Commentary by Warren Yates 3-14-16 – The Frank Carson Preliminary Hearing – This morning’s court session opened up late because the judge was late getting to court. The court got underway at about 10:30 AM. As usual there was no Modesto Bee reporter in the courtroom. That’s just as well because the way the Bee reporter covers the story it should be filed under “Pulp Fiction”.
The first order of business was the judge revealing that some records had come in from the California Department of Corrections regarding Ronald Glenn Cooper Junior. Mdm. Deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira seemed elated these records had arrived as she is intending to use them to rehabilitate Ronald Cooper’s testimony. Now if you remember back a long ways, Ronald Cooper is a two striker with numerous prison sentences and is one of the prosecution star witnesses.
He is the peach of a guy, who committed a home invasion, terrorized a woman, held a knife to her throat and then robbed her. Then this peach of a guy instead of being hit with a third strike, was allowed to plead guilty to inflicting abuse on a spouse or cohabitant (Case Number 1489331 People vs Cooper Jr, Ronald Glen), and he was given four years instead of life in prison. But you gotta remember, he is one of their star witnesses, and his sweetheart deal had nothing to do with him testifying in this case. COME ON PEOPLE!!! GIMME A STINKING BREAK!!
Moving on from that fairytale, allow me to refresh your recollection, which is a phrase utilized by all of the law enforcement officers who have been called to the stand to testify. If you look back at all the postings available on back story news.com or dawgsblog.com, you will note that prior to coming to court to testify, the officers and special agent Bunch also apparently did not review the reports the day before coming into the courtroom. If I had a dollar for every time the phrase “I don’t recall “or” May I refer to my report to answer the question”, I would be on my way to Cabo San Lucas tomorrow.
Deputy Barringer was on the stand first this morning then followed by detective Frank Navarro giving their testimony and trying to remember what was in their report. Somebody said that the court reporter had a special hot key installed on her machine because of the frequency of having to write “I don’t recall” and “may I refresh my recollection”, and she just has to hit one button and that is automatically typed. They said that she is very appreciative of this hotkey because it gives her fingers so much rest by just having to push one button.
While Navarro was testifying it got to be such an annoyance with his constantly having to refer to his report to refresh his recollection, Judge Zuniga asked Ms. Ferreira why law enforcement witnesses don’t review their cases before they come in to testify. Judge Zuniga said there are way too many of Ms. Ferreira’s witnesses taking up the court’s time in order to have to reread their reports to refresh their recollections. Ms. Ferreira’s response to the judge was “I’ll pass that along”. With the array of experienced law enforcement officers on this case testifying in court, it would seem common knowledge to an experienced law enforcement officer to review his reports prior to testifying without any prompting by the Mme. Dist. Atty. Just saying…
I am going to minimize the amount of detailed coverage I’m going to put in this commentary because between Marty Carlson and Tom Jensen, they will give you real detailed coverage. I am going to do snippets, as I call them, about portions of the testimony of those testifying. I intend to go into greater detail with an item that came up just prior to court concluding for the day at the end of my commentary.
During Barringer’s testimony he was asked if Kevin Pickett said he saw his stepson Korey Kauffman on March 30, 2012, and he answered no. Kevin Pickett said he did not see Korey Kauffman after March 30, 2012. Barringer was asked if he was part of the wire tappers, and he stated no. In response to attorney Robert Forkner’s questions, Barringer made the following information available: he had gone into the rear yard of Michael Cooley’s and saw the fence behind the property. He further stated that there were no holes or tears in the fence.
Barringer was asked if he had checked the property behind Michael Cooley’s house to see if there was any fresh plowing or disking, and he stated he had not. He was then asked if he had seen fresh plowing or disking, would that be suspicious in reference to a missing persons case. Barringer replied yes. Barringer also stated that Michael Cooley did not see any men with guns on Frank Carson’s property. Barringer stated that he did not see the Korey Kauffman flyer the Pop N Cork liquor store, but he did notice that his name was misspelled on the flyer. He was asked if he had discussed the flyer with the Pickett family, and he stated that he had spoken to Korey Kauffman’s mother about his name being wrong on the flyer.
Barringer was asked if a motor home or a trailer was parked on the property of Michael Cooley, he stated yes. He was asked if he saw Wanda Clardy there, and he said no. Kevin Pickett did not say when was the last time he saw Korey Kauffman. Attorney Jesse Garcia then asked Barringer if interviewing Michael Cooley was his first job, and he stated it was. He also stated he knew that Michael Cooley was a parolee. Barringer also stated that Kevin Pickett reported Korey Kauffman missing on April 2, 2012 as an at-risk drug abuser. That concluded Deputy Barringer’s testimony, and he left the stand.
