FRANK CARSON ET AL CASE
FOR ALL THE MARBLES
BY WILLIAM THOMAS JENSEN (TOM)
THE BUMBLED CRIME SCENE
We start out at 9:12AM out of the presence of the jury. Judge Zuniga starts talking about how juror #5 needs to attend a court proceeding at 8:00AM on the 27th of this month. It is determined that our court proceeding will start at 10:00AM on that morning so that this juror can attend the other court proceeding.
We now have some arguments concerning a slide that was inadvertently showed on the screen with the jury present when a technician was adjusting the equipment. This happened yesterday. There were objections to a date that was shown on the slide, and the listing of the Athwal brothers and Frank Carson being listed on the slide. Marlisa Ferreira tells the judge that she never intended for the jury to see this slide. It is determined that this slide will not be shown again.
Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson brings up how he was prevented from asking Gary Crosby if he had spoken to anyone else concerning his finding of the body in the forest near Mariposa. I think the judge was afraid that the defense attorneys were going to get into a third party culpability defense that was not allowed by Judge Zuniga concerning Jason Armstrong, and the Marijuana grow that was very close to the grave site of Korey Kauffman. Hans Hjertonsson states that he wanted to go into the fact that Jason Armstrong had told many people in Turlock about what he had learned about the body being found. Hans wants to show that it was common knowledge very early on in the investigation that Korey Kauffman’s body had been found, and that there was talk on the street. Judge Zuniga states that this is certainly relevant, but it is out of the scope of the direct examination by Marlisa Ferreira. Judge Zuniga is leaving it open for Hans Hjertonsson to call Gary Crosby back to the stand to get into this issue.
At 9:32AM, the jury is brought into the courtroom. Cherie Hendrix is brought to the stand. She is the Mariposa County Detective that was called to the grave site to investigate the body of Korey Kauffman who had just been found by Gary Crosby. Marlisa Ferreira begins her direct examination of Ms. Hendrix. Ms. Hendrix testifies that there was no indication of a vehicle being near the remains that were found. She described the site as being a steep downhill slope that was covered with leaves and pine needles. She states that she had no assistance when she walked down the hillside to the remains, and had never been to that location before. Ms. Hendrix states that the distance from where the skull of Korey Kauffman was located to Gary Crosby’s campsite was approximately 0.3 miles.
Ms. Hendrix states that she found a skull, and brown Georgia brand leather boots that were size 8 1/2. We have a side bar. After the side bar, Ms. Hendrix states that she took numerous pictures on August 19th, and collected items of clothing, a head lamp that was contained in a jacket pocket, and some keys that were on a carabiner that was attached to the belt loop of some Wrangler jeans that were found. She testifies that all of these items and bones were placed in a body bag together, and were transported to the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Department. She said she waited for J. K. Mortuary to come to the Sheriff’s Department to pick up the remains and take them to Stanislaus County. She states that Mariposa County uses Stanislaus County’s facilities to process remains that are found. She states that the road where the body was found frequently has snow in the winter. She states she was accompanied by a Sargent Bries at the grave site, and he took down the GPPS coordinates where the body was found.
Cherie Hendrix testifies that she had gone through the missing person’s file, and noticed that the skull that she had found had nice teeth that would match those of Korey Kauffman. She mentioned a nice smile, and nice teeth. From this observation, she had a feeling that the remains were those of Korey Kauffman. She states that she sent out a teletype to all agencies in California.
Ms. Hendrix states that she attended an autopsy that was performed in Stanislaus County, and took pictures. She states that she then returned to her office in Mariposa, and sent out a teletype that described the body as being a young male that was 5′ 8″ to 5′ 10″. She states that she was not immediately contacted by Stanislaus County, and she called Detective Cory Brown concerning the find on August 22nd. She told Brown that she believed the body was that of Korey Kauffman. On August 22nd, Cory Brown and Kirk Bunch came up to Mariposa, and she provided them with the items that were found that included the headlamp, brown Carhart jacket, keyes, and a spent 22 caliber bullet that was found near the remains.
