03/15/2016 – By William Thomas Jensen (Tom)
Today I was able to attend the morning session of the Frank Carson Murder Trial. The issues brought up by the attorneys before Detective Navarro was brought back to the stand were very entertaining indeed.
Judge Zuniga starts out talking about a sealed envelope that had been overnight delivered to the Hayward law office of Jesse Garcia. Judge Zuniga states that she had talked to a Ms. Bontes (sp?). Ms Bontes informed Judge Zuniga that their office had been overwhelmed by work, and Ashe had talked to a paralegal to handle the mailing of the documents that had been requested. These documents should have been delivered directly to Judge Zuniga, and not to Defense Attorney Jesse Garcia. Ms. Bontes stated that she was mortified that this mistake was made. It is commendable that Jesse Garcia had the wisdom to open this document in the presence of Judge Zuniga, and turned them over to her before he could read the sensitive files.
Jesse Garcia makes a motion to strike the 911 tape that was played in court yesterday where Frank Carson had called to request police to deal with Detective Navarro, DA Investigator Kirk Bunch, and Detective Jon Evers. They had gone to Caron’s office to question Frank after hours. They did not have a search warrant, or a warrant to arrest Frank Carson. Frank demanded that they leave his office, and they did not honor his demands to leave.
Jesse Garcia stated that the “offer of proof” that was given by Prosecuting DA Marlissa Fereirra said that Carson did not ID Kirk Bunch, Detective Navarro, or Detective Evers as the people who were trespassing on his property. Marlissa Fereirra had stated in her “offer of proof” that Frank Carson had lied about the incident. Jesse Garcia stated that the “offer of proof” was baseless. There was heated debate between the defense attorneys and Ms. Fereirra on this subject.
Marlissa Fereirra states that the 911 operator had asked repeatedly who the people were. Talk then goes to allegations by the defense attorneys that DA Investigator Kirk Bunch was under investigation by the Federal Government. Marlissa Fereirra tries to explain that the investigation was concerning confidential medical files that were allegedly illegally obtained and used by defense attorneys in several cases that involved Kirk Bunch. There was some talk in the audience that these files were actually psychiatric files, but I do not have any proof of this. The defense attorneys’ contention is that the FBI came to talk to Frank about this issue because of a case referred to as US vs Khan. This was according to the defense attorneys about allegations that Kirk Bunch had lied during testimony in court. The cases where Mr. Bunch allegedly lied were in the Carmen Sabatino case, the Danny Foster case, and the Road Dog Motorcycle Shop case.
It turns out that the medical records were subpoenaed legally, and they were not stolen as Marlissa Fereirra had contended. Discussion goes into how a private investigator who worked for Frank Carson had been brought before State Judge Ishi about the matter and was actually ordered to retain a copy of these files for his use. Marlissa Fereirra states that there was a mistake made by Bunch in the Khan case, but that no misconduct was given to him over the incident.
Marlissa Fereirra then requests that testimony should be suspended in this preliminary trial until she can get the FBI to testify on the matter. This request goes nowhere with the judge.
Judge Zuniga rules that the 911 tape is relevant. She states that she will take a look at everything, and the motion to strike the tape is denied.
It’s 10:30 AM, and Detective Navarro is brought back to the stand for more mindless questions from Marlissa Fereirra. Testimony begins with Fereirra asking questions to Navarro about a search warrant that was done on 07/15/2012 at the home of Daljit Atwall in Hughson. Navarro testifies that he apprehended Daljit Atwall around the corner from his home when he pulled over Daljit in his car.
Navarro testified that he read the Miranda Rights to Daljit, and unlike Detective Jon Evers, he was able to recite a correct version of these rights in court.
Defense Attorney Hans Hjertonsson brings out that Daljit Atwall was handcuffed and transported to the Police Department. Hans Hjertonsson gets Detective Navarro to admit that he knew that English was the 2nd language for Daljit Atwall, and he had limited understanding of what was being said.
Marlissa Fereirra asks Navarro if in earlier conversations with Daljit Atwall he had responded appropriately, and he said “Yes.”
