Criminal Justice

gavel in forefront

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A lawyer acquitted of murder is now representing his former co-defendant, who is charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and acting as an accessory.

The acquitted lawyer, Frank Carson of Modesto, California, sought dismissal of the charges on Tuesday against former California Highway Patrol officer Walter Wells, the Modesto Bee reports.

Carson told Judge Barbara Zuniga that “the jury got it right” in his case, and she should toss the case against Wells. “This is the essence of justice,” Carson said.

Zuniga refused to toss the case.

Prosecutors had alleged Carson was the ringleader of a conspiracy to kill a scavenger, Korey Kauffman, whom he believed to have stolen scrap metal and scrap from his property. Carson was acquitted in June, along with two liquor store owners. Carson’s wife and her daughter were also initially charged in the case, but the charges were dropped, according to an earlier editorial by the Modesto Bee.

The only person convicted in the case so far is Robert Lee Woody, who agreed to testify against the defendants as part of a plea deal.

According to the Modesto Bee editorial, Carson was a prominent defense attorney “who dared to oppose [the district attorney’s] underlings in court, too often with an irritating smirk and smug arrogance, and then had the audacity to run against her in 2014.”

The murder case “hinged on the testimony of a man who previously had bragged about killing Kauffman himself and feeding his remains to pigs, before changing his mind and agreeing to blame the defendants,” the editorial said.

The Turlock Journal asked Carson how he felt about the attention given the case. “Well it was devastating,: Carson said. “It’s embarrassing. It’s humiliating. But I just got to the point where I can’t control any of it. As far as the effect on my family, they didn’t deserve any of that, nor did I, but young people like my daughter and my wife had never been exposed to anything like this. They had never been arrested, had never been part of the system. It’s just devastating.”

Asked if he planned to run for district attorney again, Carson said it’s too early to tell.