Good afternoon everybody, this Marty from DAWGS blog. This is Wednesday, March 13, 2019 on the Frank Carson et al. trial. This afternoon we continued on the cross-examination of Victor Navar by Jai Gohel.
He continued on from this morning. Apparently this shooting occurred in May 1, 2012. He asked if it was a prior planned robbery? He said no, it was not. He said that they got together like a week before and talked about it. He was asked if he went to the scene with guns? He said no. He said there was a gun in the house, that’s what he returned fire with. He said the sellers were at Pisani Lane, which I think is in south Modesto. His partner that got killed, Rubio, he asked him if he tried to kidnap one of the guys from the other side, by the name of Camarillo? He said no. He asked him if he observed that Rubio had Camarillo in a headlock during that this incident? He said no. He asked him if anything turned into a fisticuffs or an altercation? He said no. Jai Gohel asked him well, was there a gunfight? He said yeah, there was a gunfight and he said they shot first. Navar shot two people, one of them was killed. Rubio, his partner, was shot by someone on the other side and they ran to his Mercedes, meaning Navar’s Mercedes. While they were leaving the scene or somewhere along the line, he said that Rubio said that he had been hit and they he left him on Prairie Flower Road in Ceres, north of Keyes, I believe. Apparently Alejandro Velasquez picked Navar up and they had gone back over to the scene where he left Rubio and that’s when an ambulance was called. So Navar left the scene where Rubio had been put out or got out, whatever the case may be, and then he called his cousin Velasquez who picked him up somewhere and he abandoned the car. For some reason he abandoned the car also. Then they had gone back over to where Rubio was left and then his cousin Velasquez or his wife/girlfriend, whatever she was at the time, called an ambulance for him and they all split. They didn’t stick around for the ambulance. The guy was shot, they knew he needed help, they did call an ambulance and then kind of just left him there.
Jai Gohel asked him if he paid his cousin, Alex or Alejandro Velasquez, to take him to Mexico? He said yes. He stayed in Mexico until June 2012 when he was taken into custody. He was asked if he lied to detectives when he was returned? He said no. Jai Gohel then asked him, Did you lie at first? He said well, yeah.
Jai Gohel asked about people that were in protective custody, they can be gang dropouts, they can be child molesters, they could be rapist, they could be 5150 people and he asked him if he would lie to reduce his time in protective custody in prison? He said no, I wouldn’t lie.
Jai Gohel asked him how old he was when he got his first conviction? He was about 20 for years old. He was 40-41 years old when he had his last conviction. So in 21 years he had, I believe, eight felony convictions. He had three for evading arrest (meaning pursuits with law enforcement). He had some 148.9 (lying to a police officer), I’m almost 100% sure those are misdemeanors. He did have some other felonies too.
Jai Gohel asked him if his street name was Flocko? He said no and looked at him kind of funny. He said what about Gordo? He said no, and looked at him kind of funny. He asked what about Happy? He said no and looked at him kind of funny. So your street name is Animal? He said yes and that was a jail name that was given to him a few years ago. Somebody was calling him that using a Spanish term for animal, so in jail that’s what he is referred. Jai Gohel asked him if his jail cell is his house? In his testimony he had talked about “in his house”, a meeting the cell? He said yeah, well housing, house that’s what it means. His jail cell is his home. Jai Gohel was done. No further questions at this time.
Hans Hjertonsson went on recross of Navar. Hans Hjertonsson asked him he shot at two people? He said yeah. Because when you talked to Detective Martin with Modesto Police Department the detective asked him if he had a gun and he said no. Hans Hjertonsson asked did he say that he got nothing or didn’t go with anything or anything like that? He said I don’t really recall. He refreshed with the transcript and he said originally he said that he didn’t even hold the gun, he didn’t shoot a gun, initially.
Another sidebar. The sidebar is becoming the rule of the day on this case.
He had told investigators that he didn’t have anything to do with the shooting?He said yeah, that’s what I said. Then the detective, I guess at one point, says I need to know now if somebody else started the shooting, then you’d be shooting in self-defense and so I need to know now. He didn’t recall he said, but yeah that’s what he was told by the detective. Then he told them no one shot at him because he wasn’t there. No further questions by Hans Hjertonsson. At the time he was still denying that he was even there, let alone shot anybody.
Percy Martinez asked him about the $198,000 cash that he had with them to buy the weed. The weed was going to be $165,000 and $33,000 he was going to keep for himself. So Percy asked him if he had told Det. Martin that the dope was worth $40,000? He did not recall. He read the transcript, he said it still doesn’t refresh. (So this time the transcript didn’t refresh, just about every other time it does).