Ms. Hendrix states that she went back to the grave site on August 20th with Detective Bries, and Detective Serno to look for more evidence. She searched pack rat nests in the area and one of the nests had a possible vertebrae, 4 arm bones, and a possible rib bone. That was the day that she said she found the 22 caliber spent bullet on the ground. She states she found a gold colored ring and a nickel that day as well. They were found under the jacket. She states that after the autopsy in Stanislaus County, she took the clothing, boots, headlamp, bullet, and keys back to Mariposa. She states that the T-Shirt that she found was inadvertently left at the Coroner’s as well as the bones. She states that the skull was found on the 19th at the base of a tree. She states that she measured 57 feet from the road to where the clothing was found.
Ms. Hendrix states that Cory Brown and Kirk Bunch took the items found and the bullet back to Stanislaus County on August 23rd. That same day, she and the investigators went back to the grave site and placed red evidence flags. They found more bones, and parts of a boot in a hollowed out tree where an animal had made a nest.
Marlisa Ferreira approaches the witness and shows her some photographs. They were People’s 381-409. They were taken on August 19th. These pictures were shown to the jury on the large screen. We now take a break.
After the break, Marlisa Ferreira approaches the witness with People’s 410-415. One of the photographs is of the spent 22 caliber bullet that was found. These pictures were shown to the jury on the large screen. Some of the pictures were from the autopsy that was performed in Stanislaus County.
Ms. Hendrix states that she put all the remains and clothing in the same body bag. She states that she was not aware that the body was from a homicide. This was a terrible mistake on her part. This contaminated all the evidence that was collected. She states that in hindsight, she would have measured everything from a set point, and sketch out the crime scene. She states that she would have still put everything into one bag like she did. This does not follow normal police procedures.
Ms. Hendrix states that the T-Shirt that was found was gray, and had a picture of a jet ski, or a race boat on it. She states that the jacket had a hood on it. Ms. Hendrix states that the T-Shirt was left zipped up in the body bag with the remains at the coroner’s office. She states that the weather was hot when the body was found, and it was dry. Marlisa Ferreira has no further questions at this time.
Defense attorney Percy Martinez takes over on cross examination. He starts to bring up Exhibit 389. We immediately have a side bar. After the side bar, Percy shows a picture to Ms. Hendrix. It shows a gray T-Shirt, and part of some jeans in the top left corner. The part of the jeans seems to be a bottom of one of the pant legs. It was approximately two feet from the T-Shirt. Percy shows Exhibit 390 that shows this pant leg part. It has the same wrinkles in it, and is a picture of the same pant leg from a different angle. I am not quite sure what Percy was trying to show with these pictures. Percy asks Ms. Hendrix if she measured how far the skull was from the road. After she was refreshed, it is shown that she had testified in the preliminary that it was approximately 20 feet from the road. Percy shows Ms. Hendrix that she had testified in the preliminary that the spent 22 caliber round was found where the pants were located. The Carhart jacket was shown to be many feet from where the pant parts were found. This conflicts with the prosecution’s assertion that the bullet was found under the jacket on the ground. Ms. Hendrix had to admit that she had said that during her testimony in the preliminary.
Ms. Hendrix states that the bullet was not found on August 19th. She states that the location of the jeans was not marked by her at the grave site. She states that the jeans were gathered up on August 19th. She states that she did not see anything under the jeans on August 19th. She now states that she did measure the distance that the skull was from the road, and took a measurement of the distance that the majority of the clothing was from the road. Percy asks Ms. Hendrix if she found another unexpended round of ammunition on August 19th, 20th, or the 23rd. She says that she did not find another unexpended round on those dates. It is now time for lunch. I just got a text message, and I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning. I will be in the courtroom next Tuesday morning to report on what I hear and see.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)
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