Friday, May 31, 2013

Kelly Soo Park Verdict Watch, Day 6

George Buehler, Mark Kassabian, Kelly Soo Park, July 2012

6:50 AM
I have reviewed all my notes to try to determine how many hours the jury has been deliberating.  I cannot come up with an exact figure, because this jury has not "buzzed" each time they have started and stopped.  All times are as close as I can possibly come.

May 22nd, 2013 (Day 7 of trial)
Recap: On this day we had two defense witnesses and all of closing arguments.  While Judge Kennedy was reading jury instructions, a sound on my computer went off. I quickly left the courtroom with my laptop. I did not re-enter the courtroom until Judge Kennedy had left the bench.  I read one news report of that day that indicated the jurors had deliberated 20 minutes before going home.  So, on the day of closings, we have 20 minutes.
Total: 20 minutes

May 23rd, 2013 (Day 8 of trial)
From my notes, these are the approximate times I have for deliberations.  Since all these times are approximate, I will round them to the closest 5 minute increment.
9:00 AM to 10:46 AM = 1 HR, 45 minutes
11:00 AM to 12 Noon = 1 HR
1:30 PM to 3:55 PM = 2 HRs, 25 minutes
Total: 5 HRs, 10 minutes

May 24th, 2013 (Day 9 of trial)

Approximate times from my notes. Testimony was read back from 9:00 AM to 9:40 AM.
9:40 AM to 10:20 AM = 40 minutes
10:35 AM to 12 Noon = 1 HR, 25 minutes
1:30 PM to 4 PM = 2 HRs, 30 minutes
Total: 4 HRs, 25 minutes

May 28th, 2013 (Day 10 of trial)
Approximate times from my notes. A juror had a funeral to go to in the morning. They were ordered back at 1:30 PM. Testimony was read back from 1:40 PM to 3:15 PM
3:15 PM to 4 PM = 45 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

May 29th, 2013 (Day 11 of trial)
All times are as close as I can come from my detailed notes.
9:00 AM to 10:15 AM = 1 HR, 15 minutes
10:30 AM to 12 Noon = 1 HR, 30 minutes
1:30 PM to 3:55 PM = 2 HRs, 25 minutes
Total: 5 HRs, 10 minutes

May 30th, 2013 (Day 12 of trial)
Al ltimes are as close as I can come from my detailed notes.
9:00 AM to 10:45 AM = 1 HR, 45 minutes
11:00 AM to 12 Noon = 1 HR
1:30 PM to 3:50 PM = 2 HRs, 20 minutes
Total: 5 HRs, 5 minutes

Running total: 20 HRs, 55 minutes 

This information is now on a JURY CLOCK page that will be updated at the end of each day.

I will update when I reach the 9th floor.

6:55 AM
I cannot verify if Ronnie Case has or has not attended any prior court proceeding.  Ronnie Case has not attended the trial.

8:42 AM
I'm inside the courtroom.  There Redding family is here.  Park and Chronister are here along with their family.  The camera crew is setting up, getting ready to record the verdict when it is reached.

8:44 AM

I've asked the court clerk if she has kept a tally of deliberation time.  She has.  She will provide me with a copy of her calculations when she has time.  The clerks calculations of jury deliberations would be the official time.

8:45 AM
A few jurors file into the jury room.

8:50 AM
The bailiff announces to the room that there will be a bench trial in the courtroom today.  He's reminding the gallery how much Judge Kennedy loves cell phones, and to make sure they are turned off.  He also tells the gallery "Please, please...." not to pass into the well of the court area unless he is present.  The camera crew continues to set up.

8:55 AM
A group of jurors file in. One of the alternates comes in and the bailiff goes into the ante chamber to talk to her privately.

8:57 AM
 DDA Okun-Wiese and Detective Thompson enter with a clerk and greet the Redding family.

8:59 AM
I hear what sounds like a bit of loud voices, laughter coming from the jury room. Someone in the gallery asks the bailiff when the bench trial starts.  Standing in front of the counsel tables he replies "Supposedly in a minute."  Stretching his arms out he continues, "But as you can see..." referencing the empty tables in front of him.

9:00 AM
A defense attorney for the bench trial enters with a rolling card.  That trial should start momentarily, as soon as the prosecution arrives.  

9:02 AM
A female prosecutor enters with her files. She and the defense attorney chat.

9:05 AM
Counsel for the bench trial are chatting with the court clerk.

9:09 AM
Lonce LaMon of arrives and takes a seat beside me.  She usually sits on the other side of the gallery but has stopped by me to say hello and finish her coffee.

9:14 AM
The bail bondsman is not here today.  He does not come to court every day.  My guess would be, he's busy handling other clients and running his business.

9:16 AM
The wire-waisted, model-tall dark-haired woman (I believe she's a reporter, but I'm not positive) enters and sits in the first row of the short benches in front of the bailiff's desk.  She's wearing black patent leather open toed heels, skin tight white jeans and a clinging knit top.

Another pretty reporter with NBC enters and sits in the back row near the camera crew.

9:22 AM
Judge Kennedy takes the bench in the bench trial.  I will have to step out of the courtroom to update when Judge Kennedy is on the bench.

There is a short hearing to reschedule a different case.  Over.  The bailiff is on the phone.  Judge Kennedy, smiling looks over at her bailiff and says, "You're shaking your head..."  She then tells her staff, "I'll come back out when you're ready."  Judge Kennedy leaves the bench.

The tall dark-haired beauty is in the well, speaking to the court reporter.  She entered empty handed but now has some binders of paper in her hands that I'm guessing are court transcripts.  It's a good bet she's buying transcripts of the proceedings.

9:29 AM
Luz from Dateline enters and takes a seat in the last bench row.
9:34 AM
Just wanted to say thank you to all of T&T's readers who have donated.

I can't thank you enough. Every dollar of your donations mean so much to me and my husband. Your donations help to pay for my expenses of covering these trials like certain reports that I can't get for free, parking, and travel, etc. Thank you so much.

A lovely blonde woman who is a friend of the Redding family enters and sits inbetween Greg Redding and Juliana's brother.

9:38 AM
DDA Okun-Wiese leaves the courtroom with another gentleman, probably from the DA's staff.

9:39 AM
There are not a large number of reporters from the networks inside the courtroom. No more than what have been here on other days.

9:42 AM
People come and go.  There is an ebb and flow to the sounds inside Dept. 109.  The prosecutor in the bench case is chatting with the court reporter at the clerks desk.  The defendant is brought out.  He is wearing a shirt and pants.  The bailiff tells the courtroom to put away all newspapers and cell phones.

9:44 AM
Judge Kennedy takes the bench in a bench trial.  

The prosecutor makes an opening statement.
James Thomas, defendant. January 11th, 2012.  A homeless man was siting on a bench about to take a hit off a crack pipe, and the next thing he remembers, is this defendant was on top of him, stabbing him with a knife.  Another individual was in the area, yelling at the defendant to stop.  Mr. Yamiana.  The damage to the victim's arm was so severe, a vein from his leg had to be used to repair the damage to his arm, or he could have lost his arm.

Defense opening statement. Mr. Thomas has a history of psychotic psychosis.  Evidence will show that Mr. Thomas wasn't intentionally trying to kill him. Mentions the injuries. Certainly, the biceps injury was the serious one.  Victim was in the hospital four or five days.  He returned to the hospital a month later for three or four more days. I don't think the evidence will show that Mr. Thomas was trying to kill the man. He was under the influence of delusions.

A witness takes the stand.  Ben Miyayama (sp?)

Terri Keith of City News stops by to check on the case then leaves. Terri is one busy reporter. Her work load can easily be checking in on 40 cases a day.  My friends in the press who know how hard she works have told me it would take two or three people to replace her.  Can you tell I admire the work she does?

The witness is the individual who was attacked. He identifies the defendant as the one who attacked him.

9:57 AM
Kelly Soo Park bail.
Understand that there are cases where an individual is charged with murder and they are able make bail. When a defendant makes bail, those cases can take longer to reach trial.  Phil Spector is an example.  Lana Clarkson was murdered on February 3rd, 2003.  Spector was taken into custody that same morning. Within 24 hours, his attorney Robert Shapiro was able to get Spector released on 1 million bail.  At the time, he was not placed under GPS ankle monitoring.  Spector's case finally went to trial April 2007, over four years later.  He was convicted in his second trial on April 13th, 2009.  From his initial arrest on February 3rd 2003 until April 13th, 2009, Spector was free to come and go as he pleased.

Stephanie Lazarus had a bail amount of 10 million placed on her.  She was unable to make bail and remained in LA County Jail custody from June 5th, 2009 until her conviction on March 8th, 2012. Less than a month later, Lazarus was transferred to prison.

Park was in custody a relatively short time.  She was arrested June 17th, 2010.  She made bail sometime in October 2010.  There is a GPS monitoring device attached to Park's leg.

10:09 AM
Buzz! Buzz!  The bailiff goes to investigate. He hands a paper to the judge.  Judge calls her clerk over to her desk.  "We need to get all the attorney's."

10:17 AM
This is not a verdict. If a verdict is reached, the jurors will buzz three times. They will not send out a note like they just did.

10:18 AM
DDA Okun-Wiese, Detective Thompson and the DDA's clerk leave the courtroom.

10:22 AM
CORRECTION.  The model-tall beauty is not a reporter. She's an intern with the DA's office. She's studying to be a prosecutor. (Good for her.) I apologize for my incorrect guess that she is a reporter. She probably was picking up transcripts from the court reporter for the DA's office.  My mistake. I should probably ask people who they are first, before guessing.

10:27 AM
Jurors do not send out a note when they reach a verdict.  The jurors have been instructed to buzz three times when they reach a verdict.

10:28 AM
Park and Chronister exit the courtroom for a break.

10:32 AM
The bench trial.
The witness who was allegedly attacked by the defendant is under cross by the defense attorney. The witness is answering some of the defense attorney's counsel in an angry, hostile tone.  When the attorney moves from the podium, he tells the attorney, "Don't come near me bro!"

Before you were attacked that night, did you know Mr. Thomas's name? "No."  You were homeless at the time? "Yes."  His two friends were homeless, too.  The witness had some prior contact with him. The witness bought cigarettes from the defendant but there were no altercations, or arguments prior to the attack.

Can you think of anything that would have provoked him?  Objection! Over ruled.  "No."

10:40 AM
Friends of Juliana in the courtroom. Today, there is one attractive woman with blonde hair who has been there most every day that sits with the family.  I don't know if she is a girlfriend or a blood relative.

