Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ka Pasasouk, Preliminary Hearing, Day 3

From Ka Pasasouk's Facebook Page.

10:25 AM
I'm on the fourth floor of the San Fernando Courthouse.  Detective Diaz is in the hallway speaking to one of the interpreters as well as one of the witnesses.  DDA Akemon arrives and says hello. He speaks privately to some of the people who have been in the gallery.  I would not be surprised if he is letting them know what to expect in testimony today.

I will have a short update at the lunch hour.

Continued in Day 3, Part II....

Ka Pasasouk Preliminary Hearing, Day 2, Part II

Ka Pasasouk, in custody

Continued from Day 2....

UPDATE 11/19 Witness name changed per request 
UPDATE 7/31 8:45 AM: The rest of Tuesday's testimony has been added.
UPDATE 7/31: Entry has not been fully edited for spelling, clarity.
11:00 AM

I'm inside Judge Giss's courtroom, Dept. I in the San Fernando Courthouse.  There are a few people in the gallery.  DDA Akemon was here when I arrived. I thank him for saving the day for me yesterday with a notepad.  The court clerk is a different woman than yesterday.  I notice for the first time that a microphone hangs from the ceiling above the jury box.  There are six large metal filing cabinets behind the clerk's desk area.  The top edges of the walls that outline the clerk's desk, judge's bench and the witness box are a light oak color.  From where I'm sitting the walls below the trim appear to be finished with the same, dark brown formica like surface that lines the inside of the elevator cars.  The walls of the courtroom look like they are a similar wood veneer that lines the courtrooms in downtown LA.

Defense attorney James Goldstein arrives.  The conversation between Goldstein and Akemon is friendly, like they've known each other a long time.  Goldstein gives me a smile and asks how I am.  "Pretty good," I reply. Detective Myers brings in the witness and sits beside her.  She's wearing a stretch top and short stretch skirt.  Her hair is up on her head in a knot.  She has a knit jacket on with a hood.  I believe the detective says something to her and she quickly pulls the hood of the jacket off her head.

Akemn goes over to speak to the three clerks who are trailing him.  The clerk then addresses counsel, "Let me know you you're ready."  Akemon and Goldstein are ready.  As Judge Giss takes the bench, the bailiff then addresses the room in a very loud voice, announcing court is in session and to turn cell phones and other electronic devices off.  He then brings the defendant into the courtroom.  I note that Pasasouk is in waist chains today.


Bax retakes the stand under direct.  She states she's 21 years old.  She states she knows the defendant and identifies him. "Next to Mr. Goldstein," she replies.  Akemon breaks his examination to ask a deputy sheriff if they can sit in the jury box to help the witness feel more comfortable.

Bax states she knew the defendant for a year or more. She had been at the Devonshire residence before. At one time, she lived there two years ago with Wendy Martin.  On December 1st, she was at the residence.  She thinks she was cleaning or something. She doesn't think she went to sleep that night.  She was cleaning her friends room.  At the time of the shooting, she was homeless.  On Friday night, she stayed with Ronald.  She helped to clean the residence.

DA: (Regarding Saturday) Did you see a person named Christina Neal?
SB: Yes.
DA: How do you know her?
SB: I used to play darts with her.

Bax states she knew JoJo Burbank. "He was a really good friend of mine," she testifies.  Bax saw the defendant that day, but she's not sure about the time.

DA: At some point, did you see or hear Christina and Mr. Pasasouk fighting that day?
SB: No, I really didn't.
DA: Do you know Detective Dan Myer?
SB: Yes.
DA: Did you tell Detective Myer what you saw and heard on December 2nd?
SB: Yes.
DA: Do you recall telling Detective Myer you were cleaning with Christina?
SB: Yes.

Bax states she doesn't really remember telling Detective Myers about the fighting.

SB: Honestly, I don't really remember.
DA: Do you remember talking to Christina about her relationship with Pasasouk?
SB: She was just sad.

Christina talked about how it wasn't working.

DA: Do you remember Christina telling you if she loved Ka?
SB: Yes.
JG: Objection!
Judge Giss: Sustained.
DA: Did Christina ever tell you that she loved Ka?
SB: Yes. ... I know that Ka loved Christina, but Christina took Ka for granted.

The relationship deteriorated.  On that day Bax also saw Howard, aka as Cartoon. Bax saw Howard in Christina's room. Bax was present in Christina's room when Howard was there.  Ka and Howard kept leaving. Bax and Christina were cleaning and they (Howard & Ka) kept leaving.  They came and went throughout the day.

DA: At some point did you ever see Mr. Pasasouk with a gun?
SB: At night.
DA: Where was Mr. Pasasouk when you saw him with a gun?
SB: Right behind me.
DA: Did you see Mr. Pasasouk behind you with a gun on this Saturday, December 2nd?
SB: Yes.

It was inside the house. She was upstairs, inside the upstairs apartment.  There were about five other people there.  Everyone has moved from that residence now.

DA: Was the inside of the house divided up into different apartments?
SB: There were different rooms.

She was in that upstairs apartment.  She knew John Doe (Pseudonym per witness request. Sprocket) who lived there, Dandy, (sp?).  Mr. Doe and Dandy were there also but they were sleeping at first.  Dandy and John Doe lived in one room and Roland in another.  Bax states she doesn't remember how the gun looked.

DA: Do you remember telling Detective Myer it was a black and silver 45 caliber? ... Does that sound familiar to you?
SB: No.
DA: How many times to you remember seeing Mr. Pasasouk with a hand gun?
SB: I'm not sure.
DA: Was it more than one time?

The witness won't commit to how many times she saw the weapon.

SB: Honestly, I tried to erase this whole thing from my mind.

Bax is asked to describe what the weapon looked like and if she knows the difference between a semi-automatic and a revolver.  "No," she replies.

DA: Do you think it would refresh your memory to look at your statement?
SB: I don't know.
DA: Describe for the judge what happened.
SB: I was upstairs and he rushed me with a gun.

She was in the upstairs apartment, in the living room area.  Pasasouk was behind her with the gun.

SB: I saw him come in because I opened the door. Ka was knocking.

This was the front door of the apartment.

SB: I didn't really see much. He just rushed me. ... He kept asking where Christina was. I didn't see the gun but felt it on the back of my head. ... I turned around to go back to Roland's room.

When she turned around he put the gun to the back of her head.

SB: It was all so fast. It was random ... and crazy.
DA: Were you friends with Mr. Pasasouk?
SB: Yeah.

At first she thought he liked her but then she learned different.  Ka was always, he just talked to me about his problems and I would help him out with his problems.

DA: Did you tell Detective Myers that you saw Ka with a black and silver gun tucked into his waistband?
SB: I don't remember saying that.
DA: Did you tell Detective Myers he was angry, yelling for Christina and that she may have taken money? ... Did you see Mr. Pasasouk come into that room and take money?
BA: (I was) playing cards with Jun.

Jun aka Waneta (sp?) Mendoza.  Mendoza's nick names are discussed.  She called him 'Joon' or Junifurr, like a take on Jennifer.

DA: What was your relationship with Jun on that Saturday?
SB: He was my best friend. ... Today (their relationship) is complicated.
DA: Do you consider him a boyfriend?
SB: No. It's complicated.
DA: have you had problems with substance abuse?
SB: This whole thing just fucked with my head. Oops!

There is a discussion with the court about her language and Judge Giss states she can say whatever she wants because it's indicative of her personality.

SB: I never really dealt with death before, especially someone close.  It made me so negative.
DA: Did you hear a shooting happen?
SB: I heard four shots. ... Then I hear someone say "Run."

Judge Giss asks, "Did you hear four shots before or after the gun was placed to the back of your head?  "After," Bax answers.

The witness then can't decide if it was 20 seconds or 20 minutes later that she heard the shots.

DA: After he did that did he take money?
SB: Yes.
DA: Did he leave?
SB: Yes.
DA: Did he come back?
SB: When he came back, he pistol whipped me. ... I thought he was going to kill me.

She was in John Doe and Dandy's room.

DA: Did you say (it was 20 minutes later)?
SB: It was ten; five. I'm not sure. ... He came back and was still asking "Where's Christina! Where's Christina!"

She was sitting on a laundry basket in the upstairs apartment. Jun was in the room with her. John Doe and Dandy were in their beds. The door to the room was closed.  The second time Ka came back, she thinks Ka knocked on the bedroom door. She let him in because she didn't want him to kick that door in.

DA: The second time, did you see a gun?
SB: Yes.
DA: Did it look like the same gun?
SB: Not sure.

He was with Howard, but she doesn't remember who opened the door.

SB: He just came and pistol whipped me. I didn't know why. ... He was about to shoot me, but he didn't.

When he pointed the gun at her, she was sitting, the defendant was standing. He was ten to twelve feet away from her.

SB: I don't remember what he said. I just said, "Please don't shoot me."
DA: Did you hear him say, "I ought to shoot you?" ... Did you see him try to hand the gun to anyone? ... Did you tell Detective Myer, (Ka said), "Actually, I'm going to let Howard do it."? ... Did you see Ka attempt to hand the gun to Howard?
SB: I don't remember. ... Howard was just standing there. He wasn't really doing anything. ... I don't think (he? it?) was out much. I wasn't paying attention to Howard.
DA: When Mr. Pasasouk was pointing the gun at you, was Howard standing near him?
SB: Yes.
DA: Was Howard standing with a gun also?
SB: I don't remember. ... I just thought I was going to die.

There are more questions about what she told the detectives and what she remembers. When Ka came into the bedroom she was by the computer desk.  Akemon asks Bax to show the judge how the defendant hit her with the weapon.

SB: Ka, he hit me in the face.
Judge Giss: Indicating basically in the middle of the face.

