Defense Points Out Surveillance System Timing Issues in 6th Day of Homicide Prelim 

By JoJo Kofman

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A preliminary hearing for two men accused of a murder in July of 2020 proceeded into its sixth day Wednesday in San Francisco County Superior Court—the victim of the homicide is the cousin of the husband of newly-appointed San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.

Judge Victor M. Hwang stated that he expects the hearing to end on Friday, which would mark its eighth day.

The co-defendants in the case are two Black men, both 20, Sincere Pomar and Stevie Mitchell.

Deputy District Attorney Aaron Laycook called San Francisco police officer (first name not available) Cheung for examination—he had received video surveillance of 650 Gilman Dr, Candlestick RV park.

Cheung had gone to Gilman Dr to review the video evidence on the night of the homicide, as well as on multiple later dates.

While Cheung described the steps he took in reviewing the video evidence he had received from the owner of the video surveillance system, Defense Attorney Pamela Herzig made an objection.

Defense Attorney Herzig stated, “I have a foundational objection regarding his second trip to 650 Gilman Dr to review video evidence, and what he learned about the camera on that trip,” noting what she suggested was an inconsistency regarding the time stamp on the video evidence.

Cheung responded that he did a time calibration to the surveillance system clock when he went back to Gillman drive the second time.

In response, Herzig noted Cheung did not indicate anywhere on the form that he’d changed the date or time of the recording device.

Reiterating her point, the defense attorney pointed out that on the first form Cheung filled out, he indicated “no” for the question that asked if anyone had changed the recording device time, adding, “But now he states he changed the time of the recording device after the initial retrieval.”

Cheung said, “That was my mistake for not noting that,” explaining the owner of the security surveillance system had asked him to re-calibrate the system to obtain the right time and date.

When Defense Counsel Herzig asked Cheung if he made any note of that calibration of the system, Cheung responded, “I did not.”

Defense Attorney Herzig then confirmed that nowhere in any of the forms was there any indication that Cheung and the owner of the surveillance system had a conversation about the adjustment of time.

Cheung described the surveillance system, stating, “The surveillance system had its own internal surveillance time…usually with older systems we see some time slippage.”

Defense Attorney Herzig continued the cross-examination, noting when Cheung went back to Gilman Dr. the second time, he talked with the video surveillance company, who told Cheung the surveillance camera had been continuously recording and that it was also motion activated.

Herzig showed that, on the form, Cheung indicated the camera was continuously recording, but did not indicate that it was motion activated. Cheung responded that he just noticed that error during his own testimony.

The next witness called by the prosecution was Sergeant Phillip Gordon of the San Francisco Police Dept., who will testify in full Thursday.

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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