Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kelly Soo Park: Trial Documents

Court Documents
In order to help T&T readers understand the jury verdict, I've invested in copies of some court documents. I've got more coming, so please be patient.  All of these documents have been added to the Kelly Soo Park Quick Links Page.

I went to court yesterday to review the case file.  Unfortunately, the Superior Court's Clerk's Office staff for the downtown criminal court building are over burdened and it will take some time to get the entire case file ready for public viewing.  I totally understand this. The clerks office must review the file and remove anything that has possibly been labeled confidential.  Once that's completed, I can review the file, and decide what other motions I can purchase.  Many thanks to the court's Public Information Office that did have copies of a few motions I was interested in.  More documents will be added to the Kelly Soo Park Quick Links Page as I obtain them.

Some of you may remember that on May 9th and 10th, motions were argued days before the trial was about to start. I attended those hearings. On the evening of May 10th, while working on my notes for those two days, I spilled water on my MacBook Air keyboard.  I immediately turned it upside down and turned it off for 48 hours.  I applied gentle heat (from a heating pad on low setting) and hoped for the best.  My laptop recovered in time for trial, but I did not have time to finish transcribing those notes.

Some of this information below will be included in my Kelly Soo Park Synopsis: Part IV, Non-admitted evidence via pretrial motions.  Some T&T readers have asked why some evidence was not admitted at trial.  The reason for that is because the court agreed with the arguments presented by one side or the other. The evidence was either hearsay or did not meet the California Evidence Code standard for evidence. The easy to understand explanation is the defendant's right to a fair trial.

DEFENSE Motion in Limine to Exclude References to (1) Allegations of Illegal Activities by Munir Uwaydah; (2) Investigation of Uwaydah and Business Entities; (3) Uwahdah's Departure and Absence from the US. (granted)

DEFENSE Motion in Limine to Exclude References to "James Bond" Girl (granted)

DEFENSE Opposition Motion to Admit Evidence of Other Couduct (granted)

DEFENSE Declaration of Mark Kassabian in Support of Kelly Soo Park's Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Admissibility of John Gilmore's Other Acts (denied)

I have to go back over my notes of May 9th and 10th to determine which of the above defense motions went unopposed by the prosecution.

Keep checking the Kelly Soo Park Quick Links Page for more documents.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Sprocket. We patiently - no, impatiently - await the results of your work. Your efforts are greatly appreciated, and I hope we can all go away with a better understanding of what happened in this trial.

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about this verdict a lot. I know many people are interested in the case. They all appreciate what you are doing whether they tell you that or not. I certainly do.

I have come up with a possible scenario to explain her DNA at the scene. She and someone else were there, the someone else being a male. It is the male that beats her and in the struggle begins to strangle her. When she becomes lifeless, KSP checks her neck for a pulse. Then tells her partner that she is dead. They decide to put her on the bed. KSP helps to pick her up, touching her top.

The other DNA of Parks found at the scene is evidence of trying to cover up.

It has been hard for me to understand the verdict. What do think of the scenario? Is it possible?

This is why I think she should have taken the stand. MWN

NancyB said...

Thank-you so much for posting these!

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 8:57 AM

What evidence presented at the trial, indicates there was a male present at the crime scene?

Why do you need for the killer to be a male?

Even if that scenario was true (and I'm not saying it is), it's my opinion Park would still be charged as she was.

In my opinion Park taking the stand would have been disastrous for her.

Anon @ 8:49 AM
You also need to put yourself in the mind of a juror, with only the evidence that was presented at trial. You have to consider the testimony presented, all of it and apply that testimony to the closing arguments presented at trial.

Nancy B:
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sprocket, for your detailed postings and for collecting the previous reports from other sources in your Quick Links section. I must admit that in reading through these pieces, I am still more dumbfounded that the jury came up with the verdict that they did, even with their not knowing many of the facts that the public does. The idea that DNA FOUND ON THE VICTIM's NECK, could be believably attributed to DNA transferred from DNA left in another location 5 months before astounds me! There Is no other way to explain this DNA REASONABLY than that it was deposited when the defendant's hands were around the victim's neck! There is no other REASONABLE way to explain why the defendant's DNA is scattered about the victim's apartment except that the defendant was in the apartment where she had no reason to be. Once again, the word REASONABLE DOUBT is misinterpreted by the jury to mean NO DOUBT. The defense team chose to focus on confusing the jury with the proposal of transfer DNA and it worked, as it has, unfortunately, in too many cases, IMO.