10:43 AM
Two reporters, one I recognize, one I don't enter Dept. 109.

10:44 AM
Park and Chronister reenter the courtroom.

In the bench trial, the witness is finally excused.

10:45 AM
Judge Kennedy stands at the bench. The prosecution and defense have witnesses coming in for the afternoon session.  The prosecutor reenters the courtroom and counsel have a sidebar conference with the judge.

Defendants out on bond.
Park was ruled eligible for bond.  That was her right.  I don't know how difficult it has been for the Redding family to have Park out on bond. I have not approached them to ask questions. I usually don't try to invade the privacy of the victim or the defendant's family.

10:48 AM
The bench trial defendant has been taken back into custody.

10:49 AM
Park's sister Kim arrives and greets members of Park's supporters.  Judge Kennedy goes back into chambers.

10:53 AM 
More Park supporters enter.  The AP reporter enters the courtroom.  Terri Keith enters Dept. 109.

10:55 AM. DDA Okun-Wiese is here, defense counsel arrived a few moments ago.

10:56 AM 
The bailiff reenters the courtroom and addresses the clerk saying, "One, two and four."  Maybe some jurors went on break?  I'm not positive.  The court clerk makes a call. It sounds like to the alternates.

11:02 AM
Judge Kennedy takes the bench.  We received a communication from the jury.
The jury requests the judge read back page 11 521 of the jury instructions.

So lets bring the jury in.

Bailiff: Please be sure all cell phones be turned completely off!

On the record. 11:04 AM 
I am in receipt of your request that I read back instruction 521 on Page 11

The defendant is guilty of first degree murder, if the people prove she acted deliberately and willfully.

I'll try to find the actual instruction on the web. CALCRIM 521

There is an added paragraph that Judge Kennedy reads that's not on that web page about 2nd degree murder.  As the jury leaves, she jokingly addresses the alternates, telling them they probably could have finished "War and Peace

JK: The jury has left the courtroom.

JK: My speculation is that the jury is having difficult between first and second degree murder.  The question is whether the prosecution may want to take first degree murder off the table away from them and leaving second degree. That is something that you may want to think about.

11:10 AM
I stepped outside for a moment.

11:12 AM
The courtroom has emptied out quite a bit.  Reporters have left. The Redding family has left with the prosecution.

11:19 AM
Never try to predict a jury.  I do not know if Judge Kennedy's comment to the people about  is something that happens often or not.  I will try to ask sources for that information.

I do not know if DDA Okun-Wiese has the authority to make the decision to take first degree off the table or not.  She may, she may not.  I'm sure that the DA's office would at least listen to the family and get their thoughts on that issue.

11:28 AM
I was not able to see Park's face when Judge Kennedy spoke.

11:32 AM
Reducing the degree of the charge is not a plea bargain.  Second degree has a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life. It's reducing the number of options the jury has in deciding on a verdict.

11:36 AM

There is a low hum of conversation in the courtroom.  The bench trial prosecutor is at the people's table chatting with a coworker and going over documents.  Okun-Wiese and Detective Thompson and another gentleman are in the well in the seats directly behind the prosecution table.

11:41 AM
Greg and Patricia Redding along with their son have not returned to the courtroom.  Cher Brooks, who was the girlfriend who spent the night at Juliana's apartment on March 14th, is in the courtroom.  Another one of Juliana's girlfriends along with Cher, arrived with the Redding family before the instruction was read to the jurors.

11:42 AM
Brooks and the other girlfriend exit the courtroom.

11:47 AM
Judge Kennedy is at the clerk's desk, signing something. She's wearing a sleeveless black dress with a V neckline.  The court clerk is busy working at her desk. The bailiff is leaning on the clerk's counter, talking to Judge Kennedy. It looks like Judge Kennedy has a soda can in her right hand.

11:57 AM
Buzz! Buzz!  The jurors are probably going to lunch.

Answering a question. The jurors went back to deliberations at 11:10 AM.

11:58 AM
I do not know if that is unusual for the judge to address the prosecution and ask them if they want to consider taking first degree off the table.  I would have to ask someone who has attended  many more trials than I have.

12:59 PM

Y'all are really making me work today with these questions. (Just kidding.)  So no questions about what I had for lunch?  (A salad over at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles on Temple St., just so I could walk a few steps and get out of the building.)

Courtrooms are closed to the public from 12 noon to 1:30 pm. That's the lunch hour for all courtrooms in the building.

The sentence is set by law. It's in the Penal Code under 190.a. A defendant who is found guilty of first degree murder is sentenced to 25 years to life.  Second degree murder is 15 years to life.  The judge cannot change that sentence.

The jurors looked no different to me than how they have dressed for the past 12 days.

Jurors get to go where ever they like for lunch.  They can eat in the cafeteria or go to a local restaurant. They are not required to eat together.  I have often sat at a table in the cafeteria with someone who is here for jury duty, if I can't find an empty table. I just make sure the individual is not one of the jurors on this case.

I do not know if the detectives found any evidence in Park's vehicles.  If they did, it was not used at trial.

The court does not provide lunch for the jurors.  The court provided lunch for the Spector 1 jury, and ensured that they were kept away from the media/public.  That was because the trial was live streamed and there was quite a bit of media interest in that trial.  I can't even remember if they did that for Spector 2.

All that has happened is Judge Kennedy spoke on the record, addressing the prosecution, indicating that the people might want to consider taking 1st degree off the table.  Like I said, this has not happened yet. The judge just addressed the people with her thoughts. I do not know what the procedure is for that to actually happen.  So, at this point, 1st degree is not off the table for the jury to decide on.

25 years to life OR 15 years to life.  Since the crime occurred in 2008, Park is under the sentencing guidelines that were in effect at the time of the crime, and not when she was arrested or convicted.  That's how it works.  The good time served credits accumulate at the rates that were in effect in 2008. That's my understanding.

Now, IF I'm remembering correctly, Park will need to serve 85% of her sentence before she is eligible for her first parole hearing.  That's what I believe at this time to be true. If there are legal eagles out there that know different, please chime in or email me with the correct figures/percentages.  With that true, Park would serve 85% of her sentence before she is eligible for her first parole hearing.

The short time she was in custody will go towards her sentence.  I do not know anything about the odds of her being released at her first parole hearing.  However, I've heard from other reporters that defendants convicted of first degree virtually "never" get released on their first parole hearing.  Like I said, this is what I've heard. I do not have statistics from the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation on this issue.

1:28 PM
I'm on the 9th floor. There are two big huddles of people. One by the courtroom full of Redding family and friends.  The other is further down the hall and full of Park supporters.  I see several more of Juliana's girlfriends are here.

1:35 PM
I'm inside the courtroom. BUZZ! The jurors are back deliberating.

Ronnie Case was not called as a witness.  Park's phone records from the night of March 14th and 15th were not presented into evidence.  The information about the phone records can be read in the Charging Document & Statement of Probable Cause. This document is a LE document and I've never seen one entered into evidence before.

1:45 PM

The defendant in the bench trial has been brought out.  The defense would like to call a witness out of order. I think this witness relates to the mental health issue of the defendant.

We hear a cell phone in the gallery. The bailiff reminds the gallery, "Please be sure all cell phones are turned off."

1:54 PM
The courtroom is full.  There are many people here for both sides of the Park case.  I have not had the opportunity to observe Park, so I cannot give an opinion as to her mood, or what her expression at any moment in time might reveal.

The bench case continues.  The private investigator for the defense, Linda Larsen is here. She is working on a crossword puzzle.

I have no idea if the jury will reach a verdict today or not.  I can only say that I've heard many times from other reporters that in LA County, more verdicts are reached on a Friday than any other day.

2:00 PM
I stepped outside the courtroom to publish.  In the ante chamber, I passed Tom Chronister and the bail bondsman, Josh Herman who were having a private conversation.

2:02 PM
I glance over at Park for a moment. Her large, leather weave gold handbag is on her lap, her arms are resting on her lap and her eyes are closed.

2:03 PM
Verdicts are reached on Fridays.  No matter when a verdict is reached, they are read in open court that same day. The reading of verdicts are not held over until the next day.  That never happens.

2:07 PM
Chronister is back inside the courtroom, whispering into Park's ear.  From where I'm sitting, it appears her head is resting on his right shoulder. His right arm is around her back.

2:10 PM
Evidence.  Before evidence can be admitted in a trial, it must reach a certain standard.  There are very strict rules regarding 1101b evidence (evidence of similar uncharged crimes) or 3rd Party Culpability evidence.  These rules have been tested over time via appellate rulings, and how the law continues to be interpreted.  Sometimes evidence isn't presented because counsel for one side or another may decide on a specific trial strategy and not introduce it.

The defense tried several times to get behavior/conduct alleged to have been committed by John Gilmore presented to the jury. Each and every time, Judge Kennedy ruled that evidence did not meet the standard.

2:17 PM
A cell phone goes off in the gallery. The bailiff warns, "Please turn your cell phones off."  Judge Kennedy looks into the gallery. She is not happy hearing this cell phone.

2:19 PM
The testimony of the defense investigator is HEARSAY.  Rarely, is hearsay testimony admitted into evidence in a murder trial.  There are very few exceptions to the hearsay rule.

Bench trial case. Cross examination of the mental health nurse continues by the prosecutor.

2:22 PM
Answering a question. You are correct. The OJ Simpson verdict was held over.  That was 1996.  This is 2013.  It does not happen anymore.  It's my understanding, from past conversations with court staff from the Public Information Office, that every effort is made to read a verdict in open court as soon as possible, after a jury reaches a verdict. 

2:26 PM
The bailiff tries to stifle a yawn. Reporters are engaged with their smart phones or laptops.  Other people are discretely reading books.  Greg Redding, who is sitting on the end of the first seating row, is leaning slightly forward, his elbows are resting on his thighs.  He just rubbed his face.  Patricia Redding is sitting to her husband's right.  She's sitting up straight, her back against the bench and her eyes appear to be looking down at her lap.  Two rows back, Park's husband is also sitting on the end of the bench row, with Park to his right. Her left hand is resting Chronister's right thigh.

Chronister has his right ankle resting on his left knee.  With his right ankle exposed, there appears to be some sort of strap device around this ankle. It could be an ankle brace or something else.

2:35 PM
I thought I explained this, but I will try again. The jury must reach a unanimous verdict.  All 12 jurors must agree on the verdict.   We don't know what the jurors are struggling with.  Judge Kennedy shared her thoughts on the record as to what she thought the jurors were struggling with.

HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION HERE.  (Do y'all know what hypothetical means?)

