Good evening everybody, this is Marty from Dawg’s Blog with tonight’s podcast on February 7, 2019.
Judge Zuniga got on the bench about 1:34 PM. Jury was not up yet.
The document, Marlisa Ferreira had shown Robert Woody on the stand yesterday, which she is saying is her personal work product, but showed it to a witness who is testifying. The defense attorneys asked to see the document. Marlisa Ferreira said it had her personal notes on there, a list of facts or some type of thing like that, she was using it and used it for some reason to refresh Robert Woody. Once that happens a document is usually turned over to the defense. Yesterday, Judge Zuniga kept saying it is not a core work product as it was not something that was handwritten. It was something she used to refresh a witness on the stand. Today, she did a backflip (like she does many times). The defense also argued that Robert Woody had read more of the document than what he was asked to, as he typically does. He does it to get a little bit of perspective on the conversation, because he’s a little slow to pick up on this type of stuff. The portion that is in question is: Robert Woody said that he can go into the Frank Carson property, but it is locked. On the document there are transcript notes in Marlisa Ferreira’s handwriting and notes all around the page and she gave it to a witness to refresh his memory.
Now, Judge Zunia, staying true to form, is saying it is work product and will be sealed. Just the one section that she asked Robert Woody to read and she did say (Judge Zuniga read the transcript) to read more if he likes, but just that one section will be given to the defense.
This is typically what goes on with Judge Zuniga. She was very confident yesterday that it was not core work product.
Moving on, Judge Zuniga asked what the relevance of some information that she is requesting about Brooks Varner. He is a defense witness. Apparently, some issue had been brought up by Marlisa Ferreira, possibly an offer of proof (I’m not really sure). Marlisa Ferreira said Mr. Varner has been called as a defense witness, but does not really seem to know anything. Marlisa Ferreira wants to ask him if Mr. Varner had any conversations with other in regards to the case. My understanding is Mr. Varner is a neighbor of Pop and Cork. At least at the time, I don’t know if he still is. The neighbors to the lot at Pop and Cork, directly to the west and south behind them, across the alley, where the apartments are (It is a 2 story converted house with apartment) and those neighbors were never interviewed by law enforcement. They are saying the lot at Pop and Cork is a scene of a body buried from homicide and they never talked to the neighbors. The questions that Marlisa Ferreira had, is not what she just argued (that is typical too. She has time and she thinks up a better argument– actually Marlisa Ferreira can make a very good argument, at least for Judge Zuniga’s sake). She said Mr. Varner had talked to Robert Woody and the Athwal’s, but she also said it doesn’t appear that Mr. Varner had any information or anything to add.
At this point it was rant-and-rave time. Marlisa Ferreira started it off. She was telling Judge Zuniga that Jai Gohel is continually making comments behind her and there is a possibility that the jury hears what he is saying. Part of the problem is, if you haven’t been to court, this is a very small courtroom. We have three co-defendants. We have the District Attorney who always sits closer to the jury box. (Where ever the jury box is the DA sits closest) The defense sits on the opposite side of where the jury sits.
In this case, the DA is sitting on the front table on the left and Frank Carson and Percy Martinez are sitting on the right and behind them sit Jai Gohel, Hans Hjertonsson and an Athwal brother on each side. Bobby Athwal is actually sitting out in the aisle, directly behind Kirk Bunch. It is a bad situation, waiting for something silly to happen. It is poor security. I’m surprised the sheriff’s office allowed it, but no one is in custody here (except for all the witnesses). They have to pull everyone out of the well to bring any witness in custody up to the stand. So they are sitting right behind each other. Jai Gohel and Bobby Athwal have a conversation and they can hear it. It is probably not as bad with Hans Hjertonsson and Daljit Athwal, but they can probably still hear it. They are all very close together. There is no privacy. Percy Martinez is sitting right next to Kirk Bunch, so there is no privacy there for his conversations with Frank Carson. Many of the things Marlisa Ferreira and Kirk Bunch are constantly saying is noticed by the defense. It is a bad situation and she wants to constantly whine about it and say they are influencing the jury.
She argued that Percy Martinez and Hans Hjertonsson are giving speaking objections continually and telling Judge Zuniga she is not enforcing the rules of the court. Marlisa Ferreira said that undue consumption of time are not legitimate objections (they are actually 352) and the comments made last Thursday by one of the defense attorneys, she meant Jai Gohel. She is complaining that Jai Gohel has taken another day off next Wednesday because he has another federal case in Fresno, I believe. She is complaining that these attorneys have other cases, but she keeps Woody on redirect for 5 days. This is part of the argument.
