This afternoon got really contentious, hard to believe. Marlisa Ferreira was in very good form and it just keeps getting worse and worse. What they’re talking about is this witness who did the DNA testing in the Richmond lab, called SERI at the time, she did the cheek swabs and basically that is all she did. She did the swabs to prove the remains were the son of Tony Kauffman and Trina Richardso. There was no notice given to the defense attorneys in this area. Attorney Hans had asked exactly what the witness would be testifying to. It created quite a tussle this afternoon.
We started the afternoon at 1:15 and everyone was on time, even the Judge. The Judge was saying the DA was arguing that an expert is an expert and can testify to these types of things. Jai Gohel argued it’s a discovery violation and has not been noticed 30 days prior to the trial. Anything you bring up especially with experts have to be noticed to the defense or to the other side to so they can prepare properly and you can’t trial by ambush. So you have to let them know what the experts can testify to and so on. Both sides have to do that. Jai Gohel said nothing has been disclosed and Marlisa Ferreira bringing up that question she must’ve known what the answer would be, so she has discussed that with the expert Miss Heidi Morada. So she must have discussed it with her otherwise she would be asking the question. He said under evidence code 1054 there is no notice and it’s it’s a misconduct. He said it’s another discovery violation which is been an ongoing issue in this case according to Jai Gohel and misconduct in front of the jury, it is becoming a pattern. It is happening over and over again is what he’s claiming and I noticed on Marlisa Ferreira was bouncing in her seat a little bit while these arguments were going on.
Percy Martinez noticed the witness testified in the preliminary hearing and that there were no questions of blood degradation or anything along that line she just talked about the cheek swabs and to identify the relationship of the parents and Korey Kauffman. He is says it was never any discovery and is a pattern of the district attorney’s activities that’s been ongoing.
Attorney Hans argued it said that he’s joining with the other accounts of course. It’s clear the witness would talk about DNA is that’s what she is she’s a DNA expert, but the blood degradation was not noticed and this could have been addressed last week when they had the other issues coming up and that came up last week with Dale Lingerfelt and it doesn’t allow the defense to prepare properly, even if it is proper for t her to do that and it probably is with notice. It doesn’t allow them time to prepare to cross examine the witness. He said it’s a very unusual the DA would not notify again Melissa Ferreira would not ask that question without knowing the answer.
Marlisa Ferreira says she will withdraw the blood degradation question. (For you that may not have been listening this morning Marlisa Ferreira was asking questions about the DNA of the cheek swabs of the parents of Korey Kauffman in identifying Korey Kauffman’s remains and then she went into a question about blood degradation. There was no prior notice is what the defense is saying. They are saying it is misconduct.) She’s willing to withdraw that question but she’s not willing to withdraw any questions about DNA degradation. I think she realized she stepped into it a little bit because this witness is not necessarily a blood expert. I don’t really know for sure, it didn’t sound like it, but she is a DNA expert.
Jai Gohel argued what does the witness have about DNA degrading in any type of environment? What background? What experience? He says nothing was mentioned that when they’re talking about or education or background experience to have her declared an expert. He says he still want to 402 hearing which is an evidentiary hearing. Obviously Marlisa Ferreira has talked to the witness about the degradation and it has not been discovered. Again saying he can’t trial by ambush.
Percy Martinez argued there is no issue about DNA it is out of femur. Remember the trip when a part of the leg bone was taken by Lingerfelt and dropped it off at the DNA lab so they could do comparisons with the cheek swabs they did on the parents. So and she actually did not do any DNA testing on the femur itself that was done by the next witness. Percy Martinez is saying the issue at hand is Marlisa Ferreira had a discussion with the witness and again it was not discovered to the defense.
Attorney Hans argued the question is so vague about biological materials degrading and he says it so extremely vague and again they don’t know the background of this witness to be able answer that question.
Marlisa Ferreira says she pretty much bouncing in her seat now she is not had a conversation with the witness in regard degrading the DNA degrading. Her personal experience led to the question that she asked and she’s trying to get the answers with her experience in working with DNA throughout the years. She said that, again she went on the attack it is what she always does and to tell you the truth she doesn’t quite well, the defense did not voir dire and wants to give full exposure of the to DNA-knowledgeable people to the jury and she said the defense is trying to stop that and they have no reason to try to stop it. She said the remains were exposed to the elements for a year and ½ and this is what this expert does she talks about DNA.