Bax insists she didn't have a physical injury. That the blow to her face didn't hurt.  She says she didn't feel pain. "That whole time, it was like an adrenaline rush. ... He said something like, 'Where's Christina! ... I forgot. ... Then he pointed the gun at me." Then he left the room.  She then heard gunshots. It was approximately twenty seconds later.  It wasn't that long. It was maybe a minute, twenty seconds.  Akemon asks her if she ever traveled that distance.  Going outside, down the stairs and around the corner of the house.  She had.

DA: How long (did that take you)?
BA: I don't know. I never really counted. ... I don't know.
DA: After Mr. Pasasouk left the room, was it less than a minute you heard gunshots?
BA: Yes.

There are questions about where the sound came from and the window in the bedroom.  She testifies she heard four gunshots. She insists she didn't hear any voices.

DA: Did you tell Detective Myers that about thirty seconds after, you heard Ka say, "Put your hands up?"
SB: I'm not sure it was Ka.

The next few answers, Bax doesn't recall what she told Detective Myers.

DA: How do you feel about testifying?
SB: I wish I was never really a part of this thing.

Bax rambles of on a tangent.

SB: I'm doing this for JoJo, not anyone else.

I believe Judge Giss moves to strike some of Bax's ramblings.

DA: Are you reluctant to be here today?
SB: What do you mean?
DA: Do you want to be here today?
SB: Honestly, not really.

Question after question Bax answers that she doesn't remember making a particular statement to the detective. Judge Giss asks Bax, "Do you remember .... Were you of a sound mind or on drugs?"

SB: No. I was just going crazy. I just don't (remember).
Judge Giss: When was the last time you used drugs?
SB: I don't know. A while ago.

I believe Bax is asked if she has a drug problem or if she's in a treatment program.

SB: I'm trying to quit for my mom.

Akemon asks if she was on probation for possession of drug paraphernalia. "No. A straw."  Bax states she's not going to classes for drug education now.  After she left Roland's room she went into Dandy's room. Akemon is trying to go over her testimony, but it's a struggle to get her to testify to what she told detectives.

SB: I just remember him saying to tell Howard he could shoot me. ... Everything was about Christina really.

There are more questions where Bax's answers are vague.  Judge Giss calls for the lunch break. The witness stretches both her arms over her head.

12 Noon
Inside the cafeteria, I find that every single plug outlet doesn't work.  To use my laptop, I have to go back to the fourth floor.

1:30 PM
I'm back inside Dept. I.  The witness is on the stand. She's taken her hair down.  Akemon and the two detectives are deep in conversation.  There is a suited man in the gallery that is trying to get the attention of the court reporter.  He wants to purchase a transcript.  The court reporter looks a bit flustered. Judge Giss is on the bench and she can't leave her desk.  The court clerk states she will give the reporter's number to the man in the gallery.

1:35 PM
Back on the record.

DA: Are you afraid to testify?
SB: I'm not afraid. I'd rather not be a part of it.
DA: Do you have concerns that if you testify, you will get into trouble or...
SB: No.
DA: Are you afraid if you testify you will get labeled a snitch?
SB: No, because I'm a victim.

There are more questions about her recollections about the gun.

Judge Giss: When you spoke to the detective, did you shade your testimony?
SB: No.
Judge Giss: Pull any punches?
SB: (No.)

Bax verifies she told the detective she saw Ka with the gun and described the gun to them.  Bax now states that when she opened to door (the front door to the upstairs apartment), Ka kicked the door down.  She doesn't remember if Ka was with Lourdes at that time.  The defendant came in. He kicked in the door. (He? She?) went to Roland's room. Then the defendant took money off the table and left.  When he came back, he came into John Doe and Dandy's room. He pointed the gun at her and pistol whipped her.  Akemon then asks about the defendant pointing the gun at others.

SB: He really wasn't point it at anyone, just pointing at me.

Judge Giss asks her to demonstrate what the defendant did with the gun.  Bax is asked to describe the bedroom.

SB: You could fit two beds but (it's) not very big.
DA: Did you tell detective Myers that Roland was also in the bedroom?

Judge Giss asks Bax when the defendant was waving the gun, did he make any statements.

SB: He was just asking, "Where's Christina." ... He said that Howard should shoot me. ... And then said "I'll just do it myself."

Akemon takes a different tactic.  He asks her about specific statements she told the detectives, and the statements she told them that were made by the defendant and Howard.  She confirms that those were her words back in December.

DA: Did you tell Detective Myers you heard Mr. Pasasouk say, "Put your hands up"?
SB: I might have said that. ... I didn't see. ... (It) sounded like his voice.

Akemon now reads directly from a transcript of her interview with Detective Myers.

SB: I don't remember those questions, but if they're there, I have to say yes.

The witness is even confused about the reading back of her prior statements.  She confirms what she told detectives she heard, but now doesn't agree that she "immediately" left the upstairs apartment.

SB: We all left. Everyone left.
Judge Giss asks Akemon if the interview was taped.
DA: Yes, your honor.
Judge Giss muses, "That's because you have a transcript."

Akemon is now almost going line by line, reading back to the witness the words said to detectives.  The witness is now shown People's exhibit 2, the photo that is of John Doe and Dandy's bedroom, that also includes images of all the people who were in the room.  Bax identifies the room as John Doe's room. She verifies this is where she was hit with the gun.  Now Bax identifies the people.  Roland Macasaya (sp?). Jun Mendoza. Dany. "I was sitting right there, on that basket," Bax states.

Direct ends and cross begins.

JG: Before December, you had no problem wit Mr. Pasasouk?
SB: Yes.
JG: And to you it appeared he liked you as well as a person?
SB: Yes.
JG: Before that date, it appeared that he was acting different?
SB: I've never seen him that angry.
JG: Had you been at the house most of the day?
SB: Yes. .. I was cleaning Roland and Christina's rooms.
JG: Were you doing it as a favor?
SB: No, I just like to clean.
JG: Were you doing alcohol or drugs that day?
SB: No.
JG: Do you remember you said that Mr. Pasasouk told you it was a 40 caliber (gun?)?
SB: Yes.
JG: How long before that night (did he tell you that?)?
SB: I don't remember.

Bax is asked if the gun that she was struck with is the same weapon the defendant told her about.

SB: Honestly, I don't know if that was the same gun, ... But I don't really know.
JG: As you sit here today, you don't know if it was the same gun in the past (that he told you about?)?
SB: When he told me, he usually kept it tucked in; but I assume it was the same gun.

Bax states she doesn't know the difference between a 40 caliber and a 25 caliber, just the bullet size.

SB: He pointed it at me and Ronald and after that only me.
Judge Giss: And he never said anything while he was waiving it?
SB: Only asking about Christina.

Bax is now asked about the defendant's relationship with Christina.  Based on those conversations she had with the defendant, Bax believes Ka truly loved Christina but that Christina took Ka for granted.  "She loved him, but her actions, ... He would do everything for her. ... He would try to bring home money and food, She wouldn't even give him .... the gratitude he deserved."

JG: Did you see people drinking?
SB: There was alcohol, but I wasn't drinking. They were getting drunk.
JG: (Who was getting drunk?)
SB: The people downstairs.
JG: Did Christina appear drunk to you?
SB: No. She was crying. ... She just came upstairs, crying.

Bax explains that Ka kicked the front door in to Mr. Doe and Dandy's apartment.  Roland asked her to open the door. The door got kicked down.

SB: I opened it then immediately shut it in his face and that made him mad and he kicked it down.

Bax admits to having a drug problem and that her drug of choice is meth. She did it because it just gave her more energy. She used drugs before December 1st and was using drugs around December 1st.

JG: Were you using drugs December 2nd?
SB: Around that time, no. I was going through a time warp. ... No, after all this happened. ... I was empty. I didn't want to be around anyone. I felt empty. .... Roland talked to me. He helped me out.

Bax states that she didn't go into a treatment program, but that she needs to.  Bax states she doesn't know what type of gun Howard had. She thinks it was silver. She doesn't know if it was a revolver or a semi-automatic.

Cross ends and there's no redirect.  The judge makes it clear to the witness that she's still on call and that she must return to court if called.


Diaz is an LAPD Detective assigned to Robbery Homicide.  He's been an officer for 25 years. He's investigated homicides since 2000.

DA: As part of your investigation, did you interview Ms. Bax?
GD: Yes.

Diaz interviewed Bax with Detective Abdul on December 7th, 2012. Detective Myers was monitoring the interview from a video room.  (I believe Diaz is referring to Detective Salaam Abdul-Rahman, who I briefly met during the James Fayed case. Sprocket.) The interview was video taped and transcribed.  Diaz states that when Bax was being interviewed, she was being cooperative.

DA: Did it appear she was lucid?
GD: (Yes.)

Judge Giss asks the witness about her state, if she was strung out, etc. Diaz states that she was lucid.  Akemon asks Diaz questions about what Bax told him in that interview. He then goes over several specific areas of Bax's statements in the interview and what she told detectives.

Akemon verifies what Bax said about the defendant breaking down the door to the upstairs apartment; about Harold having a gun; about the defendant threatening to shoot her.  That Bax clearly heard Ka say "Put your hands up," thirty seconds after Ka left the upstairs apartment.  Akemon reads from the transcript.

DA: "Yeah, I heard him say, 'Put your hands up,' then a couple seconds later I heard four gunshots. ... What kind of gun was it? It was a 40 caliber. I think it was a Ruger.  How do you know that? Because he told me."

Detective Diaz verifies that these were the questions he asked Bax and those were her answers.

Direct ends and cross begins.

