RECAP 2016

By Warren Yates

3-13-16 – There have been a couple of dark days in the Carson trial which gives me a chance to review some of the happenings during the trial the last six months or so. Some of you reading this may not have seen this fiasco from its inception. I am going to open this review with the first couple of paragraphs of the story from the Los Angeles Times regarding the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

The egregious misconduct conduct by numerous of the 250 or so deputy district attorneys seemed eerily similar and mirror some of the conduct here in the Carson case regarding the use of jailhouse snitches and other informants rewarded for their testimony. Here is the excerpt:

A “failure of leadership” at the Orange County district attorney’s office led to repeated problems with the handling of jailhouse informants and helped erode confidence in criminal cases that rely on their testimony, according to a report made public Monday.

The findings, presented by legal experts on a special committee established by Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas, described the office as functioning “as a ship without a rudder” and faulted some of its prosecutors for adopting a “win-at-all-costs mentality.”

Functioning “as a ship without a rudder” and a “win- at -all -costs- mentality appears to describe several district attorney offices in the state of California. As a first example I will reveal that our District Attorney’s Office seems to have a problem knowing “who’s on first” and “what’s on second”.

In reviewing some the documentation in the case I’ve noticed that in the pleadings by the District Attorney’s Office and in the complaint this crackerjack unit can’t even spell Baljit Athwal’s name correctly. They spell his name Baljit Atwal. It looks to me like they have the wrong man in custody since they can’t even get his name spelled correctly on their pleadings.

Their ineptitude in getting names correct was evidenced by the first amended criminal complaint in which they spelled his name wrong. It appears that that is just a harbinger of their whole case. If you can’t get something right from the start you should just give it up. It will be interesting to see if the District Attorney’s Office changes the heading of their pleading papers to correctly identify the correct person in custody.

And then back a ways, Ms. Ferreira asked Judge Zuniga to suspend the First Amendment in the courtroom. I am going to cut and paste an item from one of my earlier commentaries that appeared sometime before the first of the year. Those of you following the commentaries may have already seen this, so for now, just go along with me for those who may have missed them:

As I mentioned earlier in a comment, Dist. Atty. Ferreira complained to Judge Zuniga that I was writing comments regarding this case. She said that my writings were inflammatory and might influence potential jurors if this “case” makes it to trial. I am paraphrasing what she said. She also mentioned to Judge Zuniga that she wants a “gag order “put in place. Judge Zuniga refused a request and told her to file a motion.

Or possibly could it be because deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira is alleging that commenter’s on the Bee’s newspaper articles are somehow in her words, influencing the public perception and may taint the jury pool if this goes to jury trial. At the last closing session, deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira used my name in open court and held up a document purported to be something I wrote and requested that Judge Zuniga issue a gag order to prevent anyone, particularly myself from giving our perceptions of the proceedings.

As I mentioned in a prior post, I am humbled by the thought that deputy Dist. Atty. Ferreira feels that something I write could possibly influence anyone and sway their opinion regarding “this airtight”, “slam-dunk”,” gotcha”, “it’s in the bag” and “it’s all over but the shouting” case of theirs.

Well obviously, since I’m still writing, Ms. Ferreira’s assault on First Amendment must have received a knockout blow. Of course it could be that she’s busy writing an answer to the 44 page “MOTION TO DISMISS FOR OUTRAGEOUS PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT, POLICE MISCONDUCT AND INTERFERENCE WITH RIGHT TO COUNSEL” filed by Robert Forkner. I believe this motion is going to be heard on Thursday, March 17, 2016.

Will jab me in the eye with a sharp stick if that’s not St. Paddy’s Day. Well if that don’t just roast your corned beef and cabbage. Well I know Ms. Ferreira will be hoping for the luck of the Irish and will probably be wearing a four leaf clover that day to have the upper hand. At the last session on Wednesday, it was rumored in the gallery that someone heard that the AG’s office might and only might be looking this direction.

I don’t get my hopes up at hearing that since I sent a report to the AG in Sacramento showing that a deputy sheriff in Merced County filed a false police report. I furnished the video proving that he filed a false police report and three days later I got my report and video back with a letter stating to go back to the county in which the violation took place and report it there. Even though it’s their job to investigate police misconduct.

Only problem with that, I took it there first and submitted it to the District Attorney’s Office and gave it personally to Chief Deputy District Attorney Rob Carroll who took it and said he would give it to his chief investigator Patrick Lunney to investigate it. Well lo and behold I never heard from the MUTTS again. That same deputy is still out there lying on whoever he wants to and probably putting innocent people in jail to pad his arrest statistics. Well it’s been said “Sharks don’t eat their own kind”. So that is why I have so little faith in the California State Atty. Gen.’s office.

Then back a ways again within the last couple weeks, a star prosecution witness, detective Jon Evers has been testifying when it came up that he was involved in some type of a domestic violence case which supposedly resulted in an allegation of 242 PC upon his wife and child. Well there was a big hullabaloo about that and after some wrangling an in camera hearing held privately within the courtroom, is determined that detective Evers case details would not be revealed. In looking on the court index there is no type of criminal entry at all on detective Evers index page. Wonder why? So go figure. Just saying…

Now one of the prosecution star witnesses, Sabrina Romero, is a little embezzler that embezzled $12,000 from a local doctor. Now remember she is one of the star witnesses for the prosecution and her case has been pending since February 2013 with continual continuances, only about 21 preliminary hearings set and never heard and seemingly endless delays. This is an old case but then again she is a witness for the prosecution. She has another preliminary hearing scheduled for March 14, 2016 which is tomorrow since I’m writing this tonight. Let’s just see if the preliminary hearing goes on as scheduled or if there is yet another continuance. I’m taking any bets on that also whether or not it goes on. I can hardly wait to find out.

