Monday, December 2, 2013

Joshua Woodward Preliminary Hearing, Day 3

Joshua Woodward at an earlier pretrial hearing

UPDATE 12/10: It was confirmed for me on 12/9 that this testimony was not a part of Woodward's prelim. It was only an evidentiary hearing. Sprocket.
UPDATE 12/3: spelling, clarity
November 18, 2013
8:18 AM 
I'm in the hallway of the 7th floor at the criminal court building, right outside Dept. 51, Judge Pastor's courtroom. Also in the hallway is one of Woodward's counsel. This is one of the attorneys that sat in the gallery during the first two days of testimony. He looks noticeably older than co-counsel of record, Kelly T. Currie. He has a pleasantly lined face with salt and pepper hair.

8:19 AM
Mavis, Judge Pastor's court reporter (I just adore Mavis), arrives and says hello. 

8:21 AM
I call Mr. Sprocket to tell him that my computer is still not "right" after his first repair attempt. It won't start up.  I spilled water on it and he applied gentle heat to try to dry it out. We got it to start after a while.  It was on the train ride downtown when I discovered I couldn't get it to boot up.

The 7th floor is virtually empty. We are the only two people at this end of the hall.

The salt and pepper attorney overhears my conversation with Mr. Sprocket. Smiling he says, "Can't live with them or without them.  Computers, not husbands."

It's very quiet. We are still the only two people at this end of the hallway.  Moments later, two more of Woodward's counsel arrive. All three attorneys move to the very end of the hall to chat.

Defense counsel Janet Levine is here. I overhear her ask the other female co-counsel if she is ready.  Now two more defense attorney's arrive. One of them is Kelly T. Currie.

8:42 AM
The bailiff opens Dept. 51.  A minute or two later the defense team goes inside.

8:43 AM
Joshua Woodward arrives with another attorney. His parents are not with him today.

8:45 AM
I'm inside Dept. 51.  Judge Pastor's court reporter, Mavis is setting up her equipment. Several of Woodward's attorneys are sitting in the first row. I take a seat in the second row and try to sit as close to in line with the witness box as possible.  During the first Phil Spector trial, Dominick Dunne liked to sit directly in line with the witness.

8:48 AM
Judge Pastor comes out from the back area. His clerk says hello and tells him they have "... the search warrant thing this morning." To the gallery, the clerk asks, "Do we have everyone?"  Ms. Levine answers, "The DA's not here yet."  I'm the only journalist in the room.

8:57 AM
Another case is called, the search warrant case.

8:59 AM
The prosecution team arrives. DDA Habib Balian, DDA Marguerite Rizzo and Detective Fairchild. Their witness, Detective Shafia is with them.  Woodward has three attorneys in the well and four in the gallery.

Judge Pastor goes on the record with the other case. It's about an attorney who was practicing law without a license.  The illegal attorney was representing clients who were in the country illegally. They are victims. They paid this attorney to represent them but their cases were never worked. The state bar has intervened. Some of the cases were never closed; never rendered. The cases involved people who were going to be deported.

Judge Pastor is concerned there may be statute of limitation issues for the victims.  Many of the victim/defendants didn't know they were victim's of fraud.

9:04 AM
DDA Balian motions to DDA Rizzo and Detective Fairchild to step outside the courtroom.  They all reenter the courtroom a short time later.

9:13 AM
While the other hearing is going on, DDA Balian moves to the jury box to sit beside Ms. Rizzo and converse privately.

Judge Pastor states they need to find out who notifies whom. He tells counsel that he's never run across this situation before. Judge Pastor is very concerned about the people (victims) who in good faith, consulted with someone that they thought was an attorney, on criminal matters.  "I can't imagine that the state bar hasn't dealt with this," Judge Pastor states. "This is very important. Everyday that goes by is a potential problem for litigants." Judge Pastor is not sure if they need a special master but definitely someone from the state bar.