JG: You said that time you interviewed Ms. Bax was December 7th?
GD: Yes.
JG: She seemed to be very responsive and lucid?
GD: Yes.
JG: Was she as responsive and lucid on December 7th as she was today?
GD: She was more responsive and more lucid on December 7th.
JG: More so than today?
GD: Yes.
JG: She told you that the basis of her (knowledge) of the 40 caliber ... was the defendant told her?
GD: Yes.
JG: Did she tell you when the defendant told her that?
GD: No.

There are questions about how she knew the caliber of the weapon and the make. I believe Goldstein asks the detective if he showed her a photograph of a weapon.

GD: I don't thin we showed her a photograph.  ... But I believe we might have done that during the interview.

Goldstein confronts the detective whether or not there is any testimony about showing her a photograph of a weapon.

GD: I haven't seen that in the transcript.
JG: If you did that it would be on the tape?
GD: (Correct.)
JG: You were at the crime scene?
GD: Yes, I was.
JG: Were you in the room she described she was in where he hit her and ...
GD: (Yes.)
JG: How did you get to that room?
GD: Via stairs at the rear of the property.

The detective verifies that the entry door to the upstairs apartment was off it's hinges.

JG: That's a "rear apartment?"
DG: Correct. (You could say that. It's to the rear of the residence.
JG: The bodies. Where were they in relation to the building.
DG: They were to the side.

The bodies were discovered on the west side of the building, southwest corner of residence as you face it.

JG: How many feet would you estimate the building is?
GD: From corner to corner?
JG: Yes.
DG: Guess, 45 to 50 feet. ... Might even be a little less than that.

Cross ends.

Judge Giss goes on the record with his impressions of the witness and her level of lucidity.  He is clear to state that he is not an expert witness.  He notes that her eye lids were not droopy. Her speech was not slurred. She appeared a little flaky but appeared lucid. Judge Giss comments that this might be her personality.

Akemon redirects his witness.

DA: Did she say over the lunch hour, she didn't want to be thought of, labeled as a snitch?
GD: (Yes.)

Diaz confirms that the apartment door was kicked off it's hinges. There was a slight splintering of the door.  Diaz states he walked into the living room and describes the apartment. He also describes the window in John Doe and Dandy's room. He is asked if he could have seen the bodies from that window.  Diaz comments on the bushes and the lighting.

DA: How far as the crow flies would that distance be? (From the window to where the bodies were.)
GD: Twenty to twenty-five feet.
DA: If someone were to shout...
JG: Objection!  (Miss ruling.)
DA: Would that have been within earshot?
GD: Yes.

There is another question about distances by Judge Giss.

Redirect ends and recross begins.

JG: Did you take photos of that window?
GD: Yes.
JG: Was that window open?
GD: I don't know. I'd have to look at the photos.
JG: Would that make a difference s to what the person could hear?
GD: I would say so.

Cross ends and the witness is excused.

(Note. To my ear, it sounded like some witnesses, at times identified Dandy as Danny. Sprocket.) Dandy appears to be a young man in his early 20's.

The witness's first language is Filipino. A court appointed male interpreter will interpret the questions and answers for the witness.

Abrenica doesn't speak much English.  He was not born in the US.  He's been in the US about three years in August.

DA: Have you tried to learn some English?
Dandy A: No.
DA: Do you know any English words?
Dandy A: A little.
DA: Are you more comfortable testifying in your native language?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Do you know a person named Ka Pasasouk?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Is that person in the courtroom today?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Please point the person out.
Dandy A: He's in blue.
Judge Giss: Are you (intending) on remaining in the US for the next several years?
Dandy A: Yes.
Judge Giss: I want to be sure he will testify in the future.
DA: How do you know Mr. Pasasouk?
Dandy A: He stayed at the same place I lived, a boarding house.
DA: On December 1st, did you reside at 17741 Devonshire, in Northridge?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Did you share a room at that location with anyone?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Who did you share a room with?
Dandy A: John Doe.
DA: John Doe?
Dandy A: Yes.

DA: How long did you reside at that location?
Dandy A: About one year.
DA: During that one year, did you ever see Mr. Pasasouk there?
Dandy A: When he lived there for about three months.
DA: When he lived there, did you see Mr. Pasasouk with a gun?
Dandy A: When something happened.
DA: How many times did you see Mr. Pasasouk with a gun?
Dandy A: Only once.
DA: What did the gun look like?
Dandy A: I think it must be a 45 (caliber?).
DA: What color was it?
Dandy A: Black.
DA: Are you sure it was a 45 caliber?
Dandy A. No.
DA: How did you know the caliber of the gun?
Dandy A: Because it is being ....

The interpreter is having difficulty answering so DDA Akemon withdrawals the question.

DA: Did the police detective ask you about something that happened at that residence?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: When the police interviewed ou, did you tell them you thought the gun was a 40 caliber?
Dandy A: Yes. Because they showed me a gun.
DA: Did police show you (a photo of?) his gun and ask you if it looked like that gun?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: And you told him it looked something like that gun?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Are you assuming it was a 45 or something else?
Dandy A: (Yes.)
DA: Do you remember telling detectives it was a 40 caliber?
Dandy A: Yes, but...
DA: Is it accurate to say you are uncertain of the size of the gun?
Dandy A: I'm not that well acquainted with guns.
DA: So, you're not certain?
Dandy A: I'm not.

Akemon now asks the witness about the events late in the evening of December 1st.

DA: On that day, were you living in the house in the upstairs bedroom with John Doe?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Did you see Mr. Pasasouk at the residence during the day or during the night?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: When is the first time on Saturday you saw Mr. Pasasouk?
Dandy A: About 10 PM, in the evening.
DA: Where did you first see him?
Dandy A: Upstairs, where we were staying.
DA: On that night, were you residing in that apartment with Mr. Doe and Ronnie?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: When he (defendant) first appeared, was he with anyone else?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Who was he with?
Dandy A: Howard.

Akemon presents People's exhibit 2, the photograph with small photos around it. I believe the witness identifies the image in the photo as the room he lived in with Mr. Doe.

DA: Upper right (photo); who is that man?
Dandy A: Howard.
DA: When Howard and Mr. Pasasouk came to the apartment on Saturday night, was anything unusual happening?
Dandy A: They were already inside the room. ... Mr. Doe and myself were lying down.
DA: How did you know they had entered the apartment?
Dandy A: When they first arrived, we went into our bedroom.
DA: Were you playing cards?
Dandy A: We were in the living room, bust talking.
DA: What caused you to go into your bedroom?
Dandy A: No particular reason. We just went to rest.
DA: Just went to go to sleep?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Mr. Doe was there with you?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Anyone else with you?
Dandy A: No.

DA: While in your bedroom with Mr. Doe, did something unusual happen after that?
Dandy A: None. We did not see anything because we were in our room.
DA: Did anyone else enter your room?
Dandy A: All of a sudden, Ronald and Jun came in.
DA: Who (else?) came in?
Dandy A: Ka and Howard came in.
DA: What happened?
Dandy A: He was looking for Tina.
DA: Did Mr. Pasasouk say anything?
Dandy A: He did.
DA: What did he say?
Dandy A: He was talking to Evelyn but I couldn't understand what they were saying.

Evelyn was there. Mr. Doe, Ka, Howard and Jun. All these people, and Howard and Mr. Pasasouk, came in.

Dandy A: Roil and I were sleeping. ... We were awakened when Evelyn, Jun and Roland came into our room.
DA: Did you know why they were there?
Dandy A: (No.)
DA: At about 3 AM, did Ka come into the room at that time?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Did Ka have a gun in his hand?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: What did you see Ka do with the gun?
Dandy A: He hit Evelyn with the gun.
DA: When Ka hit Evelyn with the gun, would you please describe to the judge what Ka did with the gun?
Judge Giss: Witness raises his right arm up and made downward motions with his had.
DA: What part of the body did Ka hit Evelyn?
Dandy A: He hit her on her head. ... He hit her on the back of her head and on the right side.

DA: Is that a photo of the bedroom?
Dandy A: (Yes.)
DA: On the right side, there is a widow and drywall covering part of the window?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: And right next to the wall is a bed with a gray spread.
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Is that your bed?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: When Ka came in and hit Evelyn, were you on your bed?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Do you remember whether or not the bedroom window was open or closed?
Dandy A: It usually was open.
DA: The photo (says?) the window might be open a bit?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Do you recall the window was like that?
Dandy A; Yes.

DA: When Mr. Pasasouk hit Evelyn, was she at (the foot of the bed?)?
Dandy A: She wasn't far from the foot of the bed.
DA: Would you have been able to reach up and touch er?
Dandy A: I can't because I was lying down.

There is another question about where Evelyn was in the room.  Dandy states he was lying down sideways, on his side.

DA: Where was Evelyn in relation to you when Ka came in?
Dandy A: Foot of the bed.
DA: Jun?
Dandy A: Right next to Evelyn
DA: Where was Mr. Doe?
Dandy A: Lying down on his bed.
DA: Roland:
Dandy A: Roland was sitting at the foot of Mr. Doe's bed. ...

Roland was toward the foot of Mr. Doe's bed.

DA: When Ka came in did you hear him say any words?
Dandy A: He and Evelyn were talking but I couldn't understand (them).
DA: Did he say, "Where's Christina?"
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Did you see Ka hit Evelyn? ... did she fall to her knees?
Dandy A: No.
DA: Tell the judge what (you saw?).
Dandy A: He hit Evelyn with the gun.
DA: Did you see him point the gun at Evelyn?
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: He was pointing the gun towards Evelyn?
Dandy A: I was lying down.
DA: Do you know why he was pointing the gun at Evelyn?
Dandy A: No.
DA: After Ka hit Evelyn with the gun, what happened next?
Dandy A: They went downstairs.

