Monday, October 20, 2014

Javier Bolden Trial (USC Chinese Grad Students Murder)

Javier Bolden, 10/16/14, during opening statements
Photo: Local NBC 4 Pool Video Camera

UPDATE 10/21 corrected name of Officer Luis Valle
UPDATE 4:00 PM spelling, clarity
UPDATE 1:45 PM corrected number of attempted murder charges
October 16, 2014
Over a year ago, I attended the preliminary hearing of Bryan Barnes and Javier Bolden, who were charged with the robbery/murders of Ying Wu and Ming Qu, graduate students attending the University of Southern California.  Bolden is charged with one other count of attempted murder.

February 5, 2014, Bryan Barnes pled guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole.  HERE is a Google® image search related to the USC student's deaths.

Because I've been swamped managing Mr. Sprocket's business as well as sewing the last several months for my own business, I had neglected to check the DA's calender for interesting court cases this week. When I finally looked at the calendar, I was surprised to see that jury selection had started for Javier Bolden's trial on Tuesday and was going to continue today.  I decided to scrape plans for sewing all day and head down to the court house to hopefully hear some voir dire and possibly opening statements. 

Drive to Downtown
On the drive into downtown, I heard on the radio that thousands of businesses and government offices would be participating in the Earthquake Preparedness Drill at 10:16 AM. It’s my understanding that the time 10:16 AM was picked because it’s also today’s date.

I knew this meant that the courthouse would be participating in the drill and evacuate the courthouse. They would shut down the elevators and make everyone leave the building by the stairwells.

The Ninth Floor

I arrive in Dept. 102, Judge Marcus’ courtroom a little after 8:40 am. Bolden's Defense attorney Andrew Goldman is in the well. I'm surprised that his co-counsel during the prelim, Jana Seng is not here. My guess at the moment is, this means the death penalty was taken off the table. (I confirmed this later with DDA Daniel Akemon.) In a death penalty case, a defendant gets two attorneys. One to defend the guilt phase and another to defend the penalty phase.

Andrew Goldman has been in practice for 23 years. His entire law career has been in the service of public defense. He is currently with the Alternate Public Defender's Office. After the preliminary hearing last year, I told Seng and Goldman that I thought they did an excellent job defending their client in cross examining the state's witnesses.

Judge Marcus, out of his robe, is also in the well along with his clerk and court reporter. Defense attorney Marie D’Onofrio is in the gallery. There is a bit of friendly banter going on. Marie, who works for the Public Defender's Office, represented Bryan Barnes through Barnes' plea agreement.

At first, I sit in the third row. I then remembered that the courtroom gallery would fill with potential jurors. It would be better for me if I was seated in the back row, away from the crowd. I picked a chair against the wall where I could easily plug in my laptop.

One of the first things I noticed were the several candy dishes on the clerk’s counter area. My eye is drawn to the glass containers and vibrant colored candy within. I have an internal dialog with myself, the pros and cons of getting a “treat” from the cafeteria after the earthquake drill.

A few minutes after 9:00 AM DDA Daniel Akemon arrives with his lead detective and clerk intern. Soon after, Judge Marcus goes on the record with People v. Bolden.  The potential jurors are not present. They are going to discuss several pretrial motions and get those out of the way before the jury is set to arrive.

The first item Judge Marcus wants to hear is the motion for a mistrial regarding a juror making a statement to the effect that another person in this event pled guilty.  Judge Marcus wants to hear from the defense, to hear how that statement will affect the defense. What is it specifically, that has any impact on the defense whatsoever in this case.

Mr. Goldman states that if the prosecution is going to admit the wiretap conversation between Barnes and Bolden, and that the people’s position is that it is an adopted admission, and [the jury] finding out that Mr. Barnes has already pled guilty, then by way of [association?] Mr. Bolden is guilty of that crime.  Goldman adds that he believes Mr. Akemon will use the wiretap conversation in his opening statement, and that implies that Mr. Bolden is already guilty.

I note that Javier Bolden is in a pair of gray slacks and a dark purple shirt. I'm not positive, but I believe he is also wearing black framed glasses.

DDA Akemon tells the court he did have an opportunity to review case law over night and found some out-of-state cases that are relevant. “The bottom line is, that the comment, what was made seems to have been brief. I think it’s an open question whether it was inadvertent or not. In any event, it was brief.”

The prospective juror was taken to sidebar, so it’s seems like any prejudicial effect would be by downplaying.  Jude Marcus adds that he didn’t inquire further and that the court let him go. It seems like a situation that certainly was an improper comment by that juror. 

I believe it’s Akemon who states, “I don’t think it rises to the level that we have an impartial jury." If it is, I think there are some remedies. We could admonish the jury. We could inquire [of the jury] further. In the end to me, it’s not the sort of situation that would cause the jury not to be impartial.

Judge Marcus adds, “My position, that, first of all, the comment made is not only brief, and fleeting and somewhat ambiguous, and also not clear as to which defendant. We have also two separate incidents in this case. ... It’s not clear that he is talking about Barnes in this.  I did read some cases. The fact that jurors may know about something in the case [is not a cause for dismissal]. There are high publicity cases where jurors do know [case facts]. This issue is not whether or not a juror has information about a case, it’s whether or not the pretrial exposure to the case has caused the juror to form an opinion about innocence or guilt.”

Judge Marcus references a case, "Hamilton." In this particular case, many of the jurors had read news clippings about the case. You don’t always get the [clean jury] where no one knows anything about the case. The court mentions “...O.J. .. The Peterson case ... You couldn’t have a jury if you had to have a jury who didn't know or read anything about the case. ... The courts recognize if you want to call it jury misconduct, is the strength of the conduct. ... I don’t think there is prejudice enough to cause a mistrial. ... I’ve prepared an admonition. ... I’m going to ask each individual juror [ about ability to be impartial] ... and if anyone says they can’t ... I’ll read the following admonition.”

Judge Marcus puts on the record when the event occurred yesterday, 3:30 PM, and why he did not address it right then and there. “I didn’t want to call attention to it and cause more attention than there was. ... I wanted to think about it.” He then with the parties the instruction he plans to give the jurors after he questions each one, and he will couple his solution by reading a CALJIC [aka CALCRIM] instruction about not speculating about defendants who are not here and that they are to consider that.  Judge Marcus also adds that there are cases where jurors do get to know information about a case and there is no mistrial.

Judge Marcus then moves on to the admissibility of statements made by the defendant via a wire tap. Judge Marcus states that he’s reached conclusions as to these statements admissibility.

There is a brief discussion between Goldman and the court, and the court states that he will add a brief line, “Anything the lawyers say or the jurors say is not evidence in this case.” He then adds, “How about if I say, ‘relating to the facts of this case?”

Then Judge Marcus references two wiretap statements, “E” and “F.” Those were the two he reviewed last night.  Judge Marcus believes E, and largely the initial statement is in fact, an adoptive admission.  Judge Marcus reads from the wire tap, the section of dialog the prosecution believes is an adopted admission.

