Good evening everybody this Marty from Dawgs Blog. This is the podcast tonight on September 27, 2018 of the Frank Carson et al. Trial. As you know Ken Beringer still on the stand. He’s a Deputy from Stanislaus County. He’s the original Deputy from Stanislaus County that was assigned to this case. Now other deputies took the missing person case report. A CSO (community service officer) followed up on it. Also found out today that Deputy Jason Garner had done taken the original report and as you all know Jim W Garner was tragically killed on duty in a car crash over Crows Landing Road sometime back. It’s kind of sad, but to he does have an attachment to this case.
Also, the noon time report is up. The noontime transcription report is up. Tom’s report is up. So you probably had a chance to listen to noontime reports. Basically, they’re doing defense cross on Berringer and some the some of things going and the involvement with the DA’s office early on. Jai Gohel was going into cross and we started the afternoon session pretty much on time again today. We do have issues that keep coming up that send the jury out the room, but sometimes it is what it is.
Jai Gohel was doing cross on the Ken Berringer and he was talking about when he was on the case in May 2012. the MAIT group, they won’t call the task force, they refused to call the task force, course Christiansen did in the press conference, other people have even more Bridget Fladager in a declaration use the term task force early on. But they want to call it the multi-agency investigative team, the MAIT team, that’s what they want to call it. They ran into problems especially with AJ Pontillo case, they used the task force over there and they used gang officers for a case it was not gang related. So, they are very careful about what they say.
So, he said in May 2012 he went to the District Attorney’s Office for daily briefings and that was a May 2012 remember. The initial report that he was given that he started on this actually was on 4-10-2012 and that’s when he did the Mike Cooley interview. It was done on the sheriff’s office report forms, but not too long after that everything they did with the reports and the paperwork they filled out, the documentation they did was on the District Attorney’s report paperwork, with the DAs letterhead on it.
Mike Cooley did not mention the people on the back property. Remember when I say back property that always means the Frank Carson property. There is a lot of conversation going on with Mike Cooley and Eula Keyes and Linda Sue Burns and Ricky Cooley in a lot of these other guys. They talk about the back property, that is Frank Carson’s property on the other side of the Mike Cooley’s house. Berringer said that Mike Cooley never mentioned anybody people back there on the back property or people with guns at that time. Mike Cooley never told him he was stealing property from Frank Carson, but he did complain that somebody was accusing him of thefts and he was tired of it. Defense attorneys got Berringer to talk about when Kevin Pickett on May 18, 2012 interview (that’s with Frank Navarro and Jon Evers) with Kevin Pickett, it was a Sheriff’s office contact. Kevin Pickett said the last day he saw Korey Kauffman alive was on 3-29-2012. that’s the day he’s saying that he disappeared. Frank Navarro was doing the interview on that on that date and Kevin Pickett was telling them there were some undercover officers that stopped Kevin Pickett and Korey Kauffman in Kevin Pickett’s pickup truck. The officers were also in an undercover pickup truck at the Mulberry mobile home park in Turlock. He told them they got stopped. Korey had hidden the drugs in the truck and when they saw that there were some officers there. Kevin Pickett never said Berringer finally admitted it, that Pickett never said it was March 30, 2012 during that interview.
