Thursday, October 24, 2013

Joshua Woodward Preliminary Hearing, Day 2, Part II

Continued from Prelim Day 2.....

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
1:30 PM
In the afternoon session, Mr. Currie continued his cross examination of Dr. Rodriguez-Cruz. After the witness was excused, the people recalled Detective John Shafia.  DDA Balian picked up his direct examination where he left off.

(On Monday, Detective Shafia gave the following testimony. Sprocket)
Around 1 AM on October 25th, 2009, Detective Shafia and his partner Officer Hernandez were in a vehicle parked in a KFC parking lot near the corner of Hauser Blvd. and West 3rd Street.  They were waiting to spot Joshua Woodward near Ms. Doe's apartment complex.  At 3:15 AM they observed the defendant walking west bound on the sidewalk.  They intercepted Mr. Woodward. Officer Hernandez had exited the vehicle, addressed the defendant and asked, "Are you Joshua Woodward." Detective Shafia heard Woodward reply, "Yes." The witness then observed the defendant place both hands into his pockets as if to get identification.  Then the defendant turned slightly to the right and pulled his hands out of his pockets.  He then observed the defendant rubbing, or grinding his right hand into his pants just below the pocket.  Detective Shafia didn't see anything in the defendant's hand at that time. He then observed a small piece of clear plastic fall to the ground out of the defendant's hand. To Detective Shafia, it appeared like the defendant was grinding something into his pants. Detective Shafia immediately grabbed Woodward's left hand. He then pushed Woodward back into Officer Hernandez. This move was to separate the defendant from the dropped item. Detective Shafia asked the defendant, "Joshua, what was that in your hand?"
(Now we pick up Detective Shafia's continuing direct testimony for Tuesday afternoon. Sprocket)

Detective Shafia observed that the defendant dropped something on the ground and asked him what that was. The defendant did not give a response.

People's exhibit #13, a photo Detective Shafia took of the defendant near the corner of 3rd Street and Fuller Avenue.  Detective Shafia points out the white spot on the sidewalk, identifying this is the object the defendant dropped.    People's exhibit #14, is a close up photo of the white speck in the previous photo. The item is a cellophane plastic that had a white powdered substance.  As it fell on the ground, some of the substance fell on the sidewalk.

People's exhibit #15, photo of lower front torso of the defendant.  Detectie Shafia observed what appeared to be a white powder on the defendant's jeans, just below the right front pocket. People's exhibit #16, same photo with reflecting flash spot removed, showing the same white markings in people's #15.  Judge Pastor asks, "Was it a baggie?"  The witness responds, "It was folded plastic cellophane."

Detective Shafia recovered the item, placed them in a clear glass vial he retrieved from the trunk of his vehicle. He eventually booked this item into evidence as item #17.  Officer Hernandez attempted to use a swab to collect a sample of the substance off of the defendant's jeans.  The people's next exhibit is a photo of Hernandez's hand with a swab stick on the defendant's jeans. Officer Hernandez was not wearing gloves while attempting to swab the jeans. Hernandez told Detective Shafia that afterwards, he was experiencing itchy, numb fingers on his right hand.

Woodward was arrested, booked and processed.  During the regular course of the booking process, the defendant was asked a set of 17 questions related to his medical treatment.  It's a standard medical screening procedure.  The defense objects to these questions on several grounds, one of them being Miranda.  I believe the prosecution tells the court that the purpose of the questions are to screen for medical treatment, or if the defendant needs to see a doctor.  Judge Pastor tells counsel that he doesn't want to get into voir dire. I believe the defense continues that the questions were given after Miranda, and that there are other Miranda issues regarding the arrest.

I believe it's DDA Balian who argues to the court that the series of 17 questions on the LAPD screening form are not subject to Miranda. Balian agrees that the defendant did invoke at some point.  Judge Pastor over rules the objection at this point, but also adds that it's subject to a later motion to strike.

