AUGUST 1, 2016 – Today, we heard arguments, and got a ruling, on a motion by Defense Attorney Jesse Garcia to strike text messages between Georgia DeFelippo and Christina DeFelippo. The prosecution is attempting to use these text messages to try to show that they conspired to obstruct justice in the investigation of the alleged murder of Korey Kauffman.
This was followed by cross examination of DA Investigator Kirk Bunch on testimony he had given concerning a body wire recording that was done by Amil Atala at the Law Office of Frank Carson.
We start out today with the announcement that the first hearing for CHP Officer Scott McFarlane will be held on September 20th.
Defense Attorney Jesse Garcia starts out by stating that the prosecution has a theory that Georgia DeFelippo and Christina DeFelippo conspired to harm or kill Korey Kauffman, and conspired to obstruct justice.
Jesse Garcia says the prosecution’s theory is fluid, and changes. He speaks about Detective Hiveley’s investigation which resulted in Exhibit #2, and how it does not show either a conspiracy to harm or kill Korey Kauffman, or a conspiracy to cover up his murder. Jesse Garcia states that the text messages should be stricken.
Jesse Garcia then talks about how text messages are being used by the prosecution from 2008-2012, and how the texts from 2008, 2009, and 2010 are irrelevant, and should be stricken.
Jesse Garcia then states that the prosecution wants to use the texts from 2011 to try to show that Frank Carson was becoming increasingly frustrated about the thefts, and was engaging in “Self-Help” in trying to deal with the situation rather than contact the police for help.
Jesse Garcia states that this does not hold true. Jesse Garcia states that the texts represented a normal mother-daughter relationship. He states that they spoke of no attempt to “Bait” Korey Kauffman as the prosecution contends.
Jesse Garcia states that the texts only showed that they were trying to find ways to prevent the thefts. He once again states that the texts are irrelevant. Jesse Garcia cites 352, and 1101 of the evidence code. He then submits his arguments.
Defense Attorney Robert Forkner then speaks about the prosecution’s Overt Act #2, and how the prosecution is trying to show how Frank Carson, Christina DeFelippo, and Georgia DeFelippo had conspired to set up motion detectors.
He stated that the motion detectors were set up to keep an eye on things. Robert Forkner states that there is no evidence of a conspiracy to obstruct justice that would go to support Overt Act #2. He cites evidence code 352, and asks Judge Zuniga to strike all the text messages.
Defense attorney Percy Martinez then talks about February 06, 2011 when Frank Carson reported that a hole had been cut in his fence, and how cargo containers of belongings had been stolen from his property. Percy Martinez states that Frank Carson had a right to set up motion detectors. He states that this was 14 months before Korey Kauffman had gone missing.
Marlisa Fereirra then goes on one of her typical rants that go on forever. She states that the judge should allow the texts to be allowed, and use her discretion on how much weight she gives them.
She states that there is no case law to support the text messages being stricken. She states that this is a circumstantial evidence case, and the judge should look at the totality of the evidence that has been presented.
Some of the evidence shows that Frank Carson had carried a gun on his own property when walking around and making checks of his property. Marlisa states: “You carry a gun to hurt someone.” I would carry a gun in that situation to protect myself. Just saying folks.
Defense attorney Jesse Garcia once again states that there is no evidence of a conspiracy to obstruct justice. He states that the prosecution has used the shotgun approach to this case. He states that the prosecution has many theories on this case.
Defense attorney Robert Forkner states that on February 06,2011 Frank Carson had told Christina that: “I don’t want you to confront anyone.” Forkner states that all the text messages between Christina DeFelippo and Georgia DeFelippo were hearsay.
Defense attorney Percy Martinez states that this is improper character evidence. He says that the fence to the Carson property was cut, the hole in the fence was fixed, and there was not much left in the cargo containers to steal.
Defense attorney Robert Forkner states that Frank Carson contacted the police 3 times for assistance on the thefts.
Prosecuting DA Marlisa Fereirra states that the defense has stated there is a dearth of evidence. She states that there are 17 alleged overt acts. She states that she has put on evidence of 15 of these overt acts. She then goes on another one of her lengthy rants.
After the break we come back to this issue. Defense attorney Robert Forkner states that he has nothing more to add.
Defense attorney Percy Martinez states that Marlisa Fereirra has made an absurd argument that Frank Carson was encouraging thieves by turning off his lights in the house.
Evidence shows that Frank Carson wanted the lights to remain on. He states that the texts are being offered as character evidence to show Frank Carson was guilty of obstruction of justice. He then submits his arguments.
Judge Zuniga then tells Marlisa Fereirra: “Ms. Fereirra, as you know, there has to be evidence to constitute a conspiracy.”
The judge states that she is not prepared to make a final ruling. Judge Zuniga takes each of the 15 pages of the text messages, and rules on each one separately.
I did not have the 15 pages, so it is impossible for me to tell you exactly what was stricken, and what was not. I took a tally, and the tally did not favor the prosecution.
It appears that 18 sections of the texts were stricken completely. The prosecution had agreed to not use four of the text messages during the lunch hour break.
Nineteen of the text messages were put into reserve by Judge Zuniga, pending her final ruling on whether or not a conspiracy exists to commit a murder, or a conspiracy exists to conceal a murder. Judge Zuniga has told us a couple of times that she has thus far seen no indication of either conspiracy.
Her decision will be heavily influenced by what happens with the testimony of Beverly Woody. We expect all of her testimony will be thrown out because of very recent reports that she tried to get Robert Woody to change his testimony to conform to what she had already testified to in court.
Marlisa Fereirra states that the prosecution has “No Plan” as to whether they will have Robert Woody testify, or have Kirk Bunch give Prop 115 testimony for Robert Woody. Her Woody problem will continue until this situation is resolved.
We then go into continued cross examination of DA Investigator Kirk Bunch concerning Amil Atala. He is the one who wore a body wire into the Law Office of Frank Carson.
Defense attorney Martha Carlton-Magana gets Bunch to testify that Amil Atala had worn a body wire in excess of 15 times in the Frank Carson investigation. Kirk Bunch denied that he had ever threatened to take anybody’s children away from them if they did not cooperate.
I left the courtroom around 3:15, and it appears that Marlissa was trying to open up some irrelevant issues concerning Praveen Singh, who has not been charged in this case.
It appears that she is trying to stretch this thing out as long as she can to inflict as much pain and suffering she can possibly do. This preliminary hearing is going to go on for a long time.
It is estimated that the testimony of Robert Woody will take at least 3 weeks. I think it will take much longer than that. The testimony of Jim Cook took forever.
The Woody testimony will take longer. People could die of old age before we are done with Robert Woody. After that, the defense must put on their case. If they take as long as the prosecution, we will have set a new all-time record for a California preliminary hearing. I pray to God that this thing will end soon.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)