Good evening everybody. This is Marty from DAWG’s BLOG with tonight’s podcast on the Frank Carson et al. Trial. Today is Wednesday, April 10, 2019.
Now I did the motion ruling prior to lunch, so I didn’t record an additional noontime report. I only had an additional page of notes. So, I’m just going to carry that into the podcast tonight.
The Jury was up around 11:02 AM. Kirk Bunch on the stand. Jai Gohel was doing cross examination. Jai Gohel was asking him about the Kahn Case. Frank Carson had called Kirk Bunch deceptive and manipulative. Jai Gohel asked Kirk Bunch if anybody else had called him these names? There was an objection and a sidebar.
Sidebars are the order of the day. We spend more time in sidebars than asking real questions.
Kirk Bunch says he was 100% unbiased and has no animosity whatsoever in this investigation and no animosity towards Frank Carson.
Jai Gohel asked him if he had interviewed Michael Maunakea, who testified in this case for the DA’s office, and if the Turlock PD officers were actually making threats to kill Maunakea. There were objections to all this. So, Jai Gohel asked: did he say that Turlock PD wanted to destroy evidence in a homicide? Objection, of course.
Jai Gohel asked if he interviewed Praveen Singh and checked out his background, charges and everything he has going on. Kirk Bunch said yeah, I’m the one that arrested him. He had faced some serious felonies. He asked if Marlisa Ferreira is called as a witness? He didn’t really answer that question. I don’t know if she was or not.
Jai Gohel says: You are unbiased, 100%, Kirk Bunch says. He says on the Frank Carson office visit was on August 9, 2012? Kirk Bunch said yes. Frank Carson asked him if he had a warrant? Kirk Bunch said that’s right. Frank Carson asked him to leave 30+ times? He said I don’t know how many times he asked me to leave, but it was several times. Jai Gohel asked if he told Frank Carson’s wife, Georgia DeFilippo, that things are going to go all bad? Kirk Bunch said that wasn’t a threat.
Asked him if he interviewed Victor Navar, a homicide suspect, and took his statement and prepared him for testimony in this case? There was an objection and sidebar.
Then he asked if he sat through other witness testimonies, as the designated investigator and had many questions that he wanted asked and asked how many stickies has he passed to Marlisa Ferreira in regards to questions he wants asked? He said, I don’t know, maybe a thousand. Jai Gohel asked Kirk Bunch, do you have any idea of the costs of this trial and entire investigation? Objection by Marlisa Ferreira. He had no further questions.
Attorney Hans Hjertonsson took over cross examination. He was showing Kirk Bunch a transcript on his computer. The transcript was of the trip of the walk through of Mariposa County on August 15, 2015. Then he played the recording and the jury had a copy of the transcript. He showed the recording on the overhead for all to see. Steve Jacobson was narrating, and Cory Brown was down in the ravine already. When the recording starts it doesn’t show Robert Woody walking down the road and then pointing out the area. It starts with Cory Brown down the ravine and Steve Jacobson up at top, like he’s Walter Cronkite or something, trying to narrate what is going on. Robert Woody is told to send down the area of the woods and told Cory Brown to back up a little. Then Steve Jacobson says where exactly did you dump the body? Robert Woody said that Baljit Athwal decided to leave the remains where it was left. One grabbed the feet, Robert Woody, and Bobby Athwal had the arms and hands and they went down in the area and Steve Jacobson was continuing to tell Robert Woody what happened and Robert Woody was pointing to Cory Brown at the spot. Now, this body was carried down this ravine, after being buried at Pop and Cork for 26-27 days. This is after the fingers and toes had been cut off. After 26 days in a shallow grave that was no more than 14 inches deep. We were in a drought at the time and were having 60-70 degree weather. They carried this body by the arms and legs down this ravine where Steve Jacobson said they dumped the body. My experience with corpses is that if you pick up a body like that a arm or leg may come off. That is my experience in the past doing coroner’s cases. Take it for what it is worth. He took the tarp, miscellaneous rags and socks. No one was on the road the whole time they were there disposing of the body. The rags and tarp went into the garbage dumpsters at Pop and Cork. He said the knife too, but once before he said he burned the knife, socks and some of the rags.
They talked about the end of the road was a roundabout was about 100 to the right of where they were standing, which would be Robert Woody’s left and Steve “St. Juice” Jacobson’s left. He says nobody else was there during that time and Kirk Bunch said no one else was there, just the four police cars and then as the camera pans around there was another vehicle parked on the side of the road. Kirk Bunch said all the vehicles were down by the roundabout. When he was asked about that. He said the mosquitos were getting bad and for some reason Dale Lingerfelt walked back and pulled his car up to the side of the road where they were working and I have no idea if Miranda Dykes was there with him or not.
Also, looks like right after the video went blank, you could still hear the audio. There was beeping like they were running about of battery.