One of the issues is, who can go through the defendant's files to determine 'who' might be a victim? Can the defendant's attorney's do that? Can the prosecution do that? Do they need a special master to do that? This is why Judge Pastor states they need a representative from the California State Bar to tell them.

The case is given a new date for the parties to return and for someone from the state bar to be present.

9:20 AM
The Woodward is case is called.  The podium is moved.  Counsel take their places at their respective tables.  The other female defense attorney, Megan Weisgerber is sitting with Ms. Levine at the defense table. Mr. Currie sits in the extra seats in the well while Ms. Levine and Ms. Weisgerber sit at the defense table. DDA Balian will continue with direct of Detective Shafia. Ms. Weisgerber will cross examine Detective Fairchild. Judge Pastor politely asks Mr. Currie if he wants to sit up front.  Mr. Currie indicates he is fine where he is.

John Shafia.
On October 30, 2013, Detective Shafia met with Mr. Balian and Ms. Rizzo.  He brought his entire copy of the case file with him. Shafia verifies that what he brought was everything on the case in his possession. I believe Shafia states that they went through to verify that everything Detective Shafia had in his case file was turned over to the prosecution.

Direct is finished and Ms. Levine steps up to cross Detective Shafia.

JL: ... want to make sure that all areas have been searched for all documents?
JS: Yes.
JL: ... talking about electronic documents that may (not?) exist on paper but on servers. ... In terms of (Brady ?) and (?)...
HB: I'm going to object to ... I don't know that this line of questioning ...
JP: Sustained.
JL: (I'm) going to question (you?) as to what steps you took to preserve ... [documents relating to the case].
HB: Objection!
JP: Over ruled.
JS: Do you want me to discuss all (the) steps (I took?) to document in this case? ...  Everything I turned over was recorded on CD's or paper or photographs.
JL: How do you preserve electronic data?
JS: It would be copied onto CD.
JL: How about CD?
JS: It would have been printed out and turned over and put in the (murder) book.

There are questions about Detective Shafia's documentation process. He states that on or about November 1, 2009, his files were turned over to Detective Fairchild. There was a meeting between Detective Fairchild and Shafia, and a copy of the file was turned over to Detective Fairchild. I believe Ms. Levine asks about the photos that were discovered on October (13? 30?), 2013.  Shafia states the original photos were transferred to CD and turned over.

Ms. Levine questions Detective Shafia about who he spoke to on October 30th and anything else he did. Ms. Levine hands the witness a report by Detective (Coreia?) in 2011. There are questions about when he received that document and when it was turned over to Detective Fairchild or the district attorney.

Shafia is next asked about an email between himself and the victim under a different email account name.  Shafia states he turned this email over to the DA but he doesn't remember when.  I believe the email contained a text message. The communication from Ms. Doe went to his LAPD email account.  Shafia is asked if this is the only email he received from Ms. Doe.

JS: I don't receive any emails from Jane. I recall some phone ...
JL: Is this the only text message or email?

Shafia states he did not preserve the text message between him and Ms. Do on the date Woodward was arrested. Shafia and Ms. Doe had personal text messages (using his personal phone, and not his LAPD issued phone) that were not preserved. He did not take screen shots. Shafia directed Officer Hernandez to take photos of other text messages on Ms. Doe's phone.

JL: Do you know if Ms. Doe erased or kept [that text message] on her phone?
JS: No.
JL: Do you know what she may have erased [in the way of] conversations or text messages with Joshua Woodward?
HB: Objection!
JP: Sustained.

I believe Ms. Levine states she would like to subpoena Mr. Shafia's phone records.

JL: Do you know if you sent texts to anyone else about the case?
JS: No.
JL: Did you send emails to Ms. Doe?
JS: No.

There are questions whether or not he used his personal email for work or business.  "No," Shafia responds. Questions if he used his (work?) phone for personal business. Next there are questions of preservation of evidence.

JL: Did you take Ms. Doe's computer and image her emails?
JS: No.
JL: Did you take her phone and take nay images beyond (those already taken?)?
JS: No.