Frank Navarro then got on the stand and began to testify; he stated that on May 16, 2012 he interviewed Amber Keister and showed her a picture of Korey Kauffman. She stated that she knew of him but did not know him. The last time she had seen him was at Michael Cooley’s place on February 12, 2012. Keister lived in the front house in front of Michael Cooley’s house. Now back when Ronald Cooper Junior was testifying, he stated that one day when Frank Carson came to the property that he, Ronald Cooper, was in the front house with Amber Kiester hiding property that was stolen from Frank Carson’s property.
Even though Amber Kiester knowingly possessed stolen property, nothing happened to her. She said that she saw a subject behind Michael Cooley’s property, and the subject asked if her boyfriend was on probation. She then saw the subject going through Linda Burn’s car and she went and told Michael Cooley. That was the occasion when Michael Cooley came out and confronted Frank Carson and spit in his face. She then allegedly moved out on May 16, 2011.
At this time Martha Carlton Magana immediately, and vociferously, stated that Frank Navarro has committed perjury here today. What he’s saying does not match what’s in the reports, and he is testifying in this manner at the request of the district attorney in order to try to conceal facts. Ms. Magana requested that Navarro’s testimony be stricken because of a due process violation.
Defense attorney Percy Martinez then stated that the testimony Navarro gave was not true about the possible ID of Frank Carson at the disturbance on Lander Avenue. Ms. Magana then stated that the DA and the witnesses are deliberately misleading the court. It was at this point that the judge admonished Ms. Ferreira to tell her witnesses to read the reports before coming in to testify. The lunch break was taken at this time.
Back from lunch Navarro testified that Robert Woody’s brother had been convicted of possessing stolen property. Robert Woody also allegedly said Frank Carson had hired him to help him on his stolen property that was taken from his yard. Navarro said Daljit said Frank Carson checked on the recycle place on F St. to see if any property was there. None was there. There was more bantering testimony back and forth but nothing that I could get my teeth into.
At this point in the afternoon just a little while after the judge had admonished Ms. Ferreira to tell her officers to read their reports to avoid the continual dragging out refreshing their recollection, Frank Navarro had already stopped the proceedings to refresh his recollection 13 times. While he had his report with him on the stand, Jesse Garcia told the court that Navarro was reading from his report, and it did appear that he was. Navarro denied reading from his report and the judge told Navarro just to close his report, which he did.
Then Percy Martinez asked the question, and Navarro stated that he had spoken to Robert Woody in the store and Woody went to Michael Cooley’s house to tell them to stay out of Frank Carson’s property. Frank Carson then allegedly told Robert Woody to go look for people and to see if any of them could find any of the stolen property. Frank Carson stated that the cops were not doing their job. Then some type of situation came up regarding a piece of paper; Ms. Ferreira is trying to get Navarro to state that part of the paper had been cut off or torn off, and there was back and forth about that with no real resolution. Ms. Ferreira certainly likes to try to muddy up the waters hoping people can’t see through it.
Then while something is being said by Navarro, Mr. Garcia mentioned the word liar, and at that point Ms. Ferreira went ballistic crying and complaining that this is not proper and that the court should admonish Mr. Garcia regarding that word coming out when he’s not even questioning anybody. The judge asked Mr. Garcia about it; he stated that he was saying that when Navarro was talking to Woody, that he was lying and that he could lie because the police are allowed to lie and deceive people while they’re interviewing them.
A couple of commentaries ago, I brought that out that if you are ever interviewed by the police you should never say anything to them because the police are not your friend and will use trickery, lying and deceit to try to get you to admit to something. That is what Mr. Garcia was alluding to. So Ms. Ferreira had to take a few deep breaths to try to compose herself.
Well as I stated earlier that’s just a brief synopsis on my part, so please refer to Marty Carlson or Tom Jensen’s commentaries of today’s court proceedings, as I want to start talking about the tail end of this court day, which is another shameful chapter in the egregious, unethical and atrocious conduct by special agent Bunch and some of the marauders under his command.