We went to lunch. When we came back Hans Hjertonsson was done with cross-examination and Marlisa Ferreira was going to do redirect on Kirk Bunch. It is going to be one of her never-ending redirects.
She showed him evidence #66, the book alert. There were three names on the list? He said yes, Mike Cooley, Eula Keys and Linda Sue Burns were targeted on this list for stealing the antique books out of one of the containers on the Carson property. There was also a notation – a case number that Kirk Bunch had attached to it that was a DA’s case number and a Sheriff’s case number too. There was also some information about the car, which was green station wagon, license plate number and registered to Linda Sue Burns. Kirk Bunch said he got the Sheriff’s office report that Deputy Garner had made around 4/30/12. It had some information on the 2-6-11 incident where there was a confrontation with Cooley and what he thought was Frank Carson’s brother at the time, but it does not list Mike Cooley, Eula Keys, Linda Sue Burns or a green station wagon. That report was done by Deputy Noel Vento.
Then she talked about People Vs. Carmen Sabatino and some of the declarations made by Frank Carson. Frank Carson was Carmen Sabatino’s lawyer at the time. His case did up in a mistrial. There was a sidebar for some reason. The Judge just loves these sidebars. It is part of the micromanaging thing she likes to do.
Kirk Bunch said when he called to talk to Mike Cooley, he called on Eula Keys’ phone and left a message for Cooley to call him back. Mike Cooley as far as he knew never owned a phone. They never checked Eula Keys’ phone for CDR’s. Mike Cooley had no vehicle that he used or driven or that he rode in, even though Eula Keys had a car at the time. On 4/28/12 interview, Eula Keys had broke down and there was some objections that were sustained. Kirk Bunch said he never saw a vehicle in Eula Keys driveway and all the interviews of Mike Cooley were at 1632 Lander Ave. The DA’s office did provide transport to court for Keys and Cooley when they testified, so they didn’t have a car. This led to a long sidebar, there wasn’t even an objection on this one, but Marlisa Ferreira just wanted to go to a sidebar with the Judge.
She asked about Jai Gohel’s questions that he didn’t write a report after talking to Kevin Pickett. He said he received no different information, so he didn’t see a need to file a report and he destroyed his notes. She asked him there is no mandate for police officers to write a report? He said he knew that. He didn’t have to write a report if he didn’t have new information. The problem is we don’t know what information he got from Kevin Pickett, because his memory isn’t clear and Kevin Pickett has testified it was 4/29/12. He had reviewed a declaration written by Dave Shaw on 4/2/12 when he had talked to Mike Cooley. Dave Shaw was the first one that Mike Cooley called?
He was asked about the David Nelson interview in regards to the bail bonds case.
He said this case did not involve AJ Pontillo, so he was never investigating the Pontillo case. David Nelson was an employee of AJ Bail Bonds at that time. Kirk Bunch said he was never assigned to the AJ Pontillo case.
He was asked about a Frank Carson declaration challenging his integrity and honesty. Frank Carson said Kirk Bunch was involved in searches and gathering evidence at AJ Bail Bonds. Frank Carson had filed declarations saying Kirk Bunch had lied and committed perjury on the stand. Frank Carson said Kirk Bunch had used fully automatic weapons during the search and intimidated people with those weapons. He said that is not true. All I had was my sidearm and it was a semi-auto. He never used guns to intimidate people. He was working with Kim Tam of the FBI on that David Nelson interview and they did it at his house, not the AJ Pontillo business.
FYI – AJ Pontillo has video that show Kirk Bunch in there with an automatic rifle going through the business during the searches. They all have long guns going through the business.
Kirk Bunch was only there with the Dave Nelson interview to make an introduction to FBI agent Tam. It was not AJ related even though conversation bounced around. Frank Carson, he said, in a declaration, he induced Dave Nelson to give false statements, but he said he was never present during the interviews done with regards to AJ Pontillo. He was asked if Frank Carson had made statements about bizarre questions that Kirk Bunch was asking of some of the people involved in the interviews? He said no, that is not true. He was never involved in the AJ Pontillo case so what Frank Carson said was untrue. He’s familiar with the declaration accusing Kirk Bunch of being under federal investigation. If he was under federal investigation, maybe he doesn’t know about it. To my knowledge he was never under federal investigation, but that doesn’t mean he was or wasn’t.
He was asked if he knows a Brian Litho (?) and somebody by the name of Stamos? He worked for them in the Gang Task Force. Litho was there from 2009-2012 and Stamos was there from 2010-2012.
