Good evening everybody. This is Marty from DAWG’s Blog with tonight’s podcast of the Frank Carson et al. Trial. Today is Thursday, April 11, 2019. There was no morning session today.
Court was scheduled for 1:30 PM. The Jury was up at 1:33 PM. The Judge was on the bench at 1:37 PM. So, we did pretty good.
Kirk Bunch was back on the stand. Marlisa Ferreira was continuing re-re-re-re-re-re-redirect and talking again about the declarations filed by Frank Carson. She asked him if Frank Carson ever made a personal complaint against him with the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office? He said no. She asked him if he’d ever been disciplined due to the complaints or declarations made by Frank Carson? He said no. Marlisa Ferreira had no further questions.
Percy Martinez went into re-re-re-re-re-re-cross. Talking about the declarations in the Kahn Case. That got objected to and so the question never really got out, so I’m not sure what the question was referring to. Frank Carson’s first encounter with Kirk Bunch was in the Carmen Sabatino Case. Frank Carson alleged that Kirk Bunch intimidated and threatened witness and influenced statements made in interviews. Frank Carson said Kirk Bunch would not document exculpatory information put out by witnesses. Frank Carson believed Kirk Bunch had committed perjury. Percy Martinez asked in regards to his medical retirement and what level was his disability? He said he doesn’t know what his level was, it was determined by the doctor and he doesn’t know what it was. He was on a disability retirement with Pittsburg Police Dept (in the Bay Area, CA) and he was then employed by Stanislaus County DA’s Office. So, he was too disabled to work there, but it was OK for him to work here.
On a personal note, I saw this many, many times where I used to work. There were many officers, one in particular, who was involved in a shooting in southern CA where he worked for LAPD or Sheriff’s Office. They had killed an elderly lady who was not who they were looking for. On officer opened fire and other officers followed. There were 3-4 officers that opened fire on a car, killing this lady. He was disabled because of the stress of the shooting and couldn’t work for LA County or Police Dept. Then he came up here and was hired by the Sheriff’s Dept here to do the same work. So, he was receiving disability retirement from LA County, because he couldn’t do police work and then gets hired by a police agency up here to do police work. It is very common in law enforcement and it happens all the time.
Frank Carson claimed that Kirk Bunch tried to threaten Frank Carson, himself. Frank Carson said that Kirk Bunch had made a comment: “I know where you live” type of thing. Remember if you say that to a police officer, that is a crime, under section 69 of the penal code.
Kirk Bunch left Pittsburg Police Dept on a medical retirement and Percy Martinez asked him if he claimed full disability? There was an objection and a very animated sidebar.
He left Pittsburg Police Dept. He filed disability. His surgeon had determined he was disabled, and the surgeon filed his disability and determined the level of disability. He had a couple of surgeries on his shoulder and some pins in his shoulder. He doesn’t know his own level of disability. Percy Martinez asked if he was receiving a pension from Pittsburg Police Dept for this disability? He said yes, he is. So, in addition to his salary he is getting disability from Pittsburg.
They moved on to the Carmen Sabatino Trial. It was an 8-week trial. Carmen Sabatino was in the courtroom at the time of this conversation. Apparently, part of the agreement between the DA’s office and Carmen Sabatino, he is not supposed to be in the room when they are talking about issues concerning him. He was asked to leave. He didn’t want to do it. Judge Zuniga noted he was in there. So, he did go wait outside, until they were done talking about him. Percy Martinez asked Kirk Bunch if he provided notes to John Goulart in the Carmen Sabatino case. John Goulart was a DDA at the time and is now working as a city attorney or counsel now. Percy Martinez asked him if Frank Carson had criticized Kirk Bunch and his work on the case and challenged his honesty? Kirk Bunch said no, he didn’t challenge my honesty. Percy Martinez asked him at any time did Frank Carson question his honesty? He said yes, he did. Frank Carson challenged his professionalism. Yes, he did. Kirk Bunch was part of the prosecution team in the Sabatino case? Yes. At some point the case was dismissed. He was asked if any other attorney said those things about him that Frank Carson said? He said no.