Let's say you are on a jury and you can't agree on first or second degree murder.  Let's say you and several jurors firmly believe the evidence proved first degree, but there are other jurors who firmly believe the evidence proves second degree.  Would you stand by your vote, or change it just to go home?  What would you do?  Would you continue to deliberate?  It's not about "just changing a vote."  It's about coming to an agreement with the other jurors as to what the evidence proves.

2:48 PM
Bench case trial.
A woman is brought out who is in custody, wearing handcuffs. She's wearing the new pastel green jumpsuit.  This woman is a friend of the victim.  She witnessed the event.

3:01 PM 
The phone records information is in the Charging Document & Statement of Probable Cause.  I recommend people read it. This is a document that is prepared by a LE individual that is presented to a judge.   The individual swears in this document, that the information in the document is true.  That there is documentation to support the sworn statements.

3:12 PM
I stepped outside to publish the last update and while I was in the hallway Judge Kennedy called for a break in the bench case.  Many people filed out to take a walk and stretch their legs.  Out in the hallway was Terri Keith and LA Times reporter Jack Leonard. HERE are some LA Times stories by Leonard.

3:16 PM
"I" did not make the arguments for first degree. I repeated DDA Okun-Wiese's closing arguments for first degree.  I said that Okun-Wiese explained the laws definition of premeditation correctly.

3:18 PM
Buzz! Buzz! The bailiff goes to investigate.  The bailiff comes out. He does not have a paper in his hand but he goes directly to Judge Kennedy's chambers.

3:20 PM
The bailiff heads back to the jury room.

3:22 PM
The bailiff comes out from the jury room and heads back to Judge Kennedy's chambers.  Now, he goes back to the jury room.

3:25 PM
The bailiff comes out from the jury room and leans over the clerks counter to speak to her privately.

3:26 PM
The bailiff goes into the holding area to bring the bench case defendant back into the courtroom.

The bench case is back on.  Another prosecution witness, a female officer.

3:32 PM
All of Juliana's family and supporters enter in mass.  I see Brian Van Holt and a few new faces.  The courtroom is full. The front seating row is packed with 12-13 people, all crammed together.  The second row has about nine people, a mix of Park supporters, Juliana's supporters and press.  The back row is a mix of Park supporters and press.  The chairs against the back wall by the door are all filled with media and journalists.

3:39 PM
The bench trial will continue on Monday.

If y'all have a question, I'm happy to answer it.

3:43 PM
Counsel for the bench case pack up.  The court reporter takes her equipment with her to the back office areas.  The bailiff emerges from the custody holding area.

3:44 PM 
Now the bailiff leaves the courtroom quickly.

3:45 PM
DDA Okun-Wiese reenters the courtroom. She's sitting with Detective Thompson and their clerk on the left side of the courtroom behind the bailiff's desk.

3:47 PM
There was no note from the jury.  I don't know what that was about.

The judge cannot raise or lower the length of sentence. The sentence is written into the Penal Code. The judge cannot go outside the written law.

3:50 PM
It's a good guess that several local channels will have the verdict on TV or their web sites once one is reached. The camera is connected to a media room on the 12th floor. It's my understanding that there are reporters on the 12th floor, waiting on the verdict.

3:54 PM
The gallery is now eerily quiet.  The clock ticks loudly on the wall above my head.

3:56 PM
Park gets up to whisper into the ear of the defense investigator.  She sits back down beside her husband.

3:58 PM
Judge Kennedy, who is at the clerk's desk, asks her bailiff if the jurors are going home. I don't hear his reply.

3:59 PM
 Buzz! Buzz!  The bailiff investigates.
The jurors start to exit.

4:01 PM
Judge Kennedy orders Park back Monday at 9:00 AM.

The courtroom packs up.

I'll have a Q&A available for the weekend.

5:28 PM
I just got home and set my bags down.  I will answer one more question before I take a break and enjoy Mr. Sprocket's company for a bit and then get into tackling my chores.

A defense investigator, investigates.  They find witnesses and interview them.  They try to interview prosecution witnesses if they are willing to talk.  By law, a prosecution witness is not required to speak to defense attorneys or investigators, before trial.  I hope that answers that question.

If you have any questions about court procedure or the evidence presented at trial, please leave a comment or email me at: sprocket.trials AT  All requests for confidentiality will be honored.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kelly Soo Park Verdict Watch, Day 5

Kelly Soo Park, in custody 2010

6:30 AM
The jury enters their fifth day of deliberations in the Kelly Soo Park murder trial.  The jury will resume deliberations at 9:00 AM today in Dept. 109 of the Clara Shortridge-Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Late yesterday evening, there was a comment that stated some inaccurate information. I have not said that the jury is hung. The jury has not sent a note out and said they are hung. All we know is that they are still deliberating.  The same comment left the impression that when the Santa Monica forensic specialist put the latent print cards in her locker, that was not according to procedure.  I believe that is incorrect.  I am not remembering any testimony that stated the evidence custody methods the forensic specialist followed were not according to procedure.

I've not toured the Santa Monica crime lab, but I have had a tour of the Hertzberg-Davis Criminal Justice Center.  This is the crime lab facility shared by Los Angeles County and the LAPD that is located on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles.  This is what I know of evidence custody procedures at an ASCLD certified lab.

In that crime lab, evidence is booked into a central location.  After it is booked, criminalists will be assigned an item or items of evidence in a case.  The criminalists will log out evidence items into their personal custody so they can start their analysis.  Those items are not returned to the central evidence location at the end of each day.  They have personal lockers where evidence is kept while they are performing tests.

A big thank you, again, to everyone who has made a donation to cover my expenses for reporting on this trial.  It's very much appreciated.  Yesterday, T&T had the highest visitor and page view numbers since the conviction of Stephanie Lazarus.  Thank you all for reading and supporting T&T.

8:42 AM
I'm inside the courtroom on the 9th floor.  The camera crew are setting up.  The only people who are here are DDA Okun-Wiese, Detective Thompson, Patricia and Greg Redding and the individual whom I believe is the Redding's son.  This group is chatting with Judge Kennedy's bailiff in the gallery where the family usually sits.

Park and her husband Tom Chronister, were about 1/2 block behind me on Temple Street when I was walking towards the courthouse from the parking lot.

Answering questions.
Judge Kennedy ruled that cameras were not allowed to film testimony.  Cameras filmed opening statements and closing arguments. The cameras are in the courtroom ready to film the reading of the verdict, when one is reached.

Bond.  It is my understanding that family and friends paid a fee to the bail bondsman. I was not at the hearing that disclosed that back in 2010.  Park's bank accounts showed payments from Dr. Uwaydah's businesses to bank accounts in Park's name.

Latent fingerprint card.  I believe you are misunderstanding what the lockers are.  They are not 'personal' lockers where they keep their purse and other items.  They are evidence lockers where they keep items that they have signed out of the central evidence location so the item can be analyzed.

8:52 AM
An older black woman enters, sees the camera crew and is puzzled.  I explain to her that the cameras are not here for a different case. That they are waiting on a verdict.  The bailiff addresses her, "Mam, what are you here for?"  She gives him a name.  The bailiff responds, "You're in the right place. Have a seat."  A single juror enters and heads for the jury room.

8:53 AM
Park, Chronister, and several of her supporters arrive and take a seat in the second and back rows.  More jurors file in.  A bit earlier, a young, eager looking male clerk with the DA's office joined the conversation with DDA Okun-Wiese and Detective Thompson.

8:56 AM
People are reading newspapers and magazines.

8:57 AM
The jurors enter the courtroom like everyone else does, from the main hallway entrance.  The young man with Patricia and Greg Redding appears to be in his 20's.   He has short black hair, and to me, resembles Greg Redding.

8:59 AM
I hear a defense attorney tell the woman who entered earlier that "He will be sentenced today." So we will have sentencing in another case.

9:05 AM
The courtroom is unbelievably quiet at the moment. The clock on the back wall of the courtroom ticks loudly every minute. The typing of my keyboard appears to make more noise than usual.

9:07 AM
Two women enter the courtroom. One heads over to speak to the court reporter at the court clerk's desk. The other is a pretty young reporter who takes a seat beside me.

9:09 AM
I don't know when he entered, but there is a DDA sitting at the prosecution table. He is most likely here for the sentencing case.  A young woman I've never seen before enters and sits beside DDA Okun-Wises's clerk.

9:11 AM
Ah. the woman who spoke to the court reporter, I believe she is a reporter with ABC.  She has brown hair down to her shoulder blades, model tall with sleek long legs.

9:17 AM
More of Juliana's family members enter.  Detective Thompson gets up from the end of the bench row to let them sit beside the Reddings. Thompson exchanges a smile, hug and a cheek kiss with one of the older women as they take a seat.

9:19 AM
I will not publish comments that include hidden name calling, or are outright calling other commenters names.  Sorry.

9:23 AM
An Asian woman enters. She smiles at Park.  Park stands, gives her a big smile back, and hugs her when she passes to sit in the back row.   It's eerily quiet at the moment.

9:29 AM
Regarding comments. There will always be some who are unhappy with my decision not to post their comment(s). I'm sorry.

9:31 AM
DNA/evidence item collection.  It's my understanding that the candle was not collected and placed into evidence.  My guess on that would be, the criminalists did not feel it was worth collecting. Whomever lit the candle would not necessarily need to touch it to light it with a flame source.

We heard testimony about the tests conducted on Juliana's fingernails.  That's standard evidence collection procedure by the coroner's criminalist.  We heard testimony that the DNA under Juliana's fingernails was her own. If I'm remembering correctly, we heard testimony that states this is consistent with Juliana herself creating the scratching injuries on her neck trying to get her fingers under the manual grip around her neck.

I did not hear a buzz this morning that indicated deliberations started, but it's a good bet that they are deliberating. If there was a missing juror, I'm sure I would have heard the court clerk on the phone making inquiries.

9:41 AM
There is another case, that had a trial sometime prior, that reached a verdict.  That case will be formally sentenced today.

A van. I don't know what was confiscated by Santa Monica police in the way of vehicles.  Nothing from a vehicle was entered into evidence at the trial.  There could be many reasons for that.

This is an old courthouse.  It is 19 floors. It was built in the late 60's, early 70's. There are not separate entrances or hallways for jurors to wait.  Jurors wait in the hallway like everyone else.  Sometimes the hallway is packed with jurors.  There are ten courtrooms on this floor, just as big as this courtroom.

Everyone knows to be quiet when jurors are around.  That's pretty standard.  You get to know the faces that are the jurors in the trial you are attending/following.  And, all jurors in every courtroom are instructed to always wear their juror badge.  It clearly identifies them as a juror.

