WEEK 24, DAY 83


We start out at 9:11AM with continued arguments about some pictures that the prosecution wants to put in front of the jury. The first group of pictures discussed involved a picture of the doorway of Pop N Cork Liquors, a picture of the video screens at Pop N Cork Liquors, and another picture of the video screens at Pop N Cork Liquors. There was no objection from the defense regarding these pictures. The next three pictures discussed were pictures of the cash register at the store, and Daljit Atwal and Baljit Athwal working behind the counter. Two other pictures of Baljit Athwal’s cell phone were discussed. These were not objected to by the defense attorneys.

The next picture discussed was a picture of what I believe was the knife that was wrapped up in the black plastic bag that was found in one of Frank Carson’s closets. We next heard arguments concerning 13 pictures that involved pictures of guns, gun clips, and ammunition. Judge Zuniga asks about the relevancy of these pictures. Marlisa Ferreira states they are to prove up the 1101 evidence. She states that Daljit Atwal has admitted to owning around 90 guns. The defense attorneys argued that this has already been excluded by Judge Zuniga. The defense attorneys also stated that Detective Navarro has already testified that he saw a handgun in the waist of Daljit Atwal while he was at Pop N Cork Liquors. They state that Marlisa Ferreira has no need to bring in a bunch of pictures of guns to corroborate her 1101 charges.

There was argument regarding an alleged incident where Daljit Atwal was seen discharging a round outside of Pop N Cork Liquors while confronting a shoplifter. Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson states that this was allegedly seen by Robert Branco, and told to Robert Woody Jr. (Woodrow.) Once again, he argues that they never disputed that Daljit Atwal owns guns. He questions why this should come in to show Daljit Atwal had intent to kill Korey Kauffman. Hans states that this makes no sense at all. Hans states that he never questioned Dominic Saldana about the guns, and did not say that there were no guns at Pop N Cork Liquors. Hans: “It’s already there.” Hans: “Does more guns make it more likely?” Hans: “There is no sense to that.” Hans states that the jury should only hear about the gun that was kept under the counter at the store, and not the rest of the guns that Daljit Atwal owns.

Hans argues about the pictures of the long guns, and how only one of three witnesses have said that they might have seen 3 people on the Carson property that were carrying something that might have been long guns. Hans states that Robert Woody testified in the preliminary hearing that Daljit Atwal was at the store the night that Korey Kauffman was allegedly killed on the Carson property, and therefore Daljit was excluded from the Carson property. Hans states that because of this, the long guns and ammunition pictures should be excluded. Hans once again states that he never asked any questions that insinuated that Daljit Atwal did not have any guns at Pop N Cork Liquors.

Jai Gohel states that these pictures are all character evidence, and you would expect a liquor store to have a gun present because they get robbed very often. He states that the court should exercise its 352 discretion. He states that every single gun that was pictured was legally owned. He states that the prejudicial outweighs the probative.

Percy Martinez states that it is quite clear that the prosecution has the evidence that Daljit Atwal had a weapon, and that we don’t need another bunch of pictures to be shown to the jury. He states that it is clearly designed to show that the Athwals are dangerous people, and it is all character evidence. He states that it is more prejudicial than probative.

Marlisa Ferreira states that she has to prove intent to kill for all three defendants. Judge Zuniga states that both the prosecution and the defense are correct. Oh boy, I think we are going to “Split the baby” once again. Judge Zuniga speaks about the gun culture that exists in the valley compared to what she sees in Contra Costa County. She states that people hunt in the valley, and own guns. She speaks specifically about many of the pictures. One of the pictures she talks about she describes as: “Strange.” She says many of these pictures are prejudicial, and she: “Is not going to do it.” She states that she is only going to allow one picture (749.) Marlisa: “No hand guns?” Judge Zuniga: “Nope.” Judge Zuniga says that these pictures of hand guns are very prejudicial. She states that Marlisa Ferreira wants her to allow the jurors to speculate. Marlisa Ferreira looked like she was going to explode at this point. We now take a break.

At 10:47AM, the jury is brought into the courtroom. Lieutenant Nicholi (sp?) is brought to the stand. He had begun his testimony yesterday afternoon. Percy Martinez starts asking him questions concerning an August 9, 2015 incident at Frank Carson’s law office. He states that he had talked to Detective Jon Evers concerning the incident. He states that Evers had told him that he was working on a missing person’s case, and gave him some details of the incident. Lieutenant Nicholi states that he was told that Frank Carson had told Evers, Bunch, and Navarro to “Get Out” at least 40 times after they said that they did not have a search warrant. We now have a side bar.

After the side bar, Nicholi states that he was not shown a video or allowed to hear a recording of the incident when he went to the DA’s Office to speak to the investigators. Jai Gohel starts asking some questions, and we have another side bar. After the side bar, Jai Gohel gets Nicholi to state that he was told that Frank Carson had asked the investigators if they were going to arrest him. After being told that he was not going to be arrested, Frank Carson told the investigators to leave many times (around 40 times.) Nicholi states that he was told that Detective Jon Evers went outside when he was asked to leave the office. He states that Frank Carson told him that his wife had been threatened by Kirk Bunch. Bunch had told her: “Things are going to go bad for you.” Nicholi states that Frank Carson had told him: “They are trying to set me off.”

Detective Nicholi states that his interaction with Frank Carson had no problems. He states that Frank Carson had told him that he had represented more police officers than you can dream of.

Marlisa Ferreira takes over asking the questions. She gets Nicholi to state that he was not aware of Frank Carson representing any police officers. She gets Nicholi to state that he did not investigate the claim that Kirk Bunch had threatened Georgia DeFelippo.

Percy Martinez gets Nicholi to testify that he had reviewed all of his findings with his supervisor. Nicholi tells Percy that he was not aware that Frank Carson represented Frank Drummond. Nicholi states that he knew that Frank Drummond had worked for the Modesto Police Department. Nicholi was also not aware of another officer that Frank Carson had represented. Percy Martinez has no further questions. Jai Gohel asks Nicholi if Navarro or Bunch had ever told him about a video or audio recording of the incident, and Nicholi says: “No.” Nicholi states that Frank Carson had no obligation to speak to the investigators, and had the right to ask them to leave his office.

Marlisa Ferreira gets Nicholi to state that the investigators were gone by the time he showed up at Frank Carson’s Law Office.

Marlisa Ferreira now calls Lieutenant Rigo Dealva to the stand. He has worked 19 years in the investigation services division of the MPD. He testifies that he spent 8 years on patrol. He states that he did follow up at the Frank Carson Law Office after it had been broken into on 11/23/2013. He states that Frank Carson was not at his office when he showed up. He states that he contacted Frank Carson by the courthouse on H Street. He testifies that he did an audio recording of his meeting with Frank Carson. Marlisa Ferreira hands out a CD of this recording. Lieutenant Rigo did not immediately recognize the CD until it was played in the courtroom. In the recording, Frank Carson can be heard saying that the DA’s Office knows who broke into his office, because they have it under surveillance. I think Frank Carson was right with this statement. Frank Carson’s Law Office was broken into during the A.J. Pontillo case. The DA’s Office was desperate to find out anything they could to save their failing case against A.J. Pontillo. A. J. Pontillo was found not guilty. Even the alternate jurors thought he was innocent. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. We are now done with the morning session. 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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