Jai Gohel argued again they were never noticed by the DA as to be going into an area that there are no reports on. There’s no information. There’s nothing In the paperwork from the expert. There’s nothing that’s been revealed. Jai Gohel was talking about the DA’s misconduct and Marlisa Ferreira flipped the cookie and as she’s known to do. She was very angry, she was yelling at the judge, pointing her finger at the judge again and Judge Zuniga is saying “Calm down, ma’am, calm down”. Marlisa Ferreira kinda went off and went on a rant and Percy Martinez interjected as she is not letting a the attorneys finish what they have to say. She’s yelling at the at the court and so it started to get out of control. Then everybody realized it was out of control, so they all stopped for a minute. After they got calmed down and every took a breath, Jai Gohel finishes argument that he was rudely interrupted with. He said the DA said the last few questions that they went into other areas, was not noticed. It was an attempt to put the evidence, with no notice, so they cannot prepare properly question to cross examine.
Marlisa Ferreira turned around and admitted she talked to the witness. She gets mad she doesn’t think it through sometimes and she admitted to it and Jai Gohel called her on it, as did the other attorneys. Jai Gohel and Marlisa Ferreira don’t have any love lost.
Percy Martinez also asked if she didn’t talk to the witness, did somebody else in this in the District Attorney’s Office talk to the witness? So it could’ve been something come through somewhere else, where she could be telling the truth, kind of, and saying that she didn’t talk to the witness, but got information from the witness maybe somebody else talked to them. It’s kind of a a sticky point, a technical point that sometimes is used.
Marlisa Ferreira says she has withdrawn the question that’s in regard to the blood degradation, not the DNA degradation. She says are other experts like Dr. Cavanaugh that can say that the degradation is not an issue and it doesn’t go to the samples because they said they were able to with draw DNA out of the samples without any real problems. It does go to her expertise. She again went on the attack, saying the defense could have done voir dire or motion in limiting to exclude. She says there’s a lot of things that could it done. I don’t how they could done that if they didn’t know anything about the information, as it was never discovered. She said that she’s trying to avoid calling Dr. Cavanaugh and trying to put all the information out in one witness, she’s trying to do the court a favor. She also noted that Attorney Hans is had the clothes tested through his own personal lab, all that information has been discovered to the defense in regard to the jackets. Attorney Hans is not turned back any discovery because he’s not required to unless he declares somebody is going to be put up on the witness stand of the information to be used. Another long-winded rant about the DA has the burden of proof and she started playing the victim’s role a little bit about how tough it is to get a conviction. Of course it’s supposed to be that way.
Jai Gohel again addressed the court saying that the DA just admitted that she had a conversation with the witness. It is misconduct and should be sanctioned, the DA just admitted to the conversation. Percy Martinez pretty much said the same thing, it was very clear now that the question was asked prior to the coming into court. The DA did say that she had a few a few things that she went over with the witness that she always does every witness and that was one of the things she said she talked about, but that was never turned over to the defense is what they’re claiming. Percy talked about the information from the defense’s expert does not need to be turned over or noticed. That the District Attorney’s Office seems to feel that they don’t have to turn over things or noticed they have the burden of proof as they’re making accusations and so he said it’s a violation, it’s misconduct and should be dealt with. Attorney Hans said in October 2016 the DA’s office did not disclose about how an investigator talk to Kathy Grinolds and it was not turned over to the defense, despite the DA’s constantly saying it was and now she realized she made a mistake talking to this witness and not disclosing the information. He says from 2016 to now it’s been an ongoing issue with these type of things.
Marlisa Ferreira said there’s no code sections that say what she is going to ask a witness has to be revealed, she just has to give discovery to the defense and their arguments are improper. She did asked the witness if she can ask about degradation, again she admitted DNA question is relevant and she is an expert. She asked the witness this morning if it’s okay if she asked about certain questions about blood and DNA degradation. Again she went on another long-winded rant and like usual I stopped writing. It’s repetitive and it is not really worth writing down the same things over and over again. She also told the judge that last week when the same thing happened with Dale Lingerfelt that the judge said it based on courtesy was what she ruled, not the law. The judge’s eyes popped wide open when she said that one.
