John Wilburn’s Reports

Monday January 26, 2009

Court convened promptly at 10:00 – Mr. Frederick wore a light gray suit, white shirt, blue tie.

Mr. Ebert opened the day with a motion that the attorneys and judge visit the residence (932 Redstart Ave) first, to ensure that there is no “prejudicial evidence” laying about, for the jury to see (highly unlikely, since Amanda Arakelyan (Ryan’s sister) and her family are living at the house. Mr. Broccoletti and Judge Arrington concurred. The visit is to take place tomorrow morning (1/27/09). Not real clear when the jury will actually get over there…

Next, Mr. Broccoletti made a motion taking up Mr. Eberts offer of reviewing the video of the re-enactment, with the add-on the he be permitted to cross-examine Detective Roberts (again) in regard to the video. Mr. Ebert objected, taking the position that since the re-enactment and video were “work products” to assist the prosecutors in understanding what happened, the video could not be used to impeach the credibility of the witness. Judge Arrington will take the matter under advisement…

Jury was brought in at 10:12 – judge asked the jury if they had complied with her instructions regarding having no contact with news media, internet or conversations regarding the case – all stated that they had complied…

First prosecution witness was (former) Detective Winklespeck (sp) who returned from his training in Georgia with his new employer, the ATF.

Questioned by Mr. Willett. Asked about the pre-mission brief – answered that brief covered particulars of the raid; specifically the one hazard that was identified was that Mr. Frederick owned a firearm, and the crime was a marijuana grow operation in the detached garage. The impact (his term) was that there was no immediate rush, so that it was decided to “knock and announce.”

Winklespeck was assigned the no. two position or entry following Det. Shivers – his position in “the stack” was to Shivers left, at the bottom of the steps, just off the left side of the sidewalk. His assignment was to cover the two windows to the left of the front door, for threats to Roberts and Barone (who were on the porch). He didn’t recall how many times Roberts knocked and announced, recalled that Barone knocked and announced once, heard dogs barking inside the house, and heard Det. Duncan call “eight ball.”

He heard Sgt. Chambers call off the eight ball response, and heard Det. Walker make announcement. Several seconds later (number not specified) he saw Barone breach the door, and knock out the lower right hand panel. Winklespeck got behind Shivers, saw the head of a pit bull thru the hole in the door, and focused his attention on the pit bull (potentially dangerous dog).

He heard a sound “like someone snapping their finger” in his ear, saw someone (from the waist down) wearing blue bottoms and a red shirt thru the hole in the door, saw movement to his right, and then heard “barricade.”

He repositioned himself to the right front corner of the house, looked to his left, and saw two officers dragging someone to a point in front of the next house over. At that point he realized that it was Shivers – who was bleeding heavily from the mouth. The two officers (Roberts and Chambers) were having difficulty locating the wound, and Winklespeck provided a light. He said that he had been on the SWAT team with Shivers.

After Mr. Frederick came outside and surrendered, Chambers asked Winklespeck to interview Mr. Frederick. He handed his light to Det. Walker, got his tape recorder out of his backpack, and interviewed Mr. Frederick in the back of the police car (not sure whether it was the marked or unmarked one).

The rest of the team continued to work on Detective Shivers until the ambulance arrived. Winklespeck advised Mr. Frederick of his rights, and proceeded to interview him, using his recorder to tape the interview. Asked if he participated in the re-enactment – said that he had, but like everyone else, could not recall when the re-enactment took place…

Defense cross-examination. Questioned by Mr. Korslund.

Asked about “Miranda” rights being read, Winklespeck said he read Mr. Frederick his rights, asked if he understood them, and Mr. Frederick responded that he did. Winklespeck said he was confident that Mr. Frederick did, indeed, understand the rights, and that he voluntarily gave up these rights. He said that Mr. Frederick’s responses to his questions were logical and coherent, and were consistent with the questions (answer matched question – no indication of confusion or irrationality).

(The transcript of the taped interview ran to 10 pages.)

Winklestat said that he hadn’t read the search warrant, and wasn’t aware of what specific items were listed on the warrant, to be searched for, beyond the grow operation in the detached garage (other items listed were packaging material and scales). He said he did not enter the house, and did not see anything of interest in the house except the dog.

He said that Shivers had a pistol and M4 rifle, Roberts had a pistol, and he (Winklespeck) had a pistol. He said that all of the members of the other team (detached garage) had pistols.

He said that the purpose of the re-enactment was to assist the prosecutors in understanding what happened, that there was no “inside” meeting or briefing prior to the re-enactment, and that any discussion that took place regarding the re-enactment, took place during the re-enactment.

At that point he was excused by the judge – I think to go back to Georgia, and continue his training with the ATF.

Neil Rogers (retired) forensics technician was the next witness. Questioned by Mr. Conway(?).