DA: After they went downstairs, did you hear voices outside the bedroom?
Dandy A: yes.
DA: What did you hear?
Dandy: "Raise your hands!  Get down!"
DA: Did you hear, "Put your hands up motherfucker?"
Dandy A: Yes.
DA: Did you recognize any of the voices?
Dandy A: No.
DA: Then, what did you hear?
Dandy A: Heard four or five gunshots.
DA: How much time passed between the time passed... give us an estimate... between when he hit Evelyn with the gun and you heard the words?
Dandy A: About three minutes. It's only short time.
DA: Do you remember telling the detective it was only a minute?
Dandy A: It might have been about that time. ... It was a short time.
DA: After Ka hit Evelyn with the gun, did Kay leave with Howard?
Dandy A: Yes.

Now Akemon goes over the complete sequence of events again.

DA: Where were voices coming from?
Dandy A: Outside our room; outside the house.
DA: When you were lying down on your bed, the widow is on the left hand side?
Dandy A: Yes.

Judge Giss calls the afternoon recess.  Court will resume at 3:20 PM.

It's almost 3 AM, I'm very tired. There is still the cross of Dandy and the first part of the testimony of Mr. Doe, Dandy's roommate.  I will try to complete this day's testimony tomorrow morning before court resumes at 10:30 AM. Sprocket

3:20 PM
Direct is finished and cross begins.

JG: ... Take you back to the (bedroom?) that night.  You saw the defendant come into the living room area?
Dandy A: Yes.
JG: And was that when you first saw the gin that night?
Dandy A: Not yet. Not at that time.
JG: Do you know if he left your apartment before going into your bedroom?
Dandy A: No. Because we had already went into our bedroom.
JG: But at some time you saw the defendant come into your bedroom .... and hit Evelyn on the head?
Dandy: A: Yes.
JG: After he hit Evelyn with the gun did he point the gun ant Evelyn?
Dandy A: Yes.
JG: After he pointed the gun at Evelyn, what did he do after that?
Dandy A: They talked to each other, him and Evelyn.
JG: What did the defendant do?
Dandy A: Went downstairs.

JG: Did the defendant ever point the gun at you?
Dandy A: I did not notice.
JG: Did you see the defendant point the gun at you?
Dandy A: No.
JG: Did you see the defendant point the gun at Jun?
Dandy A: No.
JG: Did you see the defendant point the gun at Mr. Doe?
Dandy A: No.
JG: Did you see him point the gun at Ronnie (Roland)?
Dandy A: No.
JG: After the defendant hit Evelyn, talked to Evelyn, he turned around and he left?
Dandy A: Yes.

JG: And do you remember being interviewed on December 11th, 2012?
Dandy A: Yes.
JG: Did you tell the detectives that the defendant had a 45 caliber handgun?
Dandy A: Yes.
JG: Why did you tell the detective it was a 45 caliber?
Dandy A: Because that was the type of gun you need to load it and you have to pull it.

Now there are more questions about the caliber of weapon and a 38 verses a 45 caliber.

Dandy A: I saw it. ... I saw it. It's like a revolver.
JG: How did you know it was a 38 caliber?
Dandy A: Like it was a revolver was revolving.
JG: Do you think all revolvers are 38?
Dandy A: I don't know.
JG: Do you think all semi-automatics are 45 caliber?
Dandy A: I don't know that either.
JG: On that date, that was not the first time you had seen the defendant?
Dandy A: No.

There are questions about how much Dandy had talked to the witness in the past. "Not much." He never had much conversation with Ka. (Ka and Christina) didn't have a kitchen, so they used the upstairs kitchen.  They would say "Hi," to each other.  Now there are questions about recognizing Ka's voice.  It was seldom that they would speak to each other.

JG: The voice you told police that said, "Put your hands up. Get down." You didn't recognize it?
Dandy A: No.

Cross is finished and there is no redirect. The witness is excused.

At first, the prosecution wanted to call Wanito (sp?) Mendoza, but he had left the floor and went downstairs.  The prosecution calls a witness out of order, Mr. Doe. A different interpreter is called to interpret, a woman.

6. JOHN DOE. (
Pseudonym per witness request)

Mr. Doe's first language is Tegalog, (mostly spoken in Manilla). Mr. Doe is 39 years old.  He's spoken English for the past 18 years.  He is more confortable testifying in his native language.  He understands English.  Judge Giss rules that his testimony will be interpreted.  Mr. Doe's profession is a health care worker.   On December 1st, Mr. Doe was residing at the Devonshire house.  His residence was in the apartment with Dandi, upstairs.

DA: How long had you been residing at that location?
JD: About one month.
DA: Where did you come to know Mr. Pasasouk?
JD: No.
DA: Do you know a person known as Ka?
JD: Yes sir.
DA: Is Ka in the courtroom today?
JD: Yes sir.
DA: Please tell the judge where he's seated and what he's wearing.
JD: He's wearing something blue.
(Judge Giss?): Is he the man with the tattoos?
RT: Yes, your honor.

DA: Saturday morning.  Were you (in? at?) the apartment?
JD: Yes sir.
DA: At some point did you see Mr. Pasasouk?
JD: I was not in the house. I was fixing a car outside. ... I didn't see him outside. ... It was night time. He was upstairs, drinking. ... It was around 9 to 10 PM, in the evening.
DA: What was he drinking?
JD: I don't know. It was some kind of liquor. ... It was in the living room.
DA: The living room in your apartment?
JD: Yes sir.
DA: At sometime that night, or during the early morning hours, did you see Mr. Pasasouk with a gun?
JD: No sir. We had already been sleeping when they were drinking. ... In the living room, outside, I heard voices.

Mr. Doe was in the bedroom with Dandy. They (people in the living room) were just having fun.

DA: At some point, ... around the early morning...
JD: I heard a thud in the door. ... The main entrance upstairs.
DA: Is the entrance upstairs, ... the second floor ... the main entrance to get into your apartment?
JD: Yes sir. ... It was like being hammered and wood was splitting. ... Dandy and I were awakened. ... We saw and we heard the noise of everything.

Evelyn came inside their room.  Ka went inside their room looking for Tina.

DA: Did you se a gun?
JT: Not yet.
DA: When Ka was in your room looking for Tina, who was in the room?
JD: Dandy and myself.

Ka went out and came back with Howard. The second time they came back, Ka had a gun and Howard had a gun.  Mr. Doe is asked what type of weapon. He shows making a gesture, the slide of cocking a gun, Ka's gun.  Mr. Doe can't remember if Ka's gun was black or gray. Howard had a gun, that Mr. Doe is asked to describe.

JD: It's a long gun. I don't know if it was a 38.
DA: Do you know calibers of guns?
JD: No sir. ... He pointed it at Evelyn.
DA: Did he say any words?
JD: "Do you want to see how to shoot?" .. (That) was to Evelyn.
DA: How did it make you feel?
JD: I got scared.
DA: When you saw the gun ... did he point the gun at you?
JD: No sir.
DA: Did you see Ka move the gun left to right while in the room?
JD: Yes sir.
DA: Please describe what Ka was doing when he had the gun.

Mr. Doe describes that he was pointing it and standing. He was moving it from side to side. Mr. Doe is asked about Howard's gun. He did not see it when he came back. It was hidden.  When Ka was pointing the gun, Jun, Evelyn, Roland went into their bedroom.  Akemon asks about each individual who was in the bedroom.  Dandy, Evelyn, Ronald, Jun, and he, Mr. Doe were in the room.

DA: (Did Ka say) "You want to see how to kill a person?"
JD: Yes sir.
DA: Who did he say that to?
JD: To Evelyn.
DA: Did he say to Evelyn, "Come here bitch. (Kneel? Lie?) down."?
JD: She complied, but she was fighting.
DA: When she was seated? ... Tell us how she moved?
JD: She got up and tried to get out of the room.
DA: Did she kneel down?
JD: Yes. When Ka pointed the gun at her.

Judge Giss: Was she on her knees?
JD: Yes.
DA: When Ka said, "Come here bitch, kneel down." Was that when she did it?
JD: Yes.
DA: Was Ka pointing the gun at her at that time?
JD: Yes sir.
DA: When that happened did yo uhear Ka speak to (Howard?)?
JD: I was (just) concerned about my safety.
DA: Did you think you were going to get shot?
JD: Yes sir.
DA: Did Ka say to Howard, "Shoot this girl so we can see if I'm joking or not?"
JD: Yes sir.
DA: Did you see Ka try to give the gun to Howard?
JD: No sir.
DA: When he said that, did Howard respond?
JD: Yes. ...

Akemon asks or Mr. Doe responds, "Don't do that here brother."

DA: Did he say, "No man, don't do it?" ... To Howard, did Ka say, "Here's the gun, you shoot her."? ... Did Howard say, "No man. That's not the right thing, man."?
JD: Yes sir.
DA: When Ka was in the room, did he ask you about the whereabouts of Christina?
JD: He was asking about, "Where's Christina."
DA: Did he say, "I'm going to come back and shoot you all."?
JD: He said, "I will come back if you were lying."

There is some confusion and Judge Giss asks for a read back of the last two questions.

I believe Mr. Doe explains what he (Ka) just said. He would come back if they were lying. He doesn't remember him saying, "And shoot you all."

Judge Giss asks the prosecution if they are considering charging the defendant under certain statutes.  I believe Akemon responds that they are exploring that.

Mr Doe explains that after Ka left, he ran to the toilet to try to get to the roof. He did that because he was scared. He was trying to escape. No one was with him.

DA: When trying to escape, did you hear somebody yell something?
JD: Somebody was yelling. ... I didn't hear the words. It was just yelling, screaming. .... It was a man.

Mr. Doe doesn't know the exact words.

DA: How much time passed?
JD: Just seconds.
DA: When you were going through the bathroom window, did you hear someone say, "Hands up!"
JD: Not yet, because I went back into (my) room. I was concerned about my roommate. ... If he (Ka?) sees someone missing, he might even get real mad.