Going back to redirect with the district attorney Marlisa Ferreira and Ken Berringer on the first interview with Kevin Pickett he said it was March 30, 2012. I put some abbreviations here and I just confused myself, but Ken Berringer has a memory problem. He doesn’t have good recall. I shouldn’t say a memory problem, but he doesn’t have good recall. He has to keep referring to his notes and the reports. He never recorded Mike Cooley in that interview on April 10. he said that Michael Cooley did not mention that he had contacted Detective Shaw. I think it was with Turlock PD at that time and, we found out their earlier testimony Detective Shaw when he got that call from Cooley, they called Shaw personally not through the dispatch. Shaw had called Kirk Bunch from Mike Cooley’s property and that was on April 1, 2012. Kirk Bunch was on the case April 2, 2012. we also talked about Pickett had talked with Bunch. Cooley had talked to Bunch, but again he couldn’t remember the specifics. Berringer said that he also would have noted another officer if he was mentioned by Cooley during the interview. So, if he had told him that he had talked to Kirk Bunch or Dave Shaw or anybody else, he would write it down. He said that is definitely noteworthy in a report. She asked him if he and actually gone and inspected the fence in the back and he said no, I didn’t. I just about 10-15 feet into the yard by the house and it’s a big lot and he didn’t notice any fence any holes in the back of the fence, but he didn’t go look either. Christine DeFilippo, he said, never mentioned the hole in the fence. He did look up through the Sheriff’s office computers and database any context of Frank Carson on Lander properties. He did not recall that he testified that he did make some searches of the Frank Carson property in the preliminary. I remember him talking about he did do a least a cursory search of the property because he indicated that he saw all the signs of break-ins and door jams broken, locks broken, all kinds of things like that and he never did a report on the burglaries. He saw all these indicators of felonies and he didn’t review. I remember thinking that at the time. So, he did see that the all the contacts of Frank Carson had with Cooley and the times a law enforcement were called over on Lander. He also checked with Mike Cooley as being RP Frank Carson being the (RP is reporting party) Eula Keyes but he never talked to Eula Keyes and he never interviewed Eula Keyes and he never talked to Noel Vento. Now Noel Vento was one of the officers or officers responded during those disturbances over the Cooley house and he never went and talked to Noel Vento even though he looked up there’d been some Sheriff’s office and interaction there. He said he did that after the Mike Cooley interview not prior. He was also asked if he talked to Turlock Police Department officer Maca, (something like that I didn’t really catch the name and I’m terrible about spelling) no he didn’t talk to that officer. There’s another officer by the name of Magana and no he didn’t talk to that person. He didn’t talk to the Dixons, they’re the ones that are claiming the Frank Carson went over there (they work of the leather shop next to the Lander property) and they claim Frank Carson went over and threatened because she was stealing from them. He never talked to them. He reviewed Frank Carson and Mike Cooley activities, all searches done after the Mike Cooley interview. He did review all that because Mike Cooley’s house was searched by Noel Vento on a parole search. He is also asked if he is a DRE. I know you don’t know what DRE is, it a drug recognition expert and he’s trained to spot drug symptoms of under the influence of drugs. If they have a suspicion, like suspicion truck driving or anything else and they call an expert in to do some testing on people. He was asked about Mike Cooley talking about Korey Kauffman in a personal way. He said he was he was his best friend, he was like a son, to he was like a son to him. He said the Mike Cooley demeanor never changed. Remember he was excited he was kind of hyper, I forget the exact terms, but I took it he was pretty jacked up the whole time he was there with Mike Cooley. but I don’t think he was there very long. He said he would’ve noted if he thought he was under the influence, which is 11550 under the influence. As its stands today, he does not feel that he was under the influence on April 10, 2012. he said he never asked about any relationship between Frank Carson and Mike Cooley. Again, he didn’t do any research prior to go out talking to them just after.
On the 7-12-2012 interview he was asked if he asked Frank Carson if he saw Korey Kauffman on 3-30-2012. he said he did not recall if he asked him that on that date. On 8-9-2012, the infamous office visit, he did not ask on that date either. remember that’s the date he dropped off the questions, because Frank Carson told him to put the questions in writing. She asked him what did Frank Carson say? objections lit up the room. There was a sidebar, little bit of a lengthy sidebar. Then she went to another line of questioning when they came back from the sidebar, so whatever she was asking was inappropriate. He was asked if there were any Frank Carson contacts in regard to Korey Kauffman. Frank Carson never said he had seen, knew Korey Kauffman and he never saw that he said Mike Cooley either. These questions were never asked. Frank Carson never told him that he searched Mike Cooley’s property or cars. Marlisa Ferreira is trying to make it look like the Frank Carson did something wrong because he didn’t tell him this stuff. He did talk to Mrs. Gonzales a CSO that did some work on follow-up of the missing person report and he received information of the report by another officer. I believe that officer is when they were talking about that was Jason Garner, I think he took the original report on the missing person report and as I said earlier Jason Garner is now deceased, he’s the one that died in a tragic car crash over Crows Landing Road along with the CSO.
Marlisa Ferreira entered some police reports into evidence. They were reports of their what they’re called computer aided dispatch. Whenever a call comes in the dispatchers write down and type in information. if an officer does something out in the street the dispatcher’s type in that information. if there sent to a Call they typed out that information. It is all the information there and whatever activities the officers do and what time they did it. The evidence numbers were 425, 426, and 427.