Judge Zuniga said, yeah, he has Federal Court and she did allow him to go. Marlisa Ferreira did go on a long winded rant about anything and everything. When she does that I usually quit writing, because there is nothing of value in that. Anyone who has spent time in court is aware of how painful that can be.
Attorney Hans argued Ms. Ferreira has been testifying by some of the things she has said to the witness and he did express some dismay during the Marlisa Ferreira/Robert Woody testimony. There are some things she did. She literally testified after giving him a document to read. She said what it said instead of asking a question. It was stricken from the record. These are the type of things that go on. This just turned into an all around b&*$# session. They just need to do it every now and then to get it out of their system.
Jai Gohel argued, under 352 of the evidence code, it says the court may exclude evidence as an undue consumption of time, so it is a legitimate objection. He said it is Marlisa Ferreira’s constant complaint of many things, like right now, that is delaying this trial and has had Robert Woody on redirect for four days now. They have the right to their frustration of the DA’s issues that are going on here in this case.
Percy Martinez argued that he disagrees with Marlisa Ferreira’s comments. Court has given March 30, 2019 as the last day for evidence and arguments and it should go to the jury on April 1, 2019. (I don’t believe that’s going to happen and I don’t believe Judge Zuniga believes it is going to happen. In essence, I don’t think she told them the truth). Percy Martinez said now there has been 5 days of redirect of Robert Woody and cherry-picking and wasting a lot of time.
Marlisa Ferreira addressed the court saying the court has made a ruling and they should comply. She said the court makes rules and she “abides by them”. She said she abides by the rules the court makes. She said defense attorneys having other court days is unacceptable.
Judge Zuniga said: anything else by anybody? They were pretty much finished. Said she agrees the jury has an impression of all the attorneys. She didn’t say anybody in particular, but she was looking at Marlisa Ferreira. She says all engage in bad behavior. Marlisa Ferreira also engages in unprofessional behavior (that is what the Judge said). She says the state bar could be reported of all the behavior of the attorneys in the courtroom. She also notes Marlisa Ferreira badgering of Jai Gohel many times in the objections and the way she objects when he is questioning witnesses. Everybody got that out of their system. Judge Zuniga told everyone they are bad boys and girls and they turned back to the case at hand.
Attorney Hans wants to play a recording of the transport of Robert Woody and he has to do a little editing for tomorrow. It is just a snippet. He’s going to finish his cross today, but he just has a little snippet for tomorrow.
Jury came up at 2:07 PM. Marlisa Ferreira asked Robert Woody about burying the body and officers being around the Pop and Cork on occasion. When Baljit Athwal backed into the lot, there were no officers there and the store was closed, no one in the parking lot and no police officers when they came out of the lot? Later on he said Walter Wells showed up at Pop and Cork. He was asked if any conversation between the Athwals and Robert Woody about anything that happened earlier? He didn’t hear anything. From the burial night to the removal night he asked if there was any barbeques or any activities on the lot or any officers that were on the side lot? He said no, no activities at that time. He was asked during the time that the body was in the ground at Pop and Cork, he still worked just about every day for about 12 hours. He would come in at noon and work until they closed. She asked him since he’s testifying the last few weeks has he told the truth? He said yes. She said no further questions and Hans got up to start questioning and then Marlisa Ferreira said: One last thing, does he know the date he signed that paper with Google Maps satellite view of the Frank Carson property? He made some markings on this paper of things like where the gate was and he signed and dated the paper (except he dated it 3/2/14, which was the day after he was arrested and interviewed)? He says that was the date that I signed it. She asked him if somebody had told him the date? He said no, that was the date. He didn’t get where she was trying to go with it. No further questions by Marlisa Ferreira.
Hans Hjertonsson started re-cross. Asked him about the description of the boots he had told investigators? He said they were work boots. He said the truth in August 14, 2015 interview and the next day was the walkthroughs of all the properties and he said he told the truth then also. He was asked if he gave investigators any identification of the boots and he looked confused. He was asked if he had any memory of the night of the event? Does he have individual recall?
Remember Robert Woody is reading transcripts because he doesn’t recall. He’s not refreshing his memory. Therein lies the problem. He is refreshing and just reading what he said in either the interview or the prior testimony, but he doesn’t’ have individual recall.