Bolden: Who?
Barnes: Me and U nigger.
Bolden: Yeah, what about it?

Judge Marcus reads the requirements that must be met for a statement to fall into the adoptive admission category.  “You have to show that the person had knowledge of the other statement and by words or conduct, manifested, [or?] adopted the statement. ... “E comes in now.”  He then adds, “I’m not taking any position on whether there’s little stuff here, 352, that should not come in. ... I have no idea. That’s up to you guys.” Then Marcus tells the parties, “I have a different feeling about ‘F‘.”

Judge Marcus first asks a question about a section of the wiretap ‘F’ transcript on page 7. Marcus reads the transcript. It appears to be Barnes talking about the robbery and murder of the two Asian students. Judge Marcus feels these are declarations against Barnes, but Bolden, by his response, doesn’t seem to adopt them at all. Judge Marcus adds, “It almost sounds like he didn’t hear it or he didn’t care."

There is some discussion in the well about another section of the transcript and what event the wiretap conversation could be referring to. The court rules, wiretap F, doesn’t come in at this point. Those are his decisions, but then he seems to pedal back. “We can talk about it some more when we have a break with the jury.”

Ms. D’Onofrio was here because of the statements made by her client Barnes, being admitted into this case. Judge Marcus states that the statements were definitely statements against Barnes’ interest.

Now the parties are trying to decide when they will return after the building evacuation drill. Goldman has a lunch issue so they decide they will come back by 1:10 PM.

The jury files in and potential jurors take up most of the gallery. Some potential jurors sit right on either side of me in the back row. I catch the bailiff's eye as to where he wants me to go. The bailiff has me move up to the second row on the defense side so I’m no longer near any jurors.

Judge Marcus gives the jurors in the jury box the admonition he had discussed with counsel earlier. Each juror agrees that they could be impartial. The jury box is full, and Judge Marcus tells his clerk to call two more alternates who take chairs in the well directly in front of the jury box.  The two new potential alternates slowly make their way to the seats. Judge Marcus tries to make a joke about a game show, “Remember, Let’s Make a Deal? ... People used to come running down.”  There are small chuckles in the gallery. I’m not sure if it’s Judge Marcus or someone else who makes the correction, “The Price is Right.”

Judge Marcus informs the panel about what will happen at 10:16 am. He tells the jurors to be back on the 9th floor by 1:05 pm.  Judge Marcus starts off by having alternate #5 tell the court where he lives, what type of work he does, if he is married, his job experience and if he’s ever witnessed a crime or been involved [victim] in a crime.

Then Judge Marcus asks the same questions of alternate #6.  While this is going on, DDA Akemon has gotten up from his seat a few times to whisper something to Mr. Goldman.  Judge Marcus interrupts his questioning to tell counsel, “You two gentlemen, you’re making me dizzy. Do you need a break?” Then I believe Judge Marcus addresses his next comment to the jurors in the gallery. “I told you I’m old and can’t take too much movement.” The courtroom laughs a bit at this comment.

The potential alternates answer the courts questions. Alternate #7 previously served on a grand jury. Judge Marcus asks, “So, did you enjoy that [when this summons came] or did you [tape?] up your mail box?”  More polite chuckles from the gallery.

After Judge Marcus finishes questioning the potential alternates the questioning is opened up to Goldman.  Goldman hasn’t spoken to any of the alternates yet. “The judge has expressed that this is somewhat of a publicity case. Have any of you read anything or seen anything on television about this case?” Three of the prospective alternates raise their hands. “Alternate 3, Anything you’ve seen or read affect [your opinions?] in this case?” The alternate responds, “Just whatever was playing on the news.”  Alternate 7 responds, “I don’t remember what the article I read in the news. ... I read the news about USC but I don’t remember exactly what it is.”  Alternate 8 says, “I try to be biased, I mean not biased. ... I just heard it on the news when it originally happened.”

Mr Goldman continues, “The judge mentioned in [interviewing?] other jurors, the concept of Mr. Bolden’s fifth amendment right to remain silent. ... We’ve had some [examples of?] teachers and parents talking about [incidents with?] kids in deciding who is right and then trying to make a decision. ... Here, Mr. Akemon has the burden of proof. Mr. Bolden doesn’t have to do anything and the right that he has, the right to remain silent."

I believe Goldman asks for a show of hands, asking if jurors have a problem with that concept, that his client might not testify. No one raises their hand.  Goldman then talks about the presumption of innocence, and that Mr. Akemon, has the burden of proof. “So, it’s not like two kids in school, and you don’t [get?] to hear both sides. ... And Mr. Bolden doesn’t have any burden whatsoever. ... Again, I don’t see a show of hands.”

Alternate #1 is questioned about his time being an MP in the military. He made arrests. He also applied to join the LAPD. “Is there a reason that we should feel that you might favor law enforcement and take their side?” Goldman asks. “No,” the alternate answers. Goldman asks the alternate another question about willingness to keep an open mind and having proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Alternate 2,” Goldman asks, “Do you think that you’re a good judge of someone’s credibility?”  “I like to think so,” Alternate 2 responds. “Are you willing to do that in this case?” “Yes,” Alternate 2 answers.

Goldman’s questioning ends and DDA Akemon steps up to the podium.

DDA Akemon greets the panel. “Good morning, everybody,” He tells them he has one comment and two questions.  Akemon stresses to the panel about how important it is that they get their information about the case from only one source, and that’s the witness stand.  He emphasizes the importance of not communicating with anyone, other people at home, or social media, or in the hallway, in the elevators, about this case. “It would be unfair to Mr. Bolden. ... The integrity of this trial is paramount and it’s a very solemn duty. ... There is a code of silence while a case is going on ... until you get back to the jury room, and you can talk about it to your hearts content.”  DDA Akemon stresses how important it is not to talk about the case, not getting on social media, etc.

DDA Akemon then ask the alternates two questions. The first question is the law regarding aiding and abetting. He wants to know how each person feels about that law.  He gives the example of the guy who robs the bank. Then there is a guy outside that is the get away driver. The get away driver is also guilty under the aiding and abetting.

DDA Akemon adds in the element that if there is a robbery going on, and then someone shoots and kills someone, the guy outside (waiting in the car) is also guilty of felony murder.

Akemon then asks each alternate how they feel about each law, and if they would follow the law.

With the second alternate, DDA Akemon asks, “Same questions,” and then he adds, “Is there anything you want to get off your chest?”  Judge Marcus interrupts and says, “Well, ... not everything you want to get off your chest.” The room breaks out into a little laughter. 

All of the alternates did not have a problem with the law regarding aiding and abetting. They appeared to understand and agreed with that law. Where some alternates were conflicted was the felony murder law.

That was the end of the prosecution’s questioning. Judge Marcus called for a side bar with counsel. After the side bar, Judge Marcus addressed the panel. “The following people have been chosen in this matter. ... Alternates one, two and three. ... Alternates four through eight are excused.”