They talked about Dave Shaw, now Turlock PD officer, was on the Gang Task Force and they had worked together. Frank Carson had defended some gang members. Kirk Bunch was an investigator in some of those cases. Sometimes Kirk Bunch gets defiant and doesn’t want to answer the question. He said he couldn’t answer the question the way it was asked. He started to sound like Jim Cook all over again. He was asked if he was an investigator on some of those cases? He said the way it’s asked; I can’t answer that.
There were some objections, so they moved on to the Kahn case. Percy Martinez asked him was the Kahn case a gang case. He said no, it was not a gang case, but it was investigated by the gang task force. So it sounds like they are using this gang task force (it’s a federal resources paid for by the feds) for many other things. There was an agent Tam, and FBI agent (my understanding is that Tam is longer with the FBI. He ran into some type of problem) and Kirk Bunch had gone to AJ’s bail bond business in December 2008. He said he didn’t recall that, but he read the transcript of the report. He was remembering that he was there, he was just not remembering when he was there. He had received information on the progress of the AJ bail bonds case. David Nelson who work for AJ Pontillo had given them information in regards to the activities of Mark Davis (who also worked for AJ Pontillo at the time) and they said something about Mark Davis’ wife too, but I’m not sure what exactly what that was all about. He said it was a federal investigation that was going on and then he said well, eventually it was a federal investigation that was going on and that’s why the gang task force was investigating a local bail bonds business. He was not part of the federal team investigating AJ Pontillo, even though he seems to do a lot interviews and SWAT entries into businesses for search warrants. He made mention that AJ Pontillo was taken into custody on state charges, along with Mark Davis. Kirk Bunch didn’t get any information about this. He said he didn’t know anything about it, he wasn’t involved in it, but he did talk to David Nelson and in regards to AJ Pontillo. Percy Martinez had a show Kirk Bunch a transcript of that interview and Kirk Bunch did ask some questions to AJ Pontillo? He said yeah, I did, but he wasn’t involved in the investigation. Percy Martinez and asked if Kirk Bunch was involved in the state case? He said no, he was not.
In the AJ case declaration filed by Frank Carson in regard to Kirk Bunch being involved in the investigation, claiming that searches were done, interview with witnesses were done, and seizing of evidence were done by Kirk Bunch in the AJ Pontillo Case. Kirk Bunch says no, to all of the above. He said no, I didn’t do any of that. Percy Martinez then produced an array of pictures, I believe there was about eight of them, of still shots from the CCTV (closed-circuit television) at the bail bonds office. He had Kirk Bunch look at the pictures. Yes, he was in the pictures, he admits that. He was making entry into the front door of the business. He was making a forceful entry into the bail bonds business. Kirk Bunch was with the entry team serving the search warrant — that was the second picture. The third picture, and Kirk Bunch confirmed this, talking with people inside the business. The fourth picture, Kirk Bunch confirmed, that he and Steve “St. Juice” Jacobson were clearing the business for any other people and/or weapons. The fifth picture Kirk Bunch and two other entry officers are standing at a locked door, eventually they find out it is a closet. The sixth picture is with Kirk Bunch and four other entry officers inside the business. The seventh picture Kirk Bunch and three other officers inside the business, they’re clearing the business. The eighth picture is Kirk Bunch with five other officers, and he gave the names of all the officers some he couldn’t tell by the angles, but he was saying who they were and most of them involved were in the Federal Gang Task Force. The ninth picture is with Kirk Bunch and AJ Pontillo being escorted out of the building. There was one of those pictures I didn’t mention that Kirk Bunch’s foot was up against the door. He was kicking a door in, and it ended up being a closet or storage area, to make entry into that room.