Bouncing back to the Kahn case, there was a 2010 a declaration filed by Frank Carson accused Kirk Bunch of manipulating witnesses statements. Marlisa Ferreira asked Kirk Bunch if Frank Carson was a party of that action that was going on in court or representing anybody on a case or anybody related to the case any way shape or form? He says, no to all the above. Frank Carson wasn’t involved. Except for the fact that anybody can write a declaration case if they have knowledge of a person involved. In regards to the Kahn declaration, Marlisa Ferreira asked was that declaration filed under penalty of perjury? (all deliberations are). She asked him if Frank Carson accused him of hiding evidence or any type of the misconduct? He said yeah, he accused me of all kinds of stuff. There was another objection and sidebar. It’s an area they’re going to get back to, they have to make a ruling later.
She asked him was there declaration by Frank Carson which made an accusation that Kirk Bunch had committed perjury on the level of his disability from Pittsburgh Police Department? Apparently he was disabled at Pittsburgh Police Department, but nobody knows what the level of it is or if there is even a level. I have no idea. It doesn’t sound like they were denying that there was a disability, just at the level or whatever and then he came to work in Stanislaus County.
Frank Carson of accused him of not revealing that he had some type of relationship with Pat McGrath. He said he didn’t know who Pat McGrath was at the time. Pat McGrath was somebody that was involved in the Sabatino case. If I remember correctly, somebody correct me if I’m wrong, Pat McGrath was the attorney working in the foothills who had made some accusations against Carmen Sabatino and then when it came time to the testify, he took the Fifth Amendment and would not talk. He said there was no relationship. Somebody said that they went to high school together. He says that they did not. Kirk Bunch said that did not happen.
Marlisa Ferreira asked him if the first contacted he made with Mike Cooley after talking to Dave Shaw on 4/2/2012, it was 26 days later, 4/28/2012 that he finally did talk to Mike Cooley. Kirk Bunch said he was working on other cases other than the, he said Frank Carson case, but this supposed to be the Korey Kauffman case. He was working on other cases, he had several homicides he was working. He did call Cooley a couple times, but he never called back. He was calling on Eula Keys’ phone. So finally, he just went over to the Cooley house was able to catch up to Mike Cooley. Mike Cooley was upset. He had tears in his eyes when he talked about Korey Kauffman and him being missing. Marlisa Ferreira asked if Mike Cooley had any open criminal cases at that time? He said no, a records check said there were no pending charges at the time. Different officers have testified Mike Cooley was taken into custody in 2014, but that was two years after the Korey Kauffman investigation was started. That’s when Cooley was arrested for the ammunition and selling drugs. They took him to Turlock Police Department and was held in custody for short while. He was then released. Apparently there was a deal of some sort made, he didn’t come through and they went out and arrested him a couple of weeks later.
He did run Frank Carson through the CLEARS program several times after talking to Dave Shaw. I understand the CLEARs program, to be a county program that he can run, an in-house program, where they can see who owns property said addresses and stuff like that. He said he did it for officer safety reasons and again he said he ran it twice. Mike Cooley reported saying that he saw subjects on the other side of the fence.
At this point that there’s a couple issues that they needed to clear up. So the jury was sent out on break at 2:43 PM. So we had them in there about an hour. Even when they are in there, they are constantly having sidebars and some of them are very lengthy. Judge Zuniga was telling Marlisa Ferreira there is a judicial notice that Marlisa Ferreira want to take. She needs to do some research on the federal court orders and on the federal cases and some of things that she wants to take judicial notice on. There was an opinion given by a judge on on something and she says what that is it just an opinion. She can’t take judicial notice on an opinion, but she can take judicial notice on the on judgments or rulings.
We came back from break. Marlisa Ferreira still doing redirect on Kirk Bunch. She asked about, on cross-examined the allegations that Frank Carson had beat the District Attorney’s Office in the Sabatino case. We’re are talking about disgraced Mayor Carmen Sabatino. She asked the court to take judicial notice of the minute orders or the status of that case that was so documented in the court. The People versus Sabatino on 5/24/2006, there was a mistrial. There was a second one on 7/12/2006, a month and ½ later, the case was dismissed after The People made a motion to dismiss this case in its entirety.
Getting back to the two special agents, Stamos and Lithos, who were working with Kirk Bunch on the gang task force. The gang task force worked out of Ceres and there were allegations made by Frank Carson. One, he said he said Kirk Bunch was under federal investigation, which they’ve already talked about, but they brought it up again. Kirk Bunch had talked to the agents and they had talked to Kirk Bunch about a possible investigation. There were objections. It was really a mess, the way that came out. Even if an officer is under investigation, through the Feds, they’re not going to tell him he’s under investigation, unless of course someone leaks it to him.
During an interview on 4/28/2012 they talked about the threats, Mike Cooley thought was Frank Carson brother, and terms like “I’ll bury you”. Initially it came out like, “I’ll bury you where you can’t be found”, but they realized that term was not exactly used. Frank Carson or whoever did say, I will shoot you and you’ll never be found or some to that effect. So there was an objection to hearsay and Marlisa Ferreira saying it was prior consistent statement. We go in to a little bit of a tiff on that, then a sidebar, a long sidebar.
