Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bryan Barnes & Javier Bolden Prelim Day 1, Part III, USC Chinese Grad Students Murders, Ming Qu & Ying Wu

Continued from Barnes & Bolden Prelim Day 1, Part II....

September 30th, 2013
Where I left off in my notes, Eury Moldonado was asked to describe how the female victim Ying Wu was seated in the BMW.  I had noted that there were so many people in the gallery, it was almost full.

2. Eury Moldonado - continued

The next exhibit, people's 3 is a photo of a residence, 2717 S. Raymond Avenue. The building appears to be a two unit duplex, with two entry door.s In the photo, I can vaguely make out something on the front porch.  The next exhibit, people's 4, is a close-up of the porch area. There appears to be blood all over the steps, and yellow evidence placards on the porch. In the middle of the porch, there appears to be a pile of clothing. Moldonado saw those items on the porch when he was there with the victim on April 11th.  The next exhibit, people's 5 is enlarged. It's the front door with broken glass. Moldonado verifies that this is what was broken that he testified about earlier.

Ms. Brazil asks Judge Marcus for a moment, then tells the court, "No further questions."  Marcus asks the defense, "Who's going to go first?"  Ms D'Onofrio, who represents Barnes steps up.

Cross by D'Onofrio

MD: I just have a couple of questions. ... You indicated that when you arrived home in the early morning hours ... that you were looking for a parking space. Is that correct?
EM: Correct.
MD: You indicated that you had passed the BMW and then you reversed. What do you mean you reversed? did you go around the block or did you go into reverse?
JM: Or you made a U turn? That's another way.
EM: When I was looking for parking, there was one way back in the corner. I (didn't?) see a parking (space?) forward, so I put the car in reverse.
MD: Where did you eventually end up parking in relation to the vehicle?
EM: Two cars before the corner of 27th and Raymond.
MD: You indicated you had your high beams on?
EM: Correct.
MD: Is that because it was dark?
EM: So I could see the parking.
MD: (Is?) that street is very dark?
EM: Usually it isn't but due to the rain, it was a little more difficult.

Moldonado states there are lights and trees on the street.

MD: So you went up to your residence and went up to your computer and were watching videos?
EM: Correct.
MD: You had the sound on?
EM: Yes, but very low.
MD: So you were listening and looking as to what was on your computer?
EM: Yes.
MD: You heard arguing?
EM: Correct.
MD: When you heard arguing did you hear that ... while you were inside your apartment?
EM: No. When I was on the balcony.
MD: So you went out on the balcony after you heard what was two shots?
EM: Correct. A first one and then a second one.
MD: Did you go (out?) onto the balcony after hearing the first shot or the second one?
EM: The second one.
MD: And that's when you heard the arguing?
EM: Correct.

MD: One moment your honor. ... Mr. Moldonado, did you recall how many ambulances arrived at the scene?
EM: I don't know precisely. I know that one arrived because ... that one arrived to help the (young man?).
MD: How many police officers arrived?

Moldonado says something to the effect that he wasn't able to see that. He states that the officers called him to talk to him as well.  D'Onofrio is finished with her cross.

Andrew Goldman gets up to cross for Javier Bolden.  Brazil gets up from her seat to speak to one of the detectives in the well.  A group of students leave the gallery.

AG: When you were looking for a parking space, you were headed north bound on Raymond?
EM: Correct.

My notes then say, there must have been a confusion, because I have Maldonado now say he was going south.

EM: South.
AG: You were drivng south on Raymond?
EM: Yes.
AG: The BMW that was double parked, it was facing north bound, correct?
EM: Correct.
AG: So you were traveling south bound toward 29th Street, correct?
EM: Correct.
AG: Where the BMW was parked, was that in the middle of the block or closer to the (north or south)?
EM: Closer to the north.
AG: So closer to 27th, correct?
EM: Correct.

AG: And back at that time, back in April 2012, were you living on the east side of the street or west side of the street?
EM: West.
AG: And the BMW?

I'm not sure how Maldonado answers here. There's a question about the direction that Raymond runs. Raymond is a north/south bound street.