The defendant indicated that he did not have any medical condition.  I believe the defense objects on grounds of 3rd level of hearsay.  Detective Shafia testifies that Officer Hernandez was asking the defendant the medical questions.   The defendant was asked if he was prescribed medication, and he answered no.  The defendant was asked if he received medical care from any other source, and he replied no.

At some point in the investigation, Detective Shafia went to 7661 West Melrose, the defendant's restaurant, 'Table 8" (aka 8 oz. Burger Bar). (Although the question isn't specifically asked, I suspect the detectives served a search warrant on the restaurant. Sprocket.) Detectives seized from the office of the restaurant, a black backpack.  Inside the backpack they found a brown leather travel bag, a laptop, some pills in a zip up foam bag along with other items.  People's exhibit #19, a photo of a black backpack.  People's exhibit 20, a photo of the backpack opened.  A laptop was recovered from the backpack.  Detective Shafia points out the laptop in exhibit 20.  The laptop, power cord and an external hard drive were all booked into evidence as items 26, 27 and 28.   Inside the backpack were various documents bearing the name of Joshua Woodward, such as credit cards, air line ticket stubs, and a some sort of transcript document in the names of the defendant and Suzy Buckley.

People's exhibit #21, photo of a camera case recovered from the backpack.  Inside the camera case were two Ziplock baggies containing pills.   Ms. Levine is asking the people for the Bates stamp page for the property report.  People's exhibit #22 is a photo showing the opened camera case and the two Ziplock bags containing pills.  People's exhibit #23 is another photo of just the two Ziplock bags containing pills.

Detective Shafia testifies there were a total of 22 pills.  19 pills were white, 3 were blue.  They were separated into two baggies.  Two white pills in one bag, the rest of the pills in another. The white pills were booked into evidence as items #18.  Detective Shafia states the date they were booked into evidence was October 25th, although the property report says they were booked on October 23rd. The witness is certain they were booked on October 25th.

Under Prop 115, Detective Shafia interviewed LAPD employee Kirk Hunter in the presence of DDA Balian and DDA Rizzo on October 9th, 2013.   I believe the defense has an issue with this interview. The court responds, "I'm not aware of this date."  Ms. Levine tells the court that she asked for any and all detective notes.  It appears the defense did not receive any documents on this interview. DDA Balian tells the court, "Yes, I was supposed to inquire, and I forgot. ... I apologize your honor."

Judge Pastor tells counsel they will take the afternoon break so they can get this straightened up.

2:34 PM
The afternoon break is called. I notice there are several small stuffed animals on top of the file cabinet that sits in-between the bailiff's desk and the door to the jail holding area.  I see that DDA Rizzo is trying to get the detective's note pages copied and handed to the defense as quickly as she can. I believe Ms. Levine asks Ms. Rizzo why she is the one who is getting the documents copied. I'm not positive, but I believe the explanation Ms. Rizzo gives is the people's assigned clerk is out today.  Once Ms. Levine and Mr. Currie have a copy of the notes, I see Woodward leaning over Ms. Levine's shoulder to read the notes.

2:55 PM 
Judge Pastor retakes the bench. Ms. Levine puts on the record what she has received from the people. DDA Balian continues with his direct examination of Detective Shafia.

Detective Shafia did speak with Officer Fuentes (sp?) regarding his activities on October 19th, 2009. He met with Ms. Doe and recovered two pair of underwear and booked into evidence as items #1 & #2.  Teresa Alejandro (sp?) from the LAPD, retrieved from the property room and recovered from both pieces of underwear a white powder.  Ms. Alejandro re-booked the powder from evidence item #1 as evidence item #15 and the powder from evidence item #2 as evidence item #16. The powder from #1 and #2 became new evidence item numbers.  All were booked under the DR #09 07 18890.