I know that the media is quite careful not to speak around jurors.  I have been following cases for several years, and people are aware that you are not allowed to interfere with a juror/jurors.  Juliana's family and supporters wear pink ribbons on their clothing.

The jurors can see members of both families that have been in the courtroom during the trial, when everyone is waiting out in the hallway.  I don't see a problem with this, and evidently the court staff don't either.

9:52 AM
A defendant is brought out from the jail holding area.  He is in a brown jumpsuit. This is the first time I've seen the color brown on a defendant.  Usually, it's blue or orange.  Or, yellow tops with blue bottoms.  There are a couple people in the gallery that are possibly here for this sentencing, but I don't think they are all family.  Some could be defense attorney staff.

9:55 AM
We get the notice to turn our phones off. Judge Kennedy takes the bench.  People v. Bailey (sp?). Here to conduct a court trial on prior proceedings. The people call a witness. This is someone who was sitting in the gallery.  This is a fingerprint identification expert with the LAPD.  The witness is speaking very fast. She's testified as an expert over 65 times.

9:58 AM
It is my understanding that John Gilmore has not attended the trial.  I have not seen in court anyone who resembles him.

10:00 AM
I only started covering this trial since May 2011. There were many pretrial motions in this case that I did not attend.  I do not know for a fact that Judge Kennedy "barred" the information commenters are asking about, from being presented as testimony.  It could be that the people chose not to use all the evidence they have.  That's trial strategy.  I do not know what the prosecution's strategy was at trial, or why they did not put on more witnesses to present the evidence you are asking about.  You will have to ask the DA's office.

10:05 AM
The people call another witness in the bench trail of the current case.  Paralegal for the LA Co. DA's office. Experience in identifying prior convictions and "9690 V-packs."   Also known as a prison package.

10:08 AM
I'm having trouble maintaining a connection.  I step out of the courtroom to publish since Judge Kennedy is on the bench.

10:13 AM
The testimony of the other case is over.  Judge Kennedy asks if there was any affirmative defense.  No, but asks to present some argument. "Sure."

10:15 AM
No buzzes from the jury.

This current case before Judge Kennedy at the moment, I believe is a three strike case.  She is not going to ignore a strike.  Move to sentencing.

10:19 AM
Just a reminder, I cannot publish from inside the courtroom while Judge Kennedy is on the bench.

Judge Kennedy tells the prosecutor she doesn't understand his computation at all.  Judge Kennedy explains the sentencing to the prosecutor.  She says the 3 strikes changes a determinate sentence to an indeterminate sentence. The Romero motion is denied.  Romero motions have to do with convincing the judge to eliminate a strike.

Sentencing over.  The defendant wants to address the judge.  "I just want to say, I didn't do the robbery (claim? charge?). .... That's all I wanted to say."  Judge Kennedy thanks him.  She's off the bench and the defendant is taken back into the holding cell area.

10:29 AM
A few supporters on both sides left the courtroom.   Detective Thompson is sitting in the first seating row on the end, diligently working on her laptop.  I don't recall seeing glasses on her before, but they could be reading glasses, or, I'm just not remembering.

10:31 AM
I have not seen Park's defense attorney's today.  If I'm remembering correctly, their offices are 20 minutes away.

10:35 AM
The courtroom is not very full at the moment.  People come and go.

10:37 AM
The reporter sitting beside me brought a book to read.  The court clerk makes a few phone calls then tells the bailiff she will be right back.

Detective Thompson moves to the side to let someone pass in the first seating row. When she moves, papers spill out of her thick 3-ring binder onto the floor.  The court clerk returns with two reams of white paper.

10:45 AM
Buzz! Buzz!  The clerk goes to investigate since the bailiff is out of the courtroom at the moment.
Several jurors leave the courtroom on a break.

10:51 AM
The jury has not sent a note out and said they are hung. So, I can't say they are.  However, if the jury sends a note out and says they are hung, then the prosecution will most likely refile the case.  Being out on bail will depend on what motions the prosecution and defense make.  Judge Kennedy would make the final decision.

10:53 AM
Like I've said before, I never try to guess anything about a jury. In my opinion, juries are unpredictable. Juries will surprise you.   The Stephanie Lazarus jury deliberated a total of 7 hours and 25 minutes.  The second Phil Spector jury deliberated .... I can't find that at the moment. Will get back to that.

10:55 AM
Park's sister Kim enters with a friend. Hugs are exchanged between Kim, Park and Chronister.

In Spector, deliberations were spread over 9 days.  I do know there were a few illnesses among some of the jurors and Judge Fidler ordered the jurors to stay home for several days.  Spector's jury deliberated over 9 days, a total of 28 hours, 57 minutes.

At the most, there are a total of 5 hours and 45 minutes of deliberation time available each day, IF no breaks are taken.

Jurors file back into the jury room from break.  I don't notice anything unusual about the expressions on jurors faces.

I have not kept track of the number of jury deliberation hours.  That's because this jury is not buzzing each time they start and stop.  And, there have been days when testimony has been read back.  That time would not be considered deliberating.  Yesterday, I believe they took a morning break and left at 4:00 PM. That equates to 5 hours and 15 minutes for one day.

11:09 AM
Previously, commenters have asked about cell phone records placing Park near the scene. If you read the Charging Document and Statement of Probable Cause, page 6, you will see that by the time Park was being investigated by Santa Monica PD, the cell tower records for her phone were no longer available.  Park's location on the night/time of the murder could not be determined from cell tower pings.

11:19 AM
The courtroom gallery is about 3 quarters full.

11:38 AM
There's very little bustle in the courtroom.

11:48 AM
People are a little restless in the gallery.  Some come and go.

11:51 AM
The courtroom clock ticks.  I explain to Lonce how to take the train to 7th & Metro so she can get a charger for her phone. Camera crew staff come and go.  People are reading books, magazines.  Jury watch can be quite boring.   The only noise is the opening and closing of the courtroom doors from people coming and going.

11:55 AM
Yes. I covered the closing statements for both sides.  You can find them on THIS entry.  The postings are in reverse time order, not in chronological.

11:59 AM The bailiff tells us that the jurors are going to lunch.  In the afternoon they will have 65 jurors coming for another trial.  There will not be any room for any of us.  We watch the jurors file out.

12:05 PM
I asked the bailiff if Judge Kennedy would allow a single media seat inside the courtroom and he responded, "Absolutely not. I have 65 jurors coming in here."

1:23 PM
I'm in the hallway on the 9th floor. I will be here until a verdict is reached.  If by chance a seat opens up in the courtroom I will ask if I can sit in that seat.  It's all up to Judge Kennedy.

Like I said earlier, there is no evidence to show where Park's cell phone was at the time the prosecution and LE believe the crime occurred.

1:28 PM 
I see the jurors being let into the courtroom.

1:30 PM
The 9th floor hallway is a bustle of activity with jurors being called to other courtrooms.

1:33 PM
I was standing in the ante chamber of the courtroom for a moment when I heard the single BUZZ!  The jurors are deliberating again.

I heard the bailiff tell Park and Chronister that they "have to" be inside the courtroom, but he kicked out the reporters and camera crew that had plugged their cameras in. 

1:47 PM
Everyone is allowed inside Dept. 109. I take a seat in the back row near the door.

I have a correction to make.  The latent fingerprint cards were stored at the Santa Monica PD in what is called the Forensic's Section.  The Forensic's Section is a security section, and not everyone can enter that unit.  However, it is not like a big lab.  It isn't even called a lab. Fingerprints that are collected at a crime scene are kept in the case file, in this section of the department.

1:54 PM
Nothing anyone says in the comments will affect the jury.  I know emotions are high right now and that people are on edge. I'm asking people to please keep it civil.

Even if another trial begins in this courtroom, that will not affect the jury deliberations that are going on right now.  Once those three buzzes are heard, various parties (counsel) will be notified.  The defense counsel would have to get here. Once they arrived then the new trial would stop. The jurors would be brought out and the verdict read.

2:00 PM
Earlier, DDA Okun-Wiese and Detective Thompson were in the courtroom.  I looked up from typing and they are gone.

2:03 PM
The young man whom I believe is Juliana's brother, is leaning forward, his forehead resting on his hands on the wood bench in front of him.

2:04 PM
The bailiff enters the courtroom from the holding cell area.

Speculation about what's happening in the jury room is pointless.  I don't have an opinion as to what's happening, and it would be irresponsible for me to even try to speculate. You can't use past jury trials as a template for this one.  When people make up a jury, each one is a different entity, and like I've said many times, juries will surprise you.

2:13 PM
A friend of mine, a fellow writer came down to court to keep me company.

2:22 PM
Park gets up from her seat to go sit beside another supporter.

The courtoom is very quiet.  Sound really echos when it's this quiet.

2:24 PM
The court clerk and the court reporter share a laugh at the court clerk's desk.

2:27 PM
Judge Kennedy comes out from chambers and speaks to her court clerk.   Now, the bailiff leaves his desk to go speak to Judge Kennedy in the back office area.

2:32 PM
Now Judge Kennedy and the bailiff are chatting at the clerk's desk.  People occasinally come and go.

2:37 PM
All we can say about the jury at this point is.... they are deliberating.

The bailiff is back at his desk and Judge Kennedy has gone back into chambers.

2:42 PM
I can hear footsteps echoing in the hallway as they approach Dept. 109.  It's a young woman in heels, most likely a clerk with the DA's office.  More footsteps approach. It's one of Juliana's supporters and Detective Thompson, who sits in the gallery. She pushes her large bag under the benches and puts her work briefcase on her lap.

2:51 PM
Detective Thompson opens her laptop, possibly to work.  DDA Okun-Wiese enters the courtroom and sits in the front row. She turns around to chat with the family.

 2:58 PM
People in the gallery yawn. I yawn. There are closing door noises somewhere in other courtrooms.

3:02 PM
Thank you everyone for your support and kind words regarding my trial reporting efforts.  I don't particularly want a meal right now, but I sure would love some sleep when I get home tonight.

3:11 PM
Everyone can have an opinion here. Please be civil to each other in the comments.  Just because someone doesn't see the case in the same way as you, doesn't diminish their opinion.

3:13 PM
Doors open, they close.  People go back to reading their book or magazine.

3:14 PM
Earlier, I think some one asked about Juliana's parents, and how they are holding up.  I have not spoken to them, and I cannot clearly see their faces from where I am siting..  They have several supporters here.

The silence of the room is broken by the court clerks jovial conversation on the phone.

