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Trial Transcripts of the Scott Peterson Story

Chief Eric Christensen

Research Portal

Rick Armendariz


Witness for the People:  Guilt Phase

July 7 & 12, 2004


CLERK: Be seated. State and spell your name for the record.

ARMENDARIZ: Rick Armendariz. A-r-m-e-n-d-a-r-i-z.

DISTASO: Detective, where are you employed?

ARMENDARIZ: City of Modesto. Modesto Police Department.

DISTASO: Your job there is as a detective?

ARMENDARIZ: Actually since the incident of this investigation, I became a Police Sergeant with the department.

DISTASO: So the proper title would be Sergeant?


DISTASO: At the time of this investigation, I think you were in the Detective Division; is that right?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

DISTASO: And how long have you been a sworn peace officer in California?

ARMENDARIZ: For nine years with the Modesto Police Department full time.

DISTASO: As part of the investigation into the disappearance of Laci Peterson, were you involved in some searches of the San Francisco Bay?


DISTASO: And particularly I want to ask you about, I want to ask you about a search that took place in May. And before we go there, how many times were you involved in searches in the Bay?

ARMENDARIZ: Approximately six different times.

DISTASO: And can you just give me the range of dates that you were out there?

ARMENDARIZ: Actually doing full searches in the Bay, May 10th,

JUDGE: What year?

ARMENDARIZ: Of 2003. May 16th, May 17th.

DISTASO: Hold on a second. May 10th, May 16th?


JUDGE: May 17th?


DISTASO: Un-hun.

ARMENDARIZ: And also September 11th and September 18th.

DISTASO: Okay. That's five times. Is that it?

ARMENDARIZ: May 10th. I'm sorry. May 10th, May 16th, May 17th, May 18th, September 11th and September 18th. Sorry.

DISTASO: And you were out searching in the Bay for what?

ARMENDARIZ: When we were doing the grid searches with the Side-Scan Sonar. We were looking for any evidence related to the case, as well as any remains.

DISTASO: And so Laci Peterson's body had washed ashore in April; is that right?


DISTASO: But her body was not intact?


DISTASO: So you were involved in searching the Bay for, further searches of the Bay to attempt to locate any other possible remains, or any other evidence?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

DISTASO: What were the conditions like when you were on the boat searching the Bay?

ARMENDARIZ: Overall, unfortunately, they were really poor. More with the water conditions. The current, both on top of the water and the undercurrent under the water, going in different directions. The tides in the morning as compared to evening. At approximately 1:00 o'clock, some time after that time, is when the waters got really choppy, and the divers were not able to work as well, as well as the Side-Scan Sonar.

GERAGOS: Objection to that.

JUDGE: It's a narrative.

GERAGOS: With divers and Side-Scan Sonar.

JUDGE: First narrative answer. Number two, he searched the Bay five or six times. We don't know what day he's talking about.

DISTASO: In the searches in May, was the conditions all roughly the same?


DISTASO: Is that what you were just describing to me?


DISTASO: So you were on the boat, they were towing a Side-Scan Sonar?


DISTASO: If they would find something, if the sonar would find something of interest, they would send divers down?

ARMENDARIZ: They would be marked and eventually later on they would send divers down.

DISTASO: Okay. Were you ever on the boat when the divers actually went into the water?


DISTASO: And you said basically the conditions were very difficult.


DISTASO: Was there, what did the Side-Scan Sonars look like?

ARMENDARIZ: They looked like a torpedo, for lack of a better term. Approximately five feet long, with a diameter of approximately six inches. They are yellow in color. They weigh approximately 40 to 60 pounds in weight. And they are towed behind a boat with a cable that is approximately a half inch to three quarters of an inch thick.

DISTASO: And they, so basically they just kind ever run behind the boat, and they shoot down these little sonar images of the bottom of the Bay, right?


DISTASO: And then you can read it on a screen inside the boat?


