by T. Saghir, K. Hall, and Connor Kianpour
Froste Trial Resumes: Prosecution Calls Detective Jameson to the Stand
By T. Saghir and K. Hall
The trial of David Froste reconvened this morning in Department 14 of the Superior Court of Yolo County, as Woodland Detective Matt Jameson was called to the stand. He was one of the detectives investigating the disappearance of two missing teens, Elijah Wood and Enrique Rios.
Deputy District Attorney Jay Linden questioned Detective Jameson on Google searches that he found on David Froste’s laptop, including about LoJack (anti-theft technology) on a 2016 Toyota Camry, and how long businesses keep their surveillance videos. On Campos’s laptop they found a search for the podcast called “The Vanishing” which discussed the disappearance of missing teens Enrique Rios and Elijah Moore.
Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira asked Detective Jameson about Jonathan Froste, David’s brother. Jonathan Froste attended several of his brother’s hearings. Detective Jameson stated that law enforcement offered J. Froste a lighter sentence in exchange for the location where the bodies of the missing teens were allegedly deposited. Detective Jameson was also questioned about communication J. Froste had with Daniel Marsh, a juvenile defendant who was tried and convicted as an adult in a separate case. Detective Jameson confirmed that information was in fact exchanged between Daniel Marsh and Jonathan Froste while both were in police custody. Detective Jameson indicated that this exchange was centered around J. Froste’s belief that, due to his young age, he might receive a lighter sentence, as well as what actions Marsh recommended he pursue while in custody to achieve that end.
Ms. Sequeira also questioned Detective Jameson on the last people or persons who may have had contact with Mr. Moore, based on Moore’s cell phone “pings” off cell towers in Woodland and Knights Landing. Jameson indicated that the last activity on the phone seems to have been two text messages, one incoming and one outgoing. However, Jameson did not indicate from whom those text messages were sent or received. He also stated that that Moore’s cell phone was never recovered by police.
Jameson continued, stating that the sheriff’s department received a tip on December 5 of 2016 from an unidentified female caller, which led detectives to speak with Mr. Campos, another defendant in this case, regarding the disappearances of Rios and Moore. Detective Jameson indicated that it was close to this time that the police began to connect the two disappearances.
Jameson confirmed that on December 14 the police received information which led them to speak with an individual who would eventually become a witness in this trial, “DR.” The detectives met with DR a total of three times. Detective Jameson indicated that the first and second time Jameson and or other detectives spoke with DR he was uncooperative and did not want to speak with law enforcement. Eventually, according to Jameson, DR stated that he was friends with Moore but an acquaintance of Rios. Finally, during the third interview between Jameson and DR, he provided law enforcement with information that prompted them to look at Chandale Shannon, another defendant in this case. DR also indicated during his interactions with police that he spoke with several people in the community about Mr. Campos’s robbery, an event allegedly tied to the disappearances of Rios and Moore.
Detective Jameson testified that he talked to Shannon about the disappearance of Rios and the alleged robbery. He said that when they initially spoke, Shannon denied being robbed. Jameson stated that in a later conversation, Shannon acknowledged that he and Mr. Rios had been arrested in connection with a stolen car. According to Jameson, Shannon expressed that he was upset because Rios did not tell him that the car was stolen. He indicated that he (Shannon) blamed Rios, and subsequently told Jameson that he had stopped talking to Rios after the incident. However, according to Jameson, their phone records indicate otherwise. Eventually, according to Jameson, Shannon admitted to police that a robbery did occur, but that David Froste and not Mr. Campos was the victim thereof.
Ms. Sequeira further questioned Detective Jameson about David Froste’s arrest. She pointed out that Mr. Campos and Mr. Shannon were aware that they were being looked at before the detectives obtained search warrants, to which Jameson answered affirmatively. Jameson stated that the residences of Mr. Campos and Mr. Shannon, as well as that of both J. and D. Froste, were searched by law enforcement. Jameson confirmed that the only person who was arrested at that time was David Froste for possession of marijuana, and that D. Froste ultimately spent nine months attempting to unseal the warrant which had been issued for the search of his home and led to his arrest on the drug charge.
Jameson also testified that a firearm, as described by a previous witness, was not found at Shannon’s house. The detectives found DNA evidence in the trunk of the rental vehicle. However, when pressed by Ms. Sequeira, he admitted that the DNA evidence was determined by the F.B.I. to be inconclusive. When Ms. Sequeira questioned Jameson further, about whether that means that the DNA may not belong to Moore, Rios, or any of the defendants in this case, Detective Jameson would only state that “inclusive means that it is unable to be determined.”
Detective Jameson was requested to return after the lunch recess to continue the cross-examination.
Testimony of Detective in Case for Missing Teens Continues
by Connor Kianpour
The trial of David Ashley Froste resumed in Department 14 of the Superior Court of Yolo County after the lunch hour with the continued testimony of Detective Matt Jameson. During her cross-examination of the witness, Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira asked questions that would ultimately cast doubt on the evidence the prosecution has used to justify Mr. Froste’s primary role in the disappearances and presumed murders of teenagers Enrique Rios and Elijah Moore.
Ms. Sequeira asked Detective Jameson about the intakes of Jesus Campos and Chandale Shannon, originally codefendants in this case, when they were first charged with the crime. During this line of questioning, it was made evident that a lot of the information gathered from mostly Mr. Campos but Mr. Shannon as well was acquired through what is called a “Perkins Operation.” A Perkins Operation, given its name because of the 1990 Supreme Court Case Illinois v. Perkins, is a tool used by law enforcement to get a suspect to disclose incriminating information to an individual who is not a government actor.
Detective Jameson furthermore revealed that the Perkins Operation agent was an individual who was approximately 6 feet tall, weighed about 300 pounds, appeared Hispanic, and was visibly tattooed. Ms. Sequeira suggested through her line of questioning that law enforcement’s employment of this particular Perkins Operation agent was inappropriate and placed Mr. Campos in a position where he was unusually susceptible to incrimination of a certain kind that may have adversely affected the defendant.
In redirect, however, the prosecution made clear the fact that, during the Perkins Operation, Jose Campos was observably not coerced, not bullied, and was met with no harsh words by the individual used to gather information from him. There is even video evidence of this interaction admitted as evidence in the case.
Furthermore, Ms. Sequeira called attention to the evolution of Mr. Shannon’s account of the robbery which Elijah Moore committed days prior to his disappearance. By Mr. Shannon’s third interview with law enforcement officials, his story recounted the robbery such that it was, unequivocally, David Froste who was robbed of a mason jar filled with marijuana. The other former codefendants were not implicated with respect to motive for the abduction and murder of Mr. Moore by this account.
Ms. Sequeira also called into question Mr. Shannon’s reliability by recalling an incident on June 23, 2018, when Mr. Shannon was taken into custody for delaying a police officer in performing his duty by refusing a genetic swab test. It was when he was taken into custody after this lack of cooperation with law enforcement that he recounted the robbery, affirming that David Froste was the afflicted party in the crime.
On Thursday, October 25, Mr. Froste’s brother and former codefendant will be taking the stand against the defendant in Department 14. The trial will resume tomorrow at 9 AM.