‘The Trials of Frank Carson’: How this series was reported

Frank Carson's business cards
Business cards on the desk of Modesto criminal defense attorney Frank Carson.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

This series is the result of two years of reporting by Times staff writer Christopher Goffard. Goffard interviewed many participants in the case, including Frank Carson, Georgia DeFilippo, Christina DeFilippo, Baljit Athwal, Daljit Atwal, Walter Wells, Scott McFarlane, Marlisa Ferreira, Birgit Fladager, Hans Hjertonsson, Jai Gohel, Percy Martinez, Robert Forkner, Martha Carlton-Magaña and Robert Woody.

In addition to attending portions of the trial, Goffard studied thousands of transcript pages from the 18-month preliminary hearing and the 17-month trial, warrants, police reports, transcripts of interrogations and legal motions.

He obtained an audio recording of Woody’s alleged confession to his girlfriend, as well as audio or video recordings that investigators made during the case; including interviews with Michael Cooley and Woody, Woody’s trip with authorities into Stanislaus National Forest, wiretapped phone calls among the defendants, the August 2012 confrontation between Carson and police at Carson’s office and video of Carson’s arrest.


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