DISTASO: At some point on one of these days, did something happen to the sonar unit?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes. Actually the first time I went out, which was actually May 10th, we were in the, do you want me to,

DISTASO: Go ahead.

ARMENDARIZ: We were in the water at approximately 2:00 o'clock. The Side-Scan Sonar, the torpedo actually hit a sand bar underneath the water which wasn't tracked. So they hit the Side-Scan Sonar, got stuck in the sand bar, and immediately lost image of what was going on.

DISTASO: Let me stop you. Then after that happened, did the Side-Scan Sonar somehow become dislodged from the boat?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes, it did.

DISTASO: How did that happen?

ARMENDARIZ: The driver of the boat turned, the propeller cut the cable cord, which left the Side-Scan Sonar in the water.

DISTASO: When the sonar was lost, is this an expensive piece of equipment?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes. It's roughly about $10,000 just for the sonar itself.

DISTASO: So whose boat were you on, what agency?

ARMENDARIZ: San Mateo County Sheriff's Department.

DISTASO: So I'm assuming they want their sonar back?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes, very much so.

DISTASO: When the sonar got lost, did they do anything, did you see them do anything to mark the location of that?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes. As we were doing our search, we were, actually, they were tracking the search by the GPS. And immediately soon as then lost the sonar, they marked the location to be able to identify the general location of where they lost the Side-Scan Sonar in order to be able to come back and retrieve it.

DISTASO: And did you go back with the boat on that day and anchor the boat down where you thought it might be, and send divers to try to find it?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes. Immediately afterwards we turned around, ran, went back to the location.

DISTASO: What happened?

ARMENDARIZ: The divers went down, and searching under the water, they were not able to locate it after about approximately an hour of searching.

DISTASO: Did they report what the conditions and visibility was down at the bottom?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes. They described it as being black water.

GERAGOS: Objection. Hearsay.

JUDGE: Sustained.

DISTASO: Do you know what the depth of the water was approximately where this got lost?

ARMENDARIZ: Approximately seven feet.

DISTASO: And can you show the jury on People's 109 just the approximate location that you were searching that day when the sonar unit got lost?

ARMENDARIZ: We were southeast of Brooks Island. This general area.

DISTASO: You can go back to the seat. You said you also went out on other days in May; is that right?


DISTASO: Was that with another different agency's sonar unit?


DISTASO: And what agencies did you go out on the other days?

ARMENDARIZ: On May 16th I went out with San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department Diver Rescue team. We used their Side-Scan Sonar.

DISTASO: What about on the 17th and 18th?

ARMENDARIZ: On May 17th I actually went out with the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who had their dive team with them. They were specifically focusing diving on certain items.

DISTASO: And all of these times did the divers report the conditions that you have kind of described?


DISTASO: And did they,

GERAGOS: Objection. Hearsay. Compound, as to specifically what they reported. It can be framed some way else.

JUDGE: What they told him is hearsay. You can't get around it that way. The jury can disregard what the divers told this officer.

DISTASO: Was anything found during any searches in May?

ARMENDARIZ: Nothing related to the investigation.

DISTASO: And, again, in September, the two days you went in September, was it, did you have similar, a similar experience with the searching that was happening?


DISTASO: And what agencies did you go out with on those days?

ARMENDARIZ: On September 11th I went out with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Dive and Rescue Team.

DISTASO: What about on the 18th?

ARMENDARIZ: September 18th I again went out with the Contra Costa County Sheriff Dive and Rescue Team.

DISTASO: Nothing further, your Honor.


Cross Examination by Mark Geragos

GERAGOS: Sergeant, good afternoon.

ARMENDARIZ: Good afternoon.

GERAGOS: You had gone to the marina, I think, prior to those May dates, correct?


GERAGOS: In fact, didn't you interview a City of Berkeley gardener on December 27th?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

DISTASO: Objection. Goes beyond the scope of direct.

JUDGE: Sustained.

GERAGOS: It goes to, do you want me to recall him as my witness? I can do that.

