Good evening, everybody. This is Marty from DAWG’s blog with tonight’s podcast on the Frank Carson et al. Trial. Today is Thursday, May 16, 2019.
The jury was scheduled to come back at 2:00 PM so the Judge could talk to attorneys. She was on the bench at 1:35 PM. They were talking about Hans Hjertonsson’s question about the Tuit (?) case that Dr. Leo had testified in, for I believe the prosecution, at one point down in San Diego. It was a case that was first a conviction and then appealed. He was hired by somebody that was a defendant at one time who was exonerated through evidence or something (I don’t know). Then he testified for the Attorney General who had taken over the case and they ended up with an acquittal. Marlisa Ferreira doesn’t want them going into that even though she asked questions about that case. Hans Hjertonsson stated that Judge Zuniga said she researched this case and wants to know what Hans is going to do with the information that they are talking about here. Hans Hjertonsson said Marlisa Ferreira asked who he was hired by in her line of questioning and there was an article in regards to that, that Marlisa Ferreira asked if he had testified for the prosecution. There was this article they had been talking about that was done about an article about him, so they are running the two together when she was asking about it because he said he testified for the prosecution once. Marlisa Ferreira asked him about the article and if he had testified for the prosecution in the past, it was the Attorney General or the military. He wasn’t clear on it, it had been awhile. Hans Hjertonsson wanted to ask some more questions in that line. Originally, Dr. Leo had been hired by the brother of the victim, because he had been accused of the crime and there was a false confession of some sort that happened or suspected to have happened. Eventually, there was a conviction. Truitt (?) was convicted, it came back for retrial on appeal and he testified for the Attorney General’s office in the retrial and Truitt (?) was aquitted. Hans Hjertonsson said the result of Marlisa Ferreira asking that was to lead the jury to a specific belief that he was not effective or did not give good information. He says this was not brought up in direct examination and Marlisa Ferreira brought it up and it is fair game. Marlisa Ferreira agreed there is some relevancy in this, but that Dr. Leo testified for the Attorney General, but it goes to that fact he was initially hired by the defense and there was a confession by a defendant that was eventually exonerated and it is just not relevant. Hans Hjertonsson asked why Marlisa Ferreira ask the outcome of the case if it not relevant. She asked what was the end result? Dr. Leo also testified in the civil case and again, Hans Hjertonsson is asking, why did Marlisa Ferreira ask the question about the civil case.
Percy Martinez made an argument. The Judge didn’t want him to, she said this is Hans Hjertonsson’s argument. Percy Martinez said, No, Your Honor, it goes to all the defendants. Robert Woody’s confession, the things he said. It is misleading the jury when Dr. Leo was hired by the defense originally and false confession were determined. It is relevant and misleading to the jury. There is a picture being painted for the jury that is misleading.
Judge Zuniga said it is relevant of the acquittal, but also that he testified for the Attorney General’s office, but the all the rest of it is not relevant, she says. I’m not really understanding why this is an issue, because it was questioned by Marlisa Ferreira.
Hans Hjertonsson said he’d like to make a record. Judge Zuniga told him No. She said you already have an appealable issue, there is no reason to say anything now. That surprised me, because she likes to let the attorneys make their record and she denied him.
The next issue was the question that Marlisa Ferreira had asked, if there was a vacated conviction by the DA’s office, does that indicate a false confession and Dr. Leo said not necessarily a false confession. There was an objection on it and much discussion about it.
Jai Gohel argued that Marlisa Ferreira had asked Dr. Leo about Robert Woody’s statements in the body wire and those were things that were held back by law enforcement officers. So they were talking about the holdbacks and the information that Robert Woody had; like laying the body on top of the ground. Robert Woody did say what he said on the recording was the information that he heard from the streets.
Judge Zuniga again said that Dr. Leo is here because he’s an expert in police tactics in the interrogations. That’s all he can talk about. The defense is arguing that Marlisa Ferreira was allowed to go into many areas and the Judge is limiting the defense to just one area.
Jai Gohel also argued that Marlisa Ferreira has attacked Dr. Leo’s credibility and the defense is allowed at the rehab their witness. There was some conversation about a question that was asked and Judge Zuniga drew a total blank. She said she can’t remember if a question was asked and it was just today in court. I don’t know what she was talking about. She was totally confused and she looked disoriented. She took a lot of time looking at the record and it was very confusing for several minutes. Evidently, Jai Gohel had made an objection to it but she couldn’t remember what it was.
Also Jai Gohel said that that they want to be able to rehab Dr. Leo with notable cases. He’s been highly sought by TV shows, An Innocent Man, Making of a Murderer. There’s hundreds of other things that he’s been involved with, the media interviews and shows some of the crime shows on TV.
Judge Zuniga said trying to rehab Dr. Leo with some of these other cases, these high-profile things and all the work that is done is fair game, but this article that was written about him-it wasn’t written by him, it was about him-so she said that is not relevant.