When Mr. Doe was trying to get out the bathroom window, he scraped himself, injured himself. I believe Mr. Doe then states he went back to the bathroom window.  Ka and Howard went to (Howard's?) room. Then he came down (off the roof?) again. He didn't hear any words.  He then heard the gunshots.

DA: How much time passed?
JD: Twenty to thirty seconds.

When Mr. Doe saw Howard and Ka talking, it was outside his room. When they went down stair,s he heard someone say, "Raise your hands!" Then, "Get down!" Then he heard one gunshot.  Then he heard three gunshots. Mr. Doe can't remember the time frame or how long.

DA: From the time Ka and Howard were in his room talking to the time of the gunshots, how long was it?
JD: Less than a minute.
DA: The first gunshot, it was separate from the others?
JD: I can't tell. ... I heard one, then heard three.
DA: After first gunshot, was there a pause?
JD: Yes sir.
DA: Then there was three after?
JD: Yes sir.
DA: Did you hear the words, "Put your hands up!" Or, "Hands up!" Or, "Kneel down!" Or, "Get down!"?
JD: I heard, "Raise your hands. Kneel down."
DA: When you heard that did you recognize Ka's voice?
JD: It's Ka's voice.
DA: You referred to him as Ka?
JD: Yes sir.
DA: When you heard the words, that was Ka's voice?
JD: Yes sir.

Afterwards, there was panic upstairs and they ran to the back. He then saw Howard's car going around the back. Mr. Doe describes Howard's car as a white Lexus.

DA: Did you see Howard after the gunshots?
JD: No sir.
DA: Did you see Ka after the gunshots?
JD: No sir.
DA: Were you trying to escape?
JD: Yes sir.

Mr. Doe testifies that Dandy, Jun and Evelyn were with him.  After the event, he went to his brother's house.

Judge Giss calls the end of the court day. The witness is ordered back at 10 AM.  Court will resume tomorrow at 10:30 AM.

Continued in Day 3, Part II.....

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ka Pasasouk Preliminary Hearing: Day 2

Ka Pasasouk, from his Facebook Page.

10:45 AM
I'm on the fourth floor of the San Fernando Courthouse.  I was lucky to get a bench seat because the hallway is filled with people.

Unlike some of the other cases I've covered, we don't know much about the four victims.  There are Facebook memorial pages for Amanda Ghossein and Jennifer Kim, but I couldn't find anything on Robert Calabia or Teofilo Navales, (aka JoJo Burbank).  From the testimony presented yesterday, it appears that Navales probably had gang affiliations. 

10:53 AM
A courtroom is called and the hallway quickly empties out.  I now see one of the court interpreters entering Judge Giss's courtroom.

Testimony should resume sometime after 11:00 AM.  I'll have an update at the lunch hour.

1:10 PM
I'm back on the fourth floor after finishing my lunch in the cafeteria.  Not a single outlet in the entire cafeteria works.  Fortunately,  the one outlet near a hallway bench is working so I can charge my laptop while I write.

When court broke for lunch, Sherelle Evelyn Georgina Bax was still on the stand under direct examination.  It must have been frustrating for DDA Akemon because every other question the witness was asked about her statements to Robbery Homicide Detective Dan Myers was either, "I don't know, I don't remember. or I don't think so." Details were not clear in her mind. Even Judge Giss at one point stated that this is a difficult witness to examine.  Bax testified that ever since this event, she's been trying to forget what happened. However, throughout the morning, a series of events emerges.

In the early morning hours of December 2nd, Bax was in the upstairs apartment at the Devonshire residence. The defendant knocked on the door and she let him in. When she turned around to walk back into the apartment, the defendant came at her from behind and placed a gun to the back of her head.  He demanded to know 'Where's Christina."  He left the upstairs unit and came back a second time.  This time she was in one of the apartment bedrooms.  He was let in and Howard (Cartoon) was with him. The defendant was demanding to know where Christina was. Pasasouk pistol whipped Bax, hitting her in the front center of her face and then pointed the gun at her.  He threatened he was going to shoot her.  Allegedly, he then tried to hand the gun to Howard to try to get Howard to shoot her.  Pasasouk stole money that was on a table in the upstairs apartment.

Seconds or minutes after Pasasouk and Howard exited the upstairs apartment,  Bax heard four gunshots.

I'll have a full update on today's testimony late tonight.

To be continued.....

Ka Pasasouk Preliminary Hearing, Day 1 Part II

 From Ka Pasasouk's Facebook Page.

Continued from Pasasouk Preliminary Hearing....

UPDATE 11/19: Witness name changed per request
UPDATE 7/30: Note: Entry has not been fully edited for spelling, clarity. Sprocket.

1:30 PM
When I get inside Dept. I on the fourth floor, Judge Harvey Giss is on the bench and handling several non-appearances.  One defendant would have had his last appearance today for completion of his probation, but since he decided not to show up for court, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest and two bail holds, totaling $10,000.00 were placed.

Judge Giss Background
I'm told Judge Giss is a former deputy district attorney who's been on the bench a long time. Vincent Bugliosi, on page 64 his book Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away With Murder, quotes Giss when he was still a deputy district attorney.  Mark Geragos and Pat Harris complement Judge Giss in their book, Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works:
If you ask a group of L.A. attorneys who the best prosecutor they every saw in front of a jury was, a number would probably answer Harvey Giss. He was a tough-as-nails, take-no-prisoners DA (with a great head of hair which the authors are both extremely jealous).  Many believed that he should have been the prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial.  But when Giss was appointed to the bench in 2001, his entire demeanor changed, and he is now widely respected on both sides. He has an excellent judicial temperament, tries very hard to be fair to all sides, and seems the antithesis of a hard charging prosecutor.
However, two years ago in March 2011, Judge Giss was admonished by the Commission on Judicial Performance for an insensitive Klu Klux Klan remark he made in a case involving African Americans. Judge Giss eventually withdrew from that case.

1:47 PM
Judge Giss tells counsel in the Pasasouk case, "You let me know when every body's set up."  Once both parties tell Judge Giss they are ready, he asks defense attorney James Goldstein for the correct pronunciation of his client's last name, "So I don't mess it up."  It's pronounced Pass-ah-SOUK.  Goldstein is a court appointed attorney. The defense waives the reading of the complaint and we're ready to roll.

DDA Akemon calls his first witness, LAPD Officer Juan Guzman.


Officer Guzman is a medium height uniformed officer with almost black skin.When I first laid eyes on him in the jury box this morning, I couldn't decide if his pleasant looking face had a hint of oriental features or not.

There is a bit of business first about making sure there are no witnesses in the courtroom who will testify later.  Akemon belatedly asks Judge Giss of Detective Diaz could also remain inside the courtroom as a consulting detective.  His request is granted.

Officer Guzman has been a patrol officer for two years.  On December 2nd at approximately 4:30 AM he was working patrol in Los Angeles.  He was at the (Devonshire?) station when he and his partner, Joe Gonzalez (sp?) received a radio call as 'shots fired.'

Judge Giss interrupts the witness testimony to get an agreement from the defense that this preliminary hearing is not a "continuous" prelim, meaning, other hearings can interrupt the proceedings. The defense agrees.

Officer Guzman testifies it took him five minutes to arrive at the location where the 911 call originated, 17411 Devonshire Street.  He responded to the call as "Code 3" which means the officer's drive with their sirens on.   Also responding to the call with them was Sargent Debellis (sp?). At approximately 4:30 AM they arrived at the location on the Devonshire side of the property.  Officer Guzman immediately canvased the location.  It was a residential street.  Guzman got out, canvased the area and looked for signs of a shooting, shell casings. Initially, he didn't find anything.  He had the 911 operator get in contact with the initial caller, Priya Kapil, and have her step outside the residence to meet the officers.

Guzman didn't make the initial contact with Ms. Kapil, his partner did. She came out of the residence and stood in front of the door. Guzman continued to look around the property and went to the west side of the house.  Kapil told officers she heard and argument on the left side of the house.

There was a walkway and a large bush. It was dark. Guzman had his flashlight out.  The first thing Guzman saw was a large pool of blood. He then saw two bodies, each shot in the head.  He called for his Sargent, paramedics and backup.  Guzman then went inside the house to see there were other victims.  No victims appeared to have any life left at the scene.   People's exhibit 1, a photo of the murder scene is shown to the witness. Officer Guzman identifies it as four bodies in the photo.  The puddle of blood is in the lower right corner of the image.  An individual in the image, Jennifer Kim, is pointed out to Officer Guzman.  She's dressed in all black.  Guzman states he didn't see her at fist because of the darkness, but he did see Mr. Calabia.

Officers made their way to the back side of the house and approached the bodies from the south. They found a fourth victim, Teofilo Navales.  He then reported that to his Sargent.

An older Asian woman sitting next to me quietly sobs. It's difficult not to be affected by her sadness.

Judge Giss asks for a proffer.  The witness states as part of his law enforcement training, he took training to give hearsay testimony at a preliminary hearing.  The 911 caller, Kapil, told him there was a delay in making the 911 call because she was in shock and afraid.

Direct ends and cross begins.

Goldstein asks the witness specifically what the 911 caller said.  Guzman asks to look at his statement to refresh his memory.  I don't believe the defense asks any more questions. Cross ends and redirect begins.

Akemon gives the witness a copy of his written statement to read to refresh his memory.

The young Asian woman sitting to my left is also heavily sobbing. I want to reach out and comfort her. Her eyes are bloodshot and she's quite upset.

Then Guzman answers the question about what the 911 caller told him.

JG: She was in shock because it took her a while to process what she just witnessed.

Redirect is finished and the witness is excused.