They have a panel! 12 jurors and 3 alternates.  The prospective jurors in the gallery, their jury service is finished and they are told to report to the 11th floor jury room to get their exit paperwork.

Judge Marcus states that the jury and alternates will be sworn in.  Interesting, they got their 12 jurors yesterday, but they did not swear the 12 in yesterday.  The entire panel is sworn in.

Judge Marcus then starts with some preliminary instructions to the jury. 

Judge Marcus tells the jurors that they cannot do any preliminary investigation on the case. They can’t discuss the case on social media, etc. The court informs them about behavior in the courtroom. They can have any kind of drinks that they need with them in the jury box. He stresses to the panel that they need to be on time. He talks about the importance of not being late to court.  Even though they do have breaks in the morning and afternoon, if the jurors need to use the restroom outside of the break times, please raise your hand. Judge Marcus tells them he’s not a mind reader.  He tells them to speak up if they can’t see or hear something regarding testimony. “The whole purpose of this is for you to hear the evidence,” Judge Marcus explains. “If you can’t hear or see the evidence, please raise your hand and let me know because [otherwise?], I’m not going to know.”

Judge Marcus then moves onto other preliminary jury instructions. He tells the jurors that they generally start at 9:00 or 9:15 AM. Some days, he has other matters scheduled and they will start a little later. Most days they will end about 4:05 or 4:07 PM unless they go long with a witness. The court tells the panel they will start by reading the preliminary jury instructions after that the lawyers will make opening statements. They don’t have to. The defense can defer.

I decide not to try to transcribe the preliminary jury instructions, since I'm betting those can be found online from various sources.

Emergency Preparedness Drill

At about 10:18 AM, several Sheriff’s enter our courtroom to inform us the drill is on. Several court staff were surprised. We did not hear an alarm go off in Dept. 102. I overheard some sheriff’s say that Dept. 102‘s bailiff was supposed to initiate the drill at 10:16 AM.  Judge Marcus makes sure everyone knows that he has some sort of duty during the drill. I’m not sure if he has to put on a special jacket or what, but his staff makes sure he has some special backpack with him. 

The jurors file out first. I ask the sheriff’s in the hallway if I can wait for the prosecution team. They tell me that’s fine. They direct us to a stairwell near the center of the hallway.  Out in the hallway was an Asian man with a full beard wearing a bright yellow sleeveless jacket. It appeared he was waiting for the floor to be emptied. My guess was, he was part of a supervisory function on how efficiently the drill was being conducted. I could swear it was Judge Ito, but I’m not positive.

When I exited the rear of the building, there were several groups in Grand Park with signs indicating where that department or group was to congregate. I happened upon a friend who works in a support department of the District Attorney’s office so I stopped to chat. A bit later, Terre Keith from City News also happened to walk by. I updated Terre on the Bolden case and that opening statements would happen soon after 1 PM.

Court staff were allowed to reenter the building first. The Sheriff’s insisted that people needed to show their employee ID before entering the security screening line. After that, anyone with an employee or building ID were next in line. Jurors needed to present their jury badge. The general public were allowed back in last.  After I entered the building I headed to the cafeteria to have an early lunch.

Afternoon Session

Back on the ninth floor, I’m able to grab an empty bench near one of the few outlets so I could plug in my laptop. I see an NBC cameraman head towards the right wing and sit on a bench opposite me.  When Dept. 102 opens, Judge Marcus is out of his robes but behind the clerks desk area. The cameraman starts to set up his equipment in the back corner to film the opening statements.

Judge Marcus ruled that the opening statements, closing arguments and selected government witnesses could be filmed. Judge Marcus stated that selected witnesses affected would not be allowed to be filmed because of how Judge Marcus felt that would affect those witnesses.  I learn that trial testimony is expected to take 10 to 11 days.  As the jurors file in, I take a tally. The jury consists of seven women and five men. There are two female alternates and one man.  One alternate is the last juror to arrive back to court and Judge Marcus makes a joke. “Last person in has to buy bagels for everyone the next day. Nice juicy bagels with cream cheese.”

Once the jury is settled, Judge Marcus continues with the preliminary jury instructions.  He mentions that there might be a small amount of media coverage. Judge Marcus talks about the notebooks they will be given to take notes and note taking. In addressing the alternates, Judge Marcus tells them, “25-30% statistically, a juror will be replaced so you must pay attention.”  He tells the jury they must not visit the scene of the crime. There are more instructions but I don’t write them all down. Judge Marcus tells his panel, “If you have an incident where someone tries to talk to you, don’t tell the other jurors, tell me.” The last thing Judge Marcus does is explain reasonable doubt.

Prosecution Opening Statement

DDA Akemon takes to the podium. He will use many photographs and diagrams to outline his case, People v. Bolden, BA397880. Akemon then lays out to the jury in chronological order, the sequence of events that make up his case and the evidence against Bolden.

“This is a case about senseless street violence. On February 12, 2012 Dieonce Davance, a 21 year old man went to a party in Los Angeles in a banquet hall with his sister and cousin and friends. ... It started out as an evening that started out as [celebration? party?] and Javier Bolden showed up at the party ... showing up with a 38 mm hand gun and ended in violence. ... When Javier Bolden got in an altercation with victim Davance, chaos ensued and spilled out into the street. ... That's when Javier shot victim Davance in the stomach and also shot victim Zanae Flowers in the leg."

Witnesses heard Davance yelling, "I've been hit!"  DDA Akemon continued. "Bolden chased him down the street, caught up with him and shot him in the back of the head." Davance is now in a care facility where is is incapacitated.

While that case was under investigation, the defendant struck again.  ... About two months later, on a late and rainy night, April 11, 2012, Ying Wu and Ming Qu, two graduate students at USC, were sitting in a car, in residential area near the campus. ... "For Wu and Qu, it was just another ordinary day in the life of college students who were in love and didn't know it was the last day of their lives."

"At about 1 AM, Bolden and his accomplices were driving around the campus area looking for someone to rob. ... When they saw them [Wu and Qu] sitting in a BMW, [the car] sitting in the middle of the street with their flashers on, they saw an easy target."

Bolden's accomplice, Bryan Barnes was the shooter. The same gun that was used to shoot Deionce Davance two months earlier.  They approached them from behind. When they could not get into the vehicle, Bryan Barnes fired two gunshots through the driver's side window, killing Ming Qu and Ying Wu.

Defendant Bolden then shouted at Mr. Barnes to get what he could get.  Barnes reached into the car over the lap of Ming Qu and took two cell phones that were on the center console of the BMW. Barnes and Bolden then ran to a waiting get away car driven by a third accomplice, Tyrell Douglas.

"LAPD Detectives eventually linked this shooting to the Deionce Davance shooting by matching shell casings of the guns from both crime scenes. ... That clue led them to develop Barnes and Bolden as suspects in the case. ... Detectives got a court order, allowing them to tap into the telephones of Barnes and Bolden to see what evidence might ensue."

