Last November, prominent Modesto, CA, defense attorney, Frank Carson was in the running for Stanislaus County district attorney. If he had won the race, and was in office, the county would have a great controversy on its hands. Carson was arrested Thursday in connection to the murder of 26-year-old scrap metal recycler, Korey Kaufman, who went missing more than three years ago.
The murder stems from a beef that Carson had with a neighbor named Michael Cooley. According to the Turlock Journal, “Allegations of theft had instigated an ongoing dispute between Cooley and Carson long before the night Kauffman vanished.” The night of March 29, 2012, Kaufman was at Cooley’s home, allegedly conspiring to swipe irrigation pipes that were set out in Carson’s backyard and flip them for cash. Cooley backed out of the plan when he noticed men on Carson’s property. Kaufman went ahead with the plan. He wasn’t seen again until August 2013, when his body was discovered by a group of hunters in Stanislaus National Forest.
His death was ruled suspicious until recently. Deputies from the sheriff’s office, Manteca Police SWAT and California Department of Justice investigators raided Carson’s properties (two homes, trailers and other structures) on Friday, after Carson’s arrest on Thursday. He has been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy, false imprisonment and solicitation to commit a crime.
Carson is not alone. Local liquor store owners Baljit and Daljit Atwal accused of conspiring with Carson face murder charges, along with former California Highway Patrol. Carson’s wife, Georgia Defilippo, has also been slapped with murder charges and his daughter, Christina, faces charges of conspiracy and being an accessory. Current CHP officers Scott McFarlane and Eduardo Quintanar stand accused of obstructing the investigation. They have since been placed on administrative leave.