The afternoon session started around 1:37 PM with the jury up and the Judge on the bench at 1:38 PM.
Marlisa Ferreira continuing the grind on Robert Woody and refreshing with the transcript, regarding Sgt. Domby and Steve Jacobson’s interview in August 2015. He admitted he told law enforcement officers, namely Jacobson and Domby, that Frank Carson said to contact him if anybody is located on the property. He also said the Athwals had law enforcement officers to spotlight the property when they got a chance and after spot checking the property to contact Frank Carson. He did not recall by what means they were to contact Frank Carson.
Going back to when he left the property, meaning Frank Carson’s property, it was unknown if the man gate was locked behind them. Again, refreshing with transcript of the interview and he said after they had left it was locked behind them. He never knew either one of the Athwal brothers to have a key to the gate.
There were many sidebars this afternoon, seemed to be a lot of issues and much confusion at times. There was a sidebar here and I have no idea what it was about.
When they came back from the sidebar, Marlisa Ferreira asked him (again referring the August 14, 2015 interview) that the Athwals had told him to keep his mouth shut and to make no other comments regarding Frank Carson. He said he didn’t recall saying that and he was refreshed and said yeah that is what he said.
There were several questions that were asked in this area, that the Judge was not allowing Marlisa Ferreira to go into. These were areas that she had previously ruled on that she can’t do it, but Marlisa Ferreira tries everything anyway and this time she was caught by the Judge. One was regarding Frank Carson would represent him or they would get him representation. This led to sustained objections and sidebars. She also asked about the lawsuit filed by the Athwals against Stanislaus County, which led to another objection. This lawsuit was prior to the law enforcement officer’s investigation. Another sustained objection. Marlisa Ferreira asked the Judge, “may I be heard?” The Judge: “No”, very firmly. She asked Robert Woody if the officers had indicated to Woody that the Atwals had cut their ties with him. He wasn’t sure. This was during the 8/14/15 interview. She is bouncing around between interviews like crazy.
She asked about the fingers and toes and telling the officers in August 2015 and he did it with a saw, a sheet rock saw, that he used, and he did it to get rid of the prints. He said he had put the boots back on the feet, that were missing the toes. The fingers and toes were scattered around the bushes in the area they disposed of the body. She asked him to describe the boots and he did not recall. She refreshed him and he said they were work-type boots and he described a tee shirt as having a logo on the front. He never mentioned a jacket. He did not recall the pants that were worn. He did not recall what kind of pants they were. She asked him if he recalled the questions that were asked on cross-examination that the information by the officers, if the officers were putting words in his mouth. He did not recall what the officers were actually saying. He refreshed again. She said it is for impeachment for prior consistent statement. He refreshed and the officers were trying to put words in his mouth and by telling him to just say the truth of what we are saying. Domby kept saying, it is time to be truthful, we know what happened. She asked him what Domby said later. He didn’t recall. He refreshed. He was told they were not trying to put words in his mouth, they were just going with what he was saying and the information they had. She asked him if he made a statement to his attorney about that time. He didn’t recall. He was refreshed. Robert Woody said no coaching lawyer right here next to me. (something along those lines). He wasn’t pleased with Martin Baker and he came right out and admitted he didn’t trust him. He didn’t recall if he said that in the middle of the interview to Martin Baker. He felt that Martin Baker was coaching the investigator a little bit, or something, he was not pleased.
They were asking about the incidence at the Korey Kauffman residence. He didn’t recall. He was refreshed, again. The officer was saying, don’t guess, just tell the truth. He was talking from memory at that time. He said he hadn’t talked to Kim Stout. Marlisa Ferreira made a point of asking him about that.
If you don’t know who Kim Stout is, she is the one who said she saw the altercation between Robert Woody and Korey Kauffman in front of Kauffman’s neighbor’s house, while he was cutting out a stump. She then said she talked to Korey Kauffman after they left and said they told him “his ass was grass”. She made a statement to law enforcement about that.
At 2:43 PM the jury was sent out for a break. They had to clarify a couple of things. It is really getting hectic and dreary and dry.