AG: The BMW was facing north bound so it was closer to the east side of the street?
EM: Correct.
AG: So you were traveling south bound, you thought there might be a parking space, and that was closer to where you were living?
EM: Correct.
AG: Because you had already seen a parking space (further north?) ... so you passed the BMW with high beams on and didn't see a parking space?
EM: Correct.
AG: So (he?) was on the east side of the street traveling south?
EM: Correct.

After Maldonado parked his vehicle, he walked to his residence, on the west side of Raymond.  His upper balcony faces east.

AG: Without giving the exact address, was your residence directly across, or west or (where you reside?) a little further north or south (from the BMW?)?
EM: A little further south.
AG: And you said from your balcony (it is) somewhat obstructed by a tree?
EM: Correct.
AG: Was that a tree on the property where you were living at the time, or somewhere else?
EM: A city tree.
AG: So a tree closer to the street rather than the residence?
EM: Correct.
AG: So where you were looking our your residence you were looking ... slightly north and to the east?
EM: True.
AG: You were on your computer watching videos and had the sound on?
EM: Yes, but it was not very loud, due to the fact that my daughter was asleep.
AG: Were you wearing headphones?
EM: No.
AG: You said that after you were watching about 20 minutes, you heard what you thought was a gunshot?

After the first gunshot, Maldonado didn't pay much attention. Then moments later he hears a second gunshot.

AG: How much time between... ?
EM: A matter of seconds.

Makdonado is asked if it was as long as twenty or thirty seconds between shots.

EM: Possibly, I don't remember exactly.
AG: You weren't counting? ... As you remember it now, they came very fast in order?
EM: Correct.
AG: After this incident occurred, you spoke with police is that right?
EM: True.
AG: Did you speak to one police officer or a number of police officers, if you remember?
EM: I don't precisely remember.
AG: So you hear one shot. A little bit of time occurs and you (hear?) a second gunshot.
EM: The second gunshot was when I heard like glass shattering. That's what called my attention and stepped out onto the balcony.

AG: And it was at that time you noticed two individuals standing on either side of the BMW doubled parked?
EM: Yes.
AG: And you heard arguing, correct?
EM:  True.
AG: And the voices you heard arguing sounded to be male voices, correct?
EM: I couldn't say for sure because of the distance, but you could hear that they were arguing.
AG: And that was the two people outside the car? ... It appeared they were arguing with each other?
EM: Due to the distance they were at, I couldn't tell if it was amongst them or the people in the car.
AG: But you could hear two different voices?
EM: Correct.

The female KPCC reporter I met during the Ka Pasasouk preliminary hearing enters Dept. 102. We exchange quick smiles.

AG: And the man you were with that was bleeding, he was unable to speak?
EM: True.
AG: Nothing further.

Judge Marcus asks if there's any redirect by the people and DDA Brazil tells the court they have nothing further. My notes are not clear but I believe Judge Marcus asks the witness a question.

JM: Just one quick question. When you went by the BMW with your high beams (on), were you able to tell the ethnicity or the race of the people inside the car?  Were they Latino, were they Chinese or  French? ... French was not a good one. African American?
EM: I couldn't distinguish exactly because they didn't face me as I was driving by.

The witness is excused. Judge Marcus calls for the morning break and states court will start up at approximately six minutes to eleven.  He then asks to speak to Pat Kelly from the courts Public Information Office, who is in the gallery sitting with the press.  There is a guess that the preliminary hearing will take three days.  I note that the stuffed animal is still on top of the covered over water fountain. It's looking more like a large happy-faced turtle today.

We're back on the record but one of the defense attorneys Gustavo Sztraicher is not at the defense table. Ms. D'Onofrio goes to locate he co-counsel. There is a discussion about the identity issue and the media's request to video tape the proceedings.

Ms. D'Onofrio speaks first. She discusses the hearings and rulings that occurred in this case when it was in Dept. 30, another courtroom (This is Judge Torrealba's court). At that time,  Dept. 30 rules that no cameras would be allowed in the courtroom with respect to the other courts. She speaks to one of the counts involving Mr. Barnes. She states they are significant and that they requested no cameras (in Dept. 30). D'Onofrio can't speak to what they (prosecution?) is going to do. There is a question as to the validity of the identification.

It is mentioned that only Mr. Bolden has been charged in counts four and five. There was a third person who was initially identified in count four, so the court is asked to uphold the previous courts rulings.