So that’s the pictures Percy Martinez was using. These were all put out on the overhead for the jury and everybody else to see. Again, it was Kirk Bunch going to the front door still saying he was not part of the search team, but he was making the entry. Entry was made to search the business, but still says he is not part of the search. He kept repeating that.
I’m not can go through each one of these, but basically, they’re all the same thing. He’s talking about the officers in the nine pictures that I just told you about. AJ Pontillo, he said, hadn’t been located in some of those pictures yet, so they were searching the building to make sure it was safe. They had not gone upstairs prior to kicking in that closet door. Derek Perry was there with an assault rifle. Steve Jacobson was there in some of those pictures carrying a shotgun. There was a Lieut. Mariscal, a Task Force Officer, a liason to the FBI. He talked about the officers that were there were Task Force Officers. David Shaw was part of the Gang Task Force. There was a gentleman by the name of Valencia that was part of that team and the somebody by the name of Robinson. So I guess there were six officers there, may be more, six or seven.
He was asked was the AJ case a gang case. He said no was not, but they used the gang task force to make entries. He said they do for several agencies throughout the county. They don’t use the SWAT; they use the Gang Task Force. Again, he is not there for the search warrant, he repeated, he was there to make the entry. AJ was walked out while the building was being searched. Kirk Bunch did not see anything being seized; he did not see a file seized.
My understanding is and someone correct me if I’m wrong, this search that was done at AJ bail bonds was done in search of one file. They kicked doors, came in with long guns, shotguns and AR 15’s and they did this looking for a file. Kirk Bunch is not sure how long he was there. He did no paperwork, wrote no report on what was done. He had no idea what was taken under the search warrant.
Percy Martinez then turned his attention to Sabrina Romero, and she had heard Frank Carson say something, it was apparently written in the report, but she identified Frank Carson as the one that was there. She heard a disturbance, but she did not recall what Frank Carson said. Now they had reported that she said the Frank Carson said, I’ll shoot you guy and your bodies will never be found, type of comments. He had to refer to his report to refresh. What she had told them was that her husband, Justin Reedy, is the one that heard this statement and he had told her about what was said, and she just repeated what she was told by somebody else. So they had wrote that she had heard it and told investigators, but that the truth the matter was it just something that she was told by somebody else.
Percy Martinez started to go into contents of a report that was made by Noel Vento. He actually said was a 496 case, which is possession of stolen property, and it was a section 484 case, a theft case. Kirk Bunch corrected him on that as he reviewed his report. Also, on the second page is in regards to there is a well-worn walked path that goes past the Cooley house to the back fence that the borders the Carson property. Now there was an area of the report that Percy Martinez want to go into and it was objected to. Judge Zuniga says no you cannot go into that. Not allowing Kirk Bunch to discuss what was in the report and the defense’s argument was, well Marlisa Ferreira brought this up and discussed what was in the report. The judge says well, it was for a different purpose and she was allowed to do that, but you cannot for whatever reasons. So, they had to unhappily move on.
Percy Martinez asked him it in regard to all these Frank Carson declarations that he said have been filed against him, Kirk Bunch never filed a declaration or declared in opposition to any of them. So, he never opposed any of those declarations.
Kirk Bunch also noted that he did not recall Eula Keys car in the driveway. He said he didn’t know if it was there not, he just doesn’t recall. He never checked DMV records for car for Eula Keys. He was asked if Eula Keys ever reported that she was being followed in her car? He said no, that was Linda Sue Burns that reported that. Percy Martinez is saying that Eula Keys reported being followed one time also. He also said Mike Cooley had mentioned in a report where Frank Carson was the reporting party of the theft that occurred. So, Mike Cooley was listed as a suspect, which he says they use SUS on that. There were only two calls for service in 2011 and there were none in 2012 at 1364 Lander Ave.
Then he also asked him how the AJ case end up? He says in an acquittal.