The Judge asked Marlisa Ferreira where she was going with this? Marlisa Ferreira said there are some comments and questions by the defense about the investigators telling him what to say in the bathroom break and at other times during the interviews. They also talked about the attorney privilege waiver questions. He did waive his right to attorney privilege, but only for that one interview in April 2016, where he had told the investigator that the Athwals had told him to keep his mouth shut. Marlisa Ferreira also inquired about Daljit Athwal’s hand injury around April 2016 interview and Judge Zuniga went back to asking why she wanted to know about waiving privilege. She should just ask more direct questions if she wants to know what she wants to know.
We started up again at 3:13 PM. Marlisa Ferreira asked him if he lied to private investigators and his attorney, they are talking about the April 2016 interview. He said yes, he did. She asked why? He said there was no trust there. I didn’t trust him or the private investigator. She asked why you didn’t trust him. He said he always has an issue with trust of attorneys. He said Private Investigator Helton and Martin Baker were there on the April 27, 2016 interview. She asked if he recalled the attorney saying: it is going to happen. He didn’t recall. (I’m not sure what she is specifically talking about there.) She wanted to read some transcript for reference and the Judge called a sidebar. Apparently, there is something there she is concerned about.
She came back and asked him about the April 2016 interview with his attorney and private investigator. She asked if it was just prior to his testimony in the preliminary hearing and he said it was a review, trying to get some information out and prepare. He didn’t recall if that interview was recorded or not or exactly what the attorney said. This led to more objections. They were sustained. Again, she asked him if Martin Baker said anything. He said yes, but he doesn’t recall the exact words. He refreshed his memory and said that Martin Baker said to take back some of those things to stay friends with Frank Carson and them. There was another part of that statement he didn’t recall after just reading and he had to be refreshed with the same transcript again. Again, he said Martin Baker said try to stay friends with these guys. He said Martin Baker said to stay friends with the law firm. Robert Woody believed Martin Baker was talking about Frank Carson. He said that Martin Baker said there would be more problems if he went further into this information, in these interviews, in the case.
This led to multiple, spontaneous, objections and another sidebar.
When he came back, Robert Woody said that the comment Martin Baker had made, made him feel that he cannot trust Martin Baker and he was not sure if he should talk to the private investigator. During the lengthy preliminary hearing testimony, Marlisa Ferreira asked him about that testimony and is trying to get how Robert Woody felt during that time. She does this with almost every witness, and I don’t really understand why, but I guess she’s trying to stoke a chord of compassion with the jurors, even though they’re fed up with this redirect of Robert Woody. You can see it in their faces.
That led to some more objections and a sidebar. Some of these issues were not resolved with the Judge, so they had to move into other areas of questioning. These issues are supposed be resolved at 1:30 PM, they weren’t, and so Robert Woody will be back on the stand again tomorrow and they are going to talk about some these issues before he gets back on the stand.
They talked about the bathroom break. He says he was never threatened by anyone during that bathroom break. She asked him did any attorneys or private investigators ever give him police reports of other witness’s statements or give him something to read that was a statement that was made by another witness. He denied that ever happened. He was asked about Scott McFarlane’s conversation, was it before Korey Kauffman went missing or after? It took him awhile, but he figured out it was before. Eventually, he had told investigators what they wanted, and he did not recall saying that again. She asked him if 8/14/ 2015 if he was being truthful to investigators. He says correct. When he means yes, he says correct. She asked him on the next day, August 15, 2015, if he was being truthful with investigators on the walk-throughs of the alleged crime scene. He said yes. He was asked if he knew anyone else to go to the Frank Carson property? He did not recall. Then Robert Woody said are you meaning that night? Things got really confusing in here; Marlisa Ferreira got confused; he got confused; and it was really confusing. So, the Judge finally told her to move on.
She asked him what he was wearing that night? He said black boots, blue pants, and an unknown type shirt. He did not recall what Bobby or Daljit Athwal were wearing that night.
