Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ka Pasasouk Preliminary Hearing Day 3, Part II

 From Ka Pasasouk's Facebook Page.

Continued from Preliminary Hearing Day 3....

Ka Pasasouk Quick Links Page

UPDATE 11/19: Witness name changed per request

July 31st, 2013
10:35 AM
I'm inside Judge Giss's courtroom, Dept. I, on the fourth floor of the San Fernando Courthouse.  I hear DDA Akemon ask Judge Giss if they can approach off the record.  I see the last witness, John Doe (Pseudonym per witness request. Sprocket), enter the courtroom.  Detective Dan Meyers chats with one of the court clerks.

10:40 AM
Judge Giss goes on the record in the Pasasouk case.  Mr. Doe retakes the stand.  When the defendant was brought out today my first thought is he looks heavier than the image that were taken of him at his first arraignment appearance.  When Pasasouk was first arrested he was placed in jail orange, which is the color they give for the most dangerous or security risk detainees.  During the three days of preliminary hearings, Pasasouk has been dressed in jail blues.

6. JOHN DOE. (Pseudonym per witness request. Sprocket)

Mr. Doe's testimony will be in his native language.  He will be assisted by a female interpreter. DDA Akemon tells the court they have no further questions. Direct ends and cross begins by James Goldstein.  Polite greetings are first exchanged between Goldstein and the witness.

JG: You were interviewed more than one time by detectives is that correct?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: In each of those interviews, were you truthful when you gave your statements to police?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: So everything in your first interview...
JD: I didn't tell everything at first interview because I was scared.
JG: So you didn't tell them everything because you were afraid?

Mr. Doe states the reason he didn't was because he didn't want to get involved.

JG: So you lied to police the first time they interviewed you?
JD: Yes sir.

Mr. Doe was interviewed two times.

JG: In your second interview, did you lie to police in your second interview?
JD: Not anymore, sir.
JG: Before all this happened, had the defendant be in (your?) apartment on previous dates?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: Were you and the defendant friendly?
JD: I just got to know him.
JG: Did you (and the defendant) have a number of conversations in the past?
JD: None.
JG: What was the longest conversation you did have with him?
JD: It was just when we were talking about car and spare parts about the car.

Mr. doe explains that this conversation was not on the date of December 1st, but two days before.

JG: Beside that conversation did you have any other conversation with the defendant?
JD: None sir.

Goldstein asks more questions about that conversation and when it occurred.

JD: No sir. I was not conversing with him on the 1st. I was fixing the car that whole day.
JG: Had you seen the defendant around the residence... I mean, 17441 Devonshire?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: But you would never talk to him, is that what you're saying?
JD: Because I was not usually at home. I was at work.  ... When I met him in (the house?) or in the (hall?) I'd just say hello.
JG: So no conversation other than when fixing the car?

Mr. Doe gives a more detailed explanation.

JD: I was not at home. I was fixing the car on another street from 10 o'clock in the morning.

Mr. Doe explains again that the conversation he had with the defendant happened two days before and not on December 1st.

JG: Before December 1st did you have conversations with Howard?
JD: No sir.
JG: Howard only spoke a few words when he was in your apartment?
JD: I do not know anymore sir.
JG: So you really don't know or (can't?) recognize Howard's voice ... because you didn't hear him talk?
JD: No sir.
JG: You only heard (talked to?) defendant on one prior occasion?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: And you told us you heard a voice, "Hands up." or words to that effect?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: You said you could recognize that voice as belonging to Mr. Pasasouk?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: You were interviewed, the first time, the day of the incident?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: You were interviewed the send time, about a week later?
JD: No sir. One day only.
JG: December 1st was the first time?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: December 3rd was the second time?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: Are you sure about that?
JD:Around two days, before the first interview.

JG: Did you sleep there, the following day after it happened?
JD: I slept at my siblings house.
JG: Is that in the San Fernando Valley?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: Did any of the other people that shared the apartment ... was it your sister's house?
JD: Just Dandy was with me.
JG: Did you talk abut what happened?
JD: No sir, because we were scared.
JG: You didn't talk at all about these people ...
JD: We were surprised. But we didn't talk about it because we didn't want to get involved.

Goldstein confronts the witness about his assertion he and Dandy did not discuss the event.

JD: We talked about it casually but not talk about it seriously, especially the details. ... What we talked about was that, it was (a?) surprise that those people were gunned down for no reason.
JG: Did you tell Dandy you heard the defendant's voice?
JD: We both heard the voice because it was coming from the window.
JG: Did you tell Dandy you believed the voice was Mr. Pasasouk's?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: So you told Dandy that?
JD: We both heard the voice because he was the one near the window.
JG: That's not my question. Did you tell Dandy the voice you heard was Pasasouk's?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: And that was before you spoke to police the second time?
JD: No sir. ... Because I told police in the first interview that I already heard the voice of Mr. Pasasouk.