DDA Brazil speaks for the people. She would like the court to uphold the prior courts rulings. She agrees that an issue of identity has been raised.

Judge Marcus asks the parties about photographers that don't take photos of the defendants.  One of the defense attorneys asks, "Well, what .. pictures would they be taking?"  Judge Marcus just wanted to get this on the record.  It's not in my notes, but I have a memory of DDA Brazil at sompe point in the proceedings, asking the court that witnesses not be photographed. Some witnesses have a fear of testifying.  It's my memory that Judge Marcus upholds the prior courts ruling to not allow cameras in during the preliminary hearing.  Then Judge Marcus addresses Mr. Sztraicher in a friendly tone. "Mr. Sztraicher, I need you to come back when we have breaks." 

Detective Carreon retakes the stand to continue his testimony.  DDA Brazil continues his direct examination.

1. Vincent Carreon (testimony continues)

DB: When we left off with your testimony earlier this morning, you were describing for us that you had responded to the location at 2700 block of Raymond Avenue and both (victims?) had been transported to the hospital.

Brazil puts up People's exhibit 6, that has the photo of two individuals on it.  It's a photo I've seen before in an article about a memorial service for the victims.

DB: Are you able to identify the two individuals in that photograph?
VC: Yes, those are our victims.
DB: ... left, is that Ying Wu? (and?) The gentleman, Ming Qu?
VC: Yes.
DB: Both Mr. Qu and Ms. Wu were attending the University of California on April 11th, 2012?
VC: Correct
DB: During the testimony ... you were present when Mr. Moldonado testified s to his observations of the bleeding man who was the driver of the BMW?
VC: Correct.

People's exhibit 3, the front of the 2717 Raymond Avenue residence.  Then, People's 4, a close up of the porch area.  Detective Correon verifies the photo. Carreon uses the laser pointer to identify an LAPD yellow evidence placard on the front porch.

VC: The placard is there to mark evidence that we're going to collect.
DB: And what are the items associated with evidence marker #3
VC: Clothing.
DB: Would that be Ming Qu's clothing?
VC: Yes.

 People's exhibit 7, a photo of clothing on the porch with a man's leather wallet opened up. This is the same clothing that was on the porch area of the residence.  People's exhibit 8 is a close up of the wallet. That is the wallet of Mr. Qu that was was recovered inside of the clothing that was on that porch.

DB: Did you determine the content of the brown wallet? ... Did it contain cash and credit cards?
VC: Yes.
DB: Were there also items of identification recovered at the crime scene location with respect o Ms. Wu?
VC: Yes.
DB: Would that be a copy of her student ID and passport papers in the name of Ming Wu?
VC: Yes.
DB: You also testified there were also ... cell phones not recovered at the location or inside the vehicle?
(miss answer)

Detective Carreon testifies that he observed two shell casings in the middle of the street just west of the victims vehicle, just lying in the street.

DB: Were those items marked with evidence markers?
VC: Yes.
DB: Did you examine or come to know that caliber of the shell casings?
VC: Nine millimeter.
DB: Both?
VC: Yes.
DB: Were those two items booked into evidence?
VC: Yes.

Officer Lee collected the two items and booked them into evidence under DR #12 0310339. (I believe I got the DR # correct. Sprocket)  Two photographs of the vehicle, People's exhibits 9 and 10 are booked into evidence.  Using the laser pointer, Carreon points out where the shell casings were found.

VC: One of the shell casings was far away from the vehicle. ... Placard number 1. ... It's in line with the door, but it's at least 10 feet or more away.  Second shell casing placard is somewhere towards the back of the car on the driver's side, closer to the car.

People's exhibit 11, another photo of Raymond Avenue and the car. The car is under the tarp and I can barely make out the evidence placards 1 and 2.  They are just west of the vehicle. The placards are in the middle of the photo to the driver's side of the vehicle.  People's exhibits 12 and 13 are close up images of the placards. Carreon identifies the items in these photos as "shell casings" that were in the street. 

People's exhibit 14, the passenger side of the vehicle. Carreon describes the photo. People's exhibit 15, is an interior shot of the passenger side of the car.