JUDGE: If he's going to object to it, then I have to sustain the objection.

GERAGOS: I would ask the Court allow me to save time, call him right now as,

JUDGE: How long is this going to take?

GERAGOS: Just about three or four m inutes.

JUDGE: I'll let you go into it so we don't have to recall another witness.

GERAGOS: Q. You had a City of Berkeley gardener who forwarded an e-mail saying that he had seen Scott at the marina, correct?

DISTASO: Objection, your Honor. It's hearsay.

GERAGOS: Goes to the,

DISTASO: Doesn't go to the reasonableness of this officer's conduct.

GERAGOS: Absolutely does go to reasonableness.

JUDGE: Well, I don't know how this is going to play out. Really, it is hearsay.

GERAGOS: I understand that. But it does go to reasonableness of the investigation. And precisely it's ultimately 1250 state of mind of my client, who was trying to get this, get anybody to believe that that's where he was in the Berkeley Marina.

JUDGE: Okay. I'll instruct the jury, this ine 8 is not being offered for the truth.

DISTASO: I understand that. But,

GERAGOS: We have named the witness who is going to testify. I'm trying to show a separate issue, which is the fact that my client was trying to prove to the police,

JUDGE: By letting you go beyond the scope of direct, allowing him to getting into deep water. Ought to go back to my original ruling.

GERAGOS: We don't want to go in deep water.

GERAGOS: What was the low tide?

JUDGE: If you pardon the expression, right?

GERAGOS: Q. What was the low tide, do you know?

ARMENDARIZ: At what day and time were you referring to, sir?

GERAGOS: Well, January, that first week, low tide in Berkeley, I show you a report. Does that refresh your recollection?

ARMENDARIZ: That's not my report. That's done by Officer Galvan from,

JUDGE: The question is, does this refresh your recollection? line GERAGOS: It could be anybody's report.

GERAGOS: Does the refresh your recollection?

JUDGE: Does it refresh your recollection, officer?


GERAGOS: Q. Well, do you know, as you sit there, what low tide generally is in the Berkeley Marina?

ARMENDARIZ: No, I don't.

GERAGOS: When were you out there? How many times did you go out and do the search?

ARMENDARIZ: As stated earlier, six times.

GERAGOS: During that six times it never, nobody ever discussed, you didn't ever inquire as to what the depth was during low tide?

ARMENDARIZ: Not specifically, no.

GERAGOS: Okay. Were you ever told, or did you ever see the divers actually going into the water?


GERAGOS: Okay. Could you see the divers when they were in the water? Could you see the backs of their head as they are feeling around on the ground?




GERAGOS: Now. When you went out, how many times would you say you have been to the marina total? I know you said six. Did you go, that was after the bodies were found, correct? Six times after the bodies were found searching in the Bay, correct?


GERAGOS: You have been to the marina numerous times before that, hadn't you?

ARMENDARIZ: I have been there a few times before, correct.

GERAGOS: Now, the times that you went afterwards, let's take them separately. May 10th, who did you go with on that date?

ARMENDARIZ: On May 10th I went out with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Marine Unit.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, you had been out there the first time on December 30th; is that correct?

DISTASO: Objection, your Honor. Goes beyond the scope of direct.

JUDGE: I'll permit it. Go ahead.

GERAGOS: You had gone out there to determine whether or not there were any live-aboard berthers at the marina who had seen Scott Peterson, correct?


GERAGOS: Okay. And when you were doing that, you received some information from one of the people in the marina as to who the live-aboard berthers were, correct?


GERAGOS: And you did that so you could go and find those people and interview them and see whether or not there was anybody who saw him at the marina, right?


GERAGOS: Okay. Then you wanted to coordinate, or you started to coordinate with another officer an extensive water-land search for the Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond area; is that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's not correct.

GERAGOS: Oh. Well, did you contact, I'm showing you 21626.

ARMENDARIZ: I did not coordinate the extensive investigation.

GERAGOS: I asked if you contacted someone to help coordinate it. Is that what happened?