Goldstein and Mr. Doe go back and forth about "when" he told Dandy he thought the voice he heard was Pasasouk's.  Mr. Doe says that his discussion with Dandy happened that night.  Goldstein presses forward with trying to get the witness to be more specific about when he and Dandy said what when, and when those discussions happened in relation to the police interview.  Goldstein asks Mr. Doe if he remembers Dandy say, "I think that was Mr. Pasasouk."

JD: There is a possibility.
JG: Do you remember him saying that?
JD: Yes sir.

Mr. Doe then states that Dandy was not certain but I was certain I heard that voice from Mr. Pasasouk.

JG: What did Dandy say?
JD: No. We were just surprised to hear the gunshots.
JG: Dandy never said to you that the voice he heard was Mr. Pasasouk? ... Is that correct?
JD: Yes sir.
JG: But you were talking to him, Dandy, about the voice.
JD: Yes sir.
JG: And he was closer to the voice than you?
JD: But I was alert at that time.
JG: Where was Howard when you heard the shots.
JD: They were together when they went down.
JG: Do you know where Howard was when you heard the shots?
JD: No.
JG: Did you see Mr. Pasasouk when you heard the shots?
JD: No.
JG: Did you look (at? out?) the window?
JD: No sir.
JG: So you don't know where Mr. Pasasouk was when you heard the shots?
JD: No sir.

Cross ends and redirect begins.

DA: When you were first interviewed by police on December 2nd, why were you afraid to tell police everything?
JD: Because I was concerned that he has friends outside and he might get back at me.
DA: When you heard Mr. Pasasouk's voice outside say, "Hands up! Gent down!" Was that the same place you heard the gunshots?
JD: Yes sir.

Redirect ends and the witness is finished.  People call Maria Lourdes Pacheco


DDA Akemon asks the witness if her true name is Maria Lourdes Pacheco.  She states it is.  She's 29 years old.  On December 1st, she was at the Devonshire residence.  She was at that location, trying to get a ride back to Long Beach.  She arrived at the residence around 12 noon, and was there because she was trying to get a ride back to Long Beach.  She arrived at the location via Howard Alcantara. Pacheco knew him from an ex-coworker.  She describes Howard as "an acquaintance." However, when asked, she admits that she has been intimate with Howard.  Pacheco states she was at the location all day.  She was just hanging out. She spoke to some of the residents. Pacheco identifies the defendant for the record.

Pacheco states she knew Pasasouk through Howard.  She met the defendant twice. She had seen Pasasouk and Howard with guns.  She testifies that Pasasouk's gun was silver with black on it.  Pacheco states she knows about guns because her father is a retired cop. Her father taught her how to hold a weapon and shoot.  Pacheck states that Pasasouk's gun is a semi-automatic.  Alcantara's gun was a revolver.  Pacheco is asked if she could recognize those guns if she saw them again.

MLP: Yes.

Pacheco verifies that Howard's gun had tape on the handle.  She is given photos of two weapons to identify, People's exhibit 3a and 3b.  She's shown the first image, to see if it looks like Pasasouk's gun.

DA: How does that gun (compare?)...
MLP: It's a little bit similar to that.
DA: The color?
MLP: Silver and black.  ... Not sure but know it (the semi-automatic) was silver and black.

Pacheco is now asked to look at the photo of the weapon with duct tape on it.
MLP: That looks similar to Howard's gun.

Pacheco verifies Howard's gun had tape on it.

DA: When was the first time you saw Mr. Pasasouk's gun?
MLP: A week prior. ... It was just out. he was walking around with it.
DA: Where was (the semi-automatic?) when you first saw it?
MLP: In Mr. Pasasouk's possession. ... When I saw it, he was just holding it.
DA: When was the next time you saw it.
MLP: That night, when the incident happened.

Pacheco saw Howard with his gun with tape on it that night.  It was when they were in Pasasouk's room. The first time she saw the guns they were walking around with them.  The first time she saw guns (Dec. 1st?) was when she arrived. It was in the upstairs apartment.  The first time she saw the gun, it was on the table and Pasasouk was there.

Pacheco states that she observed Pasasouk and Neal arguing.

DA: Did you know Mr. Pasasouk's girlfriend, Christina Neal?
MLP: Yes and no. ... We were never introduced properly.