3:19 PM
Park and her husband, Tom Chronister take a break outside the courtroom.

3:21 PM
I don't believe a specific time of death was presented at trial.

3:27 PM
Jurors.  You have to understand that, when the jurors leave the courtroom, they leave first.  We are told to wait until they leave the room.  If someone approached them in the hallway, I believe they would inform the judge.  Not to say it hasn't happened, but you have to understand that before court, and during the lunch break, there are a lot of jurors from various cases waiting for their courtrooms to open.  The jurors are wearing a juror badge.  If someone approached one of our jurors on this case, I believe someone would notice.

Before I choose a seat on a bench, I'm always watching to see if one of these 12 jurors is sitting on that bench. If they are, I find another seat.  I believe criminal charges could be brought against someone for attempting to tamper with a jury.

3:33 PM
When waiting  to get into the courtroom before the doors open in the morning and for the afternoon session, the jurors sit or stand where ever they like in the hallway.  Often times, the hallway will be packed with attorneys, family members, jurors. It's a big mix.

3:45 PM
Here is the Kelly Soo Park Quick Links Page, with all the information about each day of trial.   HERE is the witness list, and a link back to the day they testified.

I think there were four, or four and a half days of testimony.  Although we are on day five of verdict

3:47 PM Buzz! Buzz!  The bailiff is back in that area, but he could be in the restroom.  The bailiff comes out with a paper, but the clerk tells him that the jurors buzzed.   No question. The jury is going home.

3:49 PM
That's it for today.  The jury files out passed us.

3:50 PM
The bailiff addresses the room.  "Folks, 9:00 AM tomorrow.  Come back if you want."   People start to pack up and leave the courtroom.

Park kisses her family supporters goodbye.  The Redding family leaves. The DDA and Thompson leave.  Judge Kennedy comes out and orders Park back tomorrow at 9:00 AM.

7:20 PM
I'm finally home.  I stayed in downtown with my friend to visit and have dinner. I guess the judge could order them to stay until 4:15 PM, but I've never heard of that.  Understand, if I'm remembering correctly, the jurors have gone home consistently at 4:00 PM except for the first day when they were in the jury room for about 15-20 minutes. I'll have to ask the Public Information Office about that when I get a chance.

Ronnie Case. When I was first covering the trial back in 2011, I believe he came to court a few times.  I believe there was also another time, after Park and Chronister started dating where he came to court with them, but I'm not positive about that.  As far as I know, Case has not been in the courtroom during the trial.

All I can say is, trust jury the process.  The jurors have not said that they are hung.  Until they say they are hung, they are still deliberating.

7:40 PM
Again, I want to thank everyone who has been so generous in making a donation to my court coverage costs.  Mr. Sprocket and I are truly touched and grateful.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kelly Soo Park Verdict Watch, Day 4

Kelly Soo Park, in custody 2010

6:15 AM
Jurors return to court at 9:00 AM today to continue their deliberations.  At the close of court yesterday, the jurors requested gloves and to see the actual latent print card that contains the fingerprint of Kelly Soo Park. During the trial, crime scene specialists testified this latent print was lifted at the crime scene from an orange plate in or near the kitchen sink.

Answering questions left on yesterday's post.

A verdict was not reached yesterday.  If/when a verdict is reached, it will be read in open court that same day.

The reason this is not a death penalty case is because of the California Penal Code and policies set by the LA County DA's office.  If you read the Code, there is not an extenuating circumstance to the crime under section 190.2 of the Calif. Penal Code.  The death penalty isn't something that is sought after in every case.  It is carefully considered. There is a panel in the DA's office that reviews every case submitted for the death penalty.  If I'm remembering correctly from the DA's race debates last year between former DDA Alan Jackson and DA Jackie Lacey, one of five specific circumstances criteria must be present in the crime before the DA's office will seek the death penalty.

Sentencing options are set by the Penal Code. The judge does not have discretion.  If Park is convicted of first degree felony murder, she will receive a 25 years to life sentence.  If Park is convicted of second degree felony murder, she will receive a sentence of 15 years to life.

If there is a hung jury, the district attorney's office can file to recharge the case.  If she is found not guilty, she cannot be charged with this crime a second time.

The jury only considers the evidence presented at trial.  They do not get to consider that Park is married to a retired police officer.  Those facts are not related to the crime.

I will update once I reach the 9th floor.

8:45 AM
I"m inside the courtroom on the 9th floor. Terri Keith from City News is sitting to my right.  She is such a hard working journalist.  I have quite a bit of respect for her. There is another case that has a pretrial hearing at the moment. Judge Kennedy is on the bench.

Answering questions in the comments. The jury is not sequestered.  It's been many years since a jury has been sequestered in this courthouse. It's my understanding Park got married late last year. The jury was not told Park is married to a retired police officer. That has no relevance to the crime.  The prosecution did not present evidence of other crimes, murders.  All this trial is concerned with is the death of Juliana Redding.

I do not report my personal opinions when I cover a case.  This is the goal of a journalist, to report what happened during court proceedings with transparency.  The Jodi Arias trial was held in a different state from where I live and had lots of media coverage.  I rarely report on trials that I don't personally attend. My friend and blogger, Donchais, covered the Arias case on her blog, Calls For Justice, and it has a strong following.  Calls For Justice is a pro-prosecution blog, so the reporting is from that perspective.  T&T strives to report on cases it covers from an unbiased perspective.

8:57 AM
Jurors come in by twos and threes.  Detective Thompson is inside the courtroom.  Her hair is neatly pulled back into a tight french braid.

8:59 AM
Buzz!  All the jurors are in the jury room and starting their deliberations for today.  The clerk just got a call from Judge Kennedy's bailiff.  He is tied up on the 10th floor (a jail holding floor) and will be down as soon as he can.  I believe the current case is waiting for the defendant to be brought out.  The prosecutor that handled the City of Bell Counsel corruption scandal are in the courtroom.  There may be a hearing on the refiling of that case after the current pretrial hearing.  Judge Kennedy has momentarily left the bench.

9:10 AM
Park's mother, Irene enters the courtroom.  She greets her son-in-law with a kiss before she takes a seat beside her daughter.

9:17 AM
There are a lot of people here and media for the City of Bell hearing.  The courtroom is filled with chatter.  Judge Kennedy is about to take the bench. The bailiff is here and tells people to turn their cell phones off.

A defendant is in the courtroom for another case.  The City of Bell hearing will be after that.  Other pretrial hearing case is People v. Chavez (sp?). Defense moves for new trial. Denied.  This is a sentencing hearing.

9:28 AM
Judge Kennedy is presenting her thought process on the sentencing in the Chavez case.

9:31 AM
Answering a comment. I believe my reporting is unbiased, not biased to a particular side.

9:33 AM
Park case. Latent fingerprints were collected at the crime scene.  A latent print was found and collected on an orange ceramic plate, found in the kitchen, in or near the sink.  Fingerprint experts testified that the latent print collected from the orange plate matched a print belonging to Park.  There was no testimony presented at the trial, about fingerprints on Juliana's neck.  The coroner's criminalist took a DNA swab from Juliana's neck at the scene. That was collected as part of the sexual assault kit.  That DNA was analyzed and a mixture of two profiles was found within that DNA. 

9:36 AM
The Chavez case, the defendant was sentenced.  Counsel for the City of Bell corruption case went into chambers with Judge Kennedy.

9:41 AM
There are many conversations going on in the gallery and the well.

9:47 AM
The Bell City Counsel group comes forward. Judge Kennedy reads the last names of the five defendants.  DDA Miller & DDA Huntsman for the prosecution.  Miller won't continue for the people.  Huntsman will take over the case.  It is the people's decision to retry the counts where the jury did not reach a verdict.

As of today's date, there is no specific determination as to who, if any of these defendants will be continued to be represented by their present counsel.  Judge Kennedy asks if they have decided on a return date.  One attorney asks for July 2nd for a reading of sentencing for the verdicts that were reached.  That's it for that hearing.   The gallery thins out.

9:54 AM
Cars near the scene.  That information was in the Charging Document and Statement of Probable Cause.  That is the document that was prepared to issue an arrest warrant. The prosecution did not present witnesses to the jury to testify about cars that were caught on video in an alley near the scene. I do not know why they chose not to present this evidence in their case-in-chief.  The jury only considers the evidence presented at trial.

10:03 AM
The courtroom is quiet.  The gallery is not that full.  The bailiff grabs a snack at his desk. Cameramen are setting up microphones at the judge and clerks desk.  Detective Thompson is in the well of the court.   Verdict watch can be very tiring and boring at times.

10:05 AM
I am asking that people please try to be civil in the comments.  I will start censoring comments or turn the feature off altogether.   Comments are a way for those of you following the trial to ask me questions about court proceedings and the testimony that was presented.

10:12 AM
Answering a question.  When Judge Kennedy instructed the jurors, they were told that they would be able to view the physical evidence if they asked for it. However, Judge Kennedy asked that the jurors use gloves when handling physical evidence that may contain biological materials.  The gloves are for the jurors to handle the evidence.

People are free to comment their opinions on the case. T&T is not obligated to publish your comment. All T&T asks is that you be respectful. I understand that emotions are on high and people are on edge.  There are many people who support the victim Juliana and Park.

10:16 AM
Buzz! Buzz! The bailiff investigates.  Break time.

10:17 AM
Three jurors exit the jury room for a break.   The only witnesses I've seen in the courtroom on prior days have been Juliana's girlfriends.  At this moment, I mostly see Juliana's family members in the gallery.  The man with the bicycle helmet was here to serve Park with papers.  I do not know what the papers were. Detective Thompson, who testified is in the courtroom waiting in the well.

Right now, the mood in the courtroom is very quiet.  People are reading or looking at their cell phones.

10:22 AM
How the police focused on Park is detailed in the Charging Document which you can read at the link above. The "Female James Bond" comment comes from prosecution motions. One place you can read that is the people's motion to admit other conduct, page 12, lines 27-28.  The "James Bond" comment was not presented to the jury because it is hearsay.

10:30 AM
Jurors file back in from their break.

10:31 AM
Greg Redding testified that he became concerned when he believed that Golden State Pharmacy did not have the proper licenses to manufacture large amounts of "pain cream."  His license and reputation would be on the hook if there was any illegal activity going on.  I don't remember the amount specifically, but it's my understanding Redding testified that he saw thousands of empty jars in the Pharmacy facility.  My understanding is, the difference is large scale manufacturing verses compounding individual prescriptions.

10:36 AM
There were cell phone records entered. I remember the number of phone calls and their time frame to Dr. Uwaydah were presented to the jury.  I would have to go back and review my notes to see if I took down the specifics of that particular testimony.