Neal is an attractive woman with shoulder length brown hair, with the ends curled up into a flip.  She's wearing several long silver chains around her neck.  When she takes the witness stand, she positions herself directly against the side wall of Judge Giss's bench. She angles her position away from the defendant and towards the jury box, as if she is purposefully not looking at him and wants to hide. Her facial expression and body language screams she's very uncomfortable being on the witness stand.

Akemon first asks Neal her age. "Thirty-three," she responds. She identifies Pasasouk for the court, but does it in such a way as to try to avoid looking at him at the same time.  She testifies she used to be the defendant's girlfriend.  She is his ex-girlfriend.  She met the defendant March 16th of last year, 2012.  (Note. I found it interesting that throughout her testimony about the violent events leading up to the shooting, and afterwards, she often didn't remember. However, she clearly remembered the day she met Pasasouk. Sprocket.)

DA: Do you know Jo-Jo Burbank?
CN: I know him because my ex-boyfriend wanted to get rid of Ka out of my residence.
JG: Objection!  Move to strike! Hearsay!

There is at first some confusion as to 'which' ex-boyfriend the witness is referring to.  It's someone other than Ka.  Judge Giss asks that the testimony be read back and then sustains the objection.

Neal states that she doesn't know Jo-Jo personally, other than to say 'Hi and Bye' to.  Neal testifies she's not aware of his other name, Teofilo Navales.  Neal states she doesn't know if there was a problem between Jo-Jo and Ka. Neal states there was a confrontation between Jo-Jo and Ka at her house, but she is having difficulty nailing down when exactly the confrontation was.  She observed Jo-Jo Burbank hit Ka with some type of weapon.

DA: When did that happen in relation to December 2nd? ... How long before?
CN: It was months and months before. ... It was a couple of months after I first met him.
DA: It was May?
CN: It was summer time.

This event happened at her house off of Roscoe Blvd.  Later she moved into the residence on Devonshire Blvd.

DA: When did you move to (the Devonshire house)?
CN: September, maybe.

Neal moved into the Devonshire house with Ka.  The Judge is concerned that the witness isn't being heard by the court reporter. The bailiff gets up from his seat and adjusts the microphone so that it's directly in front of Ms. Neal.

Neal describes where she lived in the Devonshire house. She lived in a room next to the front door, facing the street.  Her room was to the right of the front door. Because the front door of the residence was often locked, she entered her room through a window.  (In THIS KPCC story, you can see the front of the house and the very tall front window. Sprocket.) Neal set up surveillance cameras inside and directly outside of her room.  One camera faced straight ahead, to the street.  The second camera was aimed to the left, towards the trees.  One of the cameras would have looked down the walkway to the bushes.

Neal states that she, Ka and Jo-Jo hung out.  They played darts.  She states that Ka occasionally said that at some point he would have to "FADD" (sp?) with Jo-Jo, which she explains meant "have a fight" one day.  Neal has difficulty describing the number of people who lived in the residence.

CN: It's a big house, lots of people lived in it and outside of it in guest houses.  Just a lot of people.
DA: About how many were living there?
JG: Objection: Lacks foundation!
DA: I'll withdraw the question.

Akemon asks his question in a different way.

CN: Approximately fifteen to twenty people were on the property.

Neal testifies that she saw the defendant with a handgun numerous times.

CN: Since the day he got it.  Everyday.

Neal states the gun was a black 45 caliber Ruger.

DA: Are you certain about the caliber?
CN: I can't really remember the caliber. ... It was mostly black.

Neal doesn't remember seeing silver on the gun.

DA: In connection with this case, did you have a conversation with Detective Meyers?
CN: Yes.
DA: Your conversations were being recorded?
CN: Yes.

Neal states that her memory was better back then and it's probably correct if she identified back then, the weapon as black and silver. Neal states she can't remember how many times she saw the defendant with the gun. "It was a gun I saw every day."  Neal is asked to review her prior statement she gave to detective Meyers on December 3rd.

Neal still looks very uncomfortable on the stand. She's now asked a series of questions about December 1st, the day before the morning of the shooting.

DA: One December 1st, were you at the residence?
CN: Yes.
DA: Were you there the whole day, or had you come and gone?
CN: I had come and gone that day.
DA: When you woke up that morning, was Ka there?
CN: Yes.
DA: Was he in that bedroom?
CN: Yes.
DA: Was there some problem developing?
CN: Yes. He was moving out.

Neal is asked to briefly describe what was happening a couple of days before. She's asked if she felt the relationship was deteriorating.  She agrees that things weren't going well.  Neal pauses for a moment. It's as if she's gathering her composure.

CN: He wanted to leave. ... He didn't feel appreciated. ... He had moved his stuff. ... He had packed up all his shit ... and all his shit was gone.
DA: At some point did he leave?
CN: Yes.
DA: When did he leave?
CN: Evening time, I think.

Neal states that the defendant did not have his own vehicle, but that he left with "Cartoon."  ("Cartoon" is Howard Ledesma Alcantara. Sprocket.) There is testimony that the defendant was "in a gang."  TGP is mentioned. Akemon asks her if that Tau Gamma Penoy, and Neal corrects him and states the spelling is "P I N O Y."

Judge Giss interrupts her testimony to ask her how she knows the defendant was in a gang. "Because, he said he was with TGP." The defendant left in a light beige car.

DA: At some point he returned to the residence?
CN: Yes.
DA: When was that?
CN: At night time.

Neal doesn't remember the exact time.

CN: It was night time. ... Before midnight.
DA: Who did he come back with?
CN: He came back with Lourdes.

She's asked to verify Lourdes full name. Lourdes Pachejo. (Maria Lourdes Pachejo)  Neal knew her. He met her. Howard, Ka and Lourdes were all together.

DA: When they returned, where were you?
CN: I was in my room.

They went upstairs to play darts or mingle or something.  Neal is referring to another room/area in the residence.  Neal names several people who lived in this upstairs room.  Ronald, John Doe (pseudonym per witness request. Sprocket) Dandy.  This upstairs, is an upstairs apartment on the backside of the house, with an entrance on the backside.  Neal was friendly with these people.  She went there (the upstairs room/apt) every day.

Akemon presents to the witness a photo that has a bedroom on it and images of other people.

DA: Do you recognize that bedroom?
CN: No, actually, I don't.
DA: Do you recognize the photos of the people in that photo?
CN: Yes.

Neal identifies the defendant, Howard, (aka Cartoon); another individual, Mr. Doe and another, Jun. She did know Jun's last name was Mendoza.  Another individual in the photo, Dandy, and another, Evelyn Bax.  In the left corner of the photo is Ronald.

DA: Did you have a relationship with Evelyn?
CN: She's just an acquaintance. ... I met her a few times. ... I was friendly with her.
DA: Did you ever hear Mr. Pasasouk say he had problems with Evelyn?
CN: Yes. He didn't want me hanging out with her because she was a slut and Jo-Jo Burbank's girlfriend.

Akemon asks her about the people who were upstairs in the house on December 1st.

That evening, she first saw Evelyn upstairs.  She went upstairs that evening and saw Evelyn. The upstairs is part of the main house but is walled off from the inside.  She names people who lived in that upstairs area.  Ronald, Mr. Doe, and (Ronald? Roland's?) sister. Neal also saw Evelyn and Jun and Dandy up there as well.

As the evening went on, she saw the defendant was rolling drunk.  He was drinking vodka and smoking meth.  Neal did meth with the defendant all day.

DA: At some point on Saturday, did she see that black and silver Ruger?
CN: Yes. ... On him and on the bed.
DA: Did you see it in Mr. Pasasouk's hand?
CN: Yes.

Neal is asked to describe what happened next.

CN: Something happened in the early morning. ... We were fighting.  He put the gun to my head and said that I was going to be another victim. He hit me in the face with his fists.  I was bruised.

The witness is asked to demonstrate how the defendant put the gun to her head. The judge wants to have her demonstrate.  But it's obvious she doesn't want to move away from the wall she's leaning against.  The judge needs to see her demonstrate.  So the judge stands up at the bench, so he can see her leaning against the wall.  The witness demonstrates with her right hand. She was sitting down on the bed and the defendant stood over her. The gun touched her head. Neal explains the defendant said, "You're going to be one of the victims."

DA: Were you doing anything to cause him to do that?
CN: I asked him to leave. ... He got pissed off. ... He grabbed an (electrical?) cord, and was going to tie me up. ... Then he said he was going to get Evelyn too and (tie her up).

Frightened, Neal ran.  She escaped through the rear of the house and exited out the back sliding glass door.  She went to go hide.

DA: Why were you scared?
CN: Because he just threatened to kill me.  ... I heard pounding, and Evelyn scream.

She did not see Howard, but saw his car in the alley.  She's asked to describe how Howard's car was parked in the alley behind the residence.  The back security gate was open. Howard's car was half on the property in the driveway and halfway in the alley.  If the gate was closed, the gate would have hit the car.  Neal testifies that Howard also had a gun that was in his waistband.  She first saw it when he was in her room.  Neal states she really didn't know Cartoon (Howard), she didn't have a relationship with him. She thought he was, "too much."  The last time she remembers seeing Howard he was by her room area, after she was asking everyone to leave.

After Neal escaped the house, she was hiding in-between the garage and the back gate area.  She was hiding in an area described as a 'cubby hole' area.  She took her keys, that were hanging on a (cord?) around her neck and put them on the ground.  She was trying to make it to her truck. She was planning on going to her friend Jesus's (sp?) house.  She heard a big boom, and heard Evelyn scream and say (over and over?) "You're hurting me. You're hurting me, ... or something."

DA: Did you hear Mr. Pasasouk's voice?
CN: I can't remember.