Continuing with Detective Shafia's interview of Kirk Hunter, a police officer for the City of LA for 27 years. His current assignment is to work with the US Secret Service Computer Forensics.  Detective Hunter has been assigned to that unit for 13 years.  His specialty is a computer examiner. Detective Hunter described his job as 'Seized Computer Digital Recovery Specialist.'  His job is to recover data on computers.  He gave his CV to Detective Shafia.  Detective Hunter has had 1,000 hours of training and has been programming since 1978 when he was in the Marine Corp.  He worked for Magnavox as a senior computer programmer.  He has had quite a bit of hands on experience. In his career he has analyzed hundreds of computers and testified in court 10 times as a forensic computer expert.

Detective Shafia then went into detail, the steps that Detective Hunter takes to retrieve data from a computer.  He visually examines the computer and copies down any model or serial numbers on the device. He then removes the hard drive and attaches a "write blocker."  This secured the hard drive from changes to the operating system or any programs he may use. He then makes a mirror copy of the hard drive.  He verifies that the mirror copy is an exact copy and in working order.  He then works with the mirror copy.  In his work process, he uses software to determine the Internet searches that were made on that computer.  People's exhibit #26 is a photo of an apple laptop computer.

DDA Balian asks, "Did Detective Hunter tell you ... (what?) he found on the hard drive, and who may have used it?
JL: Objection! Beyond scope.

I believe Ms. Levine argues that Detective Shafia can tell what Detective Hunter found, but it's not part of the forensics exam who it belongs to.  The objection is sustained.

Detective Hunter found files and documents on the hard drive in the name of Joshua Woodward.  A user ID associated with this computer was 'Josh."

Detective Hunter also examined evidence item #28, the external hard drive.  He used similar procedures as for the laptop, except he did not need to remove the hard drive.  He placed a "write blocker" on the hard drive and made a mirror image. He then analyzed the image. On the external hard drive he found similar files and exact copy files as the laptop.  Detective Hunter found words that matched under a Firefox browser history bar. He found a file folder that said 'Joshua Woodward computer.'

Detective Hunter ran program(s?) to search the laptop for Internet browsing history.  The initial search terms he used were "abortion," "misoprostol" and "cytotec."  Those were the initial search terms. Later, he searched for "unwanted pregnancy."  Detective Hunter searched the area of the computer that records the keys that are punched into a search engine. The terms and words were the actual keystrokes made to search.  The user ID name 'Josh' was the one that performed these searches.

For the next set of questions, there were several objections by the defense.  Most were sustained by Judge Pastor, as to the form of the question. Finally, the questioning entered a phrasing that wasn't objected to.  Detective Shafia testified that Detective Hunter was not searching the computer for a specific date, but looking at search engine activity over a period of time.

3:25 PM
There were a number of Internet searches spanning almost two months that Detective Shafia testified Detective Hunter found.  All the Internet searches presented were under the user ID 'Josh' using a Firefox browser. 

(I tried to write down every search exactly as I heard it along with the date and exact keystroke time of the search. I wasn't always successful.  The list below is the best I could do. Some words were misspelled in the searches. I've typed the misspellings that I got correctly. Other words that were misspelled but I didn't get the exact keystrokes correct, are underlined. Sprocket.)