There was some objection about some of this information and they went through this not too long ago, because documents are not allowed in court they have to have, even if you have an officer testimony is what’s allowed in court, not a document even if its an official document because of the lack of surety of its authenticity. Some of the these things are done by non-sworn personnel and it is just a long list of issues that are involved in it. And one of those is a CLETS printout, California law enforcement telecommunications system and that’s what they put information into its attach to the FBI system, NCIS and NCIC and the statewide unit. the missing person report that was on CLETS, it’s just kind of a database where everybody can go to one place to look for something specific. The defense objected to all these reports because they are hearsay, some of them are several layers of hearsay, the missing person report was the two or three layers of hearsay. They also have an issue authenticating the police report again because of Jason Garner. She went into a little bit when Kevin Pickett said that he last saw Korey Kauffman again he’s now he saying it was 3/30/2012, apparently there saying that’s what he said in the original report but changed it in the next report. Again, she said he was consistent in the original report but changed it the next interviews. Objection because of being its hearsay of what somebody else was told. he said Kevin Pickett information was used to weed out information. Again objection. Marlisa Ferreira is going through a line of questioning and I have a note on the side here that this whole section every question has multiple sustained objections. She didn’t know how to get the question out. the judge and kept telling her you need to rephrase, it you need to rephrase it and she didn’t know how to get the question out on that interview because he actually didn’t do the report, but he was there on some of those interviews.
Kevin Pickett said again he said it was 3-30-2012. he says I believe again it’s objection, you can’t say I believe because it is speculation. So, he did say that he started he was using 3-30-2012 as missing person date. Marlisa Ferreira was showing Ken Berringer one of the flyers, but not the one that he used. It was a different one, he says he used number 423 and they went back to that one. She didn’t want to use that one because that’s the one with all the information with in regard to Rodolfo Gonzalez and the threats that were allegedly made and some of those things and some of that’s gotta be redacted before jury can look at it. also noted to the Marlisa Ferreira is getting aggravated and she’s kind of a bouncing in her seat. This is the term I use, you can tell when she’s getting aggravated. she was in a rut right there she did know how to get the question out. All so these objections kept coming and kept coming. There still the next page I have, and they are still coming. She asked him if he recalled the questions by the defense regard to that flyer and the information entailed in it. There was a March 29, 2012 date that was put on the flyer, but he says that’s not the date that he put out flyer out, that’s the date that Kevin Pickett and made it apparently. When he talked to Mike Cooley had been two weeks that Korey Kauffman and not been at his house and he was unaware what Kevin Pickett was saying at the time, even though Kevin Pickett had come over and talked to him. Kevin Pickett said was unusual for Korey Kauffman and not being contact and also Mike Cooley was saying that it was not unusual for Korey Kauffman to not be seen that for a while.
He talked about Baljit Atwal ever call back after he left him his number after he talked to him he said no. She asked him about if Baljit Atwal ever said anything about a fight at the store? The jury was sent out the room. Here we go again. They’re talking about Scott Rollins testimony that he saw a video where Korey Kauffman was and Daljit Atwal in the fight out the parking lot, it started in the store and spilled out into the front of the parking lot. Jai Gohel argued there’s no good faith basis to ask the question. She has report and only asked if he saw Korey Kauffman nothing else. The report doesn’t mention anything about a fight he was not asked anything about a fight according to the report. Jai Gohel said it’s an attempt to get other information that she’s not allowed to get into, 1101 is prior bad acts, she is trying to get that in because it wasn’t allowed previously. She even mentioned that during opening arguments and that led to a shit storm first day. The DA says Scott Rollins had testified to the altercation and the threats were heard by John Paden, Kim Stout and Michael Maunakea. That’s not exactly what I heard but yeah, it’s kind of accurate. The defense said that they were polite and so they have put the defense said that Baljit and Daljit Atwal were polite to the officers when they came to do the interview so they’re saying they put their character into question. They put it out there so there allowed to use now. Remember if you have a defendant that takes a stand for example just an example and he says oh I wouldn’t do that I’m a nice guy, he puts his character out there and up to be questioned. If he’s got a long history of nefarious behavior that could be used against him and so on so the defendant statement plus a not guilty pleas, she said, puts their character at open for examination.