ARMENDARIZ: That 's not correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. So you didn't contact somebody to help coordinate an extensive water search? When they write that report, that's just wrong?

ARMENDARIZ: May have asked for assistance from other agencies; but I asked them to coordinate the search? No.

GERAGOS: Who was that you that you contacted?

ARMENDARIZ: I asked Officer Galvan from the Berkeley Police Department to assist. However, I was not the one that was coordinating the search. Detective Dodge Hendee was the one who was coordinating the extensive search.

GERAGOS: But you were the one who made contact; isn't that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: I made contact with Officer Galvan on the 27th of December of 2002, my first time I arrived at the Berkeley Marina.

GERAGOS: And on January 4th, you had contacted them, because you wanted help coordinating an extensive water-land search; isn't that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: He may have put that in the report, like you showed me . But, no, that may have been done by a Detective Dodge Hendee.

GERAGOS: Okay. So this, what I showed you if this report, that's wrong.


GERAGOS: Okay. Now, where is the Berkeley, Albany, Richmond area?

ARMENDARIZ: What are you referring to, sir?

GERAGOS: I'm referring to the report which says there was going to be an extensive land-water search in the Berkeley, Albany, Richmond area. Do you know where that is?

ARMENDARIZ: It's in the Bay Area.

GERAGOS: Okay. Do you know, were you, there was there a search done on January 4th?

ARMENDARIZ: The search that I'm familiar with was a search that was coordinated in the Bay itself.

GERAGOS: When was that?

ARMENDARIZ: That started on May 16th, and it was the entire week. However, I only participated on May 16th, 17th and 18th.

GERAGOS: So you didn't have anything to do, it's your testimony today , with the January 4th multiagency search of the Berkeley, Albany, Richmond area? Once again I'll show you 21626, see if that refreshes your recollection. See, read from there to there.

ARMENDARIZ: I did not participate in the search on January 4th.

GERAGOS: And so you just called, the best of your memory is, you called and asked for assistance. You didn't help, or didn't ask to coordinate it; isn't that what your testimony is?

ARMENDARIZ: For the January 4th, that's correct. I didn't coordinate the search.

GERAGOS: Are you looking at something in order to refresh your recollection?

ARMENDARIZ: The exact same report you just showed me.

GERAGOS: Actually it's not the, this is 2828.

ARMENDARIZ: I'm sorry.

GERAGOS: Right that's the page. Does that refresh your recollection as to what involvement you had on January 4th?

ARMENDARIZ: I didn't coordinate the search for January 4th.

GERAGOS: So you have reviewed this report, and report is wrong; is that a fair statement?

ARMENDARIZ: For January 4th, correct. I did not coordinate the search of January 4th.

GERAGOS: Then this report, do you know who prepared this report?

ARMENDARIZ: Officer Galvan.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, the May 10th search, was Dodge Hendee with you? If it helps you, I have got 21725. And it appears to be a report by Detective Rick Armendariz.

ARMENDARIZ: No, it was not.

GERAGOS: You put that on May 9th, Detective Dodge Hendee informed, Hendee informed you that he was coordinating further searches; is that correct?


GERAGOS: Okay. You also wrote Detective Hendee arranged for me, that means you, right? To meet with the San Mateo Marine unit on May 10th. Is that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: Correct. Like I stated, Detective Hendee was involved, in charge of coordinating these searches.

GERAGOS: Detective Hendee informed you that the search had 8 some specific grid areas that you were supposed to go looking look at, correct?


GERAGOS: Now, it's your understanding that there was an identification of an area that had a probability of finding something of evidentiary value; is that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: Correct. That was the information that was relayed to me.

GERAGOS: Okay. That was based on the U.S. Geological Survey, correct?


GERAGOS: Okay. Can you show the jury where on that map that area was?

ARMENDARIZ: It was the same map identified earlier with Prosecutor Distaso.

JUDGE: Sergeant, there is a pointer there somewhere.

