THE STORM IS BREWING

On arrival in court this morning, I noticed that today’s star witness for the prosecution, Patrick Hampton, came to the front door inspection station along with the rest of us. This was a surprise because I thought he might have snuck in the back door the way all of their other star prosecution witnesses usually do. Didn’t take too long though for the prosecutor to take their star witness in through the overflow room.

And it appears the Modesto bee is again absent this morning so the public will have to get its news through other sources such as back story news.com or dogs blog. So I will attempt to bring some highlights of today’s court proceedings because inquiring minds want to know.

One of the first things to be brought up this morning was the production of star witness Patrick Hampton’s probation file. The Dist. Atty. first made moves not allow it to come in and Judge Zuniga said that after 30 days probation files are no longer public but confidential. The Judge said that nothing will be disclosed out of the probation file until the County Council had been advised and she ordered the probation department back at 11 o’clock for information.

Martha Carlton Magana told the court that during the Thanksgiving break Special Agent in charge Kirk Bunch had interviewed one of her clients without her knowledge. She found out and confronted Bunch who stated he would provide her a copy of the CD of the interview and also a written report. She had not received it as yet she requested that Judge Zuniga make Bunch provide it as soon as possible.

Patrick Hampton was then brought back into court and resumed the stand.

Robert Forkner resumed his cross-examination of Hampton. First question he asked was “Do you have a job?” Hampton answered no. Robert Forkner then asked how does he support himself? Hampton answered I’m a criminal. Robert Forkner asked a career criminal? Hampton then stated to him, you seem to know everything. This is the beginning of the I love jail witness exhibiting his contempt for Judge Zuniga’s court and all of the attorneys present.

When you met investigator Jacobson in the jail, did you give him some information on a homicide. Hampton answers I don’t recall. Robert Forkner then asked are you a Northern Rider? Mr. Smart mouth answered “No are you?” At this point Judge Zuniga turned to Hampton said “suck it up “to Hampton. He was then asked if he had ever met Bunch before. Hampton answered I think so but I don’t remember.

He was then asked if he had discussed this case with Bunch. Hampton stated no. He was asked what cases involved and Hampton answered Micah Disney. He was then asked if he received any benefits from that snitch job and he stated I don’t remember. He was then asked if he was in prison several times and Hampton stated yes for drugs. Robert Forkner then said weren’t you in jail for assault with a deadly weapon a knife?

Hampton then said well some guy pulled a knife on me and then I pulled one on him. Robert Forkner then asked were you convicted for that and Hampton answered yes in his typical surly attitude. Robert Forkner then asked why were you dressed in orange when you’re in jail. Mr. Smart mouth and answered I liked the color again showing disrespect for the court and all of the attorneys. Robert Forkner then said you were an informant and in protective custody right? Hampton then said well it was prison politics and would not state that he had been a snitch.

Robert Forkner then asked if Hampton had tried to extort money from either Frank Carson or Paul Singh he stated no. He was then asked if he tried to blackmail Frank Carson and Hampton again stated no. Robert Forkner then asked make your money. Hampton again stated I am a career criminal and I don’t have a 401(k). Robert Forkner then asked did you have an interview in jail and Mr. Smart mouth answered, you tell me. Judge Zuniga then told Hampton to stop it.

Robert Forkner then asked him if he had told Kirk Bunch that he was a Northern Rider and Hampton answered no. He was then asked if he knew that Michael Cooley carried a shank while in jail he stated no. He was then asked if he said he would like to F-up Carson. Hampton stated he said that but it was in a joking manner. He was asked how many times he said it in a joking manner he said I don’t know two or three.

Robert Forkner then asked if he had ever tried heroin and Hampton answered yes. Robert Forkner then asked if Hampton had ever missed an appointment with his probation officer because he was loaded on heroin. Hampton stated no that he was loaded on methamphetamine.