Next are questions about what he did to preserve lab reports. I see the gray haired man who spoke to me the hallway hand a note to Mr. Currie.

JL: Are there any additional diagrams and or (writings?) that have not been disclosed?
JS: No.
JL: Did you look at Ms. Doe's computer for her search history?
JS: (No.)

JP: Detective Shafia, you've gone through Mr. Balian's (and?) your files as file maintenance by the prosecutor's office?
JS: Not sure.
JP: Have you looked at what the people have in their file?

Shafia states he compared from his book to the prosecution's book. It's a mirror image.  DDA Balian clarifies for the judge that the people's file is larger than Detective Shafia's, because their investigation went beyond Detective Shafia's.

It's not in my notes, but I remember Detective Shafia testifying about how some documents from the Woodward case were mistakenly filed in a totally different case that he was assigned.

This witness is finished and Detective Kimberly Fairchild is called as the next witness.

(Unfortunately, my notes do not reflect who presented Ms. Fairchild's testimony, but I believe it was Ms. Rizzo. Sprocket)

MR: On October 31, of this year, did you meet with Mr. (Balian?) and myself on this case for purposes of discovery?
KF: Yes.
MR: And what you had was everything in relation to discovery?
KF: Yes.
MR: Was some additiona information discovered that we didn't have? ... Was everything you discovered copied and made available?
KF: Yes.

Direct ends and cross begins by Megan Weisgerber.

MW: I want to know generally, what you did to prepare for today?
KF: I did not prepare.

There are questions about what she did to transition the case from Detective Shafia to herself. She met with Shafia. She did not see anyone take notes, only herself and Shafia.  When she met with Shafia, there was a copy of the file already made for her.

Judge Pastor asks a question as to how the detectives refer to their investigative file. It's referred to as a "murder book."

MW: Did you believe that you had received everything that (was?) involved in this case?
KF: Yes.
MW: Were you aware that photos were taken during the search warrant?
KF: Yes.
HB: (Objection!) Which photos?
MW: (Any photos.) ... Have you seen any photos in the execution of a search warrant?
KF: Yes.
MW: When
KF: I don't recall the exact date.
MW: Were there any photos you (just?) received ...?
KF: They were photos of (the?) backpack that were taken in the search warrant.

There are questions about how she takes notes. She listens to interviews and takes notes in a notebook.

KF: Sometimes in a bound notebook and sometimes on loose paper. ... I don't use electronic devices. I use hand written notes.
MW: Anywhere else that you store handwritten notes?
KF: In another notebook stored in my desk.
MW: do you ever store anything at home?
KF: No.
MW: Do you ever store anything in your car?
KF: No.

Detective Fairchild states she searched her desk last week and there's "nothing else" in the way of work notes related to this case.

MW: In this case, when you interview witnesses or prepare, did you store notes in any other way?
KF: No.

There is a question about how she decides what goes from her hand notes into her typed notes. Detective Fairchild explains that everything from her hand notes go into typewritten notes.

MW: Are any type written reports ever edited?
KF: No.
DDA: Objection! Vague.
JP: Sustained. Stricken.

Ms. Weisgerber asks if the witness has ever gone back and edited reports that she prepared.  Detective Fairchild states she only does that to verify spelling and grammar. Reports are saved to the LAPD server.

MW: Did you search the server (before appearing today?) to ensure everything was turned over?
KF: Yes.
MW: When did you do that?
KF: Last week.

She ensured everything was turned over to the DA's office.  There is something that she did not send (via CD?). There's no electronic version of the chrono log on the LAPD (servers).  Some of the chrono is typed, some is hand written. (I've seen this in other chrono logs I've had the opportunity to look at. Sometimes notes are typed; sometimes hand written. Sprocket.)

MW: What do you put on the log?
KF: Everything related to the investigation.
MW: So everything that pertains to this case?
DDA: Objection!
JP: Sustained.
MW: Are all interviews you (obtained?) with witnesses, are contained in the log?
KF: I believe so.
MW: Is... are all of (your?) conversations with Ms. Doe noted on the detective log?
KF: No.
MW: Are there any conversation you had that are not on the detective log?
KF: Yes.