He asked Kirk Bunch if he received a call from Dave Shaw in regards to Mike Cooley. Cooley called David Shaw in regards to Korey Kauffman missing. David Shaw described Mike Cooley and objection, objection, objection, sidebar.
Now sometimes Marlisa Ferreira will object and then try to figure out why she’s objecting. The judge will say legal basis. Because she’s not allowing, and I think appropriately so, not allowing talking objections. Whenever Marlisa Ferreira seems to stumble on an objection, they call a sidebar to try to figure it out.
So, based on the information that he received from Shaw on April 2, 2012, he said on April 5, 2012, he tried to get a hold of Mike Cooley who said he had urgent information. He loved Korey Kauffman like a son. Kirk Bunch called the Eula Keys phone, that was the only phone that number that they had available for Cooley. Mike Cooley never called back. Kirk Bunch finally went over there on April 28, 2012 and talk to him in person. In the meantime, Kirk Bunch had also talked to Jason Garner, but never noted talking to Garner in his report. So, he wrote a report, it sounded like he was using Gartner’s information in his report and that’s basically what he was referencing, but he never said he talked to Garner or anybody else. Nobody knew that he had talked to Kevin Pickett around April 3, 2012 until he testified in court here a week or two ago. There was no mention, no report and this is what the misconduct motion was all about. The only other person that was involved investigation that he was aware of, was Dorothy Gonzales. She’s a CSO officer that testified in his case for the sheriff department. Kirk Bunch also had not mentioned Ken Barringer, a Sheriff’s office deputy the first detective that was in charge of the missing person case of Korey Kauffman. He did note in the report that Mike Cooley was saying that he was targeted by Frank Carson, because of the thefts on Frank Carson’s property.
The first meeting he had in regard to this case with the other officers, he didn’t think he shared the Kevin Pickett info in regards to the 29th of March date. Frank Navarro, this is something that he was a little sketchy on too, Kirk Bunch was supposed to be the lead investigator that’s way I understood that, but Frank Navarro was assigned to the case around May 2012 along with John Evers. Frank Navarro was the one that ended up interviewing Kevin Pickett, but he says he’s not sure if he talked about Kevin Pickett are not with Navarro. Kirk Bunch said he couldn’t answer the question when Percy Martinez asked if he sent Navarro go talk to Pickett. It was really splitting hairs and semantics going on. He didn’t recall if he had told them that he talked to Kevin Pickett already. Navarro came back and discussed what he had done on 5/18/12 and the Kevin Pickett interview. Percy Martinez at this time had no further questions.
Attorney Hans Hjertonsson then went into re-re-re-re-re-re cross. Kirk Bunch couldn’t recall conversation with Frank Navarro in regard to Kevin Pickett. His conversation with Kevin Pickett was not recorded. He did not write a report. Conversation was about seven years ago, but he was really unsure about when he talked to Frank Navarro and his conversations in regards to this case. Hans Hjertonsson asked him does he think that the last day that Korey Kauffman was seeing might be important. He said Kevin Pickett did say it was the last Friday in March. Again, he did not tell anybody in regards to the Kevin Pickett information until he testified in court. He never mentioned it to anybody and never wrote a report.
He was asked if Frank Carson said he was dishonest and more? He said yes. Hans Hjertonsson asked him if Percy Martinez had asked him if he is part of the investigation and search warrant of AJ case? There was an objection and they got past it. Kirk Bunch said he was not part of the search warrant. He made entry to the building, but not part of the search warrant. Hans Hjertonsson asked about the closed-circuit television still shots that show Kirk Bunch kicking doors with search warrant authority. He says Steve Jacobson was in close proximity. He asked him if Steve Jacobson was the lead investigator? He said no, Steve Jacobson was not the lead investigator. That kinda caught everybody’s attention, because Steve Jacobson testified just a couple weeks ago that he was the lead investigator in the AJ Pontillo case. He is saying that is not his understanding of that. That was actually led by a federal officer, Mariscal, it may not have been Mariscal, but that was mentioned that it was led by someone else, he gave a name and I’m drawing a blank on it right now. So, it wasn’t Steve Jacobson, even though Jacobson had testified it was.