10:41 AM
Tom Chronister is retired from the Oxnard Police Dept.  The crime occurred in the city of Santa Monica.  Look those cities up on Google Maps. They are not near each other.  Most of the witnesses who testified (police, coroner, criminalists), are back at work.

10:43 AM
I am only one person. I can't type in the blog posting window, and approve comments at the same time. Sometimes, my internet connection doesn't bring the comments through quickly.  Please have some patience people.  I don't have a huge network machine behind the time I am devoting to this case.

10:49 AM
I believe that Redding backed out of the business deal because he felt uncomfortable. I don't believe he testified that it was because anything that his daughter said to him.

If Park is convicted, it's my experience from past trials that she will be taken into custody until sentencing.  For her to get out on bail again would require her to be sentenced then an appeal filed.  All of that takes quite a bit of time.

10:52 AM
Judge Kennedy is having a conversation with (I think) a deputy DA at the clerk's desk. From the back, it looks like it's DDA Francis Young, who is assisting DDA Sean Carney on the Gerhard Becker case.  I've been typing away and I didn't see the sharply dressed woman enter.  She turned around and I can see now that it is Francis Young. I love Young's style. Young enters the back area behind the clerks desk.  I can now see Francis chatting for a moment with Judge Ito.

10:57 AM
Judge Kennedy ruled that Dr. Uwaydah's travel plans would not be presented to the jury.

11:07 AM
Young was kind enough to stop by on her way out of the courtroom to say hello.

11:08 AM
A forensic specialist did testify that the scene indicated evidence of a physical altercation in the living room as well as an attempted clean up.  A specific crime scene analyst was not hired by either side to testify.

I don't feel that I am on pins and needles at this point. I am very tired due to less sleep than usual and my real life responsibilities to Mr. Sprocket's business.

11:13 AM
If Dr. Uwaydah had any convictions of any kind, they were not presented to this jury. Dr. Uwaydah is not on trial in this case.

 11:19 AM
There was no testimony that spoke of a jealousy motive.  Jealousy was not the prosecution's theory of the crime. 

11:21 AM
DDA Okun-Wiese is in the courtroom. She is in a conversation with the bailiff and Detective Thompson in the seating area behind the prosecution table.

The prosecution's theory of the crime has been documented in motion to present other evidence.  At trial, the prosecution did not present a motive to the jurors. They are not required to do so.

11:24 AM
Since the jurors have not "buzzed" each time they have started and stopped deliberations, I have not kept track of the number of deliberation hours.

11:27 AM
It's still relatively quiet in the courtroom.

11:31 AM
Thank you Anon @ 11:30 AM. I never try to predict a jury. I've learned that juries will surprise you.

The latent fingerprint card was reexamined by a forensic specialist (fingerprint expert) a year after it was collected.  In that examination, the analyst thought there might be a drop of blood on the card that was collected when the print was lifted.  To test that spot on the card for blood, she would have to lift the tape off of the white card.  She testified that she has experience in this field, and she would have been able to tell if the tape had been lifted prior to her lifting the tape off the card.  The presumptive test for the spot was positive for blood.  The blood was analyzed and a profile developed. It came back to a single source profile. That profile could not exclude Park as being the contributor.

11:58 AM
Only a couple of minutes before the lunch break.

11:59 AM
Buzz! Buzz!  This is most likely the jurors notice that they are breaking for lunch.  Yes. They start to exit the courtroom.

12:00 Noon
We are asked to leave.

1:22 PM
I'm up on the 9th floor. The hallway is packed and stuffy.  Mr. Sprocket didn't cook last night so I had to find a salad at the underground city.  This is slightly less-bad food than the court's cafeteria.  The CBS 48 Hours crew is sitting on a bench to my right.  Both families are here in the hallway, far apart from each other.

I'm going to move down towards the courtroom now, and unplug from a wall outlet.

1:35 PM
Back inside Dept. 109.  Judge Kennedy is going to take the bench in another matter.

1:58 PM
The blood drop on the latent print card.
This was discovered in 2009 when a forensic specialist with the Santa Monica PD was performing a review of the latent prints collected in their case file.  The specialist testified that the spot was round, about the size of an eraser at the end of a pencil. She testified that the edges of the blood did not appear to be smeared, like what would be present in a blood smear or swipe. This drop of blood was not noticed during the initial collection.

1:59 PM
Sometimes, evidence isn't always found the first time around.  I don't have any statistics to confidently say if that is unusual or rare.

2:01 PM
The blood drop was found on a latent print card, where the latent print was collected at the crime scene. The latent print card was stored in an evidence locker until it was reexamined and the spot discovered.

The latent print and the blood were collected at the same time via the lifting tape.

2:04 PM
When evidence is found. Well, that's hard to say.  In the Lazarus case, the crime occurred in 1986. Evidence was collected at that time, but was misplaced in the coroner's office freezers.  It was rediscovered in late 2004 and tested for DNA in 2005.  In that case, the discovery of the evidence and the testing didn't make that evidence less relevant.

2:10 PM
If I've missed answering any of your questions, I do apologize.  I was out late last night.  I'm trying to wake up with a four tea-bag hot tea.

2:15 PM
Ever since I first covered a case in Judge Kennedy's courtroom (back in 2011), I've been fascinated by all the large and small figurines on the left (her right) side of her bench.  Back then, I asked the bailiff if I could get a closer look at them to describe them, but that request was denied.  If I squint, I can make some of them out. Most are animals.

2:19 PM
It's organic Chinese green tea.  I blog under the moniker "Sprocket," but I am not "anonymous."  I use my real name when reporting at court. You can read about why I started blogging under a moniker on the About T&T Page, in the section under my name.

2:29 PM
I believe people who follow a case are allowed to have opinions. It is only within a court of law that a defendant is presumed innocent until a jury reaches a verdict. Famed prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi wrote about that in his book, Outrage.  The police, prosecutors, etc., can have an opinion. It's the jury's job is to remain neutral and keep an open mind. 

Bail bondsman Josh Herman enters and from the expression on Park's face, she is quite happy to see him. They step outside together to chat privately.

2:37 PM
The cases listed on the right that I did not attend are Christian-Newsom (covered by guest blogger David in TN) and Casey Anthony (covered by co-blogger ritanita).  The rest of the listed coverage, I attended.

I attended most, but not all of the Lois Goodman hearings. I know I missed the last hearing, where the charges were dismissed.  I do not know what the reasoning was, to drop the charges. I did not speak to the prosecution about that.  However, sources within the LAPD lead me to believe that the original investigation was flawed. 

2:39 PM
DDA Okun-Wiese is inside the courtroom, chatting with the bailiff at his desk.

2:49 PM
I don't know if Park's relationship with her bail bondsman is unusual or typical.  Detective Thompson entered Deptl 109 has joined Okun-Wiese and the bailiff in their conversation.

2:52 PM
I have to say, I'm very impressed with all the people on both sides of the table who are coming to court and sit for verdict watch.

2:53 PM
Judge Kennedy has stepped out from chambers and is discussing something with her clerk.  Judge Kennedy is wearing a dark blue and black sleeveless dress. I'm trying to get a sense of how to describe the long necklace she is wearing.  My eyesight isn't great under these fluorescent lights.  From where I'm sitting it looks like inch wide mother of pearl buttons with spaces between them.

2:57 PM
I meant to mention that Patricia Redding looks like she had her hair done.  I like the new hairstyle and highlights. It gives her a softer look.  Patricia's hair is now down with slight soft curls verses being pinned up on her head similar to a french twist.

3:02 PM
Park reenters the courtroom with Herman and Chronister.

3:03 PM
One of Park's supporters hugged her goodbye.  I believe it was her sister, Kim.

3:05 PM
The conversations in the gallery get a little loud and the bailiff addresses the room, "Quiet in the courtroom please!"

3:08 PM
Park's famous sister is Kolleen Park.  If you Google her, you can see images.

3:12 PM
Another deputy steps into Dept. 109, nods to the bailiff who acknowledges him. The deputy then leaves.

3:16 PM
Detective Thompson left the courtroom. I did not notice when that happened.  Okun-Wiese is at the bailiff's desk. The bailiff left the courtroom a few moments ago.

3:19 PM
The bailiff's nod had nothing to do with a verdict.  They were just acknowledging each other. When we hear three buzzes, that's when a verdict has been reached.

Okun-Wiese leaves the courtroom.

3:22 PM
The bailiff is back at his desk.  The court clerk appears to be working hard.

3:24 PM
I'm having a bit of trouble staying connected to the Internet through the court's free WiFi.

3:34 PM
A tall suited bearded man with a leather briefcase stepped into the courtroom, sat down, looked around then left.

3:40 PM
The court day in Judge Kennedy's courtroom goes from 9:00 AM to 4:15 PM.  They have been instructed in that.  In prior days, the jury has stopped deliberating at 4:00 PM.  They cannot deliberate past 4:15 PM because that would require so many court staff to stay for overtime.

3:42 PM
FWIW: Sometimes, blogger does a blip and comments unintentionally end up in the spam file folder.  I don't know why that happens.  So sometimes, comments will show up published late when I find them in the spam folder and then approve them.

3:47 PM
In prior days, the jurors have left at 4:00 PM. They can deliberate as late as 4:15 PM today.

3:50 PM
Thank you everyone for your support and kind words about my trial coverage efforts.

3:51 PM
So far, only three comments from today were not published.

3:56 PM
Buzz! Buzz!  The bailiff opens the door. The jury is done for the day.  The jurors file out.

3:57 PM
Judge Kennedy addresses park from the clerks desk. "Ms. Park, you are ordered back at 9:00 AM. Bail stands."

When we heard the first buzz, then the second one, I believe I heard Judge Kennedy say, "Come on, one more buzz."

See everyone back here tomorrow.

6:15 PM
It's 12 hours later from when I first posted this morning.

A BIG SHOUT OUT to those of you who have made donations to my trial coverage costs.  My husband and I are truly touched and thank you for your support.

Thank you to everyone for your kind words (on and off the record) regarding my trial reporting efforts.  It's very rewarding to know that many of you appreciate the time and energy I am dedicating to transparent reporting on this case.  I hope to see everyone back here tomorrow.