Members of the gallery are excited in anticipation as to when Patrick Hampton and the confessed killer Robert Woody will take the stand. Patrick Hampton has already shown his colors in his prior testimony in which he showed the utmost disrespect for everyone in the courtroom even smarting off to the judge. Judge Zuniga must be very thick-skinned because of the way she allows this street thug and person who openly admits that he is a criminal and survives by criminal activity act that way in her courtroom. I believe that in any other courtroom if he displayed that type of conduct he would be cooling his heels in jail until he could act like a civilized human being. But for him, that would probably be the impossible task. Just saying…

Then we get on to Ms. Ferreira’s claim that no deals have been made for any of these star prosecution witnesses. Earlier in the hearing a person by the name of Ronald Glenn Cooper Junior was brought from Pleasant Valley State Prison to testify for the prosecution. Again, Ms. Ferreira states that there were no deals made. Well let me insert a comment from one of my earlier commentaries regarding that:

But this morning we had the pleasure of listening to Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth de Jong as she took the stand to defend the DEAL made to potential three striker Ronald Glenn Cooper Junior. She was certainly doing the “Nae Nae” dance in response to the defense attorneys questions why a deal was cut to let Mr. Cooper, a fine broth of a lad by the way, get 4 years on what would have been a three strikes case. After all, all he did was break into a house, apparently steal something, terrorize a female and stick a knife up to her throat and terrorize her. He pled to inflicting corporal punishment on a spouse co-habitant.

The home invasion robbery and terroristic threats were dismissed to use the vernacular of the district attorney’s office, “In the interests of justice”. Let’s see. Who got justice out of this? Do we think it was the woman who was terrorized and injured or was at the perpetrator Mr. Cooper? Ms. Elizabeth de Jong stated that they couldn’t find the complaining witness and the police officer could not testify under prop 115. Of course the timeline for this deal was cut to coincidently fall into the area of the investigation of Frank Carson and his codefendants. Oh my gosh!!! Do you believe the luck that some of these thugs have in their cases in which yes, some deals are made contrary to claims of Ms. Ferreira.

Now comes Deputy Public Defender Benjamin Rosenstein who apparently has no problem in telling the truth. He represents both Ronald Cooper Junior and Michael Cooley. And right out of the gate Mr. Rosenstein states that both of his clients are promised leniency in their unrelated cases. Immediately after hearing this truth, Dist. Atty. Ferreira immediately begins to attack Mr. Rosenstein saying is only been an attorney since 2012. And that is mainly been in one court and that is no way Mr. Rosenstein could know if all local prosecutors always ask defense attorneys to request continuances Obviously Mr. Rosenstein said something that ruffled the feathers of the Dist. Atty.

It is so refreshing to have a county employee who is not afraid to tell the truth. I commend Mr. Rosenstein for his candor and honesty. I certainly trust that Mr. Rosenstein will not be castigated, criticized, coerced or compromised in any way because of his courage and wanting to set the record straight. We here in Stanislaus County know that there’s a powerful political machine we have to contend with. Thank you Mr. Rosenstein for your service to the citizens of Stanislaus County. This young man has more integrity and search for the truth in his little finger then Ms. Ferreira has in her whole body. Just saying…

During part of Ronald Cooper Junior’s testimony he stated that there were a couple of antique train sets that were stolen from Frank Carson’s property.

In regards to the stolen antique train sets, Cooper said that a woman named Amber who lived in the front house on Lander Avenue had one of the train sets. After this information from Cooper we still don’t hear about law enforcement working on a case against Amber for possession of stolen property.

Oh wait! My bad! There aren’t any criminal charges pending against Michael Cooley, Eula Keyes or Linda Burns for possession of stolen property either. Michael Cooley and Eula Keyes were also arrested for possession of narcotics for sale on February 28, 2014. And of course this is right in the middle of this very expensive high dollar investigation with the task force and lo and behold guess who as of yet have had no progress in their case? Okay give up, I will tell you. Michael Cooley and Eula Keyes. Since their arrest February 28, 2014 they have had 44 pretrial hearings and the next one is scheduled for April 1, 2016.

Now that happens to be April Fools’ Day. Well guess who gets to be the April’s fool. US! I’ll bet you my granny’s underwear that when they show up on April 1 it will be continued for another pretrial date. But remember they are two more the prosecution star witnesses but there’s no deals being made. Of course not silly thing. And their free ride of course, has nothing to do with the testimony they are presenting in this case. DUH? Anything wrong with any of these pictures? Just saying…

And if anybody’s interested, I still have that oceanfront property for sale in Death Valley. I’ll probably sell that about the same time Michael Cooley and Eula Keyes are held accountable for their criminal behavior. Just saying…

I am going to wrap this recap up with an incident in court in which Ms. Ferreira accused two respectable Modesto private investigators of intimidating witnesses and being unindicted co-conspirators in the Frank Carson case. Gary Ermoian and Jack Able are respectable and honest purveyors of their trade. In my humble opinion Ms. Ferreira’s comments have opened her and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office up to a slander and libel suit since she made these declarations in open court. What litigious action Mr. Able and Mr. Ermoian take remains to be seen. My only comment to what Ms. Ferreira did would be, “it is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt”. Just saying…

See you in court in the morning.