Good evening everybody. This is Marty from DAWG’s Blog with tonight’s podcast on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. This is for the afternoon session. If you listened to the morning session, Kirk Bunch was on the stand. This afternoon Percy Martinez is doing cross examination. It is getting hostile and it is probably not going to get any better for the next couple of days.
The Judge was on the bench at 1:41 PM and the jury was in the hallway, waiting, instead of being downstairs and waiting in the jury room. Without the jury in the room, they were discussing a few things. Marlisa Ferreira wanted Robert Branco’s statement and the Judge was reading his testimony from the trial, which was a year ago or so, and the confusion that ensued she said was never really cleared up during his testimony. They are talking about the Robert Branco (a nephew of Robert Woody(?) and he lived in the Woody house) statement that Robert Woody made a statement that ‘it was done’. This was after Korey Kauffman allegedly got caught on the property. Apparently the Judge didn’t allow for that to be put in front of the jury then and she is not going to allow it now, as it is hearsay and almost double hearsay. They spent an hour discussing this stuff.
The jury came in at 2:29 PM. They were out in the hallway for an hour. Kirk Bunch was back on the stand. Marlisa Ferreira says no further questions.
Percy Martinez begins cross examination of Kirk Bunch. Percy Martinez is running at a fast and furious pace. Tom and I are both having a hard time keeping up with what he’s doing. The first thing that Percy Martinez asked him was that Frank Carson challenged his honesty and integrity in the past. Since 2006, he’s challenged him that he is unprofessional? Kirk Bunch says he did not recall that being done. In the Carmen Sabatino case some things were said also and Kirk Bunch does not recall. Frank Carson had represented Carmen Sabatino in that case and questioned his integrity.
That case was ultimately a dismissal by the DA’s office after a mistrial. It was 11-1 in favor of the defense is what I’ve been told, I don’t know it for a fact. So the DA’s office decided not to re-try it.
Frank Carson has written some declarations against Kirk Bunch? He said he did not recall. Frank Carson called him a liar, a cheat? He did not recall. Frank Carson brought in an expert to testify to that fact? It was objected to. In the AJ case, Frank Carson filed a declaration against Kirk Bunch for being a habitual liar? He did not recall. Did he call you dishonest? Yes, he called me dishonest. Did he call you a cheat? He did not recall.
Kirk Bunch is not happy on the stand right now.
There was a declaration filed in the Kahn (?) case. Apparently it was a Federal Case in 2010, which was about 5 years after the Carmen Sabatino trial. Frank Carson accused Kirk Bunch of manipulating witnesses. It was in September of 2010. He had to refresh with a transcript because he said he didn’t recall. Again he was asked if Frank Carson accuse him of manipulating witnesses? After he refreshed with the transcript, he says yes I guess he did. Frank Carson accused Kirk Bunch of perjury.
They talked about his Pittsburgh Police Dept where he was on medical leave, but didn’t know the level of his disability. Percy Martinez asked Kirk Bunch what was the level of your disability from Pittsburg Police Dept? Kirk Bunch said he didn’t know. He was asked if he was accused of failing to disclose his relationship with Patrick McGrath?
Who is Patrick McGrath? I believe, at the time, he was an attorney up in the foothills, that testified and made some statements against Carmen Sabatino in that case and then later on took the fifth and didn’t testify.
Then later on during the trial, Kirk Bunch told Frank Carson “I know where you live”. Kirk Bunch talked about an election sign at the front of Frank Carson’s house, where he lived on a small street. Kirk Bunch mentioned it was in an unincorporated area 20 miles from Modesto. Frank Carson took that as a threat from Kirk Bunch.
He was also asked if he was aware that all the other attorneys are looking at these declarations that Frank Carson has made and using them in their own cases that he is involved in? Kirk Bunch said he wasn’t aware of that. Percy Martinez asked, did he call you dishonest? Yes, he called me dishonest. Percy Martinez asked, did he call you that in the AJ Pontillo case? He didn’t see anywhere that he had called him that. Percy Martinez asked him about the Kahn (?) case if those statements were made to a federal Judge in Federal Court and other attorneys are now using that declaration. There was an objection and they moved on.
Percy Martinez asked Kirk Bunch if Frank Carson sought to have him investigated by the Federal Grand Jury? Frank Carson asserted he was mentally unbalanced? He did not recall.