VC: That's the same vehicle with the passenger door open. ... No other damage other than the driver's side door.
DB: Describe what you observed on the passenger side.
VC: There's glass on the seat. Also glass also around the center console area.  Also on on the passenger side floor board. ... Also, some pink slippers right front passenger floorboard.
DB: When you made your observations of the BMW vehicle, where (was) it parked in relation to 2717 Raymond?
VC: It was almost directly across from 2717.

People's exhibit 16, a close up of the driver's side window.

VC: That is the driver's door of the BMW (of) Mr. Qu's BMW. It appears to be smashed in or shattered. The glass is gone in the majority of the window.
DB: Driver's side front window?
VC: Correct.

People's exhibit 17, photo of what appears to be shattered glass on the pavement.

VC: That's glass that's just below the driver's door in the street.

People's exhibit 18 shows the inside of the BMW. We see more of the same glass on the driver's seat and also on the floor board of the driver's side. There appears to be blood on the driver's side entrance. More glass on the console.  People's exhibit 19 is the back seat area of the BMW.

VC: This is the left rear door open. There's glass on the floor board, and believe there's some glass on the right ... passenger seat. There's even more on the right floor board.
DB: But more glass on the driver's side?
VC: Yes.
DB: Detective, as part of your investigation, were the information from the shell casings entered into a data base?

Defense: Objection!
JM: Over ruled.

VC: Yes.
DB: Did you request that the information be entered into the national ballistics data base? ... Were you notified there was a match from the data base?
VC: Yes.
DB: Did you request a manual match.
MD: Objection! Lack foundation.
JM: Over ruled.
VC: I requested a comparison of the cartridge casings, yes.
DB: Did you have a conversation with a criminalist, William Moore (sp?), on September 25th, of this year?
VC: Yes.

Carreon testifies he had also spoken to criminalist Moore on other occasions. He's a criminalist three, working with the police department. He's been working since 1984. He's with the firearms department. Carreon now testifies via Proposition 115 (which allows hearsay evidence under certain circumstances) about Mr. Moore's work on this case, and his credentials as a criminalist. Moore received his bachelors degree in 1982. Moore has conducted thousands of comparisons through evidence booked into LAPD. He's also taken numerous training courses. He's testified as an expert approximately 50 times.

DB: Did you ask Mr. Moore if he did a manual comparison ... and connected to the investigation that you were handling and compare to other shell casings?
VC: He compared them to two other cases in 77th Division and in his opinion they were fired through the same firearm.

Mr. Moore compared the cartridges in this shooting to two other DR numbers. He believes the date of one of the DR numbers was December 2nd, 2011.

DB: And that would be a shooting on that date and those items were collected?
VC: That's correct.
DB: Did he tell you the second (DR # was) 121206793? (I'm not positive that number is correct. Sprocket.) ... Do you recognize that to be another LAPD report related to a 77th Division shooting that occurred in February, 2012/
VC: Yes.
DB: Did you ask Mr. Moore the caliber from each of the shell casings?
VC: Yes.
DB: And what did he say?
VC: They were all nine millimeter.
DB: Did Mr. Moore tell you if he formed an opinion after he compared to each of those DR numbers?
VC: In his opinion, they were all fired from the same firearm.

Carreon testifies that another criminalist reviewed his work, Vanessa Gould (sp?).

Defense: Objection! Compound, foundation.
JM: Let me hear from the people. Does it appear... hearsay.
DB: Did Mr. Moore tell you this analysis was verified by another criminalist?
VC: Yes.
Defense: Objection!
JM: Over ruled. I'll allow that.

DB: Did you attend the autopsy of Ming Qu and Ying Wu?
VC: (Yes.)
DB: In your preparation with your testimony today, did you speak to Dr. Pedro Ortiz-Colom (sp?)?
VC: Spoke to him on September 25th of this year.

Dr. Ortiz did the autopsy on Ying Wu. There's an objection that is over ruled.

DB: Detective, in preparation for you testimony, when you spoke to Dr. Pedro Ortiz-Colom, did you ask him what his position is?
VC: He's a forensic pathologist with the coroner's office for 22 years.
DB: Did you ask him if he performed autopsies as part of his job?
VC: Yes, he did. ... He performed 5500 autopsies. ... He performs autopsies to determine cause of death and document injuries. ...  And also to recover evidence.