The front door from Mr. Frederick’s house was brought in, and Mr. Rogers identified it as the one that the police had breached at 932 Redstart Ave. He said that he and Mr. Davis (the other forensics tech) had retrieved the broken shards of the missing lower right panel and had “reconstructed” it (whatever that means). There were no further questions by either side, and Mr. Rogers was excused.

Detective Meinhart (sp) was the next witness. Questioned by Mr. Conway.

Meinhart is with the Criminal Investigations, Intelligence Unit. His primary areas of expertise are in Gang Activities and Narcotics. From 2000 until 2005, he was part of a special task force, working with the FBI, in the areas of Narcotics & Violent Crimes. He’s had 250 hours of specialized training, including the areas of cultivation, distribution and use of marijuana.

He stated that he was called at his home by Capt. Dunlap (CO of Special Investigations) and sent to 932 Redstart Ave, after the raid took place. Wasn’t certain of the exact time of arrival, but was before midnight. He said he was unable to enter the house until 4:36 a.m. on the 18th. Apparently, Det. Roberts took the only copy of the search warrant with him, when he accompanied Det. Shivers to the hospital, so Det. Meinhart and the forensics people had to wait until he (Roberts) brought it back.

Det Meinhart’s responsibility was to supervise and receive the evidence collected by the forensics technicians (Chain-of-Evidence). Specific evidence to be collected was evidence of a grow operation (manufacturing).

The areas where evidence was found are;

Master Bedroom –

Books on Marijuana Cultivation

Magazines (High Times & etc.)

Photos of marijuana plants

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Back Bedroom –

Baggies containing small amount of marijuana

Bong

Shredder (for loosening buds to facilitate smoking)

Loose marijuana lying on video game map book entitled “Scarface”

Ashtray

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Attic of house –

Two ballasts “Hydro-Farm” (transformers for starting fluorescent & grow lights – not

hooked up)

Sodium (grow) light “Hydro-Farm” 400 watts – not hooked up

Four smaller lights – sodium & fluorescent (how many of each type unspecified) – not

hooked up

Book “Great Marijuana”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Attic of Detached Garage –

Four black tubs – two bottom sections, two top sections (two complete units)

(Root matter found in tubs)

Large black tub and two bulb fluorescent light (not a grow light)

Glass Bong

Large orange bucket (small amount of debris in bucket tested positive for marijuana

Blue “tote” box (similar to foot locker – with lid) containing several items – paperwork, blue bag, stool, – book on marijuana cultivation found nearby

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Finally, a certificate of Analysis, showing that six items of evidence (baggies & etc.) tested positive for marijuana, the largest amount of the six being 2.6 grams (about equal to the amount of tobacco in a regular size cigarette).

Prosecution questioning ended here – reserved right to recall Det. Meinhart.

The defense cross-examination, conducted by Mr. Korslund basically went over general information about marijuana cultivation;

Female plants are preferable to male plants (higher yield of product & THC content).

Male plants are kept limited – determining the sex of the plant is done in the latter stages of cultivation.

One female plant yields 8 – 12 ounces of smoking material..

The equipment collected was associated with a “Hydroponics” grow operation – soil is not used – water (containing nutrients) is the growth medium (median?).

All materials, books, magazines, equipment, etc. (everything except the marijuana itself) recovered as evidence are legally obtainable to anyone. None of the equipment was set up to be used. It was not known if the lights and such even worked. The prosecution actually stipulated that no plants were found.

No evidence of distribution was found – no money, no safe, no packaging material, no scales, and no unexplained funds in bank accounts. Nothing.

Broke for lunch at 1:10 – re-convened at 2:15. Then the fun began.

Steven Wright was scheduled as the next witness. Mr. Broccoletti cited several legal precedents to deny the prosecution from questioning Mr. Wright about his knowledge of past sales of marijuana by Mr. Frederick to him, to others, to persons that Mr. Wright introduced to Mr. Frederick as new customers, and portions of the profits of these sales by Mr. Frederick, that were shared by Mr. Wright.

His contention was that these “prior acts” if they even took place, were not connected to the crime that Mr. Frederick is being tried for, and that currently, the prosecution has no evidence of any distribution, or for that matter cultivation, and that the “probative value” of this testimony is far and away overshadowed by the “prejudicial effect” since it would serve to give the jury the impression that Mr. Fredericks is a drug dealer who shot a police officer to protect himself from jail time for drug dealing.

Mr. Conway vehemently objected, and insisted that “evidence is evidence” and that Mr. Broccoletti would have every opportunity to impeach Mr. Wright’s testimony.

Judge Arrington will make her ruling tomorrow; it is to be hoped…

I believe I’ve gotten the gist of the discussion down – Mr. Conway is incredibly long-winded…

Day Six notes moved to own page

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