Good evening everybody. This is Marty from DAWG’s blog with tonight’s podcast for the Frank Carson et al. Trial on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. This morning, as you all know, we had Dr. Leo on the stand this morning. He continued on direct with Hans Hjertonsson this afternoon. We had a little excitement before the jury came into the courtroom, they were locked in the elevator. They got in the elevator in the basement, the doors would not open and they were stuck. The jury, at least 7 of them, 1 man and 6 women, were sequestered in the elevator. I did notice when they came out, the one man that was in there with 6 women and was smiling. I don’t know what that means. They finally got them out of the elevator, and they had to climb the stairs. The elevator was out of order for the rest of the day. The Jury came up at 1:57 PM. The Judge on the bench at 2:03 PM.
Also note that prior to the jury coming up, the Judge was talking to the attorneys. Some of the 1101 evidence (prior bad acts, some of the things they went through and testimony that was heard. Acts that show a history of this type of behavior, ie a history of assaulting people in the past. Some of it within reason is allowed.) that has been allowed in this case, and she did strike much of it, she has lost her “stickies” in her notes in regard to that evidence. She needs input from attorneys on which witness did what and when and she needs them to start assembling the jury instructions. SMH – Shaking my head and then the jurors get stuck in the elevator. It was an interesting afternoon right off the bat.
Dr. Leo was back on the stand. Attorney Hans (I don’t know how to say Hjertonsson and I’m Swedish and I believe he’s Swedish) Hjertonsson asked him about the amount of time that was spent on this case. He went through what he called voluminous transcripts, interviews, videos, preliminary hearing transcripts, trial transcripts, law enforcement reports and other things. Hans Hjertonsson asked if he ever had been bombarded with this much paperwork in any one case? He said never, it has never been like this before. This man has been doing this for 30 years. He charges $375 dollars per hour and that is at 300 + hours, plus he’s being paid to testify.
They talked about the 3/3/14 interview, just a few days after Robert Woody was arrested. They put up on the overhead screen, they were using a powerpoint presentation where he had snippets out of each interview, statements that were made or questions that were asked. One of the things he put up “it is better to squeeze all the information out now” is what the investigators were telling Robert Woody, “the District Attorney wants Robert Woody to be a witness in this case”. This is what they were telling him at the time, but that morphed into other things and went back and forth.
Talked about the 3/14/15 interview. If I remember correctly that is a transport with Jake Jacobson. He was told he could get a more favorable position if he talked about who killed him and what happened. He was also told he should not go down for others bad deeds. Dr. Leo said that was what he called minimization. That was a prime example of minimization.
Again, concentrating on the 3/14 transportation with Steve “St. Juice” Jacobson taking him to a court date. St. Juice was telling him that he was going to go away and never see his kids again. He’s never going to be around to help his Mom and Dad and especially his Mom, who has failing health. Robert Woody made some statements in the transportations and he said: I feel like I’m going down for something I didn’t do. I’m being treated like an animal. “St. Juice” told him that four people are suspects and you are the only one in custody. It took more than one person to do what happened in this situation. These guys did street justice and Robert Woody is facing the death penalty. “St. Juice” continued saying these guys will take you out, that is why you are housed at a different jail. Dr. Leo said that is another classic example of minimization, trying to minimize Robert Woody’s culpability and trying to blame other people.
The 8/14/15 interview with Sgt. Domby (at the time) and Steve “St. Juice” Jacobson and they were telling him that he couldn’t have stopped it, nothing that he could have done could have stopped the homicide and this is rolling down hill and there is nothing he can do to stop it now. Dr. Leo was talking about some of the scenarios that led up to these conversations too. Robert Woody had lied in the 3/1/14 interview to “The Juice” and “The Juice” said there is nothing you can do to stop what is going on. He later recanted some of that. “The Juice” wants Robert Woody to help us, help you. The Chief Deputy DA, which I believe was Marlisa Ferreira, is trying to help. During that interview, they were talking about the investigators told him that Woody knows he was manipulated by these other people, they got him to do something he wouldn’t normally do and his family loves him too much for him not to what he needs to do to get out of this.
It was daylight and they went to Korey Kauffman’s house in the BMW, made the “ass is grass” comment and told him the neighbors saw that. Again, they were scripting Robert Woody – telling him what they knew, telling him what to say. It was daylight and Woody doesn’t know the difference between days and months, he said that on the stand. It was the last week in March and the neighbor heard the threats. Again, it was some contamination. They were educating Robert Woody in the facts, instead of getting facts from Robert Woody.
They told him the Athwals had Robert Woody doing their bidding. That was scripting.
The details on the phones, they told him they had cell phone evidence. That was contamination and scripting.
Baljit Athwal hitting Korey Kauffman in the head with his fists and Korey Kauffman couldn’t get away. This was both contaminating and scripting.