He was then asked if he had threatened to kill Paul Singh and Hampton stated I don’t recall but I don’t think so. He was asked if he had written down Paul Singh’s wife’s license number of her car and he said he did and he had told Singh. Robert Forkner then asked him he had told Bunch that he had an AR 15 and the DA immediately objected. Robert Forkner said it would be relevant when the information was received from Hamptons probation file.

Robert Forkner asked him if Frank Carson had told Hampton that he had a credit for time served deal in one of Hamptons cases and Hampton said he did. Robert Forkner then asked if he jumped bail and Hampton said he did. Robert Forkner said how much time did you do in prison and Hampton answered five years. Robert Forkner then asked Hampton if he held that against Carson and Hampton’s answer was unintelligible.

Robert Forkner then asked if anyone can corroborate what Hampton is saying here today and Hampton answered that Frank Carson can. Robert Forkner then said anybody else and Hampton answered no just the truth. Robert Forkner then asked if he told Bunch he would record Frank Carson for money and Mr. Smart mouth then answered “You need to get your facts right”. Then apparently a police officer or deputy sheriff name Sheldon had told Hampton they’re doing everything they can to get you out early.

Robert Forkner then attempted to introduce the transcript of the interview of Hampton with Bunch and Jacobson. Deputy district attorney Ferreira then vehemently objected stating we have no confirmation that the transcripts are an accurate transcription of the video. Robert Forkner stated that the transcript would impeach Hamptons testimony. DA for stated well that’s improper impeachment.

DA Ferreira stated that the defense would be using sections of the transcript out of context. Judge Zuniga then ruled that it would not be improper by the defense. During the argument between the defense and DA Ferreira she stated that she just wants to get this witness on and off the stand in an expedient manner and move this case along. That’s very magnanimous of her. If I were her I would want to get this witness on and off the stand as quickly as I could also, so I can’t fault her for that.

Deputy DA Ferreira stated they have more witnesses lined up for this week and several that will be presented under prop 115 including Kimberly Stout John Reed and Dustin unknown. Percy Martinez then stated that any transcripts the defense has are our work product and should not be provided to the district attorney until the witnesses is on the stand testifying. Deputy district attorney Ferreira then stated that that’s prelim by ambush by the defense. Deputy district attorney Ferreira then stated she knows that Patrick Hampton is a “difficult witness.” But then again he’s her witness.

Judge Zuniga then ruled that the transcripts were not work product and would be provided to the Dist. Atty. The Judge then stated there is so much animosity by you groups out here. The Judge then said that court was going to listen to the interview tape of Hampton.

From where I sitting in the courtroom I could not see the video and I could hear some of it but I didn’t hear everything. So I would be making some comments here on some of what I heard. At the very beginning of the tape someone I presume to be Jacobson was telling Hampton after Hampton asked a question, that Bunch is all knowing about this case. Bunch is the and I quote, Master guru of this case. I seem to remember way back yonder in this hearing Bunch had said he was not the lead investigator that someone else was. So there are at least two Master guru’s in the prosecution’s case.

When Bunch enters the room he says hey Patrick and Hampton says I didn’t recognize you without your long hair. Bunch that says that’s when I was working in the gang unit. And Hampton then says I’m just trying to get out here. Again I could not hear a lot of this so I don’t have a lot of information of what’s on the video.

On the video Hampton is talking about a girl named Kelly Teeters and also talks about his girlfriend Renée Montez and states he’s in love with her. He stated that Frank Carson had told him that Cooley brothers were robbing him blind and that they had been told to knock it off but they didn’t get the message. Then the conversation at one point turned to Hampton who stated that he used fraudulent references for bail Singh. He laughed about it on the video.

When I did hear both Kirk Bunch and Jacobson talking to Hampton on the video they both consistently used leading questions and statements to elicit information from Hampton. I’m sure that will be brought out in the cross-examination by the attorneys. And Hampton appeared to be telling them what they wanted to hear. At one point I heard Bunch tell Hampton that he, Frank Carson, basically solicited you is that right? The hearing and recessed or the lunch break.