Anonymous said...

Sprocket, I agree that KSP taking the stand would have been disastrous. Her attorneys' decision to rely on confusing the jury with their theory of transfer DNA was effective and did not expose their client to a cross examination that would almost surely resulted in the necessity for her to either commit perjury or claim her 5th amendment rights. Since juries have shown themselves often incapable of settling on what is REASONABLE doubt, this trial strategy worked in their favor.

I've often wondered if a defense lawyer's satisfaction in winning a case strategically is rewarding enough to justify letting a guilty person escape punishment.


Sprocket said...


Keep in mind that a defense attorney's duty to his client, is to defend him to the best of his ability. He can't do a sub-standard job.

The defense attorney's duty is to keep the prosecution to only what they are allowed by present by law. That means the evidence code.

Anonymous said...

She was for sure there. Either she went there at the request of the good doctor or she went with motives of her own. She either personally did the deed or helped some one else. Did the jury even know about the Dr. or Mr. Case? It looks like the documents show they did not. Or did I miss something? Transfer of DNA is not something I would buy at all.

Is it a fact that the Dr. was in Germany?

Thanks so much. Anon at 8:57.MWN

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 1:15 PM

Several witnesses testified about Munir Uwaydah and his connection to the victim.

Witnesses also testified about Park's connection to Uwaydah, and there was evidence in Uwaydah's possession, that connected him to Park. (A California ID card that he gave to an officer during a traffic stop, referenced a "Kelly" and a phone number on the back of the card.)

Where Uwaydah was at the time of the murder, or when he left the US was not presented at trial.

Ronnie Case was not mentioned in this trial.

Anonymous said...

Where did I get that there was cell phone data that Park kept calling a number in Germany on the day of the murder and that there was cell phone data between her and Case then also? Did I dream it?

Totally possible. I do dream some dreams. MWN

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 4:03 PM

You might be confusing information that was in the charging documents and what was presented at trial.

If I'm remembering correctly without going back and finding it Park called Uwaydah many times (sixteen?) in the days following the murder.

The cell phone calls between Park and Case was not presented at trial. It should be noted that by the time Park was on the radar of Santa Monica PD, Park's cell phone tower records covering that time period were no longer available.

Anonymous said...

Question: Was the DNA found at the scene only Juliana and Parks? That is what I have understood so far... Since her friend Cher had spent the night, the night before it seems that some of her DNA should have been detected (and I don't mean in a criminal way) at the apartment? I do not think there was reasonable doubt to find KSP not guilty, but I can see if I allow my brain to imagine other options I could make some up... I think Anon 8:57 has found one of those options. Maybe there was a male or another person there that committed the murder and Soo Park was the cleanup crew (Turned on the stove, moved the body, grabbed her phone, etc.)....

Obviously by trial she looked much more pale/frail then pictures of her from the original arrest (appearing much less likely to murder someone, for the eye's of the jury).

Just wanted to respond to Anon 8:57, that is obviously a possibility.... Sprocket I almost feel like you got defensive over the Anon suggesting someone else could have been at the scene.... I am just curious why? Isn't it possible a clean up could have hidden another person's DNA?

Isn't it strange the only DNA at the scene is of the two?

Sorry if I am being repetitive, I have been following this case closely.... I truly appreciate your coverage and synopsis for this case...

Justice for Juliana Redding. She will not be forgotten.

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 10:05 PM:

I'm working on Part II, so I thought I would take a break and try to answer this question.

There were no other "complete DNA profiles" found at the scene.

No I don't think it strange that "other" DNA wasn't found at the scene.

Let me ask you, why would you expect to find more DNA profiles?

The DNA anaylst's testified that not everyone leaves DNA behind when they touch something. To detect a full profile, you need nucleated DNA. Not all skin cells would have that (a nucleus).