When they came back from the sidebar, they talked about another person they had interviewed and her statement that I will shoot you on sight. That was said, Kirk Bunch said by Sabrina Romero and her husband Justin Reedy. Remember they lived in the front house at 1654 Lander Ave. That was an interview on 5/2/2012. Sabrina Romero was the one that had a $12,000 embezzlement charge taken from her employer. She did give testimony in this case. She was charged with a felony and walked away with a misdemeanor and zero days time served in jail. I have posted her minute order prior. On the minute order there was no order for restitution. Her husband Justin Reedy has no criminal activity, he’s just a working guy.
Kirk Bunch said he went to Pop and Cork on 7/10/2012. He saw no flyers of Korey Kauffman in the store. The first interview with Mike Cooley, Cooley described what he called an Allen truck by the pipes. I don’t know what an Allen truck is myself, but there was a truck, like an old ambulance about 30 feet to 40 feet away from the fence that they pipes could’ve been hauled away on. Apparently the truck or the vehicle was still there. I really don’t know the relevance of this.
Marlisa Ferreira asked about the Robert Woody/Miranda Dykes body wire, where Robert Woody said the idea was to put the body above the ground and not bury it, so it will decompose more.
Marlisa Ferreira asked Kirk Bunch in regards to having training in Quantico Virginia with the FBI? He said he said no training, but he did receive other training on federal databases in 2011. He took a week back east somewhere and it was a formal training. They had in-service training on a daily basis when he was working on the federal task force. The training involved with the task force was on obtaining federal indictments and arrests for federal custody.
The 5/23/2012 incident at the Mike Cooley residence, where Baljit Athwal and Robert Woody supposedly went by the residence. Baljit Atwal made a call to Frank Carson from the property when they were there in front of Mike Cooley’s house. Remember he wasn’t there at the time. Now they did check the call records, because Bobby Atwal did make a call on his cell phone, but there’s no calls reported. So the CDR showed no calls made at that time.
Kevin Pickett’s statement that the last time he saw Korey Kauffman,that’s when he was doing the victimology on Korey Kauffman. That’s why he said he didn’t hear anything different. There was nothing new, nothing different, it was what he had already heard.
He talked to Bobby Atwal at the Pop and Cork. She asked him did he say he was checking the property for Frank Carson? He said no, he was not. He had interviewed up Bobby Atwal two times.
In the 8/9/2012 interview, she asked him why did you go to the Frank Carson office? Did you go there to threaten Georgia DeFilippo? He said he was just trying to get a statement from Frank Carson and he had outside information in regards to Frank Carson’s property involved. Ken Barringer had gone by prior with a list of questions that he had dropped off and that was designed to enrage Frank Carson. (That’s not what Kirk Bunch said, that’s what I’m saying). He did tell Georgia DeFilippo, because of the way things were happening there, it is all going to turn bad because away Frank Carson is acting, but Frank Carson asked him 30+ times to leave and they wouldn’t leave. They didn’t exactly have a legal right to be there because they didn’t have a warrant.
He says as to the lead detective he did not always stand in as the investigating officer. There was times when he was doing other things. He was busy, what have you and Mike Brody and Cory Brown sometimes would sit at the desk with Marlisa Ferreira up at the table. He wasn’t always the investigating officer. He was also filled in by Dale Lingerfelt.
She started going to area about cross-examination of the interviews and interviewees that he had done, his procedures. There was an objection and a sidebar. When they came back she asked if he had interviewed people many times who had pending cases and have utilized their situations to try to gain an advantage? They were drug users, there were some who had homicide charges, like Victor Navar.
That’s where we stopped for the day. He’ll be back tomorrow afternoon. There’s there’s no jury in the morning. Judge Zuniga is having the attorneys come in at 11 AM tomorrow to cover the judicial notices of other things and she’s talking about the of federal cases. They need to cover some area there. The Jury is coming back at 1:30 tomorrow. I’ll just to be there 1:30 tomorrow.
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I appreciate all the support. Back tomorrow at 1:30 for the jury and they’re expecting Kirk Bunch to possibly be done tomorrow, I wouldn’t count on it, with the way we do sidebars and the snail’s pace that we run. We’ve got the Turlock Police Department officers scheduled for Friday morning so, we’ll see what happens. There were few people in court today, quite a few attorneys to hear the Judge’s ruling on the Misconduct Motion. She says there was no misconduct. She did say if Kirk Bunch wrote written report would saved a lot of trouble, but he didn’t do it. As I always say, don’t take my word for it, you need to come to court and find out for yourself. I’m really serious about this, you need to come to court find out for yourself! Good Night everybody!
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