Froste Trial Continues
By T. Saghir and K. Hall
The trial of David Ashley Froste reconvened today in Department 14 of Yolo County Superior Court. The defendant is accused of kidnapping and murder in the disappearance of two teens in 2016, Elijah Moore and Enrique Rios. This morning, the defendant’s brother, Jonathan Froste, continued his testimony on the witness stand.
Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira cross-examined Jonathan Froste about the nature of his relationship with his brother, David Froste. Jonathan stated that he and his brother David are six years apart in age. Jonathan also testified about his childhood, indicating that during that period he experienced some discontinuity and instability within his home life. He testified that he spent time in the homes of both parents as well as some time in protective custody while growing up. He indicated that his older brother David was in and out of the home during those years. Jonathan later stated that his first time hanging out with David as a friend was after he reached 18 years of age.
Ms. Sequeira also questioned Jonathan Froste about his involvement in illicit activities, including the distribution and sale of marijuana. Jonathan stated that after David Froste was in police custody, he, Jesus Campos and Chandale Shannon (the other defendants in this case) continued to spend time together smoking marijuana; however, he stated that the three stopped selling marijuana at that point.
Jonathon Froste was dismissed but is subject to recall.
The prosecution then called their second witness of the day, “CP,” a former girlfriend of David Froste who stated that she and Froste were involved in a brief relationship in 2016. Deputy District Attorney Kyle Hasapes questioned CP about their relationship. CP indicated that she and Froste only dated for a couple of months but maintained minimal contact for some time thereafter.
CP then detailed the events which brought communication between the two to an abrupt halt. She stated that On December 17, 2016, she received a brief phone call from Mr. Froste during which he indicated that he wanted to talk to her about “something that happened.” She described his demeanor as being stressed and anxious. CP indicated that later that day she and Mr. Froste met in the city of Woodland, where Froste picked her up from a bus stop. CP stated that when Froste arrived to pick her up, his brother Jonathan Froste was driving the vehicle and Mr. Shannon was also in the car. CP stated that they subsequently drove around the area selling marijuana for about 45 minutes. After that, CP told the court, she and David Froste went to a bar to talk more privately. CP stated that when David was talking to her, she noticed he seemed scared and nervous and asked CP multiple times if he could trust her, which she indicated seemed odd because he had never asked her that before. CP stated that D. Froste said to her, “I did something,” but when she pressed him for further details, he stated that she would hear about it soon enough.
CP stated that throughout their conversation, David Froste had made advances toward her. She stated that, when she told him she was in a relationship with someone else, he immediately became hostile and aggravated. CP stated that Mr. Froste then admitted the only reason he asked her to come to Woodland was so that he and his new girlfriend could kidnap her and desert her in the middle of the woods. CP testified that the two quarreled and, after an exchange of unpleasant words by both parties, David Froste left her at the bar. CP stated that, after this event, she refused to engage in any further communication with David. Shortly after this testimony, the witness was excused from the courtroom.
A third witness, Detective Matt Jameson, was then recalled to the witness stand. Mr. Hasapes questioned Detective Jameson about Facebook messages exchanged between various individuals involved in the case. First, Detective Jameson was asked about Mr. Shannon’s text and Facebook messages. Detective Jameson stated that Mr. Shannon messaged Enrique Rios, one of the missing teens, on October 18, 2016, at 8:48PM. Their conversation consisted of Mr. Shannon stating that he had marijuana and Mr. Rios had alcohol. According to Jameson, Shannon stated that he had a car and could pick Mr. Rios up, after which Rios subsequently sent Shannon an address. Mr. Hasapes also questioned Detective Jameson about a conversation between Campos and another individual, “Mr. R.” Jameson stated that Campos insisted Mr. R owed him five dollars. According to Jameson, when Mr. R. did not pay it back, Campos said that Mr. R. would be number two. The precise meaning behind this statement, allegedly made by Campos, was not expounded on further during testimony.
After this, the line of questioning turned to law enforcement’s search for the missing teens. Detective Lech Garcia stated that the search for the bodies began on June 8, 2018. He stated that approximately 20 searches were conducted, during which law enforcement employed HRD (Human Remains Detection) dogs, search teams, and ground-penetrating radar. Mr. Hasapes also provided images of locations where Campos and Shannon had previously indicated the bodies of Mr. Rios and Mr. Moore were allegedly buried. Mr. Hasapes focused extensively on areas near Mary Lake, across the Sacramento River from Knights Landing.
As court adjourned for the day, Judge David Rosenberg stated that closing statements will be given Wednesday morning of this week at 9:00 AM.