When Bolden and Barnes incriminated themselves in some phone calls that police were listening in on, they incriminated themselves in the shootings of Wu and Qu, and they were arrested. "When detectives initially interviewed Mr. Bolden, he confessed to being involved."

Detectives then placed Mr. Bolden in a holding cell, with a [paid] undercover informant who was [outfitted] with a listening device. Mr. Bolden incriminated himself in the [USC] shootings but also in the Deionce Davance shooting. Bolden was then charged with the murders of Wu and Qu and also charged with the attempted murder of Deionce Davance.

A photo of Dieonce Davance is put up on the overhead screen. Then photos of Ying Wu and Ming Qu are put up on the overhead.

DDA Akemon tells the jury they are dealing with two shootings here. Two separate incidents. Now up on the screen is a map showing the geographical location of both shootings. Davance was initially shot in front of the Garr Banquet Hall at 5017 S. Western Ave. Wu and Qu were shot in front of 2717 Raymond Ave. The shootings were separated by about three miles.

Photos of the defendant, Javier Bolden and accomplice Bryan Barnes are up on the screen. Barnes' nick name is 'BJ.' Next is a photo of Tyrell Douglas, who is not on trial here today. Barnes is not on trial here today. Javier Bolden was involved in the robbery.

Bryan Barnes considered, and Bolden considered themselves to be brothers. They are very, very close friends, but they refer to each other as brothers. Defendant Bolden and Bryan Barnes associated with the "No Respect" party crew. Next, a collage of photos is put up on the screen of the defendant and his accomplices.

Dieonce Devance Attempted Murder
Aerial photo of the intersection of S. Western Ave and 51st Street is on the overhead screen.  The Garr Banquet Hall is identified at the top of the photo and the J R Transmission shop directly on the corner.  The areas where firearm evidence was found and collected is also indicated on the photo. The areas show where the original area of the shooting started.

There is a small scattering of press in the gallery. Terre Keith of City News, NBC camera crew and I believe a reporter from the LA Times. Several young men and women, possibly clerks in the DA's office are also in the gallery. An Asian woman came in with the clerks and sat in the first row. I do not know if she's with the DA's office or representative of the Asian students.

The location of items and where they were found are indicated on the map and pointed out to the jury.

"What we expect the evidence will show ... [is that] the altercation started in the banquet hall. ... Mr. Davance ended up outside on the sidewalk. ... He was there with his friend, Zanae Flowers, and his cousin, Charles Darden. ... The defendant Bolden, exited the club and then shot Mr. Davance in the belly. ... Mr. Davance ran, Ms. McKeever ran, Charles Darden ran and Vivian Flowers ran."

"As they were running, Mr. Davance was last in line. He was injured and he was yelling, I've been hit! And everyone was in front of him, more or less. ... By the time Deionce got to the corner, that's when Mr. Bolden caught up with him and shot him in the back of the head."

"Ms. Flowers, although shot in front of the banquet hall, she ran down the street, down the corner and collapsed a little farther from Mr. Davance."

Another photo of the Garr Banquet Hall at 5017 S. Western Ave. It's a photo taken from in front of the banquet hall, looking south. It shows where the shooting started and the direction it went. Next photo is where a shell casing and live round were found. A 9mm shell casing and a 9mm live round were recovered. Another photo, showing the direction that everyone ran.

Deionce Davance and Zanae Flowers ran away with Tamara McKeever and Charles Darden with Bolden chasing. Another photo, with yellow lines indicating the line of travel.

DDA Akemon explains to the jury that the case will be presented in chronological order, but some witnesses may testify out of order.

Another photo of the corner of Western & 51st streets where Davance ran and collapsed, and where Bolden shot him in the back of the head.  Next photo, reverse angle, now looking back on to 51st Street. DDA Akemon points out the red circles on the photo and the inset, we can see Ms. Flowers' boots and where paramedics came to help her.

Another photo. It's a long shot view of the intersection of Western and 51st streets, in perspective to where the club and Mr. Davance and Ms. Flowers collapsed.  More photographs showing firefighters assisting Mr. Davance. He's laid out on the sidewalk, face up, appearing lifeless. Another photo of the same area, showing the blood left behind after Mr. Davance was taken away.  DDA Akemon outlines the injuries to Mr. Davance. He presents photos taken of Mr. Davance approximately a month prior. Davance is in a hospital bed. His fists are clenched.

"And his face, you can see the left side of his skull appears to be caved in. ..." [He's] permanently brain injured and paralyzed."

Another photo of a gunshot wound to Davance's stomach in the lower left quadrant of his belly, left of his navel.  An inset photo shows the gunshot wound up close. "The gunshot wound entered his lower left side and was a through and through. ... That particular projectile was never recovered. ... The bullet that went to the back of Mr. Davance's head was never found. ... The gunshot wound to his head was also a through and through. ... [It] came out the side [of his head]."

Now photos of Ms. Flowers' gunshot wound to her leg. The series of photos were taken of her last week. Now we are shown a photo of the gunshot wound to her lower right leg. Now a photo on the outside of her calf area. "It stuck in her leg. It stayed there up until a few months ago. ... Doctors were finally able to get it out."

Initial Investigation

Investigators started to see who did this to Ms. Flowers and Mr. Davance. The first clue that they got in the case was from Charles Darden, ... who we expect won't be completely cooperative in the case. He is the cousin of victim Davance. One day after the shooting, Darden went to the police. He was an eye witness to the shooting. He was standing there and he saw the shooter. He didn't know who it was. He couldn't put a name with a face, but he saw who it was. He asked Tamara Keener.

So he talked to his other relatives, saying that he's got to put a name to the face. He went on Facebook and started doing his own investigation. He went on Facebook, found Bolden and went to the police. He gave the name Javier Bolden to police. He was 100% positive. So, at the time, Detectives had a name and followed up on that.

April 10, one day before the shootings of Wu and Qu near USC, Detectives spoke to Tamara McKeever, the sister of Mr. Davance. Tamara had been inside the banquet hall, dancing and having a good time. She told detectives, A man came in looking for trouble and bumped into me. ... And when I told Deionce this guy was bumping into me.... Deionce came to her rescue. And that all started in the banquet hall.

Darden went to Tamara and asked her to describe the person who was involved with Dieonce before the shooting. Tamara said she could describe the guy. She provided a description to a sketch artist, and that sketch is put up on the screen next to Bolden's photograph.

"McKeever, we expect, will identify Bolden as the man who was fighting Deionce. ... She won't testify that she saw the shooting. ... She was faster than Deionce [running down the street], but she saw what started [the shooting]."

Another photo on the overhead, a six-pack line-up of individuals. Detectives went back to McKeever. They had a name, a sketch. They put up a photographic lineup and showed it to McKeever, and she identified the man. DDA Akemon points out McKeever's initials on the 'six pack.' She wrote on the card, "The reason I can tell it's him is his eyes, mouth, ears and nose are the same."

