Justice at snail’s pace for Modesto attorney Carson

Justice at snail’s pace for Modesto attorney Carson in murder case

It was supposed to last three to four weeks. Six months later, the preliminary hearing continues for Modesto attorney Frank Carson and five others charged in the slaying of Turlock resident Korey Kauffman. And it’s unclear when it will end.

Carson is accused of being the ringleader of a criminal conspiracy to thwart thieves from repeatedly stealing antiques and scrap metal from his property on Ninth Street in Turlock.

The prosecution believes Carson recruited a group of people to send a violent message to burglars, which resulted in Kauffman’s death after he was caught stealing. The defense believes this is a case of wrongful prosecution by a vindictive District Attorney’s Office intent on ruining a prominent criminal defense attorney who has been successful in defending his clients.

The preliminary hearing has been in session 56 court days over the past six months, delayed by scheduling conflicts, holidays, vacations, challenges to evidence and now a defense attorney’s injury.

Jesse Garcia, who represents Carson’s wife, says he will return to the case Tuesday, when testimony can resume. Garcia recently suffered a serious ankle injury and underwent extensive surgery.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will decide whether there’s enough evidence for the defendants to stand trial. If the judge issues a holding order, defense attorneys have already informed the court that their clients will want to go to trial right away. The trial is expected to last longer than the preliminary hearing.