This case on April 2, 2012, Dave Shaw called him from the Mike Cooley property? He said no. Percy Martinez asked, you were in the courtroom when Det. Shaw testified is that correct? He said yeah. Shaw testified that he called Bunch from the Cooley property. Kirk Bunch still denied that Shaw had said that. Percy Martinez asked Kirk Bunch if he had any gang cases working at the time of the Shaw call? (Remember Kirk Bunch was on the Multi-Jurisdictional Gang Task Force. That was a federal thing that he was involved with. He double badged with the FBI in regards to that to give them resources.) He said he had several, but he wouldn’t really say how many. Percy Martinez asked was it 10? No, it wasn’t that many. Percy Martinez was it 5? No, probably not that many. Was it 3? More than that. So 4? So they narrowed it down. Det. Shaw had been on the task force before, but at that time he was no longer on the task force. He said that Shaw said that Mike Cooley has always given reliable information. What does that tell you? He received a call from Shaw on 4/2/2012 (Hey that’s today’s date – 7 years ago) and he gave Bunch the Mike Cooley information and he took notes and did not record the phone call, but he did a report. The notes contain that information on 4/2/2012 phone call, but he does not have the notes any longer. This kept getting testier and testier. Asked what he did with the notes, he said he did not recall. He said he wrote a report a couple of days after. The report was dated 4/4/12 and he received the call on 4/2/12, but he said he did not talk to Cooley. The report said he talked to Cooley on 4/2/12 and did the other things he did on 4/4/12. He says he did not talk to Cooley until 4/28/12, but his report says 4/2/12. He says it was a typo. Percy Martinez asked him if he had reviewed the report. He typed the report himself. It was not recorded and done by anyone else and he signed it with the wrong date on it after he proofread it. He never corrected the report, it still reads that way today. He said that Mike Cooley had urgent information in regards to a missing person. He said he didn’t really recall that Mike Cooley used the term urgent and he read the transcript that yeah, it does say that.
Also of note, Kirk Bunch did not have this report with in his binder that he had in front of him. He’s got whatever he has in the binder in front of him, but he did not have or review this report before testifying. Det. Shaw did not record the Cooley statement, but he did ask about 838 Ninth Street. There was an objection, that was put in the report. (I don’t really understand that) They went to sidebar.
When they came back, he did confirm that he checked out 838 Ninth Street and it came out through their database that it was a Frank Carson property. He was asked if he did that check on 4/4/12? He said no. Percy Martinez says the report says that’s the date that you confirmed it was Frank Carson’s property? He did it through the database called CLEARS, or something like that. He also does not recall when he talked to Mike Cooley. He thinks it was around 4/28/12 and then he went to CLEARS software to check the database.
It is really confusing following this line of questions and answers. It is very hostile. There are many ego’s involved here.
At this point, it was a little past 3:00 and the Judge wanted to take a break. The jury had only been up for 30 minutes. So we took a break.
The jury came back at 3:25 PM. Percy Martinez started in with Kirk Bunch again. Percy Martinez asked him how many times have you interviewed Mike Cooley? He did not recall. The first time was on 4/28/2012. Mike Cooley said there were altercations with Frank Carson’s brother. Mike Cooley knew Frank Carson, because he said Frank Carson had represented him, so he knew Frank Carson. Mike Cooley thought it was Frank Carson’s brother who was coming over and making the threats and having altercations with him. Kirk Bunch said he took a DMV photo of Frank Carson to show Cooley 2-3 weeks later.
They are going so fast, the court reporter is asking them to slow down and I can’t keep up either. Mike Cooley knew Frank Carson because he represented him in the past and he did the CLEARS search, but he was not giving direct answers. He doesn’t remember using CLEARS the first thing to find out who owned the property, but that is what his report says.
Again he was refreshing on 3/28/19 testimony, that is his testimony last week. Marlisa Ferreira asked about the Mike Cooley photo ID and that he had used CLEARS. He was asked if he wrote the report on 12/26/14?
It is confusing to follow, because they are running at such a rapid pace, but it sounds like this report was written on December 26, 2014. Reports being written years later after the interviews are done (this is a recurring problem in this case) would really explain why his reports are so poorly written and has “typos”.