Jai Gohel argued the people are the ones who said the events occurred, if you were to believe their story. What he is saying is the people put these all these witnesses on the stand and you’ve got to determine if you believe their stories. Maunakea and Cooley and the Scott Rollins and all these people and that that it been testified in this case. He said it’s another attempt to re-enter some stuff that’s not been allowed. the judge told her she’s not allowed to do it. He said this is also some argument that can be made during closings but not is not evidence.
Attorney Hans argued that bet of Daljit Atwal was never asked about a fight and the DA is doing argument. He is saying the same thing with this witness it’s an argument type of thing that you argue to a jury during closing argument, it is not evidence because there’s nothing there is been asked by the officer in are talked to about by the the Atwals during any interviews. So, the DA is saying they’re lying when they say they don’t know Korey Kauffman and that’s what it all comes down to. She’s trying to say they do know Korey Kauffman and there lying because it had a fight with him.
Percy Martinez says this is all argumentative again and it is a mountain of lies and is nothing but argumentative, so he submitted.
The DA, and I’m watching her bounce in her seat some more, she said the credibility of witnesses goes to the jury, so the jury decides if these witnesses are credible or not. She says the defense put the defendant’s character in the play she has a right to attack any good character claims that they make that’s put up by the defense. what she is saying is their good character is that the Atwals were cooperative, they were polite, they offered him some water. She is saying that the defense is making at a good character claim when they said that. I don’t know the law, I don’t know if it is or not that’s up to Her Highness to decide. Again, Marlisa gets rolling on this stuff, it is really repetitive, she thinks sheer volume she’s going to win her argument and with this judge sometimes it works. what the defense has done is put the character at issue and the judge said no it doesn’t. Judge Zuniga says it’s up it’s up to jury decide if these witnesses are credible and the key in character of whatever information is available. She says once a door on character opens up it was open for all. So, she would be warning her that could go a lot of different directions like towards officers too.
Jai Gohel want to make his record and said with the all the thrust of the questioning it suggests they weren’t cooperating, and it is misleading. Marlisa Ferreira was trying to make it sound like they weren’t cooperating because they weren’t volunteering information, but they were cooperative they didn’t tell him to leave they store, they didn’t tell him to get lost, they offered water. Jai Gohel said the defense is not putting up a good character defense, it is just a response to the DAs questions that she had asked earlier. The inference is that the DA is making it they were cooperative and saying it appears that the Mme. DAs me not truly understand the law. again, I saw Marlisa Ferreira bouncing in her seat.
Attorney Hans argued again is not they have not put the character at issue, they only responded to the District Attorney’s Office questions that they asked this witness. This again he says is argument that she’s making and can be argued it like closing arguments.
Judge Zuniga said what is happened is not just saying that their clients are were cooperative she said they went beyond that and the character is an issue, but the way the DA is asking is very misleading. So, she is splitting the baby again. She always does this. The DA is misleading and trying to make is making an inference to something else. She needs to rephrase or questions but hasn’t been able get the right wording out on these questions, so it is misleading and appears she’s kind of conflated the issue a little bit too. So, the documents can be brought in, but not for the purpose that she wants. Government documents are allowed for certain aspects and they’re not allow for other aspects. If you have a police officer this taking a report and he’s being told something, the officers of report are not actually allowed as evidence because it’s hearsay. His but the information that he recovers through that interview by direct testimony in court can be allowed. So that it is really confusing at times I’m definitely not an attorney, so I just try to follow along the best I can.
Marlisa Ferreira, she started reading some case law and she said it was California law and so is also it’s some requirements, so it is allowable, but she said she needed to research it more. she said there was some exceptions what she was looking at and she wasn’t looking at any law books or anything like that she was looking at what they call a cheat sheet. Officers carry what they call cheat sheets of certain codes and sections, so they can to pull it out of their pocket and they can look something up really quick if they need to confirm something. Basically, it’s what she was doing is looking at a cheat sheet. The judge asked her what she was looking at and that’s what she told her.
Judge Zuniga said she wanted to look at some of these comments that were made, but she says that some of these, CLETS information is not coming in for purposes that she wants. again, she is splitting the baby though. In some of the CAD reports that she’s allowing some of the information but some of it is not.