The afternoon session began and as with the morning sector there was no Modesto bee reporter present unless he was disguised. The probation officer came back up to the podium and had presented some information to the Judge regarding some probation matters that the department had with Hampton during his probation. I will elaborate on a few below.

On January 30, 2014 a probation officer’s notes state that Hampton knows he’s wanted and he will shoot it out with the deputy to avoid going to jail. Hampton is also to be considered armed and dangerous and carries a handgun in his waist band.

On the same date there had been a telephone threat made against officer Gary Vernon by Hampton and officer Vernon’s home had special security placed around. Talk about an oxymoron and I won’t mention who a moron is but less than two years ago the star witness for the prosecution was ready to shoot it out with the police to avoid going back to jail and made threats against a police officer and now he is a witness for the prosecution. Will wonders never cease Stanislaus County? But that’s none of my business. Just saying…

Then on September 29, 2014 a search was done and white crystalline substance was located along with a glass pipe and a replica 1911 handgun. On February 12, 2015 during an in custody face-to-face interview with Hampton he stated one day during a probation search of his home he ran out the back door with 30 pounds of marijuana and through it over the fence into the neighbor’s yard.

And on June 4, 2009 is when Hampton and somebody named Sherwood had their dueling knife fight which apparently Hampton lost because he went to prison for it. And the record shows which is available to anybody in the public some of Mr. Hamptons, excuse me, did I say Mr. OK everybody makes a mistake once in a while has been arrested and or convicted for a variety of offenses including possession of stolen property, resisting delaying or obstructing an officer, possession of narcotics, felony malicious mischief and other assorted if you will.

Also during the information obtained from probation reports between March 27, 2015 and 29th 2015 there were seven drug tests conducted and all but one tested positive for amphetamines or opiates. Mr. Martinez asked Andy the dirty test resulted in a violation of probation. Probation officer stated that he had been offered treatment programs. That concluded the probation officers information.

The video was then resumed in the courtroom. Again I cannot see or hear everything but will mention a few of the things that I was able to discern from the video. Hampton started off by talking about some Fing nut from Riverbank. Have no idea who he is. He also said he didn’t know Woody but had heard through hearsay that he got busted for something. Stated he didn’t know the owners of the liquor store in Turlock didn’t know Highway patrolmen named Q or Walter.

Said he did not spend a lot of time in Turlock but he knew a lot of people there from jail or prison. During the video a lot of the testimony appeared to be rapid as if there was a chemical additive to the interview. Just saying… During this interview every other word was f..k or mother f…er and you fill in the blanks.

Also on the video Hampton stated “know what I’m saying” more times than on the Jerry Springer or Maury Povich show along with a lot of I don’t knows I don’t remembers thrown in along the way. During the video, Kirk Bunch says I like to hear your side cause I know you’re being honest. Bunch asked Hampton if he heard about any cops being involved, Hampton stated well it would be hearsay. Bunch then says I want to hear it. Then little further along Hampton gives a little jingle “ring ring ring, you’re going to hear a rifle sing”.

And Bunch says “Frank Carson told you to make examples of the Cooley’s. Your gonna f..k them up. At another point Hampton said they took my Jeep and gave it to her along with $5000 and he was upset over that. Then he mentioned something about he had a exclusionary distance from officer Vernon’s of approximate thousand feet.

Bunch then asked him if he knew “Gunslinger”? Hampton stated I hate that MF’r. Then I believe Jacobson said it’s terrible. Someone trying to justify murder because of stolen property. He then states that Frank Carson approached you do you think he would approach somebody else? Then you can hear Bunch say so you’re only motive is it you want to do the right thing, right? Then Hampton says I’ll try to record him a and give it my best shot. Bunch then states the only reason Frank Carson ran for Dist. Atty. was he was trying to shelter himself from being arrested.

Then the probation department revealed that Hampton had been flash incarcerated on November 19, 2013 and again on December 22, 2014 and he was again offered a treatment program.

Will that was about the rest of it for today court will resume tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM.