Friday, October 9, 2015

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., Pretrial Hearing 10

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., date unknown
Pool Camera: AP

The previous post on this case can be found HERE.

UPDATE 10/14: edited for spelling, clarity 
September 24, 2015
I arrive on the 9th floor around 8:35 am. Mr. Sprocket drove me downtown. LAPD Detective Daryn Dupree is here already, deep in conversation on his cell phone. Defense attorney Kristen Gozawa and another gentleman enter Dept. 109 as the bailiff unlocks the door at few minutes later. Ms. Gozawa exits the courtroom and waits in the hallway.

8:43 AM
Assistant Head Deputy Major Crimes, Craig Hum and DDA Marguerite Rizzo are chatting in the center of the hallway. When Ms. Gozawa sees that DDA Hum leaves, she approaches DDA Rizzo and they have a chat.

8:46 AM
Louisa Pensanti arrives and heads to the ladies restroom. A bailiff brings clothes down from the security station. They are for a defendant in trial in Dept. 102, Judge Marcus' courtroom. A suited man comes out of Dept. 109 and talks to a casually dressed man and says, “They’re all in there."

8:56 AM
DDA Beth Silverman arrives. Beth speaks to Ms. Gozawa about evidence that needs to be turend over.

Inside Dept. 109

Judge Kennedy is in the middle of a hearing in another case. I listen to Judge Kennedy rule on the other case. Two defendants. One defendant is being supervised by a federal agency, the other defendant is out on bail.

9:05 AM
People Magazine reporter Christine Pelesik arrives. Franklin is brought out. Louisa Pensanti and Kristen Gozawa are here. Mr. Amster is a no show. Judge Kennedy is notified that her court reporter is not here. Everyone laughs. The court reporter comes out right away and the court goes on the record. Parties state their appearances.

DDA Silverman tells the court they received a set of SDT documents. The people took those documents, copied them, made copies for the defense and returned the originals to the clerk today. There was one envelope that had not been discussed in court, but handed to Amster [at the last hearing?]. Both DDA Rizzo and Amster initialed [Wednesday] on the back and made copies and returned them to the court.

Judge Kennedy states there was a third envelope. It was made known and the third envelope was handled under the proper procedure. DDA Silverman tells the court that she spoke with Ms. Gozawa. She has assisted us in getting discovery and getting various things accomplished.  There are various things that have been sent to Sorenson that have not been returned, but will be sent back by next Tuesday.

DDA Silverman continues, "One of the investigators for the defense took some notes. They were provided to us. We've looked through them. ... A small amount is decipherable, the rest is not. We're asking if someone could go through with Ms. [Ware?], to go through, so someone could go through it to see what it says. ... Counsel [Amster?] said he's not required to do that. ..."

The whole purpose of discovery law is so that everyone shows up to court, so that everyone knows what's being said.

A copy of the document in question is given to the court. .

DDA Silverman continues, "We’re just asking that someone assist us in trying to decipher these notes."

Judge Kennedy comments, "I'm just looking through this, and it probably makes sense to the person who took the notes, but there are things circled and crossed out. It’s difficult to understand what it is. Maybe you’d prefer to have the inviestigator call the DA and talk to them on the phone."

I miss who informs the court that the investigator is in jail. [That was an interesting moment.]

Ms. Gozawa doesn’t have the authority to do that [have the DA talk to the investigator directly].

DDA Silverman adds, "The court can make a ruling." The court replies, "I don’t have the investigator here to order him to call you. ... I don’t think the prosecutor has to sit down and inteview this person and recored it. ... These notes are indecipherable. What Ms. Silverman's saying is correct."

There is discussion that it would be about a five minute phone call.

The court asks, "Ms. Pensanti, do you have the authority to say, have this investigator to call ...?"

For the first time ever, I hear Ms. Pensanti interact with the court proceedings. Pensanti tells the court, "Yes." She has spoken to Mr. Amster, yes.

I believe it's DDA Silverman who brings to the attention of the court, that the investigator, Mr. Ware, had an interview with the defendant. " ... and if there was such an interview, if any of that interview has been relied upon with other witnesses, we are also entitled to that."

Judge Kennedy replies, "I think that is also something for another day."

Now they are trying to set a date for Mr. Sours to come to court. Mr. Sours is not available on the October 20 date. DDA Rizzo tells the court that Dr. Sours will be available at a future date of November 2. DDA Rizzo checked with Ms. Gozawa, and November 3 is also available in the event we need a portion of his testimony extended into another date. DDA Rizzo adds that there is another witness that she hasn't been able to confirm on November 2.

DDA Rizzo states she thinks they can set the date for Mr. Sours and the second witness for November 2. If that other witness is not available on November 2, then they can set another date close in time or set another date to come back. Judge Kennedy asks, "Anything else?"

DDA Silverman replies, "It would be wise to set a date between now and November 2 on discovery."

The new date to return is October 13, at 8:30 am. And that’s it.

The next post on this case can be found HERE.


amulbunny's random thoughts said...

This trial is going to be a circus. Time to buy popcorn and peanuts and a large soda, and sit back and read your updates. Thanks for taking one for the team.

Sprocket said...

Well, much will depend on what happens in the 3rd party culpability hearing, after Dr. Sours testifies in [I believe] a 402 hearing. That will happen on November 2.

The court will rule on all of this before trial. Judge Kennedy is one tough judge. She won't let any surprises happen in this case.

If the court hears testimony about DNA mixtures of 4-6 or 7-8 or more individuals, that, it is accepted practice not to render an opinion because no statistical analysis can be given, then it's a good bet this evidence will not be allowed into the trial at guilt or penalty phase.

We'll just have to wait and see what happens in the upcoming pretrial hearings and motions.