Wu's autopsy number is given. Dr. Ortiz-Colom performed Wu's autopsy. The cause of death was gunshot wound. The wound was in her upper torso. It traveled from left to right and exited the right side of her torso. It penetrated her heart and her lungs. Cause of death was at the hands of another so it was homicide.

Carreon attended the second autopsy of April 12th, 2012, of Ming Qu. The pathologist was Dr. Valdimir Levicky (sp?). Carreon had a phone conversation with Dr. Levicky, who performed the autopsy. Carreon interviewed him regarding his position as a forensic pathologist with the County of Los Angeles, for 23 years. Dr. Levicky has performed approximately 7,000 autopsies. Qu had a gunshot wound to the left side of his neck that exited the right cheek. Because of the wound, there was massive blood loss that led to the death of Mr. Qu. Manner of Mr. Qu's death was homicide.

DDA Brazil tells the court they would like to now call a civilian witness. They are not going to interrupt Carreon's testimony but going to recall him.

Ms. D'Onofrio gets up to cross for defendant Bryan Barnes.

MD: :You indicated that you recall arriving at a crime scene with respect of a homicide at approximately 3:30 AM. It wasn't around 3:55 AM
VC: I know it was around ... It's possible it was 3:55 AM.
MD: It could have been a little later?
VC: Yes.

Carreon was notified about the shooting around 2:30 in the morning. I believe Carreon states that police first arrived on the scene around 1 AM. He estimates there were around 20 police vehicles at the scene and somewhere between 30 and 40 officers at the scene. When he arrived, the scene had already been cordoned off and the canopy was already above the BMW.  He was not present when the canopy was placed over the BMW. Carreon states that when he arrived, there were no officers hanging around the vehicle or the residence. They had stepped away from the vehicle. Most of the officers were standing at the corner of Raymond and 27th where the CP was.

VC: Command Post.
MD: Were there anyone around the BMW?
VC: Not when I got there, no.

Ms. D'Onofrio asks about the rainfall and how heavy it was raining.  Carreon states he would have no idea.

MD: With respect to photos that you were shown today, starting with #6 through 19, did you take those photographs?
VC: No, I did not.
MD: Were you present when those photos were taken?
VC: No.
MD: But you reviewed (them?) prior to coming to court today?
VC: Correct.
MD: With respect to the photo that identified the two casings, when you arrived at the scene, had those markers already been placed next to those casings?
VC: No.
MD: Did you place those markers there?
VC: No.
MD: Did you watch (someone?) Place them there?
VC: Yes.
MD: Who was that?
VC: Officer Lee.
MD: Is it fair to say, that the position of those casings, is not (indicative?) of where the person who shot the person, would be standing?
VC: That's correct.
MD: In fact, a number of factors make that so ....
VC: That's correct.
MD: Did you observe that one of the casings appeared to be damaged somewhat?
VC: Yes. One of the casings appeared to be smashed somewhat.

It was casing number 2, to the right of the vehicle. The casing was like that when Carreon arrived.

MD: With respect to your phone calls with Mr. Moore, you indicated that you spoke to him for reasons of your testimony today. Do you recall how long your conversation was with him?
VC: Ten minutes.
MD: Did you speak to him before you spoke to the coroner? ...  After that 10 minutes, did you ask Mr. Moore about the crushed casing? ... Did he indicate that would affect his opinion?
VC: No, I didn't ask him that at all.

D'Onofrio asks if when he spoke to the other Dr, if it was April 13th for the autopsy. Carreon states he spoke to Dr. Ortiz-Colom before Dr. Levicky. He spoke to each about the same amount of time.  He states they were pretty consecutive.

VC: If I review my notes, I can tell you exactly what times.
JM: You may review your notes.
VC: Bill Moore, I spoke with him on the Sept. 26th at 8 in the morning. ... Dr. Levicky, Sept. 25th on 1300 hours. ...

Carreon also testifies as to when he spoke to Dr. Ortiz-Colom.  Judge Marcus and his court reporter have a short chat.  There are more questions about the BMW and  the canopy.

MD: Isn't it fair to say that the car was wet?
VC: Yes.
MD: The windows were wet?
VC: Yes.
MD: The windows appeared to be tinted, correct?
VC: Yes.
MD: All of them?
VC: I believe so, correct.
MD: ... That was parked on the same side of the street as 2717 or was it not?
VC: No.
MD: It was parked on the opposite side of the street?
VC: That's correct.