DISTASO: Hanging on the board.

JUDGE: Top board.

GERAGOS: Q. Right up there.

ARMENDARIZ: This is just a general area. It was to the southeast of the Brooks Island.

GERAGOS: Okay. And that area there was what was identified, based on an U.S. Geological Survey, as the probable area where you would find something, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's my understanding. That was related to me, correct.

GERAGOS: You were given GPS coordinates, correct?


GERAGOS: And then I assume when you went out to search, that you had some kind of GPS machine that would then identify the specific area and the grid area that you were to search, right?


GERAGOS: Okay. Then you went out there, what, you also took, let's see. Did you depart from the San Mateo Marina?


GERAGOS: Where is the San Mateo Marina on this map?

ARMENDARIZ: I don't know if it's actually on this map or not. But it's on the west side of the Bay, south of Treasure Island, in this general area.

GERAGOS: Okay. So that's the area where you were, where you were to look at based upon what the calculations were, right?

ARMENDARIZ: No. I answered your question, where is the San Mateo Bay Marina. That's the general area where we departed from.

GERAGOS: Did you depart from the San Mateo Marina in a San Mateo Marine unit?


GERAGOS: Okay. And when you went, and you went to the specific location. That was a coordinate that was about a half-mile square perimeter; is that right?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: And then this was with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit, right?


GERAGOS: You had a number of Sheriff's volunteers, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: On board, on the boat, correct.

GERAGOS: One, two, three, four, five, six of them?


GERAGOS: You left the marina at about 7:45?


GERAGOS: Okay. Now, once you got to the specific location, you then lowered out the side sonar, correct.


GERAGOS: Okay. And that started about 9:00 o'clock, right?


GERAGOS: Okay. And that started on the southwest corner of the grid, and then you traveled north and south within the grid itself, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. And during the search, you had two of the Sheriff's volunteers operating the Side-Scan Sonar, right?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: One of the other volunteers operated the boat?


GERAGOS: Now, you did locate several items of interest, right?

ARMENDARIZ: Images on the Side-Scan Sonar.

GERAGOS: Right. Now, when we say images on the Side-Scan Sonar, we have explained this before. But if I have got it correct, there is, on the boat, there is a screen or a monitor of some kind; is that correct?


GERAGOS: You lower this torpedo thing into the water, right?


GERAGOS: You are on the boat, and somebody is looking, more than one person is looking at the monitor?


GERAGOS: And then you can see what you describe as items of interest for the divers to go down and pick up, right?

ARMENDARIZ: Correct, at a later time.

GERAGOS: Okay. You scan the images, meaning that when an image pops up, if it's something of interest, somebody pushes a button of some kind on the keyboard, and it prints out a photograph of that image, right?

ARMENDARIZ: That's not correct.

GERAGOS: Well, did you scan the images?

ARMENDARIZ: The process is, when the image is seen on the screen, it's saved on the hard drive of the computer. There is nothing that's printed right then and there.

GERAGOS: Okay. Well, when you located those items, did the, did you photograph the scanned images?

ARMENDARIZ: To clarify what you are saying, as far as photographs, the image that is shown on the Side-Scan Sonar screen is saved. That image is saved on to the hard drive.

GERAGOS: Well, you said that you scanned it. Scanned images were photographed. Isn't that what you wrote down?

ARMENDARIZ: Correct. I just wanted to clarify that terminology of photograph. The photograph is on screen.

GERAGOS: I understand. But you saved it. The bottom line is, you found items of interest. They were saved on the screen, or they were saved in the hard drive from what you saw on the screen, right?


GERAGOS: Okay. Then at 2:00 o'clock, you had equipment problems and the weather, so you didn't continue the search; is that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: The equipment problems was the fact we lost the sonar.

GERAGOS: Now, at that point you had searched about a third of the grid of that whole area, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's approximately, correct.

GERAGOS: Then you had, at that point, GPS computer generated a track of your search, right?

