Humans have a habit of shortening the lifespan of trees. We just love to cut them down, and we do so with startling efficiency, damaging or wiping out forests that have been around for centuries and some for much, much longer.

The United States is no exception, but there are still small pockets of the country that are pretty much the same as they’ve always been, and researchers recently spent the time to study one such area in North Carolina. What they found were several trees that easily top the 2,000-year mark and at least one that is well over 2,600 years old.

The study, which was published in Environmental Research Communications, examined a total of 110 trees located in a 16,000-acre plot of land owned by the North Carolina Nature Conservancy. The trees, which are Bald Cypress, are located along the Black River.

Researchers, taking tiny core samples that don’t risk the life of the trees, knew that many of the specimens in the area were well over 1,000 years old based on previous research. Nevertheless, the scientists were surprised to find multiple trees that passed the 2,000-year threshold and a single tree, designated BLK227, which was at least 2,624 years old.

With numbers that large, it’s hard to really put it in perspective. For a bit of context, consider that BLK227 predates the reign of Alexander the Great by over 200 years. By the time the first Pilgrims arrived on the shores of the United States, this one particular tree was already over 2,200 years old. Yeah, it’s ancient.

“It is exceedingly unusual to see an old-growth stand of trees along the whole length of a river like this,” Professor David Stahle, lead author of the study, said in a statement. “Bald cypress are valuable for timber and they have been heavily logged. Way less than 1 percent of the original virgin bald cypress forests have survived.”




#99 Kirk Bunch 3-28-2019-4-12-2019

The prosecution’s final witness it testified that he had no personal interest in this case it was just business, admitted during cross-examination that he had interviewed Kevin Pickett sometime around April 3, 2012. Did not write a report on that telephone interview, and destroyed his notes, so there’s no record of the conversation.

Does not recall Frank Carson making any type of disparaging comments or remarks about him in legal briefings or complaints.

Was present for Ofc. Dave Shaw from Turlock Police Department’s testimony in regards to him calling Kirk Bunch directly from Michael Cooley property but does not recall Ofc. Shaw testifying to that fact.

Insists he did not interview Michael Cooley on April 2, 2012 even though the report that he wrote is dated on that date.

On April 12, 2019, almost a year to the day of the start, the prosecution rested their case.

The defense case now starts:

#100 James Silvera 4-12-2019

Turlock Police Department Lieut. testified not having any knowledge of the claims made by Michael Maunakea in his testimony. Was involved in the search warrants of Maunakea for drug dealing, some property was confiscated there was never a mini recorder noted on any property sheet. Nor was he aware of any threats or beat downs of Michael Maunakea.

#101 Jason Watson 4-12-2019

Turlock police officer also testified that he was involved in the search warrants of Michael Maunakea’s residence for drug dealings. He also said that to his knowledge there was never a mini recorder taken from Maunakea’s residence. Also was not aware of any beat downs on Maunakea by any Turlock Police Department officer.

#102 Patrick Emery 4-17-2019-4-18-2019

Lieut. Cmdr. Patrick Emery is Walter Wells brother-in-law and was with him on the night of the alleged homicide. Lieutenant Commander Emery was dressed in his dress blues uniform and was promptly attacked by Marlisa Ferriera for doing so. Marlisa Ferriera had also tried to tell the proper uniforms to be worn to this 22 year Navy man. Marlisa Ferriera was extremely hostile to Lieut. Cmdr. Emery when he testified in regard to being with Walter Wells the night the alleged homicide occurred, which destroys their timeline. Lieut. Cmdr. Emery handled himself very professional in the face of a very vicious attack.

#103 Billy Dishman 4-18-2019

owner of private investigators business which he had at one time employed Praveen Singh, eventually terminating his employment. Testified that on one occasion while at Praveen Singh’s residence he was shown a full class a uniform, including flak jacket and firearm. The patches on the uniform were from Modesto Police Department.

#104 Jesse Baucom 4-18-2019

Turlock Police Department Sgt. was involved in the investigation leading up to the search warrant on Michael Maunakea’s house. Had no knowledge of any type of mini recorder that was confiscated or taken from the residence. Also was not aware of any attacks or beat downs of Michael Maunakea, by any Turlock Police Department officer.

#105 Dominic Hernandez 4-18-2019

Turlock Police Department officer had assisted the narcotics unit in the search warrants and arrest of Michael Maunakea. I was not familiar with Maunakea nor could recall who he was and never had any type of dealings with him prior or sense.

#106 Sean Martin 4-18-2019

Modesto police officer who had interviewed Victor Navar after his arrest and return from Mexico.

Stated Navarre in finally admitted they had planned a robbery of the marijuana and had talked about the firearms that were planned to be used in the drug ripoff.

Navar never mentioned the $180,000 to him in his statement.

#107 Luke Schwartz 4-30-2019

Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. testified was working patrol on the date of the altercation between Frank Carson and Steve Jacobson in the courthouse hallways and was called to take the report. Testified that Steve “St Juice” Jacobson admitted knocking the camera out of Frank Carson’s hand because his picture was being taken. Had referred the report to the District Attorney’s Office for review but no charges were ever filed.

#108 Jacob Hook 4-30-2018

responding officer to Praveen Singh’s business invasion. Testified Singh immediately advised him that he was an important witness in the Frank Carson case, and it seemed like he was trying to dictate the investigation.

#109 Dr. Paik 4-30-2019

Stanislaus County coroner viewed the remains of Korey Kauffman after they were found in Mariposa County. It was only partial skeletal remains and was not able to determine any cause of death. Mr. Paik was originally from Korea and it appeared he spoke very little English it was very hard to understand.

Note: the witness list is currently up to date as of May 2019,

there may be a discrepancy in the number of witnesses due to some

missed days on my part or forgetting to write them down.