By Tom Jensen

After five weeks off at home to supervise contractors doing work, I have returned to observe and report on the continuing saga of the Frank Carson trial. Thanks to Warren Wells, and Marty Carlson, I have been able to keep up on what has been happening. Today, I had to leave court around 3:15 PM to attend to some business.

When the day began, defense attorney Robert Forkner brings up the fact that Prosecuting DA Marlissa Fereirra had not responded to an order by Judge Zuniga to provide some requested files. The judge seemed to be irritated over this, but gave Marlissa Fereirra until tomorrow to provide the requested materials.

Detective Lingerfeldt takes the stand on re-direct. Marlissa Fereirra seemed to be very disorganized at this time. Defense Attorney Percy Martinez starts out asking Lingerfeldt questions concerning whether Robert Woody told Sunny that Woody was going to get bailed out, and “Did Woody ever say he was going to get a lawyer. After a reading from a transcript that had been done by the DA’s office, Lingerfeldt answered “No.” Lingerfeldt: “He said he had a lawyer.” Lingerfeldt asked for the Bates Stamp number, which was provided by Judge Zuniga. Defense Attorney Percy Martinez asks Lingerfeldt if this is the transcript, and Lingerfeldt answers “No.” Defense Attorney Martha Carlton Magana asks Lingerfeldt if Confidential Informant #2 was connected to Miranda Dykes, and Lingerfeldt answers “Yes.” Martha then brings out that there is approximately a 20 year difference in age between Robert Woody and Miranda Dykes. Martha Carlton Magana then gets into a line of questioning about how Confidential Informant #1 had talked to Deborah Ochoa while wearing a wire in May of 2014. Ochoa said that Korey Kauffman was drug with a chain up in the mountains and how they had left his remains above ground on the grass. It was brought out that there was no charring or burning signs on the remains when they were found.

It was brought out that there was extensive rodent damage, and carnivore damage found on the bones, and that many of the bones were missing. It was brought out that there was evidence of two teeth being lost after death, and that the body was there for at least 3 months.

Martha gets Lingerfeldt to admit that Miranda Dykes did not mention anything about the Athwall brothers or Pop N Cork Liquors. Lingerfeldt was asked if Miranda Dykes was given immunity from prosecution for use of Methamphetamine, and Lingerfeldt said “No.”  “Did You Arrest Her?” Lingerfeldt: “No.”  “Did you contact probation about the Methamphetamine?” Lingerfeldt: “Yes.” Lingerfeldt testified that Probation told him that they couldn’t do anything about it.

Marlissa Fereirra then takes over asking Lingerfeldt questions. “Did Dykes give you information that was not on the recording?” Lingerfeldt: “Yes.” It was brought out that when Miranda Dykes stepped out for a cigarette, she was recorded using a hand held recorder. Detective Lingerfeldt then steps down from the stand.

DA Investigator Kirk Bunch then takes the stand on re-direct by Marlissa Fereirra. “Did Mr. Paden indicate how long he observed Korey Kauffman after the BMW left? Bunch: “45 Minutes.” “He was upset.”  “Did Paden indicate any conversations after the black BMW left? Bunch: “No.”

Defense Attorney Robert Forkner then asks for all of Romero’s testimony to be stricken because her testimony was different from what she told Kirk Bunch. That was not granted, but Bunch admitted the inconsistency in her testimony. Forkner: “Did you attempt to correct Romero’s testimony? Objection/sustained. Judge Barbara Zuniga states that no case allows me to strike her testimony.”

Defense Attorney Percy Martinez asks Bunch “Did you provide information to news organizations? Bunch: “No the Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department did.” Bunch testified that he never read it.

It is noted that the Modesto Bee reporter has not been in  court at all so far today.

Testimony then centered about someone named Gonzalez who had threatened to cut Korey Kauffman’s throat.

Defense Attorney tells Bunch “Mr. Paden told you Kauffman stayed right at his house working on his stuff? Bunch: “Correct.

Defense Attorney Jesse Garcia asks Bunch “Ms. Stout told you that Korey was upset? Bunch: “Yes. It was brought out that in an interview of Stout by Bunch that Stout had stated that Korey wasn’t worried about the confrontation, and had taken it as just an idle threat.

Court resumed at 1:38 after the lunch time break. It is noted that the Modesto Bee has not been in the courtroom at all so far today. Defense Attorney Robert Forkner is asking the questions. Bunch is asked “Do you remember Romero saying “She was in the room with Reedy? Bunch: “No.” Bunch was asked how many times he had interviewed Romero. Bunch answered “Once.” “You heard her testify that you interviewed her 2-3 times? Bunch did not recall that. Forkner: “Isn’t it true that Romero said that the information she gave was gotten from Michael Cooley? Bunch: “I don’t recall.”

After a few questions by Martha Carlton Magana, it is brought out that Marlissa Fereirra wants to open Direct again with Kirk Bunch.

Bunch is asked if he did an interview with Brian Coates at the Turlock Police Department. He said “Yes.” It was brought out that Coates is the nephew of Robert Woody, and that Coates did know Korey Kauffman. Coates had heard from Robert Woody that Woody had found Miranda Dykes wearing a wire while having a conversation with Woody in Woody’s bedroom. Bunch said Woody admitted in the recording that he had participated in the Kauffman killing, and that it was over stolen property. Woody took credit for the killing. Robert Woody allegedly told Coates about the pigs eating pieces of Korey. Woody allegedly confirmed that the body was taken to the mountains to hide the body.

Judge Barbara Zuniga seems at times to be coaching Marlissa Fereirra on how to proceed with the prosecution of this case. Somehow this has to stop in my opinion. An impartial judge is what everyone needs, and I feel that this may be lacking at times.

Marlissa Fereirra once again gets Bunch to talk about how Korey Kauffman was killed over stolen property related to Frank Carson. Details were provided that showed that Korey Kauffman allegedly jumped over the fence, took some property from the Carson Property, came back over the fence, and that is when they got him. Bunch testified that Woody’s attorney (Frank Carson) had offered to represent him for free in return for doing something to help with the thefts. Someone by the name of Robert Branco was present when Woody was talking about the murder. It was brought out that Kirk Bunch had subsequently interviewed Robert Branco.

Bunch testified that Coates had said that Branco’s nickname was “Beedy.” This was because he supposedly has beedy eyes. Robert Branco had met Korey Kauffman from someone named Misty, and had seen Korey around 2 weeks before he went missing.

I had to leave court at this time to attend to some necessary business. I will be in court again tomorrow for more fun and games. I wish this was really fun and games, but it is not. It seems to me like this case is being built like a huge house of cards. Sooner or later, it will come tumbling down. This prosecution seems to me to fit perfectly with the past cases of Carmen Sabatino, A.J. Pontillo, and Frank Drummond. The DA failed to convict any of these cases. All these cases were defended by Frank Carson. I have not seen anything so far that would make me even remotely believe the prosecution’s case. How can you believe testimony from the career criminals and drug addicts that have been provided as witnesses. If this case goes to a jury of 12 people, I would bet the farm that none of the defendants will be convicted.


Sincerely, William Thomas Jensen (Tom)