Saying no one could have stood up to that assault. “The Juice” asking Robert Woody, in regard to Korey Kauffman, probably getting his ribs punched with fists. They were scripting. He was continually being told what happened on the property. They were scripting. They said there was some doubt about what Robert Woody had done. They did help in some manner on the property. Again, scripting. Make Uncle Frank proud and beating Korey Kauffman made Frank Carson happy. Again Scripting. They were doing what law enforcement officers could not do. Again scripting. “The Juice” and Domby suggested that “D” had fired from a low caliber firearm at Korey Kauffman. Again, scripting, they were telling him what they wanted him to say. Robert Woody had denied seeing any weapons whatsoever at the scene, prior. Domby was telling him he heard a shot being fired and didn’t actually see it because he said he was walking away. Again scripting. “The Juice” was asking about the fence on the Frank Carson property. Again scripting. He was saying the was the same day they went to court and they had gone to the Mike Cooley residence. Robert Woody said Baljit Athwal had drove around looking for the Frank Carson property. Robert Woody said they drove around until they found the Carson property. Steve Jacobson said well, that’s not making any sense because he knew where the property was. So Woody said, Oh yeah, he found the property. Jacobson said he was on the property prior. They also said the Cooley visit was in May 2012, but the court date was a different date than they were talking about.
Dr. Leo said the techniques used creates a risk for false confession. The research over the years and a consensus in the community shows these types of techniques face high risk of false confessions. The techniques beat down and manipulate the suspect until they finally just give in. Dr. Leo stated he was not here to say that Robert Woody’s statements were true or false, just techniques that were coercive that were used in this case.
Attorney Hans Hjertonsson had no further questions. Jai Gohel had no further questions. Percy Martinez had no questions.
Marlisa Ferreira started on cross-exam. She asked about him working at University of San Francisco and he started there in 2006. He teaches classes there and is a researcher. He had never taken the bar exam. He has a PhD in jurisprudence, that makes him a lawyer. She asked him what type of law experience he had? He worked as a paralegal for three years total and then in college worked for the San Francisco DA’s office as an intern. She also asked him if he got involved in cases. He said no I was just an intern and no direct involvement of any criminal cases. She asked him if he licensed to practice psychology or psychiatry? He said no. He does not diagnose psychiatric issues. She asked does he have clinical status. Is he board certified? He said there is no such things as board certified. He is not a doctor. He is a recognized psychologist in the rule of law. He is a social psychologist in the rule of law.
Marlisa Ferreira was trying to discredit him and trying to go at him a little hard. Many objections and sidebars.
Marlisa Ferreira asked Dr. Leo if he’d ever been to medical school? He said no. I think he’s answered that several times. He can’t write scripts for prescriptions. She asked if he is a practicing lawyer? He said no. He is a professor and a researcher. Now, she asked him three times the same question. She kind of gets stuck sometimes, it seems.
She asked him how many cases has he had where it has been proven it was a false confession? He said, I have no idea, I don’t keep those statistics. That isn’t his thing. He isn’t there to get people aquitted, he’s just there to talk about false confessions. She asked him three times, there were objections three times and he told her Ma’m, I’ve told you three times now. Of course, that was objected to and the Judge didn’t like the way he answered it, but he kept getting asked the same question over and over again.
She asked him about the three times he testified for the District Attorney’s Office. One was in San Diego in California vs. Tuit (?). He said it was actually one person involved, it was two trials and a pretrial. It was handled by the Attorney General’s Office. It was in San Diego The charges were homicide. He testified in 2002, 2003 and 2013. The defendant was acquitted.
He has testified 300 times for the defense. Again, she asked about statistics for false confessions. Again, he said I don’t keep those statistics. It was getting a little heated and she didn’t like his answers. He didn’t like her questions nor her attitude.
The Judge shut it down around 3:10 PM. There was an article that Marlisa Ferreira was bringing up that the defense wasn’t privy to. It was about him, I understand, so they had to give copies to defense attorneys to look over, so they called it a day.
The jury is coming back at 9:30 AM tomorrow. Dr. Leo will be back on the stand. There has been some shortening up of days. Dr. Leo is supposed to be done testifying by Tuesday of next week. Next Tuesday there is no court, because a juror has something going on. They say he can’t testify past Tuesday because he has other obligations, but the Judge is saying once I’ve got him and he’s sworn in, he’s mine. There is short day on Friday, we get out at 3:00 PM, due to a juror.
Today we had a Judge who lost her “stickies”. A jury sequestered in the elevator for 20 min or so. Dr. Leo on the stand talking about false confessions. We will be doing this again tomorrow.
I just ordered a few transcripts and they are a little pricey. I buy them sparingly, but I ordered them when I got home today and I’ll be getting those soon and I’ll keep you updated on that.
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A few people in court today, it’s cool, it’s good to see. Every once in a while, we see fresh faces. We’ll be back at it tomorrow. As I always say: Don’t take my word for it come to court and find out yourself. Good Night everybody!