He says he didn’t interview Mike Cooley on 4/2/12, irregardless of what the report says. Mike Cooley said that Korey Kauffman was killed on the Frank Carson property? He said yes, that is what he said.
I made a note on the side of my notes and it says Kirk Bunch is not proofreading his reports and he obviously is not.
He talked about 4/3/12 and 4/4/12 and checking the county records. Again, they are going in to what he wrote in his report, that he is saying is a typo. On 4/2/12, he said he only talked to Shaw and not Cooley, even though his report says otherwise. He also said he talked to the family, namely Kevin Pickett, in that same week. He doesn’t have a copy of the report with him, so he doesn’t know who he talked to or when. So he is testifying without knowing who he talked to. Percy Martinez gave him the report to review to see if he could tell when he talked to the family. He did not note it in the report, when he talked to the family. He did talk to Kevin Pickett, but it is not in the report. So he’s saying that he did talk to Kevin Pickett, but he never documented that he talked to the family members of the victim in this case. He didn’t put down any dates or people, he didn’t put down anything. He said it was based on the Shaw information, due to thefts, so Frank Carson was willing to kill somebody according to Mike Cooley. There was an objection over that. But that is what he was saying.
Judge Zuniga wanted to read this report herself. She was not pleased with what she was hearing. She asked him if he wrote in the report that Mike Cooley thought Korey Kauffman was killed (a homicide) and why he thought that? He didn’t really write that down. Shaw didn’t really write that down. The information from Cooley was never actually properly documented because he didn’t talk to Cooley, according to him (but not his report) on 4/2/12. Mike Cooley thought it was Frank Carson’s brother who had been coming over to his property, searching the cars and having those altercations. Mike Cooley also said he saw three people in the yard, one of them in possession of a long stick or a rifle. Cooley had mentioned the three men to Shaw. In the notes he had put the three men down, but he had destroyed his notes. A little earlier, he had testified that he didn’t know what he did with his notes, now he is saying he destroyed his notes.
Kirk Bunch is not very happy up on the stand and I’m getting a little concerned about him taking this seriously, to be honest with you.
Again, he was asked about the Gang Task Force and how many homicides there were in 2012? Percy Martinez asked him if in 2012 there were a 100 gang homicides? There was an objection and sidebar.
They went back to Mike Cooley. He said Mike Cooley said Frank Carson had represented him in the past and so he was familiar with him, but he wasn’t familiar with this person that kept coming over. He had checked on the calls for service at either residence? (Because the Carson property on Ninth St. is Sheriff jurisdiction and the Cooley property on Lander was Turlock Police territory). He had checked for calls for service at either residence for Sheriff or the Turlock Police. There was no calls from Mike Cooley to law enforcement that was documented in the CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) entries. He said in 2011 or 2012, did Mike Cooley make any calls to law enforcement to get them over there? He said no. The only calls were from Frank Carson or Georgia DeFilippo? He said yes. Percy Martinez asked a question about Michael Manuakea had contacted? Objection. Ronald Cooper who testified? Objection.
They went back to the 4/28/12 interview. Michael Cooley and Eula Keys were present. Mike Cooley talked about an altercation with a person from the back property. Marlisa Ferreira objected. They went to a sidebar. He talked in the interview Mike Cooley said in the last argument Frank Carson/or this person had made a comment and said, I will shoot you guys, if I catch you on this property. Mike Cooley said it was Frank Carson’s brother. He asked the name of the brother? He didn’t know the brother’s name, but said he was a private investigator. Law enforcement officers came and apparently whoever this person was, Kirk Bunch is saying it was Frank Carson, but this person had no identification on him when law enforcement showed up. The Sergeant from Turlock Police Dept. asked for credentials of any sort and the person that was there (supposedly Frank Carson’s brother) didn’t have any type of driver’s license or anything at that time and there was no report of private investigator’s at Mike Cooley’s residence.
That was it for the day. The jury was sent out at 4:04PM. They keep having issues that creep up. The jury will be back at 9:30 PM tomorrow, but it will probably be a late start for them. There is no jury on Thursday, but there is court. There is not court at all on Friday.
Interesting stuff on Kirk Bunch. He doesn’t even know what is in his own reports. He may have written them 1.5 – 2 years after they happened. Hopefully tomorrow things will be clearer, but I doubt it.
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