08/26/09 22:30:?? - "fertility law" - "LA"- "mens advocate"
08/26/09 22:32:42 - "paternity lawyer" - "LA"
08/26/09 22:44:04 - does a man have any rights to prevent a woman from having his child
08/26/09     ??        - "unwanted pregnancy" - legal rights men
??                ??        - what men have done to end pregnancies
08/27/09?    ??        - how to coonvince a woman to have an abortion
08/27/09      ??        - ways men have forced abortions
08/27/09?     ??       - black market - RU486 - usa
08/28/09 01:26:06 - accidentally terminate pregnancy
08/28/09 01:45:20 - evil ways to terminate a pregnancy
08/28/09 01:49:22 - drugs that (induce?) miscariages
08/28/09 02:00:36 - misoprostol
08/28/09 03:16:?? - black market pharmaceuticals "Los Angeles"
08/29/09 ??:23:26 - how long do pharmaceuticals last in the blood stream
08/31/09     ??       - cytotec
08/31/09     ??       - cytotec uses
09/05/09 12:43:17 - cytotec miscarriage
10/09/09 ??:38:?? - is RU486 legal in Mexico
10/11/09 19:??:?? - inserting tablets vaginally
10/11/09 19:30:45 - inserting cytotec
10/11/09 19:39:46 - misoprostol insertion
10/16/09      ??      - cytotec dosage
10/16/09 22:02:12 - how do you insert pills vaginally
10/16/09      ??       - "screen for cytotec" - blood
10/18/09 15:??:29 - misoprostol vaginally inserted - "second trimester"
10/18/09      ??      - vaginally insert (?) - abortion - "how long"
10/18/09      ??      - misoprostol - "minimum dosage" - vaginally inserted - abortion - "how long"
10/18/09      ??      - how long does it take cytotec to work?
10/20/09      ??      - can you tell right away if misoprostol abortion worked
10/20/09      ??      - safest way to knocksomeone out
10/20/09      ??      - chloroform
10/20/09      ??      - how long does it take cytotec to dissolve?

There were other searches found in addition to the ones presented in court.  People's exhibit #24, a computer print out of the Internet searches.  The report was generated at the completion of Detective Hunter's examination of the laptop.  Detective Shafia states what Detective Hunter told him about the various columns on the report and what they mean.

3:55 PM
The direct examination is completed and Janet Levine gets up to cross. Before Ms. Levine ever starts, Judge Pastor is looking at the clock. He doesn't expect she will be finished in 20 minutes.  Ms. Levine expects several hours of cross.  The issue is the scheduling, that was discussed at the end of court on Monday. Judge Pastor wants to get that scheduling settled now so they do not go into overtime.  Detective Shafia's cross will continue on the morning of November 18th.  On the afternoon of the 18th, they will take the rest of Dr. Kingston's cross exam.  On November 19th, they will finish with Detective Schafia (if it is not completed by Monday at noon) and also take the testimony of Detective Kimberly Fairchild.  All counsel agree that they should be completed with testimony on November 19th.

Exactly like her co-counsel did, Ms. Levine introduces herself to the witness and states that she represents Joshua Woodward.  She also asks the witness if there is any question that they don't understand to let her know and she will repeat it.  Ms. Levine then asks the witness to close his document file. She wants him to testify from memory.  From the very beginning of her cross examination, Ms. Levine's questioning style is markedly different than Mr. Currie.  While Mr. Currie's questioning of the three state's experts was measured and even toned, Ms. Levine's cross was more like what I would expect a cross examination would be, adversarial. I clearly remember during one point in the cross examination, when the detective stated he would need to look at his notes to give Ms. Levine an exact date, she told him she wanted to exhaust his memory, first.

She asks if he had looked at documents related to this case prior to his testimony.  Detective Shafia states that he reviewed the notes of his interview with Detective Hunter, (people's exhibit #24).

Ms. Levine asks how long did he meet with Detective Hunter.  Detective Shafia and the prosecution team met with Detective Hunter on October 9th, 2013.  They met at the building where Detective Hunter works near 7th Street & Figueroa. The meeting was about an hour. This was the only time that the witness spoke to Detective Hunter in this case. I miss the question, but Detective Shafia also mentions that he knows Detective Hunter's father and had worked with him.  Ms. Levine made a reference to Detective Shafia possibly working or interacting with Detective Hunter's son, a multigenerational connection.

JL: Did you ask him about searches of Ms. Doe's computer?
JS: (I?) ... knew there was a search but did not know who did it or what for.

Ms. Levine asks if he marked a copy of people's 24, the copy that he was using during his direct examination. I believe he states that he made a copy of people's 24 and highlighted on his copy.  The defense asks that a copy of the document he used be marked as people's 24A.  This will be so marked. They will release it (to the DA's office) after court to get copies made. Judge Pastor tells counsel that the court system is financially stressed to the point that they cannot even make these copies.

