MODESTO BEE ABSENT
By Warren Yates
Wednesday, November 18, 2015, now for the Back Story. During today’s court session I was only there for the morning session. Due to a prior commitment I had to miss the afternoon session. During the morning session I know that there was no Modesto Bee reporter at the hearing. This is the second day that there has been no Modesto Bee reporter. Apparently, this is no longer the “trial of the century” in Modesto, California.
So I will go over some things that I observed in the morning session. At the very beginning defense attorney Jerry Garcia requested that a report by Detective Redd be allowed to be discovered. Dist. Atty. Melissa Ferrera objected stating that report should not be opened for the 1040 exclusion. At that point the judge called for a sidebar and all of the attorneys got together with the judge to discuss the issue.
A transcript does not identify who CI 14 – 1 is. The Dist. Atty. indicated that many names are mentioned in the government’s case. She stated that 1040 prohibits the disclosure of a person except for public necessity. Mr. Garcia stated that Dist. Atty.’s position was not legally supported.
Defense attorney Martha Carlton Magana stated that the informant himself had told the public he was an informant. Dist. Atty. Ferrera stated that it was her responsibility to protect the identity of the informant and it was not discoverable.
Ms. Magana stated that we know who he is but we want to see the report. The report involves Michael Cooley and others. Judge Barbara Zuniga does not understand the reluctance of the Dist. Atty. to disclose the information. The DA related that the information is in the discovery given to the defense attorneys.
Judge Zuniga then decided to take the report and go “In Camera” to review it. At this time court was recessed until the judges finished reading it.
At 11:20 AM court was reconvened. The judge stated that she felt this was much ado about nothing. Two of the files were redacted and provided to the defense attorneys and there were numerous other files entered into the record. After the delay Detective Redd retook the stand.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Martinez, Redd gave the following information. Redd first met CI 13-4 when he accompanied Detective Lingerfeld to meet the CI. Detective Redd was working on the Korey Kauffman case in December 2013. Redd was approached by the CI who told him about Michael Cooley selling drugs. Detective Redd stated he was removed from the case June 2014.
Then a question came up regarding a traffic accident that Detective Redd had had with co-defendants in the vehicle. Redd stated that both he and the co-defendant were injured and Detective Redd went to the hospital. On June 14, 2014, Baljit Athwal was arrested by Detective Redd in the hospital. Mr. Athwal then sued Detective Redd and the Turlock Police Department. Detective Redd stated that the lawsuit was still pending.
Under cross-examination Redd denied that he was removed from the case because of the accident. Detective Redd then said he had been approached by an informant stating he bought controlled substances from Michael Cooley. Detective Redd then had the informant make a controlled buy from Michael Cooley.
Based on a control buy Detective Redd obtained a search warrant to search Michael Cooley’s home. After serving the search warrant he then turned both Michael Cooley and Eula Keyes over to Investigator Bunch who always seems to show up at the right time.
Redd stated about an ounce of methamphetamine was found in a little tin box underneath the refrigerator in the kitchen. Detective Redd had worked with SCDEU and stated that “eight balls” were being made and would’ve sold for $200 per bag. During the search there was also one live bullet that was recovered from the house which is a violation for both Michael Cooley and Eula Keyes.
Eula Keyes stated that Investigator Bunch knew about the bullet. Detective Redd said he didn’t have that in his report. Detective Redd then said that CI 14 – 1 asked if he could have leniency for his case if he provided information regarding the Korey Kauffman case. Redd said he would try. Detective Redd told Michael Cooley to give up the person that sold him the ounce but Cooley refused. Cooley was trying to become an informant however Detective Redd never got around to vetting him.
Noon recess was called and I had to leave to go to Livermore on a prior commitment so there is no information that I have on the afternoon session. I will be back tomorrow morning.