Now finally we got the jury up around 2:19. Basically what the judge is saying is they can brief it if they want, but it can be brought out through other witnesses properly. Judge Zuniga said is similar to last week. She was concerned about discovery and advised the DA that she really sometimes doesn’t seem to know what she’s doing and if there’s a difference between the law and simple common courtesy and that’s what she was talking about. She was saying last week that it’s common courtesy and its law to turn over that information. The question she asked in front of the jury without proper notice to the attorneys or to the court was exactly what she did last week. The DA’s argument, she said, and if I think Judge Zuniga really nailed it on this one, presumes the court will just accept what she presents to the court. It is like anything she says the court is can adopt that. She says the court’s job is to ensure that there are no appeals to higher courts if there is a conviction in this case and that everybody deserves a fair trial. She’s always talking about appeals. She says are times that she does let the attorneys go on and on, she said the defense is done it. The appeals court looks at how she allowed the attorneys to make the record and she said she understands how all this time here can become very frustrating. She says she has “bent over backwards to ensure that they all have the same opportunities”. She said the DA has a higher standard as they have the power of the government behind them. It really surprised me when she went into this narrative because I think she was a little ticked off at the way she was getting talked to, the way she was getting accused of things and the tone and the finger-pointing and everything else is being said. She says she appreciates the DA had revealed she talked to the witness and the jury has already been admonished after the defense request for that. The jury was kind of admonished, there was an objection and she sustained it, if you call that admonishment. She said she will still do it again in front the jury when they’re called up. Judge Zuniga also noted that Marlisa Ferreira has a tendency to ask many questions without knowing the answers to those questions and sometimes it opens up the doors. Asking if the DNA degradation was kind of an ambush and she will give the defense time to prepare and that witness can be called back later if need be. So this witness may come back, is not exactly determined yet.
Long conversation between all of them when she was going to testify and what she was going to say. Also that she noted too before the jury was being called up at this time the issue brought up by the jury commissioner and again she went into chambers. I don’t know what it is, but it has some to do with juror number eight. There some type of issue that was brought to the judge’s attention by the jury commissioner and she was going ask the a juror about it today at the end the day and she decided not to. She will discuss it with the juror unless he brings it up to her. So like I said I have no idea what the issue is.
The jury came up and the witness back on the stand, Ms. Heidi Morada, I believe is her name and she asked if the DNA concentration range slows with any deep degradation. That’s a pretty obvious answer, the witness said there was no signs of degradation. It was a very strong sample, they were able to make a match that was a one in so many hundred billion odds that it was Korey Kauffman. Then she asked her what would create degradation? The witness said older samples they deteriorate in soil, water, chemicals or some could do it to. She asked was a DNA profile able to be brought out from the samples? She said yes. Would an attempt be made to for a profile to be brought out even if it was a degraded sample? She said yeah they would try. She was asked if she did any work on the femur? She said no. That was done by the next witness, also named Heidi. Was any work done on the spent bullet? (Remember this is the mushroom .22 caliber bullet). She did not do any work on the bullet, but the next witness did.
Percy Martinez asked besides testing that has been testified to, just identifying the relatives of of Korey Kauffman, there was no other testing that she did in regard to this case? Witness was off the stand. She was done. It quite contentious this afternoon.
At this time Marlisa Ferreira advised the court during lunch she left some paperwork in regard to the next witness at the restaurant. She left it sitting on the seat for I guess the public to see and share. Someone being sent from the office to retrieve it and she wants of take a few minutes break. Judge Zuniga asked why can’t we just do some of the background and get her education, experience out to get her certified. She said will she still need five minutes break, she wanted to talk this witness and that’s exactly what she did.
The jury was up again at 2:56. Heidi Elliott was on the stand. She’s no longer working for the DOJ, but she did have an extensive period where she worked for the Department of Justice. She worked in the Richmond lab and then she worked in another lab that I believe was up Sacramento. She also had in the past prior to Richmond she had experience in Redding lab. She has some experience around the area. She’s highly educated, she’s been certified as an expert before. The judge declared her an expert. It’s so easy to be declared an expert these days, I wonder why they bother.