Regarding the argument, Pacheco states that Pasasouk and Neal, "They were just going back and forth with each other."  Pacheco describes where Pasasouk's room was in the Devonshire house: "It was in front of the residence."  She states that she entered and exited Pasasouk's room through the window in the front.  Pacheco states she had "a little bit" of alcohol that night.  She was also smoking meth, but "not a lot."  She observed Pasasouk and Neal smoking meth.  She did not observe Pasasouk drinking, but believes he was drinking vodka that night.

Pacheco describes leaving Pasasouk and Neal's room.

MLP: I came out of the room because I could tell she (Neal) didn't want me there. ... She (Neal) handed me my band and sweater. ... (I) Told Howard she didn't want me there. ... I then went to the back of the house.

Pacheco then went upstairs and left her things with Dandy and Mr. Doe.  She then observed both of them (Ka and Howard) running around the property. They were looking for Christina. The tone of their voices was mad.  When she heard these things she was upstairs.

MLP: He (Pasasouk) thought that Christina stole his money.

Pacheco saw Ka and Howard with their guns out and identified the guns. She heard Ka talk about money.

MLP: They (Ka, Howard) were down in the back looking for her (Christina).

It's now after midnight, around 1 or 2 am.  Ka and Howard are looking for Christina.  Pacheco states again, she was just trying to get a ride out of there.  She asked Howard Alcantara for a ride home, and he told her to wait.

MLP: They (Ka, Howard) were downstairs as I was trying to go back in (upstairs?).  ... But Evelyn was trying to close the door. ... But I had my foot in (the doorway). ... He (Ka?) heard me ask about not to close the door. ... My things were still inside (Mr. Doe & Dandy's room).

Pacheco was outside on the landing.  She was watching to see what they were going to do next.  That's when Evelyn closed the door on her.

MLP: Then (Mr. Pasasouk) came upstairs and kicked down the door.

Howard and Ka went inside. Ka had the silver gun and Howard had the taped gun.  Pacheco stayed on the landing.

MLP: I heard them asking where was Christina. ... And that was about it. ..

She heard them come out. Then Pasasouk went to the other room downstairs, on the bottom. It's the one with the sliding door.  Alcantara was outside.  She heard Pasasouk asking for Christina. He was mad. Pacheco heard them take off in Howard's car.  She identifies Howard's car as a white Lexus.  She observed Alcantara and Pasasouk get in the car. She's not sure if the car was parked head-in or not.  She saw them get in the car before the gunshots.  She is asked about how long that was before she heard the gunshots.

MLP: I would say fifteen minutes because they were driving around.

In the meantime, Pacheco had gone back to Pasasouk's room. She came down the stairs and went into his room through the window. "Basically, I was watching the surveillance camera."

There was a computer screen hooked up to the surveillance cameras. This is what she was watching inside Pasasouk's room.  She saw it (Howard's car) going in one direction, around the block several times. It was going in one direction, to the right.  She was in Pasasouk's bedroom, watching the computer screen camera. She believes the camera showed one scene, the street.  She saw the car go by three or four times.

Then the car stopped in the middle of the street.  Pacheco testifies she heard Alcantara say, "Wait. Hold on."  Pasasouk came out of the vehicle and went to his room while she was in there.  He asked for Christina again.  She told him she hadn't seen her. When she was in that room with Pasasouk, she saw the gun at that time in his hand. He was holding it.  There was no other conversation. He was still looking for Christina.

Pasasouk went from his room into the main part of the house. (There is a door from Pasasouk's room directly into the main part of the house.) Pacheco went into the main house as well.  From where s was, she could still see the computer monitor in Pasasouk's room.  She saw on the monitor that another car pulled up in front.  It pulled up to the front, in front of the Devonshire property's gate.

Pacheco did not see anyone get out of the car. 

MLP: It was about 3 AM ... That's when I heard a female voice say, "What the fuck? I didn't even do nothing."

She then heard gunshots. The voice came from the west side of the house. Pacheco is asked about how long it was from the time that Pasasouk went through the house until the time she heard the voice/gunshots.  She believes it was a girls voice.

MLP: I thought it was a girls voice. I heard about four or five gunshots.

She believes there were quickly four shots, a pause and then one.  She believes she heard a car take off from the front.  After she heard a car take off, that was it.  A female in the main house, was asking what was going on.

At first, a woman told her she could stay if she kept quiet.  Then an older man, the man who owned the house spoke to her and asked her to leave.

DA: Did you see Evelyn's face?
MLP: I saw Evelyn in the alleyway after the shooting. ... she had a bruise on her face over her eye.

Pacheco exited out of the back of the house through the back sliding glass door.  When she walked down the walkway, that's when she saw a man lying on the ground. She testifies she heard him, "...taking his last breaths."

Pacheco states she didn't call 911. She was being selfish and just thought about herself.  She went upstairs where everyone else was.