An allele here, and allele there, that's not surprising to me.

(Remember, I've said this before. If you are relying on crime shows on TV to inform you about evidence, evidence collection, what you expect to find and what it means, you will fail every time. There is not a single drama show on TV that gets this right.)

Without all 15 STR (alleles) markers, you don't have a "complete" person. The more STR's you have, the closer you get to a complete person.

So, even if you found one or two stray markers, that doesn't make a full person. (Like DDA Presby said in the Lazarus case, that's like the static you get, in-between the radio stations.)


There was one STR marker (out of a needed 15) found on Juliana's body that could have come from her friend Cher, who slept in Juliana's bed on the evening of the 14th..

There was (one? two?) STR marker(s) (out of 15) found on Juliana's body that could have come from Brian Van Holt, who Juliana made out with on the night of the 14th.

It's my understanding that there were no other DNA markers found that could have come from other, unidentified people.

Yes, both the prosecution and defense agreed that the scene showed evidence of a clean up.

This was in the living room. Items were also missing.

At a crime scene, you can't just "swab" everything and test it for DNA. DNA testing is expensive. You want to test items that will most likely come back with relevant information.

(For example: Juliana was in a fight for her life. The fight was in the living room. Testing Juliana's clothing and her body for DNA would be more helpful than say, testing the linen on the bed.)

I know they swabbed some spots on the interior doors, but those spots came back with nothing.

In my opinion, but I was not a juror mind you, I have difficulty constructing a situation where, a clean up of a crime scene (that occurred in the living room), would remove one individual's DNA, but not another person's.

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, again I thank you for all your hard work.... I will be honest I do not know much about DNA and alleles etc... But the DNA evidence in this case, with a not guilty conviction has really baffled me... Which is why I am searching for a way to understand the jury's response... I think your bolded comments truly answer my questions...

By the way, I would like to mention I am not gathering information from Law & Order SVU.... Apparently I need to do some reading on DNA evidence to further understand...

I really do not know much about evidence collection in general, which is why I ask questions here.

Again, truly appreciate your coverage of this trial.

One day I hope justice will come for Juliana and The Redding family (including Juliana's friends and other loved ones).

Sprocket said...

To everyone:

I only mention the crime shows being inaccurate because I don't know what y'all know, about DNA, circumstantial evidence, and evidence collection procedures.

Over the years, I've watched many crime dramas on TV and on film. I've not attended that many trials in person, but I have watched many trials on TV and online.

I remember a conversation I had with Dr. Lynne Herold, a criminalist in trace evidence for the LA County Sheriff's Dept. She testified in both Phil Spector trials as the people's blood spatter expert and crime scene analyst.

She told me that each week, after the show 'CSI' would air, people would be calling her to see if the techniques used in the show, could be used in their case. In virtually all instances, the technique use to recover evidence or learn a fact in the show was total fiction.

To me, the science in the trial is very interesting. I've always has a fascination with scientific research.

But oftentimes, this is the part of a trial that your average reporter or individual skips as "boring" or "dry."

Anonymous said...

Motive? Was the motive to intimidate Juliana in order to intimidate her father to do business with the Doc? The defense says this does not make sense and it does not make sense in my opinion.

In my imagination, I see this as a rage killing. The rage belonging to either Park or Uwaydah. I see Uwaydah as an arrogant man who possibly became enraged at the double rebuffs he got from the Reddings. First from Juliana, next from her father. It is so incriminating that he left the country when Park was arrested.

Did KSP have rage for Juliana? Did she know about Juliana dating Uwaydah? How did Park feel about Uwaydah? Perhaps there was something between them other than just money

All conjecture.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:57 presents a reasonable scenario, especially dealing with the DNA on Juliana's neck (KSP testing for a pulse) and the phone records placing her accomplice, Case, within a mile of Juliana's apartment.

I have to resolve in my mind how KSP's DNA could have been all over the scene, if I am to believe she could possibly be innocent.