Cell phone evidence

Detectives then started investigating Javier Bolden and got information on cell phone numbers. Detectives obtained by way of a court order, and started analyzing cell phone evidence. Cell phone experts will testify as to cell phones and cell towers.  Detectives obtained Bolden's cell phone records and analyzed them to see what they would say. Bolden's cell phone pinged in the area of the Garr Banquet Hall around the time of the shooting. There is a tower at 51st and Western and his cell phone was pinging off of that tower. Detective Ron Hansen (sp?) will testify that immediately after the shooting, the evidence wil show his cell phone moving away from that tower, in a south-easterly direction toward the 110 Freeway.

Detectives obtained a court order to wiretap Mr. Barnes and Mr. Bolden's phones. Detectives listened in on telephone calls and listened to this call. DDA Akemon tells the jury he will turn the sound up so they can listen and follow along with the text on the screen. This is one phone call in a series of calls.

On the recording, an unidentified woman answers the phone. She asks Bolden a question. Bolden answers:

Because why, the last time I partied on Western I had to kill somebody.

That phone call was made approximately two to three months after Davance was shot. This amounts to admission that Mr. Bolden was shooting at Mr. Davance.

Now DDA Akemon plays a tape recording obtained via the paid informant placed in a cell with Bolden. The informant is pretending to be an inmate. The informant had a hidden camera on him along with audio recording. This is what the informant heard, and monitored by detectives. You will see this entire recording. This is only a snippet. The statements were obtained on May 19, 2012.

The nigger [?] had a party and I was drunk
(Miss transcribing the informant's full response.)
Sissy nigger ... popped him on 56th and Western.

And in the end, the prosecution will argue this is an admission regarding the shooting of Mr. Davance.

Firearms evidence

Law enforcement collected shell casings and evidence.  Fast forward to the USC campus area shooting. There were two 9mm shell casings recovered from that scene.

A firearms expert will come to testify she compared the shell casings from the first shooting with the second shooting at USC and those casings matched.

Photo of the shell casings recovered. The live round near to where Deionce collapses, there was a yellow leaf and a 9mm shell casing. Expert criminalists will come to court, an expert in firearms and ultimately she will testify they are a match.

The USC campus shooting

An aerial diagram of Raymond Avenue near the USC campus. There are points identified on the map. In the Upper left corner, 2717 Raymond Avenue, that was Ying Wu’s apartment. The street in the middle is Raymond Avenue.

Inset shot in the middle photo, the BMW the couple were shot in. It was very dark, very rainy. Evidence will show Qu was driving and Ying Wu in the passenger seat. They were double parked in front of Ying Wu's apartment. They had gone out. They had been studying. It was Ming Qu's intention to drop her off. They were sitting in the car, just talking.  That's when the suspects approached from behind.

Barnes and Bolden were in communication with each other. They were talking to each other. But they were out robbing people that night as they approached the vehicle. They split up. Bolden went to the passenger side. Barnes went to the driver's side.

Bolden was trying to get into the car. Bolden was trying to get in and that's when Barnes shot both victims.  As they approached, they actually counted down to each other, 1, 2, 3. "We expect you will hear that from Bolden [via an interview]."

Another photo of the USC crime scene that night. Photo of the car double parked. There's a canopy over the car. Detectives placed it over the vehicle during the investigation.  In the middle of the street are placards where the 9mm shell casings were discovered.

Bolden tries to open the door and can't get in then Barnes shoots into the car.  Another photo, showing the trajectory of the bullets.  One bullet went through Ming Qu's head and went out his face. That gunshot also hits Ying Wu, who was shot twice.  Once with the bullet that passed through Ming Qu. The second bullet missed Qu and hit Ying Wu in the chest.

Photo of the BMW's shot out, driver's side window.

"After the shots were fired, that's when Defendant Bolden directed Mr. Barnes to take the property," DDA Akemon explains.

Photo of inside the BMW.

I take a quick glance over at the jury. They appear to be in rapt attention to DDA Akemon's presentation. A few of the gentlemen have their fingers placed over their lips.

An HTC phone and an iPhone were taken from the BMW.  Another photo, different direction, of the escape route, and where the two assailants went back to the getaway car.  They fled southbound on Raymond.  Another photo of inside the car from the passenger side.

Looking over at the jury again, I don't see a single person taking notes during the people's opening statement."

We will hear from what the neighbor's saw." Paramedics transported Ms. Wu to the hospital ... Mr. Qu was able to get out of the car. He crawled out of the car. You can see the blood trail. ... He was able to get across the street and up the stairs of Ying Wu's apartment. ... It's actually a house [with] several rooms there for rent. ... He was about to get up the stairs ... He crawled up to the door. ... A glass door and he started banging. And he broke the glass, trying to get some attention. Trying to save his own life.  ... Neighbors came out, but by the time paramedics arrived, Ming Qu was mortally wounded and he was pronounced dead. ... He was unable to speak. ... Several neighbors tried to speak with him."

Photo of shell casings in the street.

Shell casings from the street were collected and they were able to connect them up to the Davance shooting. "Alma Burke (sp?) will testify as to the bullets she found inside the vehicle." A photo shows placards in the car as to where they were found.  Photos of victim Qu's gunshot wound and the direction of travel of his bullet wound. "Ying Wu was shot twice. ... One of the gunshots was fatal. ... Bullets came at her from two different sides of her body. ... They believe that she was twisting and turning away as the bullets were fired into Ying Wu's body. ...The shot that killed her is the gunshot that entered the left side of her body. ... It entered through her heart and exited through her lungs."

Cell Phone Evidence

Story of the cell phones of the two defendants and Ying Wu. 

Following the cell phones, Barnes and Bolden were in the south Los Angeles area. They moved north close to the USC campus area around 12:28 AM. They moved toward the USC campus.

Up on the screen, an overlay of the cell towers and the pings and where the evidence of the cell phones will show the route of the cell phones.  Another image on the screen, showing the suspects route leaving southbound and victim Wu's phone, pinging along with them.  Now, a close up image of where the shooting happened. Another photo overlay of the cell towers and where they can ping at the same time of the shooting.

"Detective Hansen (sp?) will also testify that at the time of the shooting, that Barnes and Bolden were communicating with each other, counting down for the robbery."

A few more young looking clerks enter and sit in the gallery.

DDA Akemon plays one of the calls between Barnes & Bolden. The prosecution will argue, that's an admission in the end by Bolden.  Bolden was placed in a holding area with a paid, undercover informant.  A snippet of Bolden talking about the shooting.  May 19, 2012 statement. (I tried to transcribe what was played for the jury. This is NOT exact. Sprocket.)

And then what other [shooting/] went down by USC?
We was out there robbin' people and stuff ...
I don't know. I don't know.
What kind of car was it?
It was an, um, BMW. ... It was blue ...
Did they see [?] faces?

