Three California Highway Patrol officers, a Modesto criminal defense attorney and five others have been arrested in connection with the 2012 killing of Korey Kauffman, a 26-year-old Turlock resident whose body was found more than a year later by hunters in a remote Mariposa County forest.
The arrests — on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy and lying in wait — follow an investigation by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department with help from the Stanislaus County district attorney’s office; police in Turlock, Modesto and Ceres; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; and the state Department of Justice.
Frank Clifford Carson, a prominent defense attorney who ran for Stanislaus County district attorney in 2014, is portrayed in a 334-page affidavit in support of the arrest warrants as aggressive; dismissive of help from law enforcement; angered by repeated thefts of antiques, car parts and other materials from his Turlock property; and intent on retaliating against those responsible.
Carson’s property backs up to the home where friends last saw Kauffman on March 30, 2012, after he stated that he was going to steal some irrigation pipe stacked in Carson’s yard. According to his stepfather, who first reported him missing, Kauffman made a living as a “scrapper” or scavenger of metals.
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