She said on October 17, 2013 she received two items from Dale Lingerfelt: the swabs from Tony Kaufman and Trina Richardson (she received the test results shortly thereafter from Heidi Maroda) and a bullet. It was a spent bullet, a mushroom bullet, the .22 caliber bullet and the femur bone to do some testing. She took samples from the femur, she said she used a Dremel tool. She cut a section of bone out from the femur. She took it cut it up into four sections, so she has extra material to work with if need to be. She she took one section and turned it into powder and did the extraction. They had their chemicals and used heat and other ways of the doing it. She went through some of it, but I can’t write down that fast. They went into some technical terms like nanogrades, it was a .43 Nanogrades, whatever that means, for testing. It was an ample sample she said for testing. Once the DNA is amplified, they mark it with dye, for sizing. Apparently there are DNA particles, again I’m not an expert on this at all, but they do attain a profile from the femur bone. Also by the gene code markings it was a male profile. Females have the XX chromosome and XY chromosomes are male. To to get a probability of the relationship, it was compared against the Tony Kaufman and Trina Richardson samples, They had matching markers and she said it was a child of the reference samples. They have software that they run these numbers through to give a map of math probabilities kinship, is what she called it. It was 300 billion – 350 billion to one, that they were related.
Then they start talking about the bullet that was given to her by Dale Lingerfelt. It was analyzed under the microscope. There were substances on the bullet. Looking through the microscopic she could see there was some type of material on the bullet. She used a use a swab to take some samples off the bullet and they tested it for DNA. There was some DNA found for testing. The sample was a mixture of two people and it was degraded enough where it only it would give them a partial result. So they were able to get samples off the femur in other ways off the body, but with this bullet there were two samples. Remember even if this is the murder bullet, if there was a murder, remember what the Mariposa Deputy did when she threw the bullet in with the bones and clothes and cross contaminated everything. She threw it all into one bag instead of isolating everything like proper thing to do.
They talked about what can degrade the DNA with this witness also. She said temperature, cold conditions, harsh conditions can affect it in certain ways too and that can degrade the samples. No further analysis was done as they had no good samples and it was cross contaminated. There wasn’t enough of a sample to get good readings, they some DNA off of it but there was many markers that were missing and they went through a list. It’s hard to explain how they did it but there’s there certain markers, genograms or something were nonexistent in the samples because it was so degraded. She said it was common lab practice to try not to use entire samples if it can be avoided, it could not be avoided in this case so basically all the samples that were available were used.
She did the analysis on the femur and the bullet on October 22, 2013. She finished two days later on October 24, 2013. In regard to the femur again they were giving the DNA specific codes in the numbers. It’s a long list of things that help identify DNA to specific people, it is what they call markers algia grams or some crap like that. On the femur it was real specific they had good DNA sampling, so it was not a problem of the femur. There is no doubt it is Korey Kauffman. But with the bullet is cross contaminated and had weak samples from two different people. But she couldn’t say anymore than that cause she really doesn’t know. She can’t even confirm if it was male or female markers on the bullet. There was no further questions by the DA.
Percy Martinez asked Miss Elliott if she analyzed the sample on the bullet and compared it to anything else? She said no, there’s there’s nothing to compare to. She didn’t have enough sample on the bullet on the femur she did but obviously on the bullet. She did she said it was due to which she called low levels or inferior quality samples.
Attorney Hans asked if the samples show at least two contributors and showed only a partial profile and he asked her if it can be used for comparisons if the situation is right? Again she said no, this is not enough sample. No further question by Hans Hjertonsson.
Jai Gohel started: He says not on the extended bullet there was no comparisons done that include the femur there’s no way to even compared to the femur because it was wasn’t enough sample on the bullet. Remember the bullet was found under a layer of dirt, well now she saying was under the pants by the tree, a partial piece of pants with a carabiner and the keys were. In her report, she wrote the report two days after she recovered the remains, she said was under a jacket. Now she’s saying it’s under the pants. This is the Mariposa County deputy, she’s testified several different things and she did leave the stand sobbing and crying, so whatever that was all about I don’t know. So there’s no way to compare the bones of the bullet to the samples to the femur. That’s all Jai Gohel had.
Marlisa Ferreira doing redirect and started talking about the contributors to the DNA profile. Again the going through this list of the numbers, in this is all the stuff that they put in the the software to get the at the calculations. It all comes down to the math when all said and done. She started going to the list and it it’s also called the DNA chain, it was start going through the list of the numbers and stuff again. It’s just not good enough information for them to say anything about that bullet. there was four sites on that DNA chain where the levels were too low to get results out of the 16 cited. It’s not enough to do a comparison. She also asked about a DOJ policy, how many they needed to do a comparison? She couldn’t recall. Remember she doesn’t work for the DOJ anymore. The level cannot be compared to any other person and/or suspect.
Again Percy Martinez asked the femur the bullet were not compared? She says that’s right. Jai Gohel said there’s no conclusion were drawn at all about the bullet and the femur.
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