by K. Hall, Tara Saghir, Connor Kianpour and Danielle Silva
Froste Trial Reconvenes: Prosecution Calls Three Witnesses to the Stand
By K. Hall and Tara Saghir
The trial of David Froste resumed this morning in Department 14 of Yolo County Superior Court as three young witnesses provided testimony to the court. Deputy District Attorney Jay Linden called the first witness for the prosecution. The witness, “RV,” self-identified as a younger ½ sibling to Jesus Campos, one of the individuals accused of involvement in the disappearance of the missing Woodland teens, Enrique Rios and Elijah Moore.
While on the stand, RV told the court about Campos’s friendship with another defendant, Mr. Shannon, and how the two often sold marijuana together. RV testified about an evening in 2016 when Campos allegedly came home seemingly intoxicated, and tearfully confessed to his part in the disappearance and alleged murder of the missing teens. RV said Campos told him that he and his friends had gone to sell marijuana and were robbed. Campos said that, subsequently, he and his friends went looking for the person(s) who robbed them and “they shot him.”
During cross-examination by Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira, RV indicated that Campos had become involved in selling drugs when he was between 13 to 14 years old. RV stated that their sibling relationship was not particularly close, attributing this to a history of aggressive behavior within the home on the part of Mr. Campos.
Deputy District Attorney Kyle Hasapes called the second witness for the prosecution, “DC,” a friend of Mr. Campos who indicated he has known Campos since he was five years of age. DC described the friendship in a casual manner, indicating that most of their interaction in recent years was centered around activities like smoking marijuana and playing video games. DC testified that Mr. Campos spoke with him a short time before the disappearances about getting robbed at gunpoint and showed him a picture on his cell phone of someone that he alleged was the thief. He stated that Campos subsequently discussed the disappearances with him on two occasions. He stated that the first conversation regarding the disappearances occurred in the presence of a third friend, RO. DC stated that on that day, the three friends were sitting outside on the stairs in front of Mr. Campos’s house when Campos asked them if they wanted to “hear a secret.” DC indicated Campos told them that “(he) and some other people hit one of them [the individuals who had allegedly stolen from them] with a stick and shot one of them.” DS said that Campos did not clarify who was with him or which person allegedly killed the victim(s), only that the perpetrators said they planned to take the victim(s) under the auspices of “going to a party” but instead went to a beach or river, where the alleged murders took place. DC indicated that Campos was “just smiling” and “bragging” when he told this story and that the friendship had deteriorated after this occurred because he was afraid of Campos.
During cross-examination DC stated that, more recently, Mr. Campos’s girlfriend posted a video on social media wherein Campos allegedly stated that he “wants to cut my (DC’s) face off.” DC indicated that this added to his concern regarding the threat he felt from Campos. When Ms. Sequeira questioned DC again about the conversation in which Campos confessed the crime to his friends, DC elaborated on his earlier testimony, stating that Campos’s eyes were “watery” during his alleged confession.
Later under redirect, Mr. Hasapes asked if Campos appeared to be “remorseful” at the time of the alleged confession, to which DC responded “yes.”
After a short re-cross, DC was excused but may be recalled in the future.
Lastly, Mr. Linden called to the stand “DR,” the third and final witness for the morning. DR stated that he frequently spent time with David Froste, Jonathan Froste, Jesus Campos and Chandale Shannon. He also confirmed that he knew both alleged victims, Mr. Rios, and Mr. Moore. He testified that he was closest with Campos, and that Campos nervously confessed the alleged kidnapping and murders to him in 2016. DR testified that Campos told him Moore was the individual who allegedly stole from him. Then Campos stated that he, D. Froste, J. Froste, and Shannon “made (Moore) get into the trunk of a car with a gun” and, “made him suffer.”
Later, under cross-examination by Ms. Sequeira, DR stated that two weeks after the robbery, Campos told him that he, Shannon and Davis Froste saw Moore walking outside and picked him up. DR stated that Campos named David Froste as the individual who got out of the car with a gun and forced Moore into the trunk of the vehicle.