No, ... they died.
How many shots?
Three .... actually by [my?] brother, shot through ... window
I shot the [?] ... [my?] brother shot the [dude?]

You got rid of them ... what happened though?

Another audio and video recording presented.
Barnes describes the robbery in detail and how they planned their approach in unison.

We got caught because of the fucking phones.

What kind of phone was it?

It was a hidden camera and audio recording. You'll hear the entirety of this conversation.  DDA Akemon them moves onto Bolden's admissions to the informant; all his statements on the phone.

Detectives interviewed Bolden. They read him his rights. They interviewed him for two and a half hours. There was a cat and mouse game going on. After about an hour, Mr. Bolden started talking about the shooting. Here is a compilation of what he said after the shooting. These are just some of the things that Mr. Bolden said.

May 18, 2012, Detective Carreon reads Bolden his Miranda rights.

DC: I just want you to be truthful.
JB: Drove up from Long Beach. Then picked up BJ. ... Then met Tyrell at Jack in the Box at Manchester and Hoover. And we left from there.

DC: What was the plan?

JB: Just get some cash. 

Unk: {And it was discussed.]

DC: Who came up with that ... ?
JB: Tyrell and I ... go over that ... Cause it's USC ... it's hot by a college.

Bolden describes all that happened. That they both tried to open the car doors. And that BJ just shot through the window.

BJ is on the drivers side. He's the first one out. BJ was the one that reached into the car and got stuff. He reached in over the dude's lap.

That was Detective Vince Carreon, who is present in court today.

In the end ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the evidence we expect to come out at this trial, the evidence will show that Bolden was present at the crime scene[s]. Wiretap phone calls where he said the last time he partied he had to kill somebody. Then the phone call where he had to shoot a sissy.

DDA Akemon summarizes the evidence of the two cases.

The trial will take a week and a half or so ... how you'll find [Bolden] guilty of murder of Mr. Qu, guilty of murder of Ms. Wu, and committed during the commission of a robbery and the evidence of Deionce Davance shooting.

That ends the people's opening statement.

I wasn't surprised that the people chose to drop the third original charge of attempted murder against Timothy Hall. Hall did not appear to be a cooperative witness for the people during the preliminary hearing.

The jury is sent out into the hallway for a brief break. Alternate 2 is asked to stay behind. She has a medical appointment tomorrow at 8:45 AM. It will take up to two hours.

Judge Marcus tells counsel that it isn't going to work for him, if someone is coming in and out all the time. They need to work something out. It's as if someone walks in front of the attorney all the time.  (I believe Judge Marcus is referencing when DDA Akemon got up a few times to speak to Mr. Goldman during the courts preliminary jury instructions.)

Goldman speaks to a man in the gallery who entered a few moments ago.  Judge Marcus asks to speak to the court's Public Information Officer, Pat Kelly. Now Judge Marcus is speaking off the record to both counsel. I believe it's during the break that I see Goldman's friend go up to the clerk's candy dishes, and uses the spoon inside to take a serving. I'm envious that the attorneys get to walk up to the clerk's desk and raid the candy dishes.

2:46 PM
Break ends and the jury files back in. The court goes on the record with People v. Bolden. Judge Marucs informs the jury that the defense is going to make an opening statement.

Defense Opening Statement
Andrew Goldman steps up to the podium to address the jury.

"So if opening statements were a trial, we could all go home. ... But they aren't.  What you hear in opening statements is not evidence. ... What I'm asking you now, and what you promised to do, is to keep an open mind and wait until the end of the trial, until you've heard all the evidence. ... Mr. Akemon has to prove all of those charges and allegations beyond a reasonable doubt."

"First, regarding the first attempted murder charge. ... There is one person, who claims to be an eye witness to the shooting, and that's Mr. Darden. ... He's going to testify that he saw Mr. Bolden shoot Mr. Davance. ... What you will find is, that Mr. Darden was told by someone else who that person thought, did the shooting.  ... Mr. Darden looked at one picture, not a six-pack. So when the police want to identify a suspect in the case, they usually don't show just one picture to a witness, so that I witness isn't directed to pick out one person. ... What he did was look on Facebook. ... [It] was the photo of just one name of a person."

"The incident happened very fast. Most of the time that he will testify [to], that it was dark in the club and that at one point the lights came on in the club. ... Mr. Darden will say Deionce was fighting with a group of people, not just one person. ... Mr. Darden will testify that he didn't stay there at the scene. ... He may even have been handcuffed at one point. ... But he didn't rush forward and tell police at the scene. ... He didn't come forward. ... He didn't say, 'Hey, I .... saw this.' ... He waited until a day later, until he hears from someone who may have seen the shooting and then makes a statement.

"Ms. Keener will testify that she was shown a photograph of Javier by Mr. Darden.  ... When Darden showed her the photograph, at first it didn't look like the person who was fighting with Mr. Davance. ... The case of the attempted murder is based mostly on that identification. ... When Mr. Bolden was interviewed by detectives, he denied involvement in that shooting. ... That's also talking about the shooting [of the?] graduate students. ... That's what he told the [?] when interviewed by Detective Carreon."

When Bryan Barnes shot those two graduate students. "Mr Akemon is going to play the entire interview. ... What you're going to see is Mr. Bolding being interviewed for close to an hour, and denying any involvement in that incident. ... At some point, one of the detectives told him that he could get the death penalty for this case. ... Shortly after that, Mr. Bolden told them what they wanted to hear. ... It's only then, that he tells them what they want to hear. ... He was only 19 at the time, under duress, and he tells them what they want to hear."

He was then placed with the [paid] undercover informant.

"The informant tells Javier he is in there for murder. He's [Bolden] in jail now. ... Now, Bolden has been arrested. He's been booked for murder and now in a jail with an older gentleman. ... And Mr. Bolden at that time, has to look tough. He gets that jail bravado, and he admits to untold number of [crimes?]. He admits to having an M16 and all these other things, because in jail, you have to look tough. ... With this informant, he would [have]admitted to the Boston Marathon bombing. ... He then makes up facts on the USC incident and having a 25 caliber [weapon] and shooting it at the car. ... There's no evidence that a 25 caliber gun was ever fired at the passenger side."

"Well, the passenger side of the car, [where Wu was?] sitting, is absolutely clean. .. The window is intact. There are no bullet marks. There isn't any damage to that side. ... So Mr. Bolden is making things up, to try to look tough, to the paid informant."

Phone calls to Barnes

"That's Mr. Barnes confessing to what he did that night, and nothing more. ... The cell tower evidence is not conclusive. ... The phone that was registered to Mr. Bolden was in that area, but not that Mr. Bolden was a party to those [incidents?]. ... All we ask is to keep an open mind and not make any decision until you heard all the evidence."

That ends the defense opening statement. The people call their first witness. The people call Sargent Linda Ortega.


There is an overview photo up on the ELMO (overhead screen), it's of the first shooting area. DDA Akemon asks if the lights could be dimmed in the courtroom.