Talking to the detectives, he was asked if Armando went with the gun or who did? He did not recall. He refreshed again. Finally, he said yes something like that, Armando Rubio did go with a gun. That’s what he had told Detective Martin, he wasn’t really copping out to having a gun. Detective Martin had asked him about the planning of this escapade and did he take a gun there? Again he said he didn’t recall. He is saying now that there was a rifle there, which was an AR-15 that he didn’t take with him. But he did say a couple things the other day where he said he did have a gun, to protect the money. But now he’s saying he didn’t have the money with him in the house, the money was in the car. But then he said he had a gun in the house because he wanted to protect the money, so he’s said a couple of different things.
Then when they left, he dumped the car, he said was about 18 miles away. He’d gone to his Uncle’s house, to give the money back and he drove quite a distance and dumped the car and then ended up back over where his friend was left.
Percy Martinez also asked him if he had provided any information to law enforcement on any other people that he’s mentioned here? The guy named Gangster, his cellie, Richard Garcia and the Athwals? He said no there’s nobody else that he’s provided information on.
Percy Martinez if he asked him if he kicked his friend out of the car? Mr. Navar got a little miffed by that question, in fact copped an attitude and he says no. he said he chose to get out. Percy Martinez asked him if he put a boot print on the side of Rubio to get him out of the car? He said you’re talking about my friend here and you’re disrespecting me. He was copping an attitude and the Judge had a step in and slow it down a little bit because he was getting pissed. He said no, he didn’t put the boot to him to get him out of the car. Percy Martinez asked him when he saw that he was shot did he try to call an ambulance? He said well, yes. Percy Martinez says so you called an ambulance? He said Alex did, either him or his wife called after they had made it back over there, but they didn’t stick around for the ambulance at Eddie’s house. The money was taken into Keyes, where Alejandro’s Uncle was. At this time there is no further questions by Percy Martinez.
Marlisa Ferreira started in and was asking him how he got the name Animal? (We’re going over this again) Again he talked about there was a somebody that just given him that nickname in jail. There was a Mexican/Spanish term that was used some guy called him and it meant animal (whatever it is, I don’t know) so eventually the name stuck. He says it is only in prison, it doesn’t work outside of prison.
Marlisa Ferreira asked him in regard to his criminal history that he had no violence, except the 273.5, (that’s a domestic violence case) that was back a few years ago. Marlisa Ferreira asked him who was involved in the shootings? He says we both were and it was wrong to sell weed in this state and we are both wrong for trying to sell it. We were buying it to sell and they were packaging it for sale to them and so on. He said like 66 pounds of weed that they were buying. Again there were two people shot that were on the other side, his opponents, and his friend was shot. How did he feel about leaving him? (She always like to get in how they feel about things). He said he felt like sh**, it was a friend. (But he did it anyway). He said he felt scared as hell when the shooting started and he left his friend and it was laying on his conscience. He didn’t really know the people that he was buying from, he never dealt the marijuana before. They were using a 45 caliber and apparently they had a 9mm fully automatic that they were shooting at him. All the information that he was testifying in regard to the Athwals was only information that he received from the Athwals. She wanted to be very clear about that.
The jury went out around 2:25 PM to take a break. They knew would be an extended break as they had some issues to talk about, this is after a long sidebar. Hans Hjertonsson made an argument to the judge after everybody was out that Marlisa Ferreira gone over areas of Navar’s attack and the issue: the attack where a couple people died, the guy was shot and she had gone into his domestic violence in his other criminal history; those incidents that were brought up by Marlisa Ferreira’s questioning and they were answered by Navar claiming that he is of good character is one of the claims that he had made and he was nonviolent in one the claims that he had made. Some of these incidents show bad character that they want to bring in.
Jai Gohel argued to the court that Marlisa Ferreira is trying bring in good character evidence and trying to give the jury an impression that he is a nonviolent guy, but he’s got all these issues in his past and the case that he’s going to prison on now he shot two guys and killed one and there’s other issues.
Judge Zuniga said there’s nothing else in the record that they haven’t gone over.
Jai Gohel says there is and he started giving her a dates and case numbers. There was a burglary. There’s an incident where he said that he robbed somebody, ripped the phone off the wall, there was a domestic violence, there was a child abuse case. He apparently got upset over his girlfriend and another guy. He did some things to find out if there was sexual activity going on between his girlfriend and the other guy and apparently he left with the kid. So he says there is other information out there they have and Marlisa Ferreira tried to bring in good character.
Marlisa Ferreira says the information that they’re talking about has no value and she never used this information anyway and it’s not relevant no matter which way you look at it. Marlisa Ferreira said she does not see anyone on the defense witness list to backup the information that they’re talking about and that was a domestic violence or child abuse case. Victor Navar answers were specific to the defense questions and the convictions that he has suffered. This instance, she says, is not subject to his credibility.