ARMENDARIZ: The track is saved on the hard drive.

GERAGOS: Okay. Well, so you had a record of where you had line 16 searched already.


GERAGOS: Correct? Then you also saved all of the scanned images of these items of interest?


GERAGOS: Okay. And then you decided that you would go back out, what, at about six days?

ARMENDARIZ: To what date are you referring to?

GERAGOS: You went out, if I understand correctly, all of that that we just went through was on May 10th?


GERAGOS: Then you go back on May 16th; is that correct?


GERAGOS: Okay. Now, on May 16th, it was your plan, or actually was Dodge Hendee's plan to have a week-long coordinated, comprehensive water search of the San Francisco Bay, correct. Certain portions of the Bay, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: Right. Certain portions of the Bay was based upon the U.S. Geological calculations.

GERAGOS: What the probability was that you would find some evidence related to this case, correct?


GERAGOS: Okay. And so that you decided that on May 16th there was going to be a week-long effort in order to search this area, right?


GERAGOS: Okay. So you then had multiple law enforcement agencies that became involved in this search, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: Correct. I just want to clarify something. You are saying that I decided, I made the decisions. Those decisions weren't by me. They were coordinated. I participated in those.

GERAGOS: Well, that's, you are here to testify, right?



ARMENDARIZ: On what I did.

GERAGOS: You are here to testify what you did, right?


GERAGOS: You are from Modesto PD, right?

ARMENDARIZ: I think that was covered, correct.

GERAGOS: So if you are here from Modesto PD to testify, can you tell me what other agencies were there with you on, starting on the 16th?

ARMENDARIZ: What I'm referring to is the 21788. And it's pag e six of seven, drawn up by Detective Hendee. And he lists the various agencies that were involved, which were consisting of, but were not limited to, the U.S. Coast Guard, San Mateo Sheriff's Team, San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department, Berkeley PD, Contra Costa Sheriff's Department, San Francisco Police Department, Richmond Police Department, East Bay Regional Park Police Department.

GERAGOS: Let me ask you this, might make it a little bit faster. Is this 21788 Bates stamp, is that what you are looking at?


GERAGOS: Somebody did an Excel program basically, inputted all the different agencies on each day and who was involved, what kind of equipment, and who from MPD was there?

ARMENDARIZ: Looks like it was authored by Detective Dodge Hendee.

GERAGOS: The best of your recollection, I'd like to mark this next in order.

JUDGE: That will be triple F.

GERAGOS: Best of your recollection, is that an accurate rendition or compilation of the agencies and the personnel that were involved on those specific days?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes. I believe we had some changes, last minute, some agencies coming in late and not participating, other agencies staffing additional staff. But, yes. Like to add, can I finish the question?


ARMENDARIZ: And I wanted to add we also had private companies that assisted in the search.

JUDGE: Get the light. I can't even see it from here.

GERAGOS: The first day, which is May 16th, this is a log that is entitled "Daily Water Operations"; is that correct?


GERAGOS: So on the first day that you went back out there after the 10th, if I understand you correctly, on the 10th you had already done one third of this area, this grid, right?

ARMENDARIZ: That's not correct. If I can elaborate.


ARMENDARIZ: There were numerous grid boxes. When we searched on the 10th we only did one box grid.

GERAGOS: Now, on the 16th, you had a Coast Guard,


GERAGOS: What's Marine Number 1?

ARMENDARIZ: That was an, if I can refer to my notes, refresh my recollection. That was the FBI Dive Team. However, they were on a Marin County Sheriff's Department boat.

GERAGOS: Okay. Also had San Mateo. That was a side sonar, Side-Scan Sonar operation that was on one of the San Mateo boats?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: So we had three there. Wing Stocks. Was that another private vessel?

ARMENDARIZ: That was a private company correct.

GERAGOS: Which also had a Side-Scan Sonar?


GERAGOS: You had a San Luis Obispo. That was a municipal boat, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: Police Department, correct. City police department.