DA: What is your current occupation?
LO: Sargent assigned to Internal Affairs group. ... Sworn officer just under 19 years.
DA: How long in Internal Affairs?
LO: Approximately 1.5 years.
DA: What type of assignment [is that?]?

It's an administrative investigative position where she investigates other police officers.  Before that she was assigned to 77th Division patrol on morning watch.  77th Division is in South Los Angeles. A patrol supervisor supervises officers on patrol, making traffic stops, things like that.

Ortega is asked about how long she had worked in that division.

LO: I had actually just gotten there, for approximately two deployment periods, so just about two months.

That's where she was assigned on February 12, 2012. She doesn't recall necessarily receiving a radio call. She may have responded to assist to a radio call. Occasionally, supervisors will receive a radio call if the patrol units are busy and there are several calls waiting. She would go out to a patrol unit that would handle a radio call.  In a shooting, a Sargent would typically go out to assist the scene. She was in her car alone, wearing a uniform.  She responded as a supervisor.

DA: Do you recall going to the scene because you automatically [were?] going out?
LO: No. I did not get a call to the scene. Either the noise on the radio made me aware, or the call in, in and of itself. ... The fact that it was a shots fired call, ... with someone down, would indicate that this is a code three call with lights and sirens responding. ... In my opinion, ... needs the [assistance?] of a supervisor.

LO: When I exited my vehicle and got to the scene it was quite chaotic. A lot of people around. People yelling and screaming."

Police officers tried to set up barriers. She cannot remember if tape was set up by the time she arrived.

LO: People were trying to get into the crime scene location and officers were trying to keep them out. ... [Officers were] trying to maintain evidence as well. ... It was very chaotic when I got there.

She believes she arrived approximately 10 minutes after the call went out. After 12 in the morning. She responded to South Western and 51st Street intersection.  She describes where this location is. It's South Los Angeles. If you take the 110 Freeway, it would be east of the 110 and south of the 105 Freeway. This location was south of the USC campus. It was less than 10 miles from USC.

LO: I believe USC is around, maybe in the 40's [referring to the numbered streets] and this is 51st.

There were other police officers already there. She was not the first Sargent to arrive. She saw another Sargent present giving officers direction.  Several other officers arrived about the same time. When she arrived, there were maybe ten officers there.

DA: Do you remember seeing fire personnel?
LO: I know they were there. I don't remember if they arrived before or after I was there.
DA: How would you describe the scene?
LO: Chaotic.

Sargent Barrillas (sp?) was the other Sargent. At the time, he was yelling at the officers to form a skirmish line. It's used in crowd control, crowd management situations. This line was across 51st Street, attempting to form a skirmish line of police officers. The northwest corner down across to the southwest corner of Western and 51st.  The other Sargent initiated the skirmish line. It was crowd management. If it is an unruly crowd, you form a skirmish to prevent anyone from entering the crime scene that you are trying to protect.

The witness identifies the streets on the overhead photo as well as other buildings. The banquet hall and a transmission shop on the corner of 51st and Western. Lines on the photo are identified as the skirmish lines. The witness is asked to identify what she saw, and where. 

LO: First was a male, and he was on the north sidewalk approximately 30 feet in from Western.

She is asked to mark on the photo (People's exhibit 1) an 'M' where the male victim was found and a F where the female victim was found. She got near the male victim. He was unconscious. He was lying on his back. His head was in a westerly direction and his feet were towards the east.

A second photo, People's exhibit 2.  It's a dark photo, showing paramedics working on a victim on the ground.

LO: This is the male victim lying on the north sidewalk of 51st Street.
DA: Did you get near the female?
LO: I remember her, but I don't know how close I got to her.
DA: Was she conscious and breathing?
LO: Yes.
DA: When you arrived and assisting, generally, what was your role?
LO: There was another Sargent there. The Sargent was taking a lead on having the officers doing the skirmish line and having people [officers] canvas and things like that and I was assisting him. ... I didn't canvas for witnesses, but I did look for evidence.

People's exhibit #3, a photo of the Garr Banquet Hall building. The witness points out the entrance to the banquet hall's parking lot to the left (south) of the building.

People's exhibit #4, another view of the area of the parking lot.  People's exhibit #5, a photo of the outside of the banquet hall and South Western Avenue, looking southbound toward 51st Street. The witness identifies the photos and describes areas in the photos. She identifies the security gate for the parking lot, the street and the sidewalk.

DA: When canvasing for evidence, did you notice anything unusual?
LO: Yes. ... There was an expended casing on the ground.
DA: Please describe basically where that casing was.
LO: There was a casing, near the light standard and a black boot.
DA: Where was that in relation to the [banquet hall] parking lot?
LO: It was south of the driveway.

The driveway to the casing was maybe 20 to 30 feet.  She marks on the photo a circle around the casing.  She is asked to describe a casing.

LO: A casing is part of a round of a live round of ammunition and what houses the gunpowder for the bullet to eject the casing. ... The bullet is expended the gunpowder is blown up and the casing is what remains.

She is asked to identify something white in the last photo.

LO: I believe that is what we call a field interview card. ... Typically, at crime scenes, to identify evidence, police will fold a field evidence card. ... I don't recall who put it there. ... I was with officer McGregor (sp?) and I believe [it was] one of us who discovered the casing. ... I know that Officer Balle was responsible for the scene, so I [informed?] him about the evidence.

People's exhibit #6, a close up photo of the boot and a casing next to the boot. There is an evidence marker in the photograph. The witness identifies items in the photo.

People's exhibit #7, photograph of the front of the Garr Banquet Hall.

LO: That is the street to the bottom ... [this?] portion of the photo is Western and the street ... 51st, and that is a photo of the transmission shop on the corner of 51st.
DA: Did you find any other evidence in that area?
LO: Yes. A live round. ... It was around that had not been fired, so it still had the projectile.  ... I remember a sign. ... I don't see a sign in people's #7.

As I listen to testimony and try to type keeping up, I'm starting to get the afternoon yawns. I'm so tired I feel like I'm starting to fall asleep.

The witness identifies in the photo where the live found was found.

People's exhibit #8, a close up photo of the live round, underneath the transmission sign in the photo. People's exhibit #9, another photo of the live round. People's exhibit #10, another photo of the street corner from far away, the northwest corner of S. Western and 51st streets. The witness indicates where she saw the two victims down on the ground.  The witness testifies that she canvased 51st Street. She was present when both the male and female victims were taken from the scene.  She remained and assisted.

After the male victim had been transported, she went to where he was lying. There was some kind of plaid clothing article. And underneath that plaid clothing article, was an expended casing.

People's exhibit #11, a close up photo of the plaid shirt. The bottom portion of the photo, the plaid clothing article, then a yellow leaf, and then underneath the article of clothing was an expended casing found right here.  The shirt was in the street, the curb. Where the victim fell, was on the sidewalk.  The distance between the plaid shirt and the male victim was approximately eight feet.  It was several hours later when they discovered the bullet casing under the plaid shirt.