Attorney Hans Hjertonsson argued there they have no way to know who to subpoena as things develop throughout the trial. They cannot subpoena everyone. Marlisa Ferreira may ask questions that brings issues into the forefront, but information can being brought in by officers too. They don’t have to issue subpoenas to all the people involved in that incident, the officers that responded to the incident can also be subpoenaed and can be done easily. Marlisa Ferreira did ask him in regards to the Animal moniker or street name and Navar said he is not violent. They’re not talking about one particular incident, they are talking about all of them, in the collective, but there is information is one particular instance and Navar brought his character into question when he said he was nonviolent. This shows that there could be a difference.
Jai Gohel argued again that Marlisa Ferreira claims of domestic violence or the child abuse is different case in a different incident. Witnesses do not need to be called until Navar is confronted in court. If he says no to the questions and then credibility can be questioned. If he admits to it then that’s a different situation.
Marlisa Ferreira argued that he never actually said he wasn’t violent because (and she’s very good at some of these things like this) his testimony was stricken. He actually did say that and it was objected to by the defense and his testimony was stricken as non responsive. So in theory it doesn’t exist. So no he didn’t say that.
Judge Zuniga reading the transcript says that the testimony was stricken due to objections. So Marlisa Ferreira still said, what she said, stands, he didn’t actually say he was nonviolent. That case that they’re talking about, the disposition according to the district attorney’s paperwork, he had pled to 278.5 (a custodial type thing I think is what she said. A child stealing where he took a child when he wasn’t supposed to and it was up there also in charge of violating custody decree). So that was all there was is that. All the other charges were were were dropped apparently.
She went into some long arguments and in fact all the attorneys did. They were going back and forth on Navar’s criminal history and other activities and cases and stuff. So a lot of confusion because are waiting for the court file. The Judge wants to see what the court file said on that case and that case goes back 17-18 years, so they’re looking to get it out of storage probably. They did a request and it’s apparently in archives somewhere. So they’re going to have the file ready for them Friday morning. Navar is going to return on Friday. Navar’s attorney, I just drew a blank on his name, was in court with him today, and as he’s walking out the door said, Man, am I glad to get out of this place. He just kinda sits there and there’s not much he can do when their client is on the stand, they really don’t have a lot of standing to do much other than just give advice.
The jury came back about 3:40 PM. They were there out of the room for quite a while. Kevin Pickett had been sitting outside actually talking to Steve Jacobson all day. Steve “the Juice” Jacobson by the way. They had been out there just having a good old time and having long conversations. Kevin Pickett did make a comment on the website and he asked me if I got that message and I told him I responded to it. But I told him I can’t talk to him until this is over and when it’s over I said I bet you got plenty to say. He shook his head yes. I said we’ll talk and you can say whatever you want to. And that’s true to anybody that wants to talk after this case is over. Steve “the Juice” Jacobson was sitting there and wasn’t too pleased I was talking to Kevin Pickett. I didn’t really care.
Kevin Pickett was called in. They still have the unresolved issues with Navar. Pickett was called in and Marlisa Ferreira asked him if he used to go to Pop and Cork with Korey in February-March 2012. He says yeah, we used to go in there once in a while. It didn’t sound like they were regulars. Korey would go in the store, but not every time and he didn’t go in every time, they would take turns. Scott McFarlane was there a few times and he was always up by the front door. He said whenever they got enough to take to the recyclers they they would stop in at Pop and Cork and pick up a beer or a soda or whatever and there were several times Korey had walked right by Scott McFarlane and Kevin Pickett said he talked to Scott McFarlane a couple of times standing right by the front door and then Korey went up paid for his beer to Daljit Atwal. He said Daljit Athwal was always there in the afternoons or evenings and so the only conversation that Daljit Atwal had with Korey was talk about the price or Korey found the price too high. He said was just basic stuff of just purchasing the beer. He said that’s about it. So of all the people that go into that store all the time, he said they only went in eight – twelve times a year. So it was once or twice a month.Again he said there were no words exchanged other than to get the purchase done of whatever they’re buying.
Attorney Hans Hjertonsson asked him if he was there much at Pop and Cork in March 2012? He said he saw Scott McFarlane quite a few times at Pop and Cork between mid afternoon to late afternoon is when he would go in there. Korey didn’t always go in with him and he didn’t always go in with Korey. In 2011-2012 he said he’d been to the store, then, was six or seven times. The only conversation was for paying of the items. No further questions by Hans Hjertonsson.
Jai Gohel no further questions. Marlisa Ferreira no questions. Percy Martinez that no questions. The jury was out at 4 o’clock and we are done for the day. No court tomorrow and we will have Navar back on Friday.