GERAGOS: Also equipped with Side-Scan Sonar; is that correct?


GERAGOS: Now, when you have MPD over there, does that mean on each of these boats there is a Modesto Police Department officer that's accompanying either the FBI, or somebody from the Command Center, or one of these other agencies?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. And then you were on the San Luis Obispo one, right?


GERAGOS: You also had a Contra Costa Dive Team with you?


GERAGOS: Okay. And then what was this one here, the Marin Number 2?

ARMENDARIZ: Marin County had a second boat that,

GERAGOS: How about Berkeley?

ARMENDARIZ: Berkeley Police Department had a boat.

GERAGOS: So we had two, four, six, eight boats out there?

ARMENDARIZ: The Berkeley Police Department and the Marin Number 2 were assigned more for perimeter security than actual searches.

GERAGOS: So where it says perimeter shuttle here, they are keeping people away. Whether it's pleasure boaters, or fishermen, or news media, or anything else, but we have got six boats that are working and searching, involves three separate side sonar, Side-Scan Sonars and FBI Dive Team, correct?


GERAGOS: How long were you out on May 16th? If you can just tell me what page you are referring to to refresh your recollection with.

ARMENDARIZ: Sure. We launched at Emeryville Marina at 10:30. And didn't indicate the time we secured. But I know it was consistent with May 17th, which is, which was about approximately 12:30 to 1:00 o'clock.

GERAGOS: Okay. And is it safe to say you found nothing that related to this case?


 <evening recess>


July 12, 2004

GERAGOS: Sergeant, when we left off, I believe that we were talking about the 16th; is that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: I believe so.

GERAGOS: Okay. On the 16th, the searches that you had gone through involved several boats, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. And you were on one of those boats; is that correct?


GERAGOS: Okay. The boat that you were on, do you remember who was operating the side sonar, Side-Scan Sonar?


GERAGOS: Okay. Was that somebody from the Sheriff's Department?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes, it was.

GERAGOS: Now, the, specifically we went over this. The boat you were on was the one that provided by San Luis Obispo, correct?


GERAGOS: And as we indicated before, the other three, Contra Costa, Marin and Berkeley, were just, they were basically around the perimeter of the area, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: As well as shuttling equipment and staff from boat to boat.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, on May 16th, what's the total amount of time that that search took place for that total water operation? If you are referring to a page could you also let me know?

ARMENDARIZ: Referring, yes. Referring to 21727, 21728, starting with May 16th. We actually departed from the Emeryville Marina. Launched at approximately 10:30 in the morning. And we actually arrived to the location where we began the search at 11:30 in the morning. We continued the search, it's not indicated in my report, but it was consistent with the following days. We concluded at approximately 1:00 o'clock.

GERAGOS: Okay. And safe to say that you, after that whatever number of hours that that calculates out to, that there was no recovery of any evidence related to this case, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: I can only speak for the boat that I was on, and there was not.

GERAGOS: Now, on the 17th, same, we have the same setup here. It was a Saturday. There was the boat names that are here. You have got the two that show for perimeter and for shuttle, which is, once again, Marin boat, and the Berkeley PD boat, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's what the chart indicates. I can only testify to the boat that I was on and the days that, what happened the day the boat that I was on.

GERAGOS: Are you aware that there were four Side-Scan Sonars out there searching this grid area on that date?

ARMENDARIZ: I was aware there was more than one, approximate number. You would have to refer to the detective who was on each one of those boats.

GERAGOS: Okay. Do you know what the Wing Stocks and Gene Ralston, San Mateo, San Luis Obispo are?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes, they were there as well.

GERAGOS: Best of your knowledge all of them had Side-Scan Sonar that they were operating. That's your understanding of what this search operation was?


GERAGOS: Best of your understanding on that date there was no evidence recovered in that grid search by those number of boats, and by those people, including the FBI Dive Team, Command Center, the four Side-Scan Sonars and the Contra Costa Dive Team? As best as you know, nobody reported to you, you didn't see any evidence recovered whatsoever, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: I can only testify to the boat that I was on. And the only item that we recovered off the boat that I was on was a rope that was approximately 23 feet long.