Neal believes she was hiding in that location behind the property for a few minutes.  She opened the neighbor's gate. It was unlocked, so she could go into the neighbor's yard. There was a pool in the neighbor's yard.  She didn't hear anything while she was in this location. She made her way to the front of the neighbor's property via a walkway.  At this time, she's traveling southbound towards Devonshire.  She next hid in the bushes in the front of the neighbor's house.  She hid there because there were people in the front of the house. There was noise.

CN: I heard Ka coming (to? from?) the house asking, ... "Where's Christina! ... Where the fuck is Christina!!"

Neal hid in that location for a few minutes.

DA: Did you hear anyone else?
CN: Just the people who showed up. ... It looked like a blue car. ... It parked in front of the gate of the neighbor's house.

Neal remembers seeing people in the car, two people she thinks.  She could see someone in the driver's seat and the front passenger seat.

CN: I heard a guy and a girl ... and Ka ask, "Who the fuck are you?" ... I heard somebody say, "I'm their brother. ... Then a girl's voice, "Oh my God! Oh my God! ... Then shots.

2:58 PM
Judge Giss calls for the afternoon break. He orders the witness back at 3:15 PM.  I note that the court reporter has a large jar of candy on her desk and the bailiff goes over to her desk and takes a piece out of the jar.

3:15 PM
Neal retakes the stand.  Her face is in a heavy frown at the moment. It appears as if she's scowling. While she's sitting there waiting, she takes a lanyard out with keys on it and hangs it around her neck.

The defendant is brought back out. Interestingly, he's handcuffed in front.  Usually I see defendants in custody cuffed in the back, or cuffed to waist chains.

DDA Akemon revisits the testimony she gave just before the break.

CN: I heard someone say, "They're my brother, or I'm their brother. ... I then heard, "Oh my God! Oh my God!"
DA: How long after (that) before you heard gunshots?
CN: Seconds.
DA: After you heard voices and gunshots, what happened next?

Neal stayed in the front yard for at least another five or six minutes.

DA: Did you see or hear where Ka was?
CN: No, I didn't see or hear him, no.
DA: Did you see Howard's Lexus?
CN: I saw Howard's Lexus zoom across the block.

When Neal first got to the front yard, she saw Howard's Lexus parked in front of the property next to the curb.  After the shots stopped, she heard it (the Lexus) leave and saw it go past the front of the house two times. She didn't see anyone get in the vehicle, she just heard the car door slam.

DA: Did you see or hear Mr. Pasasouk get into that car or not?
CN: I don't know.
DA: After the gunshots stopped, did you hear Mr. Pasasouk's voice?
CN: No.

Afterwards, Neal jumped the gate of the fence and walked up the street to get in her truck. "I booked," she said.  She went down Devonshire and drove to Sylmar.  The next time she heard the defendant, she was at Victory and Roscoe.  The defendant called her on her cell phone.  He wanted to know where she was. She wanted to know where he was.  She then heard Cartoon say in the background, "Can you trust her? Can you trust her?"

JG: Objection!  Hearsay.
Judge Giss over rules. "It's not offered for the truth of the matter."  Judge Giss explains his ruling further and the relevance of the statement. I believe it's Akemon who asks her if she knows Cartoon's voice.

DA: Had you heard Cartoon's voice?
CN: Yes.
DA: Was that his voice?
CN: Yes. ... Ka then said, "Yeah, that's my girl." ... I asked him, "Why do you want to know where I am? Are you going to kill me too?"  ... He said, "Baby, I fucked up. ... I shot three people."
DA: Did he specify who he shot?
CN: No.
DA: Did he name names?
CN: No.
DA: Just specified three people?
CN: (Yes.)

Neal believes the phone call from the defendant happened about an hour after the shooting.

DA: Did Mr. Pasasouk say anything else at that time about the shooting?
CN: No. ... He said he needed my help.  He said, "Don't leave me," and told me originally to meet him, somewhere ... in a downtown restaurant ... originally.

It was some public location that he wanted her to meet him. Then he wanted her to meet him at his aunt's house.  She met him somewhere close to his aunt's house.  The first time she saw the defendant after the shooting, he was in a black Audi.  He was with Donnamae Rabulan and Cartoon.  The defendant got out of the black Audi and got in her car. He directed her to his aunt's house nearby.  The defendant spoke to his aunt and uncle for a minute or two.  She didn't see him go into his aunt's house.

DA: What did he say, if anything, about the gun.
CN: He just said it was gone.

Then she and the defendant got back in her car and met up with the others at a grocery store.  She parked her car and got into the black Audi.  Their plan was to go to Vegas.  There was discussion with the defendant about coming up with an alibi.

CN: We were just going to say we were getting married, so that's why we were in Vegas.

Neal doesn't remember how long it took them to drive to Vegas. "How ever long it takes," she replied.  They stopped somewhere along the way at a Jack in the Box; she doesn't remember where.  Inside the black Audi, she was in the back seat and Pasasouk was in the back seat, lying down. Cartoon was in the passenger seat and Donna May was driving.

DA: During the drive, did he tell you where he shot the people?
CN: I don't remember.
DA: Do you remember telling Detective Meyers that Mr. Pasasouk told you he shot them in the back of the head?
CN: I don't remember.
DA: Did he tell you he named the people?

Neal doesn't remember or she replied, "No."  Neal is asked to read a copy of a transcript of her statement to Detective Meyers.

CN: Jo-Jo Burbank and Robert.
DA: Do you remember now what part of the body Mr. Pasasouk told you he shot (the people)?
CN: No.

The witness is asked to read another section of her statement. Even after reading her statement, she can't remember now what she said back then.  Judge Giss steps in, stating that her testimony is inconsistent with her prior statement.  I believe Akemon now reads from the statement.

DA: The detective asks, "He said that he shot them in the head? ... He told you? .. Multiple times.

Now the witness vaguely remembers making those statements to the detective.

DA: Do you remember, was there a plan to rob somebody?
CN: Yeah. He always talked about a plan of getting all the dealers together and robbing somebody.

Howard was supposed to be the one to shoot everybody but his scary ass got scared.  The defendant didn't say why, he just said ("Sorry ass?" "Scary ass?") didn't do it. Akemon asks if he said something about getting rid of property.  Black widow darts. They were from a bag, a (back pack?). This happened in the hotel room, in Vegas. He emptied darts out of a bag in the hotel and said he took them from one of the victims. The defendant was complaining about Howard. That Howard didn't grab anything, didn't get any money. They grabbed the bag and the darts. In Vegas, he got rid of the darts. The defendant gave everything, his clothing and the darts to Howard.  Howard threw everything away.

CN: When we got to Vegas, Ka gave his clothing to Howard.

In Vegas, Howard's clothing (he had on at the time of the shooting) was already gone by then. Ka's clothing was gotten rid of because of gunshot residue (GSR).  Neal testifies she peed in a bucket so that there wasn't going to be any GSR on them.  Evidently, the defendant thought/heard that urine got rid of GSR.  So she saved her urine in a bucket to be poured on the defendant.

3:45 PM
Direct ends and cross begins.

JG: In the beginning of your testimony, you testified that Ka that day was acting (strange?)?
CN: Yeah.
JG: You said he was loaded on vodka?
CN: Yeah.
JG: You observed that?
CN: Yes.
JG: About what time did he start drinking?
CN: The day before. ... That was the second bottle of vodka.

The defendant started the second bottle at night time. He drank about half of the second bottle.

JG: How about meth?
CN: Yes.
JG: Did you observe him take meth?
CN: Yes.
JG: When did you first see him do meth?
CN: When? Earlier in the morning. ... We smoked all day.

At first, Neal is not clear or is unsure about how many hours it was between smoking meth and the shooting occurred.  Neal states that Howard was also in her room, smoking.  That maybe it was a couple of hours.

JG: He was acting (screwy?)?
CN: Yeah.
JG: You had never seen him act like that before?
CN: Yeah.

Neal states that she wasn't doing meth at the same time with him.  She states that the meth, "Makes me not sleep."  She smoked meth all day of the day before the shooting.  She also smoked all during the night time and into the early morning hours (of December 2nd).  The defendant also smoked all during that time.  The defendant drank all of one bottle of vodka and one half of another.

The judge and the defense attorney try to get the witness to narrow down the exact size of the vodka bottle.

CN: It was a big ass bottle of vodka.

Was it a fifth, was it a gallon, Neal is asked.

CN: It was a Costco sized bottle. ... It was like a gallon.

Neal also saw Howard with a gun that day also. She had also seen Howard with a gun previously. She saw them with guns at the same time.

JG: Ever see them exchange guns?
CN: No.
JG: At the time of the shooting, would you say you were really high on meth?
CN: No.
JG: Had you come down?
CN: (Somewhat.) ... I didn't smoke that much.

When asked about the female voice she heard, Neal said she didn't recognize the voice as anyone that she knew. She didn't recognize the male voice as anyone she knew.

JG: You were hiding from the defendant when you were at the neighbors next door?
CN: Yes.
JG: Was that because he was acting crazy?
CN: Yes.
JG: And you had never seen him act like that before?
CN: Yes.
JG: Were you present when plans were discussed to rob somebody? ... Before that?
CN: No.
JG: Any talk about to rob somebody, was that in Vegas?
CN: Yes.
JG: Did you do some meth in Vegas?
CN: Yes. ... Just a couple of hits. There wasn't much left.
JG: When you got in the car, the black Audi, did you see him with a gun?
CN: No.
JG: That night, did you see hi mwith a gun?
CN: When he was pointing it at my head.

This event was one hour before the shooting.  When the defendant did that (point the gun at her head and touched her head with the gun) he was alone with Neal.

JG: Where was the Lexus at the moment you heard the shots?
CN: Parked on Devonshire. ... I actually saw it (the car). .. I saw the back of it.
JG: Did you see anyone in it?
CN: No.
JG: You saw the Lexus after the shooting? ... It was going around the block?
CN: Yes.
JG: Could you tell who was in it at that point?
CN: No.