One last note.
I've answered this question several times, but one more time for the road. If the jury is unable to reach a unanimous verdict, then the people have the option to retry the case.  Although it will be as if the first trial didn't happen, all testimony in the first trial is admissible in the second trial.  For example, if a witness is suddenly unavailable (moved out of state/country; in the hospital, incarcerated, dies, etc.) that individual's testimony from the first trial can and would be admitted into evidence at the second trial. That happened in Phil Spector's second trial (Dianne Ogden died), and in Stephanie Lazarus's trial (Criminalist Lloyd Mahaney's testimony from the Lazarus preliminary hearing was used after he died.)

The criminal case doesn't necessarily affect a civil lawsuit the family may or may not have filed.  I have not checked with the court's Pubic Information Office to find out if civil suit has been filed by the family.  Usually, it is my experience that both parties in a civil suit (and the judge) will delay a civil suit going forward until the criminal trial is adjudicated.  That's what happened in the civil suit brought against Phil Spector in the death of Lana Clarkson.  The Clarkson family lawsuit settled exactly nine years after Lana Clarkson was murdered.

To the anonymous prosecutor who left a comment.  I am honored at the suggestion that you would like to form a partnership. My best guess is, you said that in jest. I just want to assure you, reporting on trials in this venue (with no advertising or grant/sponsorship) will not pay anything close to what you can make by continuing as a public servant.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kelly Soo Park, Verdict Watch Day 3

Kelly Soo Park, May 13th, 2013, opening statements

7:00 AM
Court resumes at 11:00 AM today with counsel reviewing the specific testimony the jury would like read back.  If both sides agree on the specifics of the read back,  (which witness, how many lines of their testimony) then they go on the record.  If both sides cannot agree, then Judge Kennedy decides on the specific testimony read back. It is unknown at this time how much testimony was requested.  Last Friday, as I was trying to listen to counsel and Judge Kennedy speak at the side bar, I got the impression it would take the court reporter some time to find the specific testimony and print it all out to be read.

Jurors were ordered back at 1:30 PM.

I have to say, I don't believe I've ever heard of this many people (for the victim's family and the defendant) waiting inside the courtroom for verdict watch.  Usually, the judge will give counsel and the families of both sides a period of time to get to court when a verdict has been reached.  My experience of verdict watch has been that the courtroom is usually empty except for a few reporters.

10:30 AM
I'm inside Dept 109 and I'm the only journalist here. When I first entered, there were two different bailiff's sitting around the regular bailiff's desk.  The regular bailiff arrived a few minutes later and they are all chatting.  There is no one inside the courtroom from Juliana's family or from Park's family.  I did not see any family members on the 9th floor either.

The line to get into the building was quite long this morning. Unusual for 10:30 AM.  The media was out on the Temple Street plaza, waiting for Park's arrival.  There are several officers in the gallery chatting, waiting for another case, along with family members.  I have no idea what the wait is for.  Although the well is empty of counsel, there are lots of boxes and a few bulging manilla envelopes on the prosecution table, as well as a laptop.

One of the camera guys dropped in for a moment and asked if I was working hard.  "Not really," I answered.

I see that several people are hoping for a verdict today.  Here's what I do know.  Jurors will be here at 1:30 PM. They will need to be seated along with the alternates.  Then the read back will commence. It will take some time for the read back. Then the jurors continue their deliberations. Court officially ends as 4:15 PM, two hours and 45 minutes later. I don't know if we will get a verdict today. Anything is possible.

It's surprising that no one is here. I'm wondering if the time was moved back. I'm going to go out and check the hallway.

10:53 AM
Park and her husband, Tom Chronister, are in the hallway on the 9th floor. They are on a bench a ways down the hall.  DDA Okun-Wiese and Detective Thompson enter with their clerk.

10:54 AM
The court reporter says hello to Kassabian and asks if they want to go over transcript.  It doesn't look like much in the way paper.  Kelly Soo Park, Chronister and Buehler enter Dept. 109. Beuhler immediately leaves with Kassabian and Okun-Wiese to go over the requested read- back testimony.

10:58 AM
Terri Keith from City News is here.  It's likely that nothing will happen now on the record.  If counsel agree, we probably won't hear anything until 1:30 PM.

11:11 AM
Counsel are still out in the hallway reading over the transcript. Several Park supporters have arrived and are sitting with her in the gallery.

11:16 AM
Answering a question. It has not been made public (on the record, via the judge) which part of testimony will be read back.  Counsel are still going over it now.

11:17 AM
Judge Kennedy is on the bench in another matter.  Two defendants are at the table with counsel and Spanish interpreters.  Camera crew enters Dept. 109. Judge Kennedy asks, "Gentlemen, if you could just wait until this matter is over. It will just be a few minutes.  The camera crew park their rolling cart and take seats in the gallery.

11:19 AM
One of the defendants, at the last minutes has decided to reject the package offer from the prosecution to take a plea.  The other defendant is still considering the plea.  His counsel says, "He's wavering now, but it is something that he is considering."  The prosecution is making an offer of a determinate sentence.  It's one that has a fixed beginning end.  Judge Kennedy explains the difference between an indeterminate sentence.  It is very unusual, for the prosecution to make the kind of offer they have made today.  Doesn't know if the offer will be made individually, or if it will continue to be open.

Judge Kennedy makes it clear to the defendants, that the offer exists today, but may not be available in the future.  A defense attorney asks if his client's mother can speak to her son.  The bailiff won't allow it.  Judge Kennedy speaks to the mother in the gallery.  The mother is speaking in Spanish and the interpreter for her son, is interpreting for her.  The defense attorney explained to the mother that it would be 32 years.  Nine years for the attempted murder. More years for the gun and gang allegations.  He would do 27 years and 2 months, provided he had no problems. If he's convicted, he's facing fifty years plus.

The other defense attorney for the other defendant, asks to speak to the court, and asks if they can come back at 1:30 PM.

Judge Kennedy tells counsel, that she has a problem. She has a jury coming in at that time, that will have at least an hour and a half of read back.

So I've heard now, on the record, that there will be at least an hour-and-a-half of read back for the Park case.

11:29 AM
Park, Chronister and a few friends get up to let the cameramen push their cart of equipment back into the far right corner of the gallery.  They sit back in the back row.

Answering a question.
Park is out on bond.  I do not know the specific restrictions that were placed on that bond.  She may be allowed to travel within Ventura County (if she still lives in that area) and Los Angeles County. I don't know.  We know from prosecution that Park has been driving her husband's vehicle that has private/protected plates, from his years of employment by the Oxnard Police Department.  Inside the courthouse, she has used her cell phone.

11:38 AM
From my observations, people behave normally inside the courtroom.  The families politely steer clear of each other. There are no confrontations.  There is a lot of hugging of friends when the various supporters of Park or Juliana arrive.

The bailiff keeps pretty good control of Judge Kennedy's courtroom.

11:44 AM
Counsel for both sides have entered Dept. 109 and are sitting at their tables in the well.

11:47 AM
Park enters the well of the court.  Now it's never mind. There is a Spanish woman in the gallery that is a relation of one of the defendants in the prior case.  She's having a health issue and the bailif ordered everyone out of the courtroom.

Everyone exited.  Park, her counsel and a few members of the press.  I think that the DDA and Detective Thompson are still inside.  The bailiff and Detective Thompson were asking questions of the woman, who was sitting with a companion, about her health. Whether she was diabetic, if she needed water.  They did not want her to stand.

Kassabian exits the courtroom and speaks to Buehler.

11:53 AM
Defense counsel for the ill woman's son exit the courtroom and briefly speak to Kassabian and Buehler.  The woman appears to be a bit better.  We wait to see if this case will go on the record before lunch to discuss the read back.

11:56 AM
Firefighter paramedics, three of them, enter Dept 109 wit a chair gurney for the ill woman that's still inside the courtroom.

11:59 AM 
Okun-Wiese comes out to speak to Kassabian and Buehler.  She says to them, "She just wants to order her back.  I've agreed to what ever you wanted."  (This is regarding read back.)

Kelly says to her supporter's after the quick few seconds inside, "Let's go."

12:27 PM
Although I am at lunch, I feel compelled to interrupt it to address a comment about the OJ Simpson trial.  Although this is the same courthouse where Simpson's trial occurred, it is not the same judge or courtroom, and we are no longer back in 1996, and all the racial tensions that were present at the time.

OJ Simpson was a celebrity, and his trial captured world wide attention. Simpson's trial went on for about 10 months and every day of the trial was broadcast on network TV at the time. OJ Simpson had many people in the general public who supported him. 

Kelly Soo Park is not a celebrity here in the US.  She does not have a public following that are attending the trial and supporting her.  And Park's jury is not the OJ jury.  Phil Spector did have many fans who came to support him for his two trials, but Park does not. She is an average citizen.  Those in the gallery supporting her are family and friends.  They all appear to be people Park knows, and are not "fans."  Her trial barely lasted a five days of testimony before closing arguments were presented.  Those are huge differences.  I don't think mentioning OJ's case, here, is appropriate or has any relevance.

Although there are cameras here that recorded the opening statements, closing arguments as well as being prepared to tape record the verdict, that is not unusual for this courthouse.  There are many other cases where Dateline or 48 Hours has shown an interest, and parts of those other cases have been filmed.

The reality is, this is not a very big case here in the Los Angeles area.  I am the only journalist that I know of, who has filed a daily report of the trial.  The local news channels had very short clips or news reports in the local papers when the opening statements began and when closing arguments were presented.

It is totally irrelevant that OJ Simpson's trial happened to have occurred in this same courthouse. That case has nothing to do with how this trial was conducted or how this jury is dedicating themselves to their jury service.

12:49 PM
It is a guess by a commenter what testimony the jury wants read back.  There has been nothing said on the record. We have not been told what the specific read back will be this afternoon.

Hello dear friend!

1:34 PM
Inside te courtroom.  It’s not that packed today.  Missing are the bevy of beautiful babes that make up Juliana’s girlfriends.  Just as I write that, two of the friends enter and sit with Juliana’s family.

The camera crew is placing microphones at the judge’s bench.  The courtroom is cold today. You never can tell how warm a courtroom is going to be.

1:36 PM  

The jurors are all present and deliberating again.   Greg Fisher from CBS 48 Hours and Terri Keith from City News are here.

1:38 PM
We wait for Judge Kennedy to take the bench.   Judge Kennedy takes the bench.

1:39 PM
JK: I assume that both sides have been able to review the proposed testimony? 
Yes your honor.
JK: Are we read to bring the jurors out?
Yes, your honor.

Bailiff: Please be sure all cell phone are turned completely off.

The alternates enter the courtroom and join the jurors.

JK: All jurors and alternates are present.  The court reporter is going to read that back to you at this time.

Cross examination by Mr. Kassabian of Ms. Jennifer Zychowski

I did collect some hair from the crime scene.