Nothing further.

Mr. Andrew Goldman gets up to cross for defendant Javier Bolden.

AG: Drawing your attention to people's exhibit 13, the passenger side of the car. ... That's the victim Mr. Qu's vehicle?
VC: Correct.
AG: That photo depicts the passenger side of the vehicle as you arrived at the crime scene?
VC: Correct.
AG: Did you examine the vehicle when you got to the crime scene?
VC: I did look into it, yes.
AG: Looked at the interior and the exterior?
VC: Yes.
AG: Were you able to find any strike marks that would have come from a bullet?
VC: No.
AG: Do you know if the vehicle was examined on the outside for a bullet or strike marks on the passenger side of the vehicle?
VC: No.

People's 15, the interior passenger side of the front of the case. Goldman asks if he was able to inspect inside the vehicle.

VC: Like I said, I looked in. I didn't go through it completely.
AG: Did you see any bullet strike marks on the driver's side door area?
VC: No.
AG: Or the driver's side back seat area?
VC: No.
AG: Forensic technicians, did they find any strike marks on the interior of the vehicle?
VC: Not that I know of.
AG: You were present during both autopsies?
VC: That's correct.
AG: Ming Wu, ... woman, correct?
VC: That's correct.
AG: Bullet that went from her left to right side?
VC: That's correct.

Ms. Wu was seated in the passenger seat when that occurred. The injury came from the driver's side of the vehicle entering her body on the left.

MD: Objection! (I don't have the ruling).

AG: So basically, in speaking with the coroner, her gunshot entry, it would come from the driver's side?
MD: Objection!
JM: Sustained.

AG: Did you speak to any of the officers that were first responders to the scene? ... Did you speak to any officer who said that Ms. Wo was seated as (a) passenger in the vehicle?

Objection! (unknown) Leading.  Over ruled.  "It's cross. He's allowed to lead," the court rules. Judge Marcus then reminds him that the witness is not allowed to "fill in the blanks."

AG: Did first responders tell you that Ms. Wu was seated in the passenger seat?
VC: Yes.

Carreon doesn't remember specifically which way they told him she was facing. He was present for Mr. Qu's autopsy as well. His injury like Ms. Wu's injury, entered on the left and exited on the right. Goldman was finished and Judge Marcus asked if there was any redirect by the people. Ms. Brazil redirects her witness.

DB: Were you made aware that the first 911 call was logged at 1:02/22 AM?
VC: Yes.
DB: You were asked about the evidence markers 1 and 2. ... And you told us that you observed the 9 millimeter casings as they lay on the street depicted in people's number 11. ... (Did you) observe those shell casings prior to evidence markers being placed?

Carreon observed Mr. Lee place the placards there.  Another photo, the back of the vehicle.

Ms. D'Onofrio steps up to recross.

MD: You indicated there didn't appear to be any damage to the passenger side of the vehicle. ... Were you there when the crime scene was shut down ... everything removed? ... Were you there when that happened?
VC: No.
MD: When did that happen?
VC: Sometime in the morning.
MD: Did you personally go back to that crime scene with the intent to look around to where the BMW was parked?
VC: Yes.
MD: April 11th, when you arrived at the scene, did you walk around the area where the BMW was parked?
VC: Yes.
MD: Did you look on the ground to see if you noted any other ammunition?
VC: It's just something that I always do at every crime scene.

Carreon did not put a note of that in his report.

MD: How far in front of that vehicle did you look?
VC: All the way from 27th to 29th street.
MD: Did you use a light source?
VC: A flashlight. ... Normally, I do that right from the beginning.
MD: Do you know if any other officer had done that?
VC: I'm sure they had.
MD: Do you know personally?
VC: No, I do not.

Nothing further.  Mr. Goldman gets up to recross Carreon.

AG: When you said no damage to the passenger side of the vehicle, the passenger side window, was the passenger side front window up ... was the passenger side rear window up?
VC: Yes.
AG: Were .... those windows intact?
VC: Yes.

Judge Marcus calls for the lunch break and court will resume at 1:30 PM.
To be continued in Day 1, Part IV....