play these three recorded calls over and over again in the courtroom. Boredom starts to set in immediately.

Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson argues that Marlisa Ferreira is trying to justify the use of these recorded calls because of the “Tone” of the cross examination of Mike Maunakea. Mike Maunakea got thoroughly destroyed on the stand by the defense. They basically showed Mike Maunakea to either be an idiot, or a lyer. I think both would apply for this witness. Hans Hjertonsson argues that Detective Baucums statements are hearsay, and there is no exception to the hearsay. Hans states that the defense has never said that Baljit Athwal and Daljit Atwal did not know Detective Baucum. Hans states that the defense is willing to stipulate to the fact that the Athwals knew Detective Baucum.

During these arguments, Marlisa Ferreira’s ugly side came out many times. She continually interrupted the arguments of the defense attorneys, and interrupted Judge Zuniga while she was speaking. For the life of me, I don’t understand how Judge Zuniga allows her to act the way she does.

Judge Zuniga, after a very lengthy battle, states that she is going to allow the tape recorded calls to come in for non-hearsay purposes. She is going to preclude the prosecution from playing a portion that has Baljit saying something about using his gun to protect himself. Marlisa Ferreira wants to use Detective Navarro on the stand to get into the wire taps and some text messages. Marlisa Ferreira states that Detective Navarro was driving the “Death Star” during the incident where Baljit Athwal was being followed. There is talk about the defense re-opening direct examination of Mike Maunakea regarding his testimony where he identified his mini-tape recorder from some black and white pictures. The defense attorneys talk about surveillance cameras that they have discovered are installed on the Maunakea home.

We finally get the jury and Mike Maunakea on the stand at 11:37AM. Mike Maunakea is immediately shown the color photographs by Marlisa Ferreira. He initially tries to deny that he had testified that he could see his mini-tape recorder on the black and white photograpghs. He eventually admitted that he had said that on the stand. Mike Maunakea agrees that the color photographs show a cell phone rather than his mini-tape recorder. Marlisa Ferreira gets Mike Maunakea to testify that he has a cataract in his left eye, and his right eye is sunken in. Marlisa Ferreira tries to ask Maunakea if he was able to see the Court Clerk’s computer screen from the stand. This was objected to, and the judge rules it is out of the scope of the direct examination. Judge Zuniga asks her if she wants to re-open direct examination. Marlisa Ferreira: “Yes, I guess so.” We have a side bar at this time.


After the side bar, Marlisa Ferreira asks Maunakea why he never made a citizen complaint against Detective Baucum. Maunakea tearfully states that he was afraid Detective Baucum was going to kill him. Maunakea denies lying on the stand about the incidents of violence by the officers. Maunakea: “They threatened me and my family.” Maunakea: “They threatened to make me disappear, and Detective Baucum made my heart stop.” Maunakea states that he has testified to everything that he remembers.

Mike Maunakea tells Marlisa Ferreira that he delayed coming forward after telling the Bailiff Houston in the courthouse that he had information concerning Korey Kauffman. Maunakea states that after talking to Deputy Houston, he was stopped by Detective Baucum and told to keep his mouth shut. Maunakea states that he was afraid for his life. It seems he was convinced that Deputy Houston had talked to Detective Baucum. Judge Zuniga asks Maunakea why he came forward. Maunakea states that Korey Kauffman was his best friend, and he is coming forward for him. That is the end of my notes. Now, I will express what I feel about his testimony.

Mike Maunakea’s testimony is totally unbelievable. He has been thoroughly impeached by his own words. The fact that the mini-tape recorder was seized by the police long before he said it was used by Korey Kauffman puts a dagger into his made up story. His “Cry On Demand” act on the stand brought giggles from the jury. They saw him looking at the Court Clerk’s computer screen while a side bar was in progress. He basically was blown up on the stand by the defense. “Poof.” How any of the jurors can believe that any of the officers from the Turlock Police Department could have threatened his life, and stopped his heart, is beyond me. I don’t even think Judge Zuniga believes him, and she has tried to assist the prosecution in every way possible.

This is Marlisa Ferreira’s case in chief. She is failing miserably. Her star witness, Robert Woody, will be coming up fairly soon. He will be destroyed. After Woody, she basically has nothing left. Her feeble attempt at putting lipstick on a pig with Mike Maunakea has failed. Her other star witness, Jim Cook was totally destroyed. There was no lipstick that made Jim Cook look any better. His career might be at an end as a result of his work on this case.

When the defense finally gets their chance to put on their case, this trial will basically be already over. The defense will put the final dagger into what is left with her case. There is no way that she can win this case. In the end, twelve regular citizens will find that the three charged defendants are totally innocent of all charges. Why Judge Zuniga has allowed this travesty of justice to proceed is beyond belief. This trial has totally destroyed any respect that I have for our judicial system.

Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)




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