Marlisa Ferreira argued the article that quotes him, says that Dr. Leo agreed that law enforcement officers do not deliberately try to get false confessions. He feels that they just get tunnel vision and they just keep moving to get certain answers, they’ve made up their minds, they feel they know what they know and are trying to get answers. He doesn’t feel that they deliberately try to get false confessions and she also said the Dr. Leo had agreed with that quote that was in the article. Marlisa Ferreira said she did not go into the other media cases in the other high-profile stuff. She says for the defense to go into that now, there’s no foundation, it’s outside the scope for them to go into any other cases.
Judge Zuniga then took the article and read it. Marlisa Ferreira kept talking while the Judge was reading the article and the Judge didn’t hear a thing she said. Marlisa Ferreira was saying that the article is hearsay and Dr. Leo’s only makes a couple of statements that are attributed to him in the article.
Jai Gohel argued that many of the other cases and organizations that he’s been involved in, will rehab him. It’s up for the jury to decide his credibility, not for anybody else. He also said Dr. Leo has been nominated for many awards on this subject and he was even nominated, I believe he said, was for on honorary Pulitzer. I forget exactly what he said. It had something to do with that case called the Northwind 4 case.
Marlisa Ferreira says that it does not give him credibility or relevancy in this case, just because he’s a TV star. There’s no law, she said, that TV gives him credibility. Jai Gohel said Marlisa Ferreira had asked him for his resume, his CV and all the information on his CV past work, so he said she gave it relevancy.
Marlisa Ferreira started in on one of her patented rants and the Judge did cut her off. The jury is still sitting downstairs. Judge Zuniga said she read the article and comments by someone else in the article and any other casework, she says the objection by the prosecution was sustained, as this is hearsay. The defense can go into his qualifications, awards, and his expertise. The information in the article the Marlisa Ferreira brought up, she is saying that the defense can’t go into any more, but they can go in and talk about his of his qualifications, his records and his expertise.
Hans Hjertonsson says that this stuff gives some of the foundation, he wants to go back to this article because this is a case where a conviction occurred and his testing work gives him foundation for what was talked about in that Tuit (?) case. Judge Zuniga said that Dr. Leo’s credibility has been undermined and is an issue at this point. There must be some foundation is what he is saying. All of his other work is very broad. The defense is to decide if they want to take this path and will delay proceedings. They will need to have a 402 hearing if they go into some this good stuff that Dr. Leo has done the past. So all the defense attorneys went into the side room and talked for a few minutes. They came back out and said we want a 402 hearing. It was scheduled for May 30, 2019. Dr. Leo will have to come back and testify in the 402 hearing. The next day on the 31st is the only day that week we will have a jury and testify for the jury if he’s allowed to continue on. Judge gave briefs, dates and stuff like that to be turned in. Dr. Leo was then ordered back on the 30th at that time.
Marlisa Ferreira then stated that Dr. Leo was taking a lot of notes while he was on the stand, writing things down and she wants all those notes turned over. She said there was also a note that was handed to Daljit Athwal to give Attorney Hans when Dr. Leo stepped outside. So the Judge told told him to turn over all the notes. They didn’t tell him to do that with Jim Cook, but okay.
At that point we did take a break for a few minutes. The jury was called up at 3:07 PM. They haven’t been in the courtroom yet this afternoon. At this time Sharee Hendrix, the Mariposa County deputy, that recovered the remains of Korey Kauffman was called to the stand. Percy Martinez began direct examination. They talked about locating the remains on August 19, 2013. She had contacted Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office on August 22, 2013. She wrote a report and documented all statements made and evidence found. She talked to Cory Brown on 8-22-13, she did write down what he told her. She talked to him at 12:30 in the afternoon and Cory Brown said he was doing the investigation. He referred to her report on p. 3, it said Cory Brown had given her some information, it said his investigation showed that Korey Kauffman was a victim of foul play. Cory Brown told Sharee Hendrix that Korey Kauffman was in the Mariposa area at the time he went missing. (that is an important point that had been glossed over in the past). They placed Korey Kauffman cell phone in the Mariposa area at the time he disappeared. His phone pinged in Mariposa county in March of 2012. Percy Martinez had no further questions.
Hans Hjertonsson asked Sharee Hendrix to confirm that Cory Brown said specifically that Korey Kauffman’s device was in Mariposa County. She said yes.
Marlisa Ferreira went on cross exam. She asked her if Cory Brown had showed her any phone records or CDRs? He never did. Did she ever review any cell phone information? No she didn’t. Did Cory Brown say “Korey Kauffman” or did he say “him”/”he”. In the reports she wrote down it was Korey Kauffman was in the area. No further questions by anyone involved.
Kevin Pickett was called to the stand. Percy Martinez began direct. Percy Martinez asked him if he had testified he had prepared flyers when Korey Kauffman went missing? He showed him a stack of flyers and he looked through them. He said he recognized a couple of flyers that he and his family had done. He had his daughter’s phone number on it. He said he did not make all of the flyers, there were other family members that lived outside of the house that made some also. He only handed out his flyers and nobody else’s. He did put flyers out and information on the flyer that Korey Kauffman went missing 3/29/12. Percy Martinez asked him is that date accurate? He said yes, that is accurate, that is the last time I saw him. No further questions.
