Logistics Sorted Out in Ongoing Burglary Trial

By Alexandra Quilici

Court resumed on Tuesday in the ongoing burglary trial involving Joseph Hernandez, Rakhem Bradford, and Joshua Givens. Three different witnesses from professional backgrounds were brought forth to examine and detail different pieces of evidence.

The first was a police officer for the city of Davis, John Renger. A victim reported to him a watch stolen from his house on Anderson Road. The defendants are accused of stealing a Timex watch from this man.

During the search warrant, a Timex watch was uncovered from the Drexel Drive home (the hub, residence of the defendants, where alleged stolen properties ended up).

Officer Renger was then dismissed for the day.

The second witness of the day was Dan Beckwith, who is a detective in the Davis Police Department.

He was a part of the team that executed the initial search warrant of the Drexel home. His primary job was to search one bedroom in the house. The two people who lived in this bedroom were not the defendants, however, the items found in their room are of great interest to the court.

The detective went into the bedroom looking for anything that could be stolen property. He uncovered a digital camera that had pictures of people on it that were not the two people living in the room. He therefore assumed it was, or could be, stolen property and confiscated it.

He also found three large bags of marijuana in the room, and confiscated them under suspicion that they were possessed with the intent to sell.

Detective Beckwith was able to identify photographic evidence tying the place he searched to the evidence submitted to the trial. He also recalled that the bags of marijuana weighed 677 grams, 240 grams, and 150 grams respectively (with an additional 170 grams “loose” in a green tub).

At previous court sessions, most of the house residents and people who frequented it were described as heavy marijuana smokers.

Beckwith also had involvement with the stolen watch. When showing the watch that was recovered from the search warrant to the person who reported a missing watch, the alleged owner of the watch swore that that was indeed his watch. However, there were no defining marks or differences that he noted to certify that it was undoubtedly his watch.

The detective also clarified that almost every time they find bagged marijuana, it means there is intention to sell.

The witness was then dismissed for the day.

The last witness of the day was Ms. Dorothy Pearson, a forensic investigator who analyzes digital evidence. She was involved in extracting data information from cell phones involved in the trial.

In order to do this, they use a program called Cellebrite that does not tamper with the evidence but can uncover and paste content onto a hard drive. Texts, pictures, videos, and contacts are usually what are uncovered.

Most of the afternoon was spent with Deputy District Attorney Michelle Serafin establishing a foundation that would allow photographic evidence from the phones to be published for jury viewing.

One of the phones could not be used at all due to the power button being broken on top, making it impossible to access the contents on the phone. However, photographic evidence was able to pinpoint one of the phones as Joseph Hernandez’s. The extraction content of the phone’s contacts linked to him.

Ms. Pearson will continue to testify the next time court assembles, however, court was dismissed early due to the fact that there is a large amount of evidence (mainly from cell phones) that Judge David Reed wanted to organize and discuss with the lawyers before it will be presented to the jury in the upcoming days.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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