Why did you collect hair? 
Because potentially the hair could have DNA evidence.

Not sure how many pieces of hair she collected.

She collected clumps of hair.  She refers to her report.  Six clumps of hair were recovered from the crime scene.

Lists the items of hair and where they were recovered from the crime scene.

Asks about the number of swabs that were taken from the crime scene.

Swabbed a spot on the kitchen wall for DNA.  Swab on a spot on the kitchen living room door.

Direct examination of
Fingernails. Is here a standard kit that you use? 

Direct and cross about the fingernail DNA collection.

Direct and cross  Ms. Cathy Kuwahara

Now testimony, direct of Ms. Jennifer Zychowski

 about the fingerprint card with Park’s fingerprint.

Testimony about the control of that card and when/how it was booked into evidence.

They are typically kept in the fingerprint locker and not booked into evidence.

She booked it into evidence because she observed what she thought was blood under the latent lift. 

More testimony about how she thought she saw blood under the latent print lift, how the analysis is done and who does the analysis.

She labeled the entire card (print lift) into evidence.

Testimony about her fingerprint comparison experience.  She compared the latent print.

Explains what a latent print is.

Compared the latent to a 10 print fingerprint card.  Explains what a 10 print card is.

More testimony about when the latent print was entered into the system.  Cathy Kuwahara entered the print into the system.

Explains the matching process into the data base.

(I’m not typing all this testimony for a second time.)

More testimony about the matching process of a latent print in the computer system.


That’s the process they use to compare. 

Explains unique characteristics of a fingerprint that they use to make a match.

Now cross of the same witness.

The latent print was lifted by Leslie Funo.

No one brought to her attention, the blood spot on the plate.

As far as she knows, she was the first person to see the blood spot.

Redirect by Ms. Okun-Wiese.

How big was this drop of blood.  Maybe a little smaller than, an eraser on a pencil.

Doesn’t remember if it was immediate when she saw it or not. It peaked her interest and she thought it might be blood. She brought it to the attention of Ms. Thompson.

Direct exam of Leslie Funo

That is a latent print that I recovered. There are my initials on the card.

Review of her procedures of collecting a latent print.

It is not scotch tape. It has to be clear. It’s almost like a packaging tape.

Explains where her supplies are kept in her kits.

Her card is blank on one side, and then several things she has to fill in on the back side.

Explains there are different types of tape.  I like to use the roll.  We have different sizes of tape. I would keep mine in the package that it came in.

Once she lifted the latent, she places it on the card. 

Once the cards are taken back to the department, she explains storage and filing procedure.  Once back at her lab, the fingerprint is scanned into a computer.

She was assigned to do the diagram, so that took up most of her time.  She’s not sure when she entered the print back into the system.

She no longer works for Santa Monica Police Dept. since June 2009.


Questions about her termination and why that happened. Was it because of delay in entering fingerprints into the system?

There were several cases that she had secured in her locker that she was working on. When she came back from vacation, her locker was completely empty.

So that was yes?

In part, yes.

Court reporter asks to refer to counsel.  Quickly done. Back on the stand reading more of her testimony.

Usually she would put latent prints she’s collected in her pocket of her uniform. She did not put tissue or anything between the cards. She said it wasn’t required.

So the items would be in the breast pocket of her uniform.

Once her pocket becomes filled, she would get an envelope and transfer them to that envelope so they can all be transported back to the police station.

They would be in charge of their own evidence so she would have transferred that evidence back to her crime lab.

The crime scene log would probably show her in and out time, at the crime scene.

Explains what happens with the card when it gets back to the lab.  She believes she locked it up in her locker, the next day she would come back in.

Supervisor and crime scene tech, kind of like a manager that have keys/access to her locker.

The print was in a case folder. Put in an envelope with all the other prints collected at the scene.

They don’t need gloves after the latent print has been processed.

Redirect exam by Ms. Okun-Wiese.

Don’t need to put prints in separate envelopes because the latent print is covered by tape.

After it is processed and it is on the card (gloves) are not necessary.

She remembers the plate was smooth and shiny, so a good surface to process.

Doesn’t remember if the other plates on top of that plate in the sink were wet.

She helped to process the whole house.  The place was covered with powder pretty much.

Direct of Cathy Kuwahara, supervisor who reviewed the exam of the fingerprint card.
She was the second level of comparison of this fingerprint on June 28th, 2010.

She then formed an opinion that these two were a match.  That the latent and Park’s print were one and the same.

I think I see Juror #3, a woman take a note. I think I also see juror #7 take a note.   Possibly #2 also may have taken a few notes.  It’s difficult to see from where I’m sitting.

Now direct of Ms. McCall

Did you test any of the items for blood.

One of them being on a latent print card. 

People’s 101. A latent print card the witness identifies. 

The jurors all appear to be paying attention.

Procedures she did to test the spot on the card for blood. 

The fingerprint she received, is really under the tape. Yes.
She would be able to tell if the tape had been lifted before she lifted the tape.

This testimony was all read on Friday.

Continue with direct of Ms. McCall

Testimony about the profile developed from the blood drop found on the fingerprint card.

Profile from apparent blood on the fingerprint card, was the same as the unknown profile obtained from other items swabbed at the crime scene.

She also developed a profile for Kelly Soo Park.

She used IdentiFiler. and came up with a profile for defendant Park. Compared it to the samples she had previously obtained from the case.

Blood stain on print card could not be excluded as belonging to Park.

It sample, so the frequency of choosing a person at random is more rare than one one trillion individual.

This testimony was read before.

The blood drop DNA was a single source profile.

It appeared not to be disturbed at all.

Cross by Mr. Kassabian.

The alleles that she tested, matched to Kelly Park?

Direct exam of the recall of Ms. Jennifer Zychowski

This testimony is about the print card again.

Juror #12 lis leaning forward and had her left hand covering her face. Her left elbow is resting on her left leg.  She holds this position for maybe a minute, before sitting back up.

Now, direct examination of Karen Thompson.

Direct regarding the 42 DNA reference samples she collected.

There is only one person who could not be excluded as being (the source) of the DNA found at the crime scene, (on the tank top, Juliana’s neck, the stove knob, etc.)

Dr. Pena direct.

Testimony about the nails and the cracked fingernails. There was no nail on the thumb.

Goes over the injuries on the hands.

Testimony of Mr. Robert Hernandez. Entire testimony.

Police Sgt. SMPD, first responder at the scene.

John Gilmore saw me approaching and he made contact with me.

John Gilmore was identified as Juliana’s boyfriend.

Obtained Juliana’s phone number from him and tried to call her cell phone.

His full testimony is being read back to the jurors.

Judge Kennedy is on the bench, looking at her computer screen while the testimony is being read back.  From the back of the room, it appears like she could be reading the web.

Judge Kennedy appears to be pressing the fingers of her right hand on her forehead right above her right eye.

Juror #12 is leaning forward again. Her head is down.  Now her head pops back up and she looks at the gallery.  Now she looks down, leaning forward again, with her left hand on her forehead. 

She’s the only juror that is leaning forward like this.  Now her elbow is on her leg and her hand is covering her mouth, as she looks down.  It’s unknown if she is writing with her right hand as she’s in this position.

Juror #12 looks as the gallery.

Understand, that I cannot see the faces of all the jurors clearly from where I’m sitting.  Juror #12 could just be tired; I don’t know.

No cross of this witness.

Direct of Richard Lewis.

Sgt. with SMPD.  Robbery Homicide Detective.

(I can’t believe it. LIsa Tomaselli from ABC’s 20/20 is here. I totally missed her entering the courtroom earlier.)

Testimony of what he saw and observed when he investigated the crime scene.

3:02 PM.
Testimony of Richard Lewis is still being read back. There is quite a bit of this testimony being read. I don't transcribe any of it.   I step outside the courtroom for a moment to publish these notes so far.

3:07 PM
I'm back inside the courtroom.  Richard Lewis testimony is still being read to the jurors.

This is quite a bit of testimony that is read back to the jurors.

3:10 PM
I think they are close to being done. Lewis's testimony was presented on Day 3 in the afternoon.

3:15 PM
That concludes the testimony.  Directs the jurors to return to the jury room.  Judge Kennedy leaves the bench.

3:16 PM
People get up to stretch their legs.  Park joins Chronister in the gallery. Park exchanges greetings with Lisa Tomaselli.

3:20 PM
Understand, that while Judge Kennedy is on the bench, I can not publish updates from inside the courtroom.  I have to step outside to publish.  The read back of testimony took over an hour and a half.

3:40 PM
Answering a question. There was no testimony about testing of the hair. Just testimony about the clumps of hair the criminalist collected from the scene.

3:42 PM
Thank you T&T readers for your donations to my trial coverage efforts. 3,000 page loads today from 1,245 unique visitors.  Thank you for reading T&T's gavel to gavel coverage of the Park case.

3:44 PM
The other case from this morning, the counsel in that case are back inside the courtroom. There may be a decision on one or both of the defendants.  If one of the defendants takes a plea deal, sentencing will happen immediately.

3:48 PM
The courtroom is quite noisy at the moment. There is a conversation gong on in the well between the prosecutor and the attorneys for the other case.  There's also a bit of conversation going on in the gallery.  Polite chatter.

3:50 PM
Counsel on the other case tell the bailiff they are ready.

3:53 PM
Court is in session. Judge Kennedy is on the bench.  Announce the parties for the record. Return on June 6th.  Case is discussed.

3:59 PM
BUZZ! BUZZ!  The court clerk goes to inquire. The bailiff can't leave while there are in custody defendants in the courtroom.

4:00 PM
The clerk tells Judge Kennedy the jurors want to know if they can go home.  The jurors file out of the courtroom. It looks like one of the jurors handed a a paper to the bailiff as they passed.

4:01 PM
Ms. Park is ordered back at 9:00 AM. Park speaks to Lisa Tomaselli as she leaves.  Judge asks to speak to counsel.  Park is stopped and asked to get her counsel.

4:02 PM
I hear Judge Kennedy say, they've requested the actual fingerprint card, and some gloves.

The clerk asks, Ms. Wiese, was that item #95.  Wiese responds, I'm thinking it was item 101 but I'll have to check.  The clerk replies that she has the list and she'll find it.

4:06 PM
People start to file out of the courtroom.

6:05 PM
Answering a question.  The prosecution get's one bite at the apple. If Park is found not guilty, she cannot be charged for the same crime again by the State of California. The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution protects people from double jeopardy

Juliana's family can bring a wrongful death suit against Park.  I do not know if they have filed a lawsuit.