Hans Hjertonsson went to direct examination of Kevin Pickett. Kevin Pickett said he saw six different flyers, but they all had the same picture and was a picture Pickett’s girlfriend had taken and Korey Kauffman had a bandage on his hand. He asked Pickett, when Korey Kauffman went missing was his hand still bandaged? He said yes it was, it was only a few weeks before that when it happened.
Marlisa Ferreira went to cross examination. She asked him when Korey Kauffman had injured his hand? He said it was 2-3 weeks prior to him going missing. She asked if it was prior to Christmas when he hurt his hand? He thought about it hard and said, no I think it was just a few weeks prior to him going missing. His hand was repaired at Emanuel Hospital when it was injured. The last time he saw Korey Kauffman he was riding his bike and his hand was starting to heal a bit, but it was a serious injury, almost cut his hand completely off, but it was starting to heal.
She asked him if he reported to the Sheriff’s Office the missing person report that said Korey was gone on 3/30/12? He said no, the last time I saw Korey Kauffman was 3/29/12. She asked him did you tell the Sheriff’s Office that he was gone on the 30th, it has been 6 years now, maybe you just don’t remember? He also noted he made the flyers after the Sheriff’s Office report, originally there was also a Turlock PD officer that came to the house at the same time, but it was a Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. He said he did talk to Kirk Bunch on the phone. Again, the defense was objecting, because she’s going to all these other areas. There was a sidebar. After the sidebar Pickett said after he talked to the Sheriff’s Office, he talked to Kirk Bunch and he told Kirk Bunch it was the 29th. With all the objections and everything going on. Kevin Pickett was getting frustrated on the stand. He just wants to tell his story, that’s all he wants to do. She kept trying to get him to say the 30th. Finally at one point, out of frustration because everytime he said something there were objections or she said non-responsive, he said how many times do I have to tell you guys, he disappeared on the 29th. Of course that was stricken from the record. But he is adamant about Korey Kauffman disappearing on the 29th.
No further questions by anyone. Kevin Pickett was taken off the stand and he left the room grumbling. He is just frustrated about no one believing him that it was the 29th. He has contacted me through FB and some messages on my site, but I told him I can’t talk about it now, but when this is over he can have is say and it will be unedited.
Dr. Baik was called to the stand. He is the Stanislaus County Coroner and he’s here to continue his testimony. Marlisa Ferreira was on cross examination. She asked him if he is able to determine a cause of death? He wasn’t. To determine a cause of death there has to be something to work with. It could be a suicide, a homicide, it could be more things. He needs more information and it wasn’t available in this case. Without an autopsy he can’t make a determination and having some history on the case does help. He is unable to determine some types of deaths without some history. He received the clothes that were with the remains: the jacket, t shirt with logo, blue jeans and brown boots. He said he had looked for holes in the shirt and jacket and was not able to determine if there were holes or not. He had some long bones.
She asked him if the body would decompose more if is laying on top of the ground? He said yes it would. She asked him about any smells or odors that would come off a body. If a body was wrapped in a tarp and buried in the ground, would there be odors? He said well, the tarp could trap odors, but he didn’t say would. She said if the body was contained and rolled up a tarp, the tarp would act as a barrier to odors being released? He said it can. She asked if rain and snow could accelerate decomposition if the body is out exposed to the elements? Decomp after a heart stops beating, starts within 8 hours.
He is familiar with gunshot wounds and he calls a 32 caliber a medium sized caliber. A 22 caliber is a small caliber. He says a 22 caliber leaves small holes and doesn’t bleed much. Sometimes they close up and you have a hard time finding the holes. The bullet can bounce around in a body until it hits a bone or something, the bones of Korey Kauffman had no marks except a broken rib, but that showed no signs of a bullet striking it. He said a 32 caliber bullet will also leave a small hole, so at times it can be difficult to see the entry wound. He did no testing for gunshot residue.
He talked about when the heart stops. She asked when the fingers were cut off would there be a lot of bleeding? He said there may be bleeding, but not a lot. Robert Woody said there was a lot of bleeding.
He did examine the remains. He had the skull, the mandible, the pelvis, the femur, the fibula, but there were no fingers that were with the remains.
No further questions by Marlisa Ferreira. The defense has more questions and he’ll be back tomorrow. Apparently, they have more witnesses lined up for tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon they are going to make a determination of an end date on this trial. The defense is going through their witnesses quickly. That’s all I’ve got for today.
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Walter Wells is coming in tomorrow morning. I think that is what the Judge said, I haven’t confirmed. She has the jury coming in at 10AM, because I think she said Walter Wells is coming in tomorrow.
A couple people in court today. No noon report tomorrow, there is no one to cover the morning session tomorrow. Tom and I have appointments in the morning. I’ll try to be there in the afternoon. Like I always say: Don’t take my word for it, come to court and find out for yourself. Good night everybody.