Hans Hjertonsson went into the office visit on August 9, 2012. He was asked about Marlisa Ferreira asking him about the comment to Georgia DeFilippo, it’s all bad what’s going on with Frank Carson during that visit. Kirk Bunch was on indicating the office visit and all the activities going on. He says he he did not recall exactly what he said verbatim. He refreshed with the transcript. There was an objection and Judge Zuniga took it to a sidebar. Kirk Bunch said he had told Georgia DeFillipo, “it’s going to be all bad”. He did not recall Georgia DeFilippo’s response, but he said she was very calm, she was handling herself very well and she was talking about all the statements from all these criminal types and tweakers and they’re basing all this information on that. He also asked him that the Georgia DeFilippo was was being calm and cooperative and talking to them, in fact she was outside talking to John Evers, and Hans Hjertonsson asked didn’t you take her into custody a few months later in this case? There was objection. Hans Hjertonsson had no more questions.
Jai Gohel had no more questions.
The judge looked a Marlisa Ferreira and she said you have any re-re-re-re-redirect? Marlisa Ferreira said yes, I have a few questions. The judge shrugged her shoulders and had that look on her face and she say how much more do you have? Marlisa Ferreira says, I only have three pages of notes, Your Honor. The judge’s shoulders fell again, and her forehead just about hit the bench. She says go ahead.
She asked him did you threaten Georgia DeFilippo. He said no, he did not. He was trying to get through to her because she was calm, talking and cooperative. There was objection to that, I don’t know if she was cooperative, but she wasn’t excited, she was handling herself pretty well apparently. Marlisa Ferreira wanted to go into some areas of that and the Judge says the tape speaks for itself. The jury has seen it. Kirk Bunch had told her it’s all bad to the Frank Carson attitudes and behavior during a visit. Again objections.
There were some comments made by Kirk Bunch or some comments made by Marlisa Ferreira, there’s some comments made by some of the other attorneys and it was all stricken. The judge is not happy about any of that. There were some inappropriate things said.
Marlisa Ferreira finally moved on. She asked him in the Noel Vento report did it list Mike Cooley as the suspect. There’s an objection. She moved on. S
She asked me Frank Carson’s declarations were true. There’s an objection to that, so she moved on. She asked him if any the allegations made by Frank Carson were true? He said of course. She asked him again if those declarations were filed under the penalty of perjury? Of course, they were, all declarations are.
Marlisa Ferreira moved on to the medical questions asked by defense attorneys. Kirk Bunch had two surgeries and unknown what the doctor rated his disability. He went to Stanislaus County after Pittsburg Police Department where he was just disabled and there was no exclusion and going to Stanislaus County and doing what he does now.
Then she talked about the 12/23/2008 interview with David Nelson. He said the agent from Department of Insurance was the lead investigator. His name was Reniscus (?) or something like that and Dave Harris were both going to court every day. So, he saw Reniscus at the District Attorney’s Office every day when that he met Dave Harris to go to court.
He said that entry team on a search warrant makes entry after a search warrant is issued and they clear the building for the search team to come in and safely do a search. So he saying there’s a difference between an entry team in a search warrant team. They make the entry and then the other guys come in and do the search. Kirk Bunch says he had tactical experience for 15 years at Pittsburgh Police Department and doing these types of things with SWAT.
The jury was sent out at 4:05 PM. We were done for the day and we come back tomorrow. Judge Zuniga is trying to move this thing forward, to be honest with you. I think she’s under pressure to get this case over with, but it’s just not going to happen anytime soon. Kirk Bunch is supposed to be done tomorrow; we’ll see. Then the the defense can start their case tomorrow hopefully. That’s all I got for today. Just a half a day today. Back at 9:30 AM tomorrow for a full day of court.
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