The scenario I came up with was that KSP was there but earlier, and that the murder was committed by Juliana's boyfriend, John, after KSP left. He had a long history of out-of-control physical behavior regarding Juliana, according to the documents Sprocket posted. KSP was always hugging people in the courtroom, and the DNA certainly could have gotten on Juliana's neck in a hug greeting. They might have even had coffee, which KSP turned on the gas to help make. The boyfriend is much more likely than KSP to have a motive (jealousy) and the capacity (strength) to carry out the crime. It's certainly a more likely scenario than transfer DNA in all those places.

I agree that the defense lawyer saw his job as confusing the jury with doubt about the DNA, rather than trying to introduce doubt with an alternate scenario. But I need an alternate scenario to convince me that KSP might have been innocent.

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 9:22 AM
The prosecution is not required to provide a motive to prove their case.

Do those of you reading here, require a motive you understand? Sometimes, jurors won't convict if they don't have a motive, even though the law doesn't require one. Was it that way for this jury? We won't know until they talk.

The prosecution outlined what they thought the motive was in their 1101b motion, (which is a motion to introduce evidence of prior bad acts). That motion was denied. Judge Kennedy ruled this evidence didn't meet the standard for this type of evidence. "The prosecution has not met it's burden," the court ruled.

The prosecution showed the link between the victim and Park. They also showed a large amount of payments going from Uwaydah to Park.

Keep in mind, we know more than the jurors did. Through jury instructions, the jurors are told they can only consider evidence presented at trial. An attorney's questions are not evidence, only the witnesses answers are evidence. Opening statements and arguments are not evidence. All of these statements are presented as jury instructions to the jurors.

The people allege that Juliana did not know Park.

The defense put on a witness who testified that, she recalled on one occasion, Park and Juliana were (possibly?) both in the Beverly Hills home kitchen at the same time.

Juliana moved out of Uwaydah's Beverly Hills home five months before her murder.

I highly recommend reading through the defense motions I've uploaded. Read through the motions themselves and read through the exhibits. Understand that the exhibits were introduced in motions, and those motions may have been granted, but that doesn't mean the information in the exhibits was presented to the jury.

Sprocket said...

Anon @ 12:35 PM:

I highly recommend looking through the exhibits from the one defense motion I uploaded regarding John Gilmore. In this exhibit you will see text messages that he sent to Juliana.

In oral arguments regarding the defense motion to present evidence of 3rd party culpability, the prosecution stated that John Gilmore has a "rock solid alibi."

It's my understanding that, if needed, there are several witnesses who wwould have verified where Gilmore was at the time of the murder.

I'm not positive, but it's also my understanding that he was also captured on video surveillance cameras during some of that time period.

The court said in their ruling on this motion, that there was no evidence the defense had that Gilmore was ever violent to Juliana. The court added that he was violent to furniture, things, but there was no evidence that he was ever violent to Juliana.

Anonymous said...

I think it said that Gilmore was on video during SOME of that time, and that his erratic and violent behavior in relation to Juliana was well known. It seemed to me that more should have been investigated there, although his DNA was not found at the scene. He certainly was a more likely suspect.

Sprocket, is it true that DNA evidence is not the stand-alone evidence that we thought it was? It sounds like it could always have been "transferred", so more context is always needed.

Also, as I've read about DNA analysis and that it involves multiple judgments, can we be SURE that the lab came to an accurate conclusion or is it arguable? I think that the idea that KSP's DNA could have been transferred to all the critical locations is so unlikely, so can we say that any and all authorities would agree that she had to have been in the apartment?

Thanks for helping us to work through this, Sprocket. It has become not an issue of why the jury decided to acquit, but with more information available to us, we want to decide in our own minds whether she was guilty or not, and if not, then who was guilty. There just is not enough information in the trial alone to give us confidence that justice was done.

Sprocket said...

In my opinion, during the trial, in cross examination of the DNA witnesses defense attorney Mark Kassabian did not challenge the DNA analysis procedures.

I believe I am correct in this because:

Defense attorney George Buehler conceeded in his closing arguments that the DNA found at the scene was Parks.

I personally believe DNA is still a very high standard. Remember, it is biological material. It is not like a bullet casing that will last for years and years.

Sprocket said...

To the anonymous individual who left the comment requesting me not to post, please consider emailing me @ sprocket.trials AT

I promise to keep all of our correspondence confidential.