He was asked if he remembers clearly what the boots looked like from then, to this day? He had a confused look on his face. He didn’t have a clue what he was being asked. Hans Hjertonsson said at Pop and Cork on August 15, 2015 (day of the walk through), Steve Jacobson asked Robert Woody to describe the boots and he said they were “light black”. They asked was there a hole in them? He said he didn’t know. He told Steve Jacobson he didn’t know the color. Asked if there was any distinctive screws? He said: ha, ha, ha, no, no, no. That is exactly what he said.
Remember Korey Kauffman’s boots, one of them had a screw that held the sole together. I think it was a couple of wood screws that were sent through it to hold it together.
Robert Woody said he had no remembrance of the boots, talking about the boots with Steve Jacobson. He told Marlisa Ferreira he had told the truth during the reenactment and between March 1, 2014 (when he was arrested) and August 14, 2015, if he had reviewed any discovery? He looked confused again. He doesn’t know what discovery is.
There was an objection and a sidebar.
After the sidebar, he was asked if there was any review of any reports in regards to the Korey Kauffman investigation, like an autopsy report. He says he didn’t recall reading any autopsy report. They had him refresh with a transcript. On 8/14/15 (the day before the walkthrough) he told Steve Jacobson that he had read an autopsy report. His private investigator had read some reports to him. Now he’s saying he doesn’t recall his private investigator reading him report. Again refreshing with preliminary hearing testimony transcripts, he said his private investigator had read “lil bit” of information about the case.
So the Johnson St. comment, “the ass is grass” comment, he didn’t remember that happened or believe that happened until Kim Stout testimony and somebody had told him about that. He was told that Kim Stout and a neighbor said it had happened — it was so. He was told it must have happened and said he told the truth in the preliminary hearing. In the preliminary hearing he said in the last few days, he had told some truths and some lies. In the interviews is what he was talking about. He did that because he thought he would be supplied an attorney by the Athwals, so he lied in trying to give him some time to get an attorney. It was 2016 that he had reached out to law enforcement and gave those reasons to why he held out information. That is when he said Walter Wells was there and told him to get back into the property and clean up the mess after the alleged homicide, which he did recant. He also said Frank Carson, which he also has recanted. He changed his story after the infamous visit of this mother to the jail, holding a note up to the window, which told him what to say. They’ve admitted to doing that.
There were all kinds of objections with the Walter Wells and Frank Carson comments. It led to another sidebar.
He started talking about the July 22, 2016 interview. That is the one with Marlisa Ferreira and Steve Jacobson, he was asked why he didn’t say the things he said previously to that interview?
That is the interview he told them Walter Wells and Frank Carson were there. It was in April, 3 months prior to that, that they weren’t there. Which was why everything ended up in such a mess, because his attorney was there with him in the interview in July. This was the same attorney that took a recorded interview with Robert Woody in April, with him saying Frank Carson and Walter Wells were not there. That’s where things got messy for him. He said he held back information waiting for the legal help to come. He also said he didn’t trust Martin Baker. That’s the same law firm, he confirmed, with Bruce Perry and the young man (I forget his name) in the courtroom with him today, it is the same law firm.
He was asked about Marlisa Ferreira bringing up the bathroom break on March 1, 2104 and Steve Jacobson said in the bathroom he needs to tell the truth. He had talked to Candy Watts who said just tell Steve Jacobson what happened. Woody was getting pissy at this point, he didn’t like being questioned like this. He kind of got mad, he said yeah, I had to take a shit and I had to take a piss and I came out and Steve Jacobson said that. I talked to Candy Watts. I talked to Candy Watts before I went in… he went on and on. He was really aggravated at that point for some reason. He was asked if he started to bond with Steve Jacobson, especially when they were out on the property doing to walk throughs. Robert Woody had told them the incidence occurred on 9th St. on the street and not on the property. He said Bobby and D were there. Again, he was refreshing with a transcript. This is what he said in the preliminary hearing. Kirk Bunch had told him that it happened on Frank Carson’s property, not out on the street. He said Daljit Athwal told him to keep his mouth shut. Daljit had told him several times prior to and after the alleged homicide. He told Kirk Bunch that a couple of days before law enforcement came by Pop and Cork so they decided they needed to move the body. That interview also occurred in the back room in the bar area in the back of Pop and Cork.