Marlissa Fereirra asks Navarro if he had asked Daljit Atwall whether he knew Korey Kauffman, and he told him “No.” Navarro said that Daljit had told him that he knew Korey Kauffman’s mother and father. Navarro testified that Daljit Atwall told him that he knew where Korey Kauffman’s father lived. It was next door to a CHP friend of his. Fereirra: “Did Frank represent him (Daljit) in a shooting? Navarro: “No.”
Marlissa Fereirra then goes into some mindless questions about Daljit telling Navarro about a person who had stolen jerky and some alcohol at Pop N Cork and how Daljit hated people who stole from him. Fereirra’s motive appeared to be to make Daljit seem dangerous because he hates people who steal from him. Who doesn’t hate people who steal from them?
After our early morning 15 minute break, Marlissa Fereirra gets Navarro to testify about an interview that he had done with Daljit Atwall. He had noticed a bulge in the clothing of Daljit and had asked him what type of gun he had. Daljit allegedly pulled out the gun from its holster, and he said that he had 96 other guns at home and a M-16. Testimony goes to a time that Detective Barringer had found steroids, and an AR-15 rifle at Pop N Cork Liquors.
Defense Attorney Martha Carlton Magana points out that it is not illegal to own an AR-15. It was brought out that a shotgun was also taken from Pop N Cork Liquors, which was owned by a CHP officer. There was an objection to this. The objection was sustained. Fereirra: “Was any ammo found?” Navarro: “I don’t recall.”
Testimony then goes to an interview that was done by Navarro with Kathy Grinolds on 07/19/2012, where she told him about a conversation she had with Frank Carson. Carson had come to Grinolds house upset about comments that she had made concerning her “Motherly Instincts” that somebody was caught in the chicken coop on the Carson property. Judge Zuniga seemed irritated by this line of questioning. Judge Zuniga: “Where are you going with this Mam?” The defense attorneys argue that it is irrelevant. Judge Zuniga says “Go ahead Mam.” Navarro testifies that Kathy Grinolds said that Frank Carson was “Pissed.”
All this time Judge Zuniga is about 30 seconds behind the testimony. She seems to not listen to the testimony, but instead she reads the testimony from her computer monitor as it appears. There is a time delay. This has caused confusion throughout this preliminary trial and was evident at this point of the day. The defense attorneys had to tell her what she should have heard with her own ears. I wonder if this is really the best way for her to listen to testimony. Kathy Grinolds tells Navarro that Frank Carson had told her that Ryan Schmidt was a good person. Kathy tells Navarro that she never said he was a bad person. According to Kathy Grinolds, Frank Carson made no threats to her
Testimony from Navarro then goes into a 10/03/13 interview with a private investigator of Frank Carson named Jack Able at his office. Detective Jon Evers was present during this interview. Mr. Able was asked if Frank Carson had hired him to be part of the investigation. I believe he answered yes to this question. Able was asked if he had received any information concerning Korey Kauffman. Able told Navarro that he had received some information from an inmate in the Stanislaus County Jail. Able told Navarro that he knew Praveen Singh, and he had worked with Frank Carson. Fereirra: “Did Able ask where Korey Kauffman was found?” Navarro: “Yes.” Navarro: “I did tell him the body had been found.”
Navarro testifies that Gary Ermoian is another private investigator who worked for Frank Carson. Navarro asks Jack Able if he had ever possessed Korey Kauffman’s cell phone. Able tells Navarro that he did not know that Korey Kauffman had a cell phone. Able stated that he had collected statements and photographs concerning the case. Able told Navarro that Frank Carson was mad at him for talking to Navarro on 10/03/2012.
Testimony from Navarro goes into Frank Carson’s office and how it had been bugged. Navarro testified that the office had been swept, and one bug was found. There was evidence that a telephone had been interrupted. There were objections to this line of questioning. Judge ruled that this line of questioning was irrelevant. There was discussion between the defense attorneys and Marlissa Fereirra about attorney-client privilege concerning Jack Able and Frank Carson. Judge Zuniga states that she will look into this while she is at lunch.
I left for lunch and had to attend to some personal business. I will be back in the courtroom tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM when court resumes. I am sure Marty Carlson and Warren Yates will fill you in on what happens this afternoon.
Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)