When they went to the mountain trip and did the walk-through on August 15, 2015, she asked him how far Korey Kauffman was from where the cars were parked? (They are talking about the patrol cars the way I understood it. They went the parked, apparently, down by the campground, which is about 100 yards from where the remains were found. So, he walked up, and he was little confused, and she kept asked him strange questions in strange ways and he kept getting confused. She had to keep re-asking it and he finally said he walked up and down, and he pointed to the area and they said yeah, you’re right, that’s where the body was found. So, he’s making it sound like that he went right to it. Robert Woody said Martin Baker was with him when he went to the mountains and the properties earlier, prior to going to the mountains. The officers’ cars were parked by the side of the road and he had ankle chains on, so he could not walk down the ravine and go down in the area, but he pointed to where the body was found. He said it was a good distance away from the campground, where the cars are parked, about 100 yards away. He said he stopped where he thought they’d gone in and dumped the body and he had said yes that’s where was. They told him he was right. There was somebody down below on the recording audio and video while he was giving directions of what they had done. He had told them what he did with Korey Kaufman’s body. It took him about took him about an hour to an hour and ½ for them to drive there, when they drove up there with law enforcement.
Marlisa Ferreira asked about when the defense asked about the March 1, 2014 interview and he had made a statement at one point that Marlisa Ferreira helped him with answers, but she asked him if she was there? He said well, no. I don’t know. Yeah, maybe. Now I don’t know. She got him to say that he first met her sometime later.
At this time the Judge want to clarify some issues, it was around 3:50 PM and that the jury was sent home for the day. The jury is coming back at 10 AM tomorrow. Attorneys are coming back in at 9:30 AM.
They went into some of the questions that Marlisa Ferreira wants to ask Woody: If the Atwals bought him dope, even though they said they were trying to get him off the dope.
Hans Hjertonsson said that question was asked by Percy Martinez, but that does not relate to his client. Robert Woody had told Cory Brown that the Athwals were trying to get him off the drugs. There were no more questions asked regarding that, so they say that’s character evidence and is not allowed.
Jai Gohel argued that that Marlisa Ferreira introduced the tape first, regarding this, and there was an interview where Daljit Athwal said they were trying to get Robert Woody off the drugs. The court has previously ruled it is not fair for an attorney to open up character evidence in a trial like this. This is another attempt to sneak the Athwals character into question again in front of the jury and he said that should not be allowed.
Percy Martinez argued that Robert Woody admitted that they were trying to keep him off the drugs and were making efforts to do so.
Marlisa Ferreira denied there was a recording of Daljit Athwal saying that, maybe only in a wiretap. All the attorney said: no, there’s a recording, she played it. It was played by Marlisa Ferreira. Marlisa Ferreira’s still denying it, saying it was not played by the people. The defense is trying to keep good character evidence in and not allowing all the character evidence to come in, since it was brought up by them.
Judge Zuniga says no, no, no, no, no, each defendant should be evaluated individually and not as a group.
Marlisa Ferreira said if the Athwals are trying to clean Robert Woody up, but also buying him dope, it’s not showing good character. The defendants are a team (the term that the District Attorney’s Office uses for this set of attorneys, is the dream team, I guess they want to pattern them after OJ or something) and they are all working together. She says the defense is put this information out there. The court has denied other issues of character evidence on grounds it is not good character that issue, but now they have brought out and the bad character evidence can be discussed.
Judge Zuniga, instead of just making a decision, she wants to look at the evidence.
I’m not sure what she’s thinking. Sometimes I think she wants to justify what Marlisa Ferreira is saying. Sometimes maybe she just flat thinks she’s right. Judge Zuniga is also noted that she wants Marlisa Ferreira to show more than what she has argued so far that Frank Carson implicated Daljit Athwal. So, Marlisa Ferreira went down a little a short list of things. She said Daljit Athwal said Frank Carson was giving advice. That was said in the August 2015 interview. Robert Woody said they were getting advice from Frank Carson. Frank Carson said just give an interview to his private investigators and no one else, talking about Frank Carson’s private investigators and wanted to know what Robert Woody was saying to law enforcement officers.
So that’s where we are at the end of the day, it was after 4 o’clock. They have some things they wanted to finish up. Marlisa Ferreira again said that she just has just a couple more questions for Robert Woody and should be done with him in the morning. Everybody chuckled. Like she said she’d be done by noon today. So, they scheduled Praveen Singh back tomorrow afternoon. Robert Woody, she says, will be done tomorrow.
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We are back in court 9:30 AM tomorrow with the attorneys; 10 o’clock for the jury tomorrow. As I always say don’t take my word for it, come to court and see for yourself–there’s not enough people there. Good night everybody!