Navarro, Bunch and Evers went to the office of Frank Carson a short time after the search warrant had been served on his office. Navarro was wearing a wire and recorded the incident. This is supposed to be an audio-video recording, but the highly experienced and trained detective Navarro was only taking a picture of the ceiling; therefore, there is only an audio recording. I would make a joke out of that, but after listening to the audio portion, I became sick upon hearing it, and there is nothing funny about it.
As Navarro, Bunch and Evers went into the office and wanted to speak to Frank Carson for no good reason except to harass him, these sickening events took place. As they entered they told the secretary they needed to talk to Frank Carson, and she went into the back and told Mr. Carson. Mr. Carson came out, and Navarro and Bunch said they wanted to talk to him, so he took them into his conference room. In the meantime Evers took Mrs. Carson aside, thus separating them.
On the audio Navarro and Bunch said they wanted to ask Frank about a missing persons case, but because of prior contact with Navarro, Frank Carson knew from those prior dealings with him, Navarro has a hard time telling the truth, so Frank Carson did not want to talk to him. On the audio Frank Carson is clearly heard to say, “Get out, get out, get out!” Then you can hear Bunch trying to say, “Come on Frank, take it easy, calm down.” Frank is again heard saying numerous times in a loud voice, “Get out, get out, get out!!!”
Frank Carson then told them he was going to call the police, and he dialed 911. He advised the 911 operator to send the police to his office because there are trespassers, and they will not get out and they have guns. It appears obvious from the audio that both Bunch and Navarro, while not taking their guns out of the holster were brandishing them and trying to intimidate Frank Carson. As this goes on Frank Carson is repeatedly telling them to get out, get out! Bunch and Navarro, instead of leaving as requested continued to stay and try to intimidate Mr. Carson, to try to have him go off the deep end.
Frank Carson became concerned for the safety of his wife, who was with Evers outside as Evers had made some type of a remark about going bad or words to that effect. The police dispatcher said they were going to send the unit, but it is unknown if any police actually showed up. There were at least 40, if not more times that Frank Carson continually told them to get out, get out, get out! Navarro and Bunch were continuing to harass him and refusing to leave. I will say once again that Bunch and Navarro’s demeanor and behavior is tantamount to the jackbooted, malicious, egregious and terrorizing conduct perpetrated by the jackbooted Nazi SS corp. that Nazi Germany employed.
From listening to the audio portion of this tape, it is my firm belief that as upset as Frank Carson was, justifiably so, if Mr. Carson had turned one direction or the other too quickly or maybe reached for a handkerchief to wipe some of the sweat off his brow, I believe that he would’ve been shot dead without question.
If that tape can be made public in order to let the public hear what went on, every citizen hearing it will be living in fear that some jackbooted thug police could come into their residence or business without a warrant, and when told to leave refuse to leave and continually harass and intimidate that citizen after being repeatedly told to get out; all citizens have a right to fear this type of thuggery.
On one of my prior commentaries a couple of weeks ago titled “OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE”, I reported on the incident in which Bunch and Evers went to interview Baljit. Here is an excerpt from it:
“Earlier this morning when Detective Evers was testifying he mentioned a time when he and Special Agent Bunch went to the Pop N Cork to interview Baljit. I am not sure if it was Baljit Atwal or Baljit Athwal, since the Dist. Atty. cannot get his name straight on their court paperwork. So we’ll just presume that it’s Mr. Athwal, since he’s the one in custody now but not by that name.
As Detective Evers and Special Agent Bunch began to talk to Baljit, Baljit took out his telephone and began to record the interview. When Bunch and Evers saw that, Special Agent Bunch said “You know that’s illegal to do that?”. Being confronted by two law enforcement officers one being very large in stature and knowing if they had a badge they had guns, Baljit became intimidated by their authoritarian bearing. Baljit immediately turned his phone off and stopped recording not knowing what to expect from these two if he did not stop.”
This is another example of the jackbooted behavior that Bunch and his minions employ to try to intimidate, threaten, harass, badger and bully citizens. All of you reading this commentary need to take heed. This very type of egregious misconduct could happen to you because there is apparently no “off” switch to throw on the storm troopers. Their supervisors certainly don’t make any attempt to stop these violations of civil rights and in fact probably condone their behavior.
In both of these instances the common denominator seems to be Special Agent Bunch, who feels he has a green light to use any tactics he deems necessary to again harass, intimidate and terrorize citizens.
The district attorney should be ashamed of herself for allowing behavior of this type from her subordinates. Thank you Dist. Atty. Fladager for creating Orwell’s “1984”here in Modesto.