Detective Fairchild explains. Ms. Doe would call and ask how the case was going.

KF: I didn't feel they were relevant to the investigation.
MW: Do you recall approximately how many communications you received from Ms. Doe ... that are not documented? (miss answer)

Ms. Weisgerber asks how often she turns in (updates?) to the detective logs (to the prosecution?)?
KF: I think there have been about two.
MW: Since you last turned one (in), has there .... anything that has happened since that last time you turned over to the DA)?
KF: No.

Detective Fairchild states she hasn't searched other case files for notes on this case because she doesn't have a problem identifying different case files. She is asked if she searched any information for preparation in this case.

KF: No.
MW: Did you conduct a search for any other type of communication, texts, email, with other law enforcement investigators? (miss answer)

MW: Did you search for documents related to communication with witnesses or the coroner?
KF: No.
MW: Do you (recall? received?) the investigation report by Detective Coreia?
KF: Yes.
MW: Do you ... Do you have a personal email account?
DDA: Objection!
JP: Sustained.
MW: Have you ever used your personal email account or phone ...
DDA: Objection! Over broad.
JP: Sustained.
MW: Have you had any communication on your personal email, or use your personal computer or personal cell phone to do any (police work? investigation?)?
KF: No.
MW: Do you have an (?undist?) as to Brady materials?
KF: No.
MW: Is there anything in your files that would (?) your credibility and investigation in this case?
KF: No.

MW: Are you in possession of any substantive documents, interviews, ...
DDA: Objection! Broad.
JP: Sustained.
MW: Are you currently in possession of any documents related to any (investigation?) ...
(miss answer)

Cross is finished and redirect begins.
There is an initial question I believe, about her personal email account.

MR: Are you in possession of any (interviews) of witnesses, or statements of witness or piece of evidence related to this case on any work phone or in any work format?
KF: No.

The photos of the backpack that was seized in the search warrant are discussed, and what she remembers what the photos were of.

There were telephone calls to Ms. Doe but not interviews.

I believe redirect is finished and the people state there is no additional evidence to turn over to the defense.  Ms. Levine mentions something about a "follow-up letter to the DA."

Judge Pastor then tells the parties that what he would like to do now, is take in writing, a waiver execution in open court so that Mr. Woodward doesn't have to fly around the country.  Ms. Levine is going over with her client the waiver, so that he doesn't have to come to every court appearance where he is not needed.  Ms. Levine tells the court, "We have read it and Mr. Woodward has signed."

Judge Pastor advises the defendant. "The law requires that you be present ... required scheduling ... motions ... do you know and understand these ... ?" "Yes," Woodward replies.

Judge Pastor replies, "I understand that you may not be living locally. The law allows that your attorney can stand in for you. Do you understand that?"  "Yes, your honor."

The waiver of the defendant's personal presence.  Judge Pastor reads from the waiver. (Defendant) "... agrees that his (rep?) is (rep?) by attorneys. ... It's at discretion of the court to to excuse his presence. ... You're still on bond. ... Did you affix your signature?"

There are more questions that the defendant answers 'yes' to. If he understands, did he date and sign the document. His counsel, Ms. Levine states she dated and signed the waiver.  There are a few other comments, and then the next return date is selected. Monday, December 9th at 9:00 Am.

The next thing discussed are the motions to suppress the statements made by the defendant. I believe those motions will be argued on the 9th or after the prelim is completed.  On the 9th, they will finish the cross of Dr. Kingston and then the cross of Detective Shafia. I believe Detective Fairchild will be last.  The people will not call Detective Hernandez for the prelim.

There is an inquiry about whether or not one (the defense?) has looked over the LAPD SID investigation, [the lab work at Science Investigation Division (SID) on the case] or any problem calling witnesses. I believe the defense states they haven't decided.  Judge Pastor orders the defendant back on December 9th at 9 AM.  And that's it.