People's exhibit #12, a photo of the same items. It was several hours after, discussion as to who was going to take charge of the crime scene. And then [?] moved the plaid shirt and found the casing. People's exhibit #13, a close up photo of the plaid shirt.

That ends direct examination. Cross examination begins.

AG: Sargent Ortega, at the time, you said you were a patrol supervisor?
LO: Yes.
AG: And you were alone in your car when you [first heard about the incident]?
LO: Yes.
AG: You were about 10 minutes away from the location?
LO: I believe I was about 10 minutes away. ... I believe I heard the radio call, or I believe I heard them responding, yes.
AG: When you arrived, there was already some officers there who had responded?
LO: Yes.

The witness does not recall when the crime scene tape was put up.

AG: Approximately how many other officers were there when you got there?
LO: I'm not exactly sure, probably about 10.
AG: Did more officers arrive after you arrived?
LO: Yes.

I believe she comments that this was a while ago.

AG: How many officers responded to that crime scene?
LO: I don't know.  Probably maybe 20 or less, maybe a little less than 20.
AG: Somewhere between 10 to 20 would you say?
LO: Yes.
AG: And when you first got to the scene, it was chaotic?
LO: Yes.
AG: Lot of people milling about in the street? ... 20 to 30 people?
LO: I would say between 20 and 30 people.
AG: When you first noticed the people [who] appear to be injured, where there any civilian witnesses, ... were there anyone around them?
LO: I don't recall.

The witness does not recall the exact time of arrival of the paramedics.

AG: Sargent Barrillas was forming a skirmish line for crowd control?
LO: Yes.
AG: ... wanted to preserve the scene to collect evidence?
LO: Yes.

Soon after she arrived on the scene there was still a lot of yelling and screaming but not as erattic as when she first got there. The other supervisor was a Sargent.

AG: You were the two supervising officers on the scene that morning?
LO: Yes.
AG: And did detectives come ... if you remember?
LO: I don't believe detectives responded.
AG: And so when you and a supervisor respond to a crime scene like this, one of your responsibilities is to collect evidence?
LO: Typically, a supervisor doesn't collect evidence.
AG: [It's to?] make sure that evidence gets collected?
LO: Yes.
AG: Making sure that evidence did get collected?
LO: Yes.

I believe Goldman asks if another responsibility of a supervisor is to canvas and speak to witnesses.

AG: On that morning, you oversaw the canvasing and looking for evidence?
LO: Yes.
AG: And the other Sargent, he was in charge of getting other officers to canvas and speak to witnesses?
LO: Yes.

There are a few more questions about the other officer's duties on canvasing then cross examination ends.  There is no redirect and the witness is excused.  The people now call Officer Luis Valle. Judge Marcus asks to see the attorneys at side bar for a moment.

A tall, dark haired, handsome uniformed officer enters and takes the stand. There are two stripes on his uniform. Wikipedia states this indicates the officer is a P3, patrol level 3.

Officer Luis Valle is sworn in to testify. He's an LAPD officer. He is currently assigned to Southeast Division. On the time of February 12th, he was assigned to 77th Division. He's been an officer for 6.5 years. At that time, he was on patrol. He was with a partner, Officer Whitfield (sp?). He was driving a black and white that night.

DA: At approximately 12:45 AM, did you receive a call of some sort?
LV: Yes we did.

The nature of the case was AW, ambulance shooting.  That there was a shooting where the victim would need to be transported by an ambulance. The abbreviation AW stands for 'assault weapon.'  The shooting was as 51st Street and Western in the County of Los Angeles.  People's exhibit 1, a photo of an intersection is put up on the screen. The witness identifies the intersection as 51st and Western. When the witness arrived, he and his partner saw 30 to 40 people in the corner of 51st and Western. 

LV: Once we noticed those 30 to 40 people, we approached on 51st Street just west of Western. There was a male black, laying on his back with his face facing up. His head was pointed toward the west.

The victim was covered in blood and didn't appear to be breathing. He was unconscious.

LV: I was not the first [to arrive]. I was probably the third black and white. ... There were four officers and a Sargent. ... they were trying to get the crowd away from the victim so they could attend to his needs.
DA: Did you see anyone else down?
LV: Just west, there was another [?] ... There was another person who was a female, suffering from a gunshot wound.
DA: Eventually, were you and your fellow officers, were you able to control the scene?
LV: Yes, we were.

Once the investigation started, his role there was to direct officers where he needed them. He directed officers to put crime tape up, to make sure that when the ambulance arrived, they could get access to the victim.

DA: Where exactly was the crime scene tape put up?
LV: We had some tape here [indicating on the photo in front of the banquet hall].

There was more tape put up at Western and the Banquet hall. It was also blocked off at around 51st Street.

DA: Basically, blocked off the whole area?
LV: Yes sir.

Balle wrote the primary report, spoke to various witnesses and attempted to collect evidence.

DA: What did you do in regard to collecting evidence?
LV: Made sure I spoke to officers that spotted evidence. ... and with Officer Whitfield, we collected evidence.

He had an Officer McGregor (sp?) and a Sargent Ortega point out evidence that they saw.

DA: And when they pointed out that evidence, what did you do?
LV: We made sure that we secured that evidence, that it could be photographed and booked into evidence.
DA: Was there a police report generated in this?

The number of the police report is read into the record. 12-12-06793. The details of booking the shell casings and how they were listed in the report is reviewed.

DDA Akemon brings the evidence envelope with the shell casings to the officer who identifies it. This is people's exhibit #14.  An image of the envelope is put up on the screen. The witness identifies his writing on the evidence envelope, and that's the envelope that he put the casings and live round into.  The front and back of the envelope is shown.  The witness explains the seals on the evidence envelope. He is asked to open the envelope in a specific way and identify the items inside.

The witness describes his procedure for booking items into evidence. He books the casings, then puts the items into the envelope and last, attaches the seals. The witness opens the envelope and identifies the evidence.

Judge Marcus calls an end to the court day. The witness is ordered back for tomorrow morning.

The jury files out. Alternate 2 is asked to stay for a moment. Judge Marcus tells the alternate that she is excused. The court apologizes that he should have remembered about her doctor appointment, that she mentioned earlier in voir dire. However, Judge Marcus doesn't want to lose a half day of trial testimony waiting for this juror.

And that's it. Unfortunately, I will not be able to cover the daily testimony of this trial. I have too many responsibilities to Mr. Sprocket's health and his business. (For those of you who have asked, Mr. Sprocket is doing pretty good, all things considered. He has been dealing with some medication side effects, but other than that, is doing well and able to work.)

I did attend Barnes' and Bolden's preliminary hearing. If I get enough notice, I will try to cover closing arguments and the reading of the verdict.

10/16 Local NBC 4 News Story on Opening Statements (video)

10/17 Local CBS 2 News Story on continuing trial testimony