We took a break. The jury was out about 27 minutes. We came back about 3:30 PM. Hans Hjertonsson continuing on recross of Robert Woody. Asked him about 8-14-2015, that was the night all defendants were arrested and booked and they had Woody watching them being booked, when Marlisa Ferreira asked him to describe the property in Mariposa? He said there was a gully and then an open area in a forest. Hans Hjertonsson asked him if Steve Jacobson had a laptop and indicated to him where the remains were found? He didn’t recall and he refreshed his memory. He didn’t recall a computer. Hans showed him a video on Hans’ laptop of Steve Jacobson and Robert Woody. They were videotaping him standing by the edge of the roadway. He couldn’t go down because he was shackled, but he was directing people to where he was found and Cory Brown was down below. They asked him if that was where the body was at and Steve Jacobson told him that was where the body was at. Steve Jacobson was asking if anything looked familiar. Robert Woody said it was nighttime. Cory Brown was already down in the open area past the gully. He said it was about where Cory Brown was, he directed him around a little bit. The defense was saying he was directed to the site, more or less.
Attorney Hans had no further questions.
Jai Gohel took evidence #735, which was testimonial plea agreement. Objection from Marlisa Ferreira of outside the scope. Sidebar. When they came back, Jai Gohel states the plea agreement states he has to testify completely truthfully and accurately and it is signed on August 3, 2016. Woody agrees. He says his response in October 5, 2016, in the preliminary hearing, he’d testified about something to the effect it didn’t happen on Johnson Street when he made the comment ot Korey Kauffman about “his ass was grass”. Now he’s saying he lied in the preliminary hearing. Jai Gohel says that is possible perjury if that’s false. Is that true? Robert Woody said well, it wasn’t exactly a lie. Marlisa Ferreira objected. Judge Zuniga immediately overruled. They re-read the transcript and had the court reporter re-read what he had just said 2-3 questions ago where he admitted he lied in the preliminary hearing. So again Jai Gohel asked him if he failed to fulfill any conditions, the DA could void the agreement and reinstate charges and charge him with perjury. Are you worried about being charged with perjury? He had a very serious look on his face and he said yes. Jai Gohel asked about the Miranda Dykes body wire, that he had made up parts of it, like cutting up the body? Woody said yes, I lied about that. Cutting up the remain? Yeah, I lied about that. Pulling the teeth out? Yeah, I lied about that. Burning the hair? Yeah, I lied about that.
Then he was asked about the keyholder and who that was? If you remember the other day, he mentioned keyholders, and he said Bobby and D are the keyholders. He was asked didn’t you tell Miranda Dykes you were the keyholder? He said well, yeah, I did. He says the Athwals are the keyholders, that part is not a lie. He started getting confused in here and it became problematic for him. Jai Gohel asked him if he was drinking heavily during that time? He said he was. He was smoking meth during that entire conversation? He said yeah, they were smoking meth heavily. Some of the information that he got was off the streets and the comment he made about the kid that jumped the fence and it being the last fence he’ll jump – he got that information from Keith Hobbs, it was just street talk. (Keith Hobbs is Eula Keys’ son. Michael Cooley is Eula Keys’ boyfriend. Keith Hobbs and Michael Cooley do not get along.)
He said the Athwals killed and told him to keep his mouth shut. Even though he was very high and drunk at the time, he remembers things clearly. At the preliminary hearing he said he was trying to romance Miranda Dykes. He also said he was drunk and high and he was trying to get her drunk and high. He said he never said during the preliminary hearing the Athwals told him to keep his mouth shut. He was asked if he ever heard law enforcement officers tell him the Athwals told him to keep his mouth shut? He said no, yeah, no. He wasn’t too sure about that. Constant confusion going on with him.
So they went back to the the infamous bathroom break on 3/1/20 14 where Steve Jacobson told him to tell the truth. He said he didn’t trust his lawyer who was there (Martin Baker). He has an issue with lawyers in general, I think, but if for some reason he didn’t like Martin Baker. He was asked if that was the same law firm that he has now? There’s a gentleman from the law firm that’s in court with him today and every day? He said yeah, but apparently didn’t have a problem with with this gentleman, just with Martin Baker. On the 3/1/2014 transport from Tuolumne County to Stanislaus County, he told Steve Jacobson he didn’t know anything. He said he lied because he didn’t trust Steve Jacobson at the time either. He was asked about what he told Agent Jefferson? He says he did not know him, so he didn’t know if he could trust him or not.
Remember that agent Jefferson was the polygraph examiner that first did an interview with him prior to doing the polygraph. The polygraph that he thought would exonerate him and he passed the polygraph, according to Jefferson, but the investigators told his attorney and him that he failed. The polygraph can’t be allowed in court and so they can say whatever they want.
That was the end of the day. There are couple scheduling things. The jury is coming back tomorrow at 9 o’clock. Next Tuesday is a court holiday (Presidents’ Day) and next Wednesday Jai Gohel has business in federal court, so no court on Wednesday.
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