Percy Martinez want me argued that he still sees no trustworthiness in what she’s allowing to come in. The DA started talking about public documents, but again if you’re if you’re putting down information that an officer put in a report that the he arrived at such and such address that reliable information because that something he did, but if is something he heard that’s not necessarily reliable information, he’s just documenting what he’s told. Percy Martinez said that’s the problem with some of these reports because they also don’t know where some of this information came from, because he doesn’t know where the CSO Gonzales got the information, he doesn’t know where Jason Garner got the information. There is no way to ask him now unfortunately, so it creates a problem when things like this around. some of this can be confirmed if Ms. Gonzales the CSO can come in and testify and authenticate some of the stuff, it has to be authenticated, they have to be yet the show where the information came from.
The judge says you some of things that she’s looking at the dispatch logs and again how you authenticate that? Judge Zuniga said the DA needs to look at Justice Simons book. They just went through this the other day, this is the same type issue that they talked about the other day, as to documents to be allowed as public record. She has already covered this a few days ago and it’s in regard to personal observations and just relating observations of what somebody else told them or of what others are saying. It also comes on in under public employees, not just police officers, it so he could be somebody at the revenue recovery or any public employee that they have to authenticate where the information comes from. Some of the stuff is just not reliable, so they need to understand the trustworthiness of it. The DA needs to get to the truth of the matter. Just because it’s a police report doesn’t mean it’s the truth and I’m not saying police officers lie in the reports, you know sometimes I’m sure they do, but just because a police officer writes report of Woody’s told by Michael Cooley that doesn’t mean it’s true. If an officer sees a drunk driver weaving down the road going from line to line that’s an observation, if he’s told that a car is weaving down the road going line the line then he has to question the authenticity. that’s the problem it also goes to several levels of hearsay. The Judge said that some things are misleading in the way the questions were asked by the District Attorney’s Office info in regarding both Bobby and D’s questions.
So finally, we get that resolved. We took a break. The jury finally came back at 3:30 and I tell you that this jury does not spend enough time in the courtroom. they went out at 2:25, we went through all the stuff and at 3:30 we take a break. The staff has to take break. The court reporter is working hard up there. but the jury was out for over an hour, about the 65-70 minutes to finally come back up at 3:30.
The DA is asking Ken Berringer about the Bobby Atwal interview on 6-25-2012 and he had asked if he seen Korey Kauffman. He had to refresh his memory again with the transcript, looking at the report. I’ll be honest with you, Ken Berringer looks like a pretty nice guy, he talks nicely, talks respectfully, but really poor recall. He asked Bobby Atwal if Korey Kauffman ever came into the store. Bobby said no, never seen them in the store. she asked him if he said anything about the altercation and he did not ask about the altercation, Bobby did not offer any out information on the altercation. She’s she said throwing a little blame around there and he did not mention that he saw Korey Kauffman the front of his house with about that alleged “your ass is grass” comment was made. Berringer said he did go to ninth Street to canvass as was the last place that Korey Kauffman was supposed to been going and never returned. He said he talked to Bill Borba who lived between 838 and 914 9th St., but that house on 908 Ninth St. Where Bill Borba lives is on the same lot, I don’t think there’s a fence in between Borba’s house in the Carson property. Borba disks his field all the time to keep weeds down or whatever reason he’s doing it. They were accusing Frank Carson disking to actively get rid of evidence but was Borba’s doing it because it is property. She asked him if of Borba had seen or heard anything on the alleged theory night and he said no, he didn’t see anything. So, she asked Berringer, how old is Borba? He said well he’s probably in his 80s. He looked at his report and his birthday is 12-26-1919 so that makes him about 93 years old. There was no one else at the present at the interview with Borba. He lived alone. He did not observe any rooms in the house other than the patio, they were on the patio when they did the interview. Berringer did not observe, said he did not observe or hear any noises in the area, he talked to Borba around 11 AM believe that was on April 10. she also asked up Berringer about the District Attorney’s Office interest in the case. He said he was aware that the DA’s office had an interest, but at the very beginning the case was done at the Sheriff’s office, but in May everything was transferred over to the District Attorney’s Office. That’s when they started the daily briefings and there were a high-level people from the Modesto Police Department, from the sheriff department and I don’t know if the Sheriff and the chief were involved but it sounds like they may have been in some of these meetings. There were upper-level people there was there as lieutenants, captains, undersheriff whoever with all the agencies Turlock PD, Modesto PD, Sheriff’s office, a Department of Justice, I believe was also involved I think she was she ran a total of seven agencies that were involved in this the case. The meetings were eventually moved over to Ceres Police Department. She asked him if Ceres police had any involvement in the investigation. He said no, they’re just using Ceres Police Department as kind of a focal point because they also had a wiretaps going on that were being monitored through Ceres Police Department. He said originally, he had met several times with the Sgt. At the time was Bajaran and then it was told to meet at the DA’s office with the investigators over there and that started in May.