DR was ordered to return to court and continue his testimony after the lunch recess.
Intense Cross-Examination in Murder Trial for Missing Teens
by Connor Kianpour and Danielle Silva
After the lunch hour, the witness testimonies in the case of David Ashley Froste continued. The first three witnesses of the afternoon were all friends of the prime suspects involved in the disappearance of missing teens Enrique Rios and Elijah Moore. All three of these testimonies were consistent in stating that Elijah Moore robbed Jesus Campos and Chandale Shannon of their marijuana several days prior to his disappearance in 2016.
The first two witnesses of the afternoon confirmed that Mr. Campos confided in them about what he and the other prime suspects in the case did to Mr. Moore and Mr. Rios. The first witness reported that Mr. Campos told him that “they [the perpetrators of the crime] made him [Elijah Moore] suffer.” The second witness provided more detail about the ways in which the suffering was enacted upon the teenager. Mr. Moore, according to this witness’s testimony, tried running away from his captors only to be shot in the back. He fell to the ground and tried crawling back to his captors to say something only to be shot again. This same witness shared that Mr. Campos said the perpetrators of the crime took Mr. Rios to a river.
The third witness of the afternoon––a young lady who was best friends with Mr. Shannon at the time of the disappearances and considered herself close to Elijah Moore prior to his disappearance––shed light on Mr. Froste’s disposition prior to the disappearance of Elijah Moore. She was asked by Mr. Shannon, Mr. Campos, and Jonathan and David Froste to help “set up” Mr. Moore to get back at him for robbing them of their marijuana. She reported that David Froste came off as irritated and rowdy during this interaction and Mr. Shannon had to calm him down.
During the cross-examination of this witness, Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira revealed that the young lady’s observation of David Froste’s demeanor was made after police officers questioned her about the incident in a leading manner. One of the officers even suggested to the witness that Mr. Shannon would have to be directed to kill people and that he could not have been the mastermind behind the homicidal operation, leading her to believe that only David Froste would be capable of the prime suspects of orchestrating the crimes in question.
The most illuminating witness testimony, however, was the last one of the afternoon. This witness reported that his brother’s truck was used as an instrument in the abduction and killing of Elijah Moore. Furthermore, David Froste suggested to the witness’s brother that they take the truck to the car wash where the witness’s brother reportedly witnessed Mr. Froste clean the inside of the truck with bleach as the truck owner was taking a phone call. After trying to report this to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (which he alleges never got back to him), he reported these facts to a Yolo County deputy district attorney.
During her fiery cross-examination, Ms. Sequeira questioned this witness’s motives in relaying that information to the deputy district attorney. It ultimately came to light that the witness’s testimony to the deputy district attorney coincided with that witness’s older brother receiving a plea deal in his own court case where he was charged with arson. Furthermore, she questioned why the witness did not report his findings to local law enforcement, only to find that he knew how to contact the FBI because of fliers that he had seen. When asked by Ms. Sequeira what fliers he was referring to and if he was referring to the fliers which posted financial reward for information pertinent to the case, the witness insisted that money was not what he cared for in his disclosure of information but that he cared about the truth being heard.
Additionally, Ms. Sequeira referenced the witness’s relationship with his family. The witness noted he was very close to his brother, sisters, and mother but didn’t care for his brother who had committed arson. He stated he knew the brother who had testified before and been involved in the Froste case had a drinking problem and noted his brother could have lied about being sober in court during his testimony. However, Ms. Sequeira further pried into the witness’s relationship with his brother.
In an uncharacteristically inflamed manner, Ms. Sequeira ended her examination of the witness by asking if it had been he who called the cops on himself when he also committed a crime, since he seems to concern himself so deeply with what is right. The witness stated that he did not commit the charged crime and acted out of self-defense, defending himself in a matter that had no bearing on the charges levied against David Froste. He was excused thereafter and stepped down from the stand.
The trial of David Froste will resume tomorrow morning, October 22, at 9 AM.