Ms. Levine asks the witness what other meetings or conversations he had with the two DA's prosecuting the case.

JS: I did meet with the DA on occasion, to outline (my) duties ... I met with Detective (Fuentes?) ... no, discussed with Detective Fuentes (on the phone) ...
JL: Did you converse (or have electronic communication) with either two district attorney's in court?
JS: I don't recall having electronic communication ... I believe we talked on the phone...

Detective Shafia believes that each and every conversation was with both (Ms. Rizzo & Mr. Balian).

JS: No more than five (phone conferences).
JL: How many months ago ... ?
JS: ... last few months ... last time ... closest to today ... four to five days ago.

Ms. Levine asks about his preparation to know details about Detective Hunter and Ms. Doe so he can testify under Prop. 115.  The Fuentes request (to present under Prop. 115) came up afterwards, in court.  He interviewed Officer Fuentes on October 18th, on the phone. Detective Shafia states the conversation lasted "about ten minutes." The witness did not take any notes of that interview.  Detective Shafia details the parts of the case file he used to prepare for his testimony. Among the things he used, he had the arrest report, follow up reports, hand notes (transcript of interview with Ms. Doe) and the video itself.   Detective Shafia gave everything to Detective Fairchild.

JL: Detective Fairchild ... on the case November 1st, 2009?
JS: ... approximately the first part of November.

Ms. Levine asks if his notes spanned a four year period? I believe Detective Shafia states he didn't do anything following the transfer of the case to Detective Fairchild.  Ms. Levine questions whether he turned over all evidence in the case.  There is an issue about two photographs that were or were not turned over (to the defense?). Detective Shafia states the entire case file was turned over to Detective Fairchild. I believe he adds that those two photos were a part of that file.  I believe Ms. Levine asks if he didn't remember them from her previous question. Detective Shafia responds, "... forgot to tell you that right now..."  It took Detective Shafia about a month to transition the case from the homicide unit to the child abuse unit.

Detective Shafia recovered from the defendant a blackberry (phone?).  It was booked into the Wilshire Division property lock-up.

JL: Have you talked to anyone else about the case?
JS: I talked to my supervisor.

JL: Have you spoken with Ms. Doe in the last month or two?
JS: No.
JL: ... email... ?
JS: No.
JL: Do you use social media?
JS: No.

JL: Did you look at Ms. Doe's social media? ... (miss response)
JL: Did you look up misoprostol or anything like that on the Internet in the last month?
People: Objection!
JP: Sustained.

It's very close to 4:15 PM. Judge Pastor interrupts the cross examination to ask the defense counsel about an earlier statement (I believe the statement Judge Pastor makes is "..there are a lot of Miranda issues here.."). Judge Pastor appears concerned that counsel is raising this issue now.  He tells counsel that if there are any such issues, he would have counsel prepare a motion.  I believe Ms. Levine tells the court they will file a brief before the 18th of November.

Judge Pastor explains that the people would need to be able to respond before then.  A ten day period is given then Judge Pastor asks if they could prepare their brief in seven days.  Ms. Levine turns around, faces the gallery and tells the court, she's "looking at the person who's going to write it" to see if they can get the motion completed in seven days. It's a slender man with graying hair and boyish looks. It looks like the answer is yes. The defense motion is due by October 29th at 4 :00 PM.  The people are first offered 10 days for their response but are given seven days. Their response is due on November 5th. The defense will have until November 7th at 4:00 PM to file their reply.  We are recessed until 9:00 AM on November 18th.

Judge Pastor then called counsel up to the bench for a side bar.  And that was the end of court for this day.

To be continued on November 18th....

(Note: I will have extended notes covering Day 1 of the prelim up as soon as I can get to transcribing them. Sprocket.)