The judge presiding over the murder trial for the death of Turlock resident Korey Kauffman reduced the bail of one defendant by more than half following a bail review hearing Monday.
After the bail review hearing, which was spaced over two days, visiting Contra Costa County Judge Barbara Zuniga ordered a reduction of Georgia DeFilippo’s bail from $10 million down to $4.5 million.
“Given what I have learned about Ms. DeFilippo and her ties to the community…and I am clearly not trivializing the charges against her, but I am going to reduce her bail to $4.5 million,” Zuniga said.
Zuniga also put several restrictions on DeFilippo, including that she has to sign an extradition waiver before being eligible to post bond. She was also ordered to surrender her passport, not possess any weapons and firearms, remain in Stanislaus County, and stay at least 100 yards from Kauffman’s family.
The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office argued that DeFilippo posed a danger to the public because she was an “aider and an abettor” in the plan to catch any trespasser on their Turlock property and turn them over to her husband Frank Carson.
“This is not a full picture to who Ms. DeFilippo is and her dangerousness to others,” argued Deputy District Attorney Marlisa Ferreira. “She was present when some of these threats were made. They were all acting as a collective in this conspiracy.”
The prosecution claims Carson orchestrated a criminal conspiracy that ultimately led to the death of Kauffman on March 31, 2012, and that thereafter the defendants worked to hide the death from authorities and thwart any investigation. Carson, his wife DeFilippo, Pop N Cork owners Baljit Athwal and Daljit Atwal, former California Highway Patrol officer Walter Wells, and Turlock resident Robert Lee Woody are all charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy for Kauffman’s death. Carson also faces a charge of perjury. Christina DeFilippo and CHP officers Eduardo Quintanar and Scott McFarlane are facing charges of conspiracy and being accessories in the death and cover-up. Everyone but Woody was taken into custody on Aug. 14. Woody was arrested in March of 2014 and as of now his case is being tried separately.
Tim Pori, Georgia DeFilippo’s defense attorney, had bail expert Stephen Krimel testify at the bail review hearing, along with DeFilippo’s brother Charles Heckendorf Jr. But in the end, it was the documents filed that detailed DeFilippo’s property holdings that carried more weight with the judge. DeFilippo has residential property in Turlock and Modesto, commercial property in Modesto and a 60-acre walnut ranch in Denair that she co-owns with her brother.
The district attorney’s office has requested a source hearing for DeFilippo, meaning the defense has to show where the funds are coming from to post the bond.
The day ended with the court setting a date for the preliminary hearing for McFarlane and Quintanar on Sept. 28. McFarlane and Quintanar have entered not guilty pleas to the charges against them and refused to waive the 10 day time period for a preliminary hearing. Ferreira told the court she believed the prosecution would be ready to proceed with the preliminary on Monday. A preliminary hearing is for a judge to determine if the prosecution has presented enough evidence to show cause for holding the defendants over for trial.
Zuniga did warn Quintanar’s attorney, Alonzo Gradford, that moving forward with the preliminary hearing could be problematic in the motion he has joined that seeks to have the district attorney’s office recused from the case. Gradford chose to progress with the preliminary hearing.