MLP: Evelyn said she heard the female voice as well. ... We said, "Get of of there," because we were all high.

Pacheco recalls getting a phone call on her cell from Alcantara. He told her to go Pasasouk's room and get the DVD system out of the room.  This was about ten to fifteen minutes later, after the incident.  She wasn't thinking. She wasn't paying attention.  She went to Pasasouk's room and took the surveillance box. She pulled it out, unscrewing the wires.  She removed it from the residence and left with it.  She then realized that she shouldn't be doing that so she left it in the bushes. She then walked down the alley.  She eventually got a ride from her fiance.

Detectives came and talked to her a couple of days later after the shooting.

DA: You showed detectives where you left the (DVD) server?
MLP: Yes.

Detectives took her to the area and she pointed out to them the server camera equipment.  Pacheco testifies she was feeling remorseful.  She was eventually charged with a crime in relation to this case.  She pleaded no contest and spent six months in jail.  She's currently on probation for that offense.

DA: When you heard the voice, "What the fuck? I didn't even do nothing." Where was that voice coming from?
MLP: The same area where I saw the man down.

As Pacheco's testimony continues, family in the gallery beside and behind me are sobbing.  I see two women crying.

Pacheco states that when she saw Pasasouk kick the door in, she didn't see him hit Evelyn.  She stayed on the upstairs landing, outside the apartment.  Judge Giss asks the witness if she's okay.   Pacheco replies, "I'm nervous." He asks her if she needs a break, or the restroom.

DA: The female voice you told us about. How close were you?
MLP: A few feet. The only thing blocking it was the wall.

Akemon asks the witness to estimate how far she was from the voice.  Somewhere between ten and twelve feet.  She was on the ground level. She was not watching the monitor at the time. The car that pulled up, she didn't see what type of car it was, just that it was a small vehicle. Pacheco did not see people in the car or see them get out.

When Pacheco saw Pasasouk get out of the Lexus, he went into his room and he wasn't there very long.

DA: Less than a minute?
MLP: Yes. ... He just went through the main house.
DA: What was the next thing you saw or heard?
MLP: The car pulled up. I was waiting to see if anyone got out then I went into the main house.
DA: Just a few minutes after you saw Mr. Pasasouk enter the main house ....
MLP: I waited around to see the other car, so I would say about five minutes.

Pacheco testifies she never heard a male voice.  After Pasasouk left the main house, she never saw him after that.  She saw Pasasouk and Alcantara in the Lexus sometime before the shooting.  After she heard the shots, she first went outside and saw the male on the ground.  She then went upstairs.

MLP: I said, "Lets get out of here before the cops come." Because we were all high.

Pacheco lists the people who were in the upstairs. Mr. Doe, another male and the relative who owned the house, and Evelyn.

DA: Why did you believe Mr. Doe was high?
MLP: Because I was smoking with him before.
DA: You saw him smoking?
MLP: Yes, but not drinking.

(Note. This testimony about Mr. Doe surprised me. Sprocket.)

DA: Was Evelyn high too?
MLP: Yes.
DA: Did you see her smoke, or did you have a perception?
MLP: I know she was high.
DA: Was that same true of Mr. Doe?
MLP: In my opinion he was high.
DA: Would the same apply to Dandy?
MLP: He doesn't smoke.

Direct is finished and cross begins.

JG: Did you see the defendant smoke meth that night as well?
MLP: Yes.
JG: Was he drinking?
MLP: Yes. ... Vodka
JG: Did he appear high as well?
MLP: Yes.
JG: Was he acting kind of crazy?
MLP: He was more calm than Alcantara.

Goldstein asks her about Jun and her opinion as to the state of his sobriety. Pacheco did not see Jun smoke.  I believe that was the extent of the cross examination.

There is some discussion at the bench about Ms. Pacheco's legal representation, her fifth amendment rights, and testifying about events where she was implicated, charged and convicted of a crime.  Akemon tells the court that he spoke with the witness's counsel, James McNamera (sp?) about her rights.  It's my understanding that they didn't believe there was an issue because she already accepted responsibility and was convicted.  The witness was not offered any leniency. She appeared because she was subpoenaed.  The defense had one inquiry, and that was whether or not she received any leniency. She did not so this is answered. That included the charge that she pled on.  She pled in Dept. 130.  The plea was memorialized. Judge Giss discusses relevant case law.

Judge Giss calls for the noon recess and that we will pick up the case at 1:30 PM.  DDA Akemon informs the court that they expect they will finish today.  When I briefly looked behind me in the gallery, there were at least a dozen new people in the courtroom.

To be continued in Day 3, Part III....