Burglary Trial Resumes As Expert Witness Testifies

By Mary Nguyen and Novpreet Shoker

On Wednesday, the People continued examining their expert on cell towers, Jim Cook, to provide evidence against Joseph Hernandez, Rakhem Bradford, and Joshua Givens for the ongoing burglary trial involving stolen property from individuals’ homes and dorm rooms.

The specialist could locate the vicinity of the subjects based on their cell activity. When a call was made close to a specific cell tower, it could indicate if the individuals were close to the location of theft or to later potential theft. It, however, could not trace the location of the individual if the phone was turned off.

From the suspects’ Cellebrite (data extraction software) records, they could also trace movement. If a call was made in the southeast tower and then terminated in the north tower, it was an indication of movement.

Mr. Cook continued to examine the cell phone’s range of vicinity, determining when an incoming or outgoing call was received by the suspects. He also explained the areas of movement from precisely how a call moved from one tower to the next.

The prosecution was also able to access Mr. Bradford’s Device Exam GPS Location Data. His exact coordinates allowed the expert to precisely determine the area Bradford was in, whereas the cell activity showed proximity.

Using Mr. Bradford’s photo data, they could get an exact time and coordinate from when the moment was captured. For instance, they could pinpoint from a photo that it was taken on 10/17/13 at 6:51 pm at Drexel Drive.

From the data collected it was confirmed whether the assailants were in the vicinity of the areas of theft. The defendant’s attorneys had no commentary during the examination.

By Novpreet Shoker

The jury trial for Joseph Hernandez, Joshua Givens, and Rakhem Bradford reconvened in Department 8 this Wednesday afternoon, after Labor Day weekend. These men are being held to answer on charges of possession of stolen property as well as marijuana, and several counts of burglary.

The jury trial resumed after lunch with James Granucci, the defense counsel for Joshua Givens, conducting cross-examination with the expert witness, Jim Cook.

Mr. Granucci asked for further details on the witness’ previous work experience. As the witness explained his past employment in various locations in the Central Valley, Mr. Granucci clarified that his jobs focused mainly on sales rather than anything else.

Mr. Granucci then asked whether the witness took any engineering classes while at community college when he was working in Modesto, California. The witness conceded that he had not.

After some more questioning, it was also revealed that the witness ran his own company, but that was over after he lost his agreement with AirTouch, which is a wireless telephone service located in San Francisco.

After discussing the technical process of surveying different cell towers, Mr. Granucci asked the witness for an estimate of how many Verizon towers might be in Davis. The witness answered approximately nine.

The testimony turned to specific addresses in Davis, where the witness surveyed cell sites while investigating Hernandez’s and Givens’ phones. They also analyzed the extent of the circumferences on call activity of each individual’s phone on specific days back in 2013.

The majority of the witness’ testimony consisted of these technical details.

After the jury was excused, Judge David W. Reed discussed the trial’s remaining schedule with both sides of counsel. The attorneys aim to present their closing arguments on the 14th of September, next week, leaving the jury to go into deliberation in about two weeks from today.

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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