Judge Zuniga at this point, Marlisa Ferreira’s having a terrible time getting these questions out today. Judge Zuniga started asking questions for her. She did it again, not questions plural, just one question about where they were meeting. he talked about some time later they ended up going to Ceres police with the meetings there were some again lieutenants and higher-level people that were involved. They were talking so fast I can’t keep up with all of it. I wish I knew shorthand. I wish I could audio record, but they won’t let recording devices in. He wasn’t sure when they started meeting at the Ceres Police Department he said it was late May early June. There was also wiretaps that were going on in June that were being monitored in Ceres Police Department. I think Marlisa Ferreira is saying that the defense is claiming the District Attorney’s Office had a vendetta here, so she’s trying to prove that they weren’t that involved in the case.
Now there’s a recording that Marlisa Ferreira and Kirk Bunch interviewed Jim DeMartini. He is a County supervisor for Stanislaus County. For some reason Jim DeMartini had made a claim of the cost of the case at the time of the prelim and they wanted to know where he got his information from. So, they interviewed him, and Marlisa Ferreira told DeMartini that the District Attorney’s Office has done about 400 interviews in this case at that point and that was two and half years ago, I believe it was in March 2016.
Berringer said he never met with Birgit Fladager, he did meet with Dave Harris and he did some of the briefings initially regarding the wiretaps and the minimization that must be done on a wiretap. Minimization is when somebody is monitoring that wiretap and you call up and talk to your doctor, they’re supposed to minimize the call and when you minimize a call that means they stop recording the call. That’s way with the doctor or priest or an attorney.
he said he did not interview Linda Sue Burns, Eula Keyes, Michael Maunakea, Scott Rollins, Charlie O’Dell, Ricky Cooley and I don’t know why she asked that he said no he didn’t interview those people. He never asked Mike Cooley if he had been stealing from Frank Carson. He never talked to Amber Keister, who was the I believe half-sister of Korey Kauffman if I remember right. there’s two other people and I’m drawing a blank on the names right now. She asked him if they ever targeted Bobby or D Atwal. There are objections. It is just the way the questions are asked, its leading. He never had a vendetta for Frank Carson or the Atwals or anybody else.
The jury was sent out again had at 3:51, they were brought in at 3:30 and 21 minutes later there were sent out again. Not very productive for the jury. they had a couple issues that they had to take up. Said there’s other people that he doesn’t remember that were present, and so some of this is not offering what you call for the truth and she’s asking why is relevant. Marlisa Ferreira says the that they were aware of the case, but the defense is claiming they’re trying not to show a personal vendetta even though the Atwals were aware of the case and there that there try not to show, by anyone, trying to show any biases against Frank Carson. She anticipates them to say is a matter of procedure to be done due to Frank Carson and there were some privilege issues to that they were briefed on and talked about some things.
Jai Gohel argued the actions of all of the people involved in one meeting does not show one there are no prejudices. He is saying it’s an ongoing thing and you look at the overall picture, like Marlisa says, at the end of the day, the of the overall picture, how you look at everything that was done and how is done when it was done blah blah blah… He is saying it will show, that it does show prejudices by the investigators and District Attorney’s Office in this case. the judge overrules the defense objection to that being used. She says her double hearsay especially with now with officer Garner being deceased and so that she’s not been allowed of those to commit. Again, Marlisa a Ferreira quoted it was 1282 and 1283 of the Penal Code and she says she’s can review it tonight and come back tomorrow and the may have an argument on behalf of that. That was it that was the end of the day.
Court resumes at 9:00 am tomorrow
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