Mar 1, 2016

Keys with a HSU stamp, insurance paperwork and ID cards with photos and name of Fr. Freed recovered from the Eel river by Deputy who had to wear a wetsuit to reach access

At 3 p.m. this afternoon, HCSO Deputy Braden Brawner testified for the People, in an 402 hearing regarding admissibility of evidence.

These evidence hearings and jury selection has gone very smoothly so far, with both Deputy District Andrew Isaac and Gary Lee Bullock's attorney, Mr. Kaleb Cockrum keeping things succinct, focused and orderly.

Deputy Brawner is assigned to boating detail which includes patrolling waterways and oceans and recovery of evidence items from the water.

On January 7, 2014, Deputy Brawner was asked to recover items found by a couple in the Eel river near the Miranda bridge. The deputy indicated the location on a Google Earth map.

"The items were deeper than they appeared from the above," said Deputy Brawner. On January 7, he was only able to retrieve an ID card. The next day, he went back in a wetsuit to recover the paperwork, keys and other items.


After recovering the items and securing them into evidence, he took the items to Eureka Police Department and gave them to Detective Todd Wilcox.

In an envelope, which is was admitted as Exhibit 18, there were three keys. Deputy Brawner said that the one with the HSU stamp is one he specifically remembers noticing during retrieval.

These keys were put in a plastic bag and labelled Exhibit A and then put back in the envelope they were originally sealed in; same was done with Exhibit 19 which were ID cards.

Deputy Brawner said that of those ID cards, the ones that stood out to him at that time had Fr. Freed's name on them and some had his photo and there was a Bear River Casino card.

An insurance document was the last exhibit admitted today.

These items were all "fairly close together," said Deputy Brawner. "In a circle of approximately 15 feet in diameter."

Tomorrow Detective Wilcox will testify.

Today is the first time that Mr. Cockrum leaned over in between testimon  being given and whispered something to Bullock, who shook his head and said "no."

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