June 07. 2016
During the last 9 months, there have been many days that were totally useless. Today was another one of those days. We could have been done with this fiasco months ago, but days like today have strung this thing out to the point of being absurd. Marlissa Fereirra took the entire morning trying to put lipstick on her pig of a cell phone expert named Jim Cook.
This man has made his living working exclusively for law enforcement testifying in criminal and civil trials. He has no formal education for his expertise. He has learned his craft on the job, attending training seminars provided by the cell phone companies. He will not work for the defense, because doing so would violate the by-laws of a couple of law enforcement agencies that use him extensively. He makes a huge amount of money. It was revealed that he has made $206,000.00 working on the Frank Carson case to date.
During cross examination, it was revealed that he does not even have a contract to provide his services. He only provided an estimate of $20,000.00 for his services. All of the money was provided by the Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department. He was supposed to get authorization for any amounts exceeding this estimate, and was supposed to notify the Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department when 75% of the estimated charges had been reached. He got no written approval for charging over 10 times the estimate, and was only given a verbal approval from a clerk named Seth Rogers who works for the Sheriffs Department.
It was revealed that Jim Cook only wrote one report on his work. He testified that he reviewed today’s presentation with Prosecuting DA Marlissa Fereirra and DA Investigator Kirk Bunch. Defense attorney Timothy Rien requested complete records of his billing which is done by 15 minute intervals. Judge Zuniga is requiring Mr. Cook to provide these records by Monday.
Jim Cook seemed to be arrogant and evasive on the stand with his testimony. The further the defense attorneys probed into his qualifications, the less qualified he seemed to be.
When asked about technical aspects of cell phones, cell phone towers, and cell phone equipment he stumbled on the stand. He seems to me to have lots of experience, but little technical knowledge about how everything works.
Jim Cook testified that he was initially contacted by DA Investigator Kirk Bunch, who introduced him to DA Prosecutor Dave Harris. He had many conversations with Detective Corey Brown, Officer Tim Redd, Kirk Bunch, Dale Lingerfeldt during his work.
Jim Cook’s son Chris Cook, who is a lawyer, sat next to Marlissa Fereirra during testimony today. Jim Cook testified that Chris Cook did much of the work independently while doing analysis of the cell phone data that had been obtained through search warrants by the Sheriff’s Department.
So here we have a so called expert, who has no formal education in his craft, testifying in this preliminary hearing. It seems to me to parallel the situation with the translators that were used in this hearing. Murder cases should require a higher level of expertise than we have seen from the so called experts that have been used thus far. I expect Judge Zuniga will eventually rule that he is an expert, just as she ruled that the translators are experts.
After some last minute admission of evidence discussions that were done off the record, the day was done. Court will resume tomorrow morning at 9:30 AM. Judge Zuniga looks very pale, and was fighting her cough the entire day. She could barely speak at times. I hope she has gone to the doctor. This crud almost killed me, and I was on lots of medication.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)