Neal states that the defendant didn't have a car.

JG: He didn't have a truck?
CN: He didn't have a car.

Goldstein now asks the witness about Jo-Jo Burbank.

JG: You said at one point, there was some problem between Jo-Jo and Ka. ... That there had been a fight?
CN: Yes.
JG: A few weeks before the shooting?
CN: No. It was months.

After that fight, she saw the defendant and Jo-Jo together. "They were playing darts," Neal answers.

JG: Did he ever tell you that he and Jo-Jo had patched things up?
CN: No, but they played darts together.  They talked.

Neal is asked if she knows the difference between a revolver and a semi-automatic handgun.  Neal replies that the gun was a revolver.

JG: When you were first interviewed with officers, were you being honest?
CN: No.
JG: Were you told by officers yo uwere in big trouble?
CN: I'm sure they might have said that (at some point).

Goldstein asks Neal how long it had been since she last had any meth or alcohol, before she was first interviewed on December 3rd.

CN: Whenever I was arrested. ... It was check-out time (at the hotel).

Neal then explains that she hadn't had any drugs for some time before being interviewed.

JG: When was te last time when you had any drugs? ... Within the last 48 hours?
CN: No.

Neal is asked again which corner gas station she was at when the defendant called her after the shooting.  She received the phone call when she was at Haskell and Victory.  The defendant called her on her cell phone.  Goldstein asks her if the defendant had a cell phone in his name. Neal states he had a phone, but she doesn't know if it was in his name or not.

Cross ends and redirect begins.

When they got to Vegas, Ka was talking about getting all the big dealers, players together and robbing them.  It's not clear from her testimony if this discussion only happened in Vegas or prior.

CN: He mentioned that two guys weren't supposed to leave.

Neal is asked again if the defendant said the people (that were shot) interrupted a robbery plan.

DA: Didn't you tell detectives that there was a robbery plan, ... and that (the) people came out of nowhere? ... That the intended victims, the big dealers ... were all planning on going to a casino that night? ...

After the shooting, she called someone named Chito.

DA: Did you tell Chito that you were very scared and that Ka had shot three people?

Neal doesn't remember how long after the shooting she called Chito.

Redirect ends and recross begins.

There is a discussion concerning the robbery.

JG: Ka was supposed to be the mastermind of the robbery?
CN: Yeah.
JG: Was that connected in any way to the shooting?
CN: No.

Neal's testimony is finished but she's not excused. She's expected to be on call for the next week.  When she gets up from the witness box, I see that the lanyard that's hanging around her neck falls past her waist, almost touching her legs.


The witness is asked her full name.  Sherelle Evelyn Gorgina (sp?) Owens Bax.  She mentions that on her ID, they got her name wrong.

It's 4:15 PM and court ends for the day. The witness is ordered back for tomorrow.  Judge Giss has about six cases on calendar in the morning so he tells counsel court will start promptly at 11 AM.

Judge Giss tells the witness that Detective Meyers will escort her to court.  She asks the judge, "I can't ride my bike?"  Judge Giss responds, "Well, I saw you riding on the sidewalk." Apparently Judge Giss was outside and coming up the sidewalk and the witness was coming towards him on her bike.  Two interpreters are ordered back for tomorrow.

Out in the hallway, I wait to ask DDA Akemon a question about the spelling of 'Howard's' last name.  I see Akemon comforting a woman who is sitting on a bench, sobbing.

One of the detectives sits down on his rolling cart. He mentions that his back was starting to ache.  I tell him I totally understand and strike up a conversation with him. Come to find out, we have a friend in common, former Deputy District Attorney, Alan Jackson

After court, I met KPCC reporter Rina Palta, who filed this report about today's testimony.

To be continued in Day 2....

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ka Pasasouk Preliminary Hearing

Ka Pasasouk, 4/3/13 
Photo Credit: Daily News David Crane

UPDATED 8:00 PM clarity, spelling
Monday, July 29th, 2013
6:30 AM
In the early morning hours of December 2nd, 2012, Ka Pasasouk, 31, is alleged to have murdered four individuals outside an illegal boarding house in Northridge, California. It's my understanding the house was divided up into individual units.

Allegedly, Pasasouk got into an argument with Teofilo Navales, 49, possibly a property dispute, outside the residence and shot him. Robert Calabia, 34, Jennifer Kim, 26, and Amanda Ghossein, 24, were shot immediately after.  Four lives were gone so quickly.

Pasasouk fled Los Angeles to Las Vegas with three other individuals (Howard Alcantra, 30, Christina Neal, 33, Donna Rabulan, 30), where all four were arrested.  Alcantra was charged with robbery and aiding a felon.  Neal and Rabulan were charged with aiding a felon.

The case is tragic because in September 2012, Pasasouk was before Van Nuys Couthouse Judge Jessica Silver on drug charges.  According to a December 20th, 2012 LA Times article:

The district attorney's office has said it erred in telling Silver that Pasasouk was eligible for a Proposition 36 drug review program,  which allowed him to receive treatment rather than prison time.
The Los Angeles County Probation Department had urged that he be sent  back to state prison for "long-term detention" because of his lengthy  criminal record. But Silver followed the recommendation of the D.A.'s  office and ordered him to drug treatment.

Less than three months later, four people ended up dead.

Ka Pasasouk's preliminary hearing on four felony murder charges is expected to begin today in the San Fernando Courthouse, Department H, Judge Lloyd Nash's courtroom. The preliminary hearing is expected to take five days. I'll have an update once I reach the San Fernando Courthouse.

8:15 AM
I'm in the cafeteria of the San Fernando Courthouse.  There is an area inside the first floor cafeteria called "SELF-HELP LEGAL ACCESS CENTER." I do not know if I will be able to use my laptop inside Judge Nash's courtroom, which is on the third floor.  Unlike courtrooms in other states that are hard wired with cameras, Los Angeles County is still behind the times. It is up to each individual judge whether or not I can even use my laptop for note taking. Many of the judges on the 9th floor in the downtown Criminal Justice Center don't allow laptops.  I'm going to make my way up to the 3rd floor now.

8:25 AM
I'm on the 3rd floor.   The elevator bay is in the center.  There are four courtrooms on this floor, Departments E, F, G, and H.  At the left end is the District Attorney's branch office.  There are a little over a dozen people on the floor, waiting on the old, oak stained wood benches.  An older, casually dressed Latino man sitting next to me asks, "How are you doing miss?"

8:29 AM
The DDA's clerk that I met via a Gargiulo hearing arrives and heads down towards the DA's office.  I believe I forgot to mention that DDA Daniel Akemon, who is prosecuting Michael Thomas Gargiulo, will be presenting the case against Pasasouk. 

8:35 AM
I see DDA Akemon speaking to someone who looks like a detective. He comes down my way and gives me a greeting.

10:50 AM
The short update is, the case has been transferred to Dept. I for the preliminary hearing at 1:30 PM.  I've come back home to grab a bite to eat before I return to court.

1:00 PM
I'm back at the San Fernando Courthouse, cafeteria, getting a last minute charge on my laptop before I head upstairs to the 4th floor. I see the court's interpreter from this morning in the cafeteria, picking up his things from his lunch table. From the time I left my house until I sat down inside the cafeteria, the trip took 22 minutes.

When I cleared security this afternoon, I noticed for the first time that the main lobby has an LA County Sheriff's "Civil Office."  After several years of attending trials and sitting in hallways, it's not difficult to determine who is here for their own court appearance, who a defense attorney, who are court personnel and who is with the DA's office.

1:15 PM
I'm on the fourth floor.  The outlets in the cafeteria beside my table did not work so I'm happy to get a bench seat directly beside a power outlet that does.  The court's interpreter is here along with the Filipino looking officer who was in the jury box this morning. A few minutes later DDA Akemon arrives on the 4th floor and asks two Filipinio women who are seated across from me to walk down to another area so he can ask them some questions privately.  Pasasouk is being represented by

I just realized I left my notebook at home or in the cafeteria.

1:27 PM
After checking the cafeteria, I realize I left my notepad at home.  I'm saved. DDA Akemon was kind enough to loan me a notepad in case I can't use my laptop for note taking.  Department I is Judge Harvey Giss's courtroom.  Judge Giss is a former deputy district attorney.

We wait for court to open.  The hallway is filled with a variety of different people. Three clerks with the DA's office arrive.  One is carrying a box of materials.  One, a woman, has one of the little blue badges clipped to her clothing that I've often seen on other law students who are clerking for a season.

Pasasouk's defense attorney is James Goldstein.

3:00 PM
We are on the afternoon break.

Two witnesses have been called so far.  The first witness was an LAPD patrol officer, Juan Guzman, who was called to the scene via a radio call, "shots fired."  Officer Guzman was the one who discovered the bodies on the side and back of the property.

The second witness is the ex-girlfriend of the defendant, Christina Rose Neal. She has been on the stand for almost an hour, testifying about the events leading up to the shooting.  Right before the break, Neal testified about the defendant putting a gun to her head and threatening her.  Terrified, she escaped through the back of the residence and at first, was hiding in a cubby-hole area between the back security gate and the garage.  Through a neighbors yard, she made her way to the front of the neighbor's property.  From where she was hiding in the neighbor's yard, she testified about seeing people arrive to the property.  She heard the voices of a guy and a girl. She heard the defendant ask, "Who the fuck are you?" She heard somebody say, "I'm their brother."  She then heard a girl say, "Oh my God!  Oh my God!"  Then gunshots.

Continued in Ka Pasasouk Preliminary Hearing Day 1, Part II.....

I will be working on today's detailed notes of testimony late into the evening tonight. Sprocket.

Mainstream media story coverage can be found in the Ka Pasasouk QUICK LINKS.