GERAGOS: Okay. Did you put that in your report?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes, I did. It's on page 21728.

GERAGOS: Now, that rope that was recovered, was that on the bottom of the sea floor?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes, it was.

GERAGOS: Okay. Presumably the Side-Scan Sonar was such that you could drop it down, you could spot a rope on the sea floor?

ARMENDARIZ: No, that's not correct. On May 17th, I was with the FBI Dive Team, and they were not using the Side-Scan Sonar. They were actually diving on a grid specifically designated for them. And they were focusing on just diving, searching, doing different grid searching for that area.

JUDGE: Mr. Geragos, I think you misspoke. You said the sea floor. It's the bay floor. They all are thinking they are working in the Pacific Ocean some place. MR. GERAGOS: Q. Were you in the Bay?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes, we were.

GERAGOS: Okay. On the bay floor the divers actually went down and were able to recover a rope?


GERAGOS: Okay. And, apparent to you, was there any complaint on the 17th that the Federal Bureau of Investigation Search and Recovery Team was unable to find stuff on the Bay floor?

ARMENDARIZ: If you are asking if the FBI complained about finding stuff, the complaint was that difficulty, the undercurrent under the water, difficulty searching, the visibility being zero, and the fact they were doing a hand search.

GERAGOS: And the hand search produced a rope. They found a rope the floor of the Bay, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: In that particular area, correct.

GERAGOS: And that was the specific area that had been listed as a probability by the U.S. Geological Service, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: It was within a grid, correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, that grid was, what you do as you go out there, and you had global positioning devices; is that correct?


GERAGOS: And would you get coordinates that you would mark off in the bay there, based upon the global positioning devices, correct?


GERAGOS: And then you would mark off those areas, either by these perimeter boats and by some other kind of a buoy, and then the divers would basically go back and forth and search the floor; is that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: Specifically with the boat that I was on on May 17th, that's what we did. FBI Dive Team marked off the grid location, and then they entered the water, began doing a hand search under the bay water for any items that they can locate.

GERAGOS: And, specifically, they entered the water on the 17th at approximately 7:25 in the morning, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. And after about four hours, this was about a half mile square area, correct?


GERAGOS: Go down the end of your page. You identified as a half mile square perimeter, right?

ARMENDARIZ: Correct. The perimeter the FBI searched.

GERAGOS: Okay. So they were down there. How many divers did you see down there for four hours?

ARMENDARIZ: They would rotate the divers. There was two divers down in the water searching.

GERAGOS: Okay. They searched the entire grid area, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: No, we did not complete the search that day.

GERAGOS: Okay. So you did, what, roughly five hours that you were on the boat before you called it a day?

ARMENDARIZ: Due to the deteriorating weather condition and the undercurrent in the water.

GERAGOS: Then you went, you came back on the 18th, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Now, on the 18th, same kind of a deal. We had a number of boats, number of Side-Scan Sonars, and at least three dive teams, correct? According to the chart that we have got up here that's been marked as triple F.

ARMENDARIZ: According to be chart, that is what the chart indicates. You would have to check with Detective Hendee who exactly showed up for that day, and who were the divers, and how many divers we had that day.

GERAGOS: You were with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Dive, Marine Dive Unit, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: On May 18th I was with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Dive Team, and we actually were not diving. We were using the Side-Scan Sonar that day.

GERAGOS: Okay. You started about 6:45 in the morning?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: And you were out there until the divers, well, according to your report, at least, there were divers there that day; is that correct? Showing up about two thirds the way down on 21729. You weren't just using the Side-Scan Sonar. You had divers there.

ARMENDARIZ: I'm sorry, I did make an error. That's correct. On May 18th we also had divers with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department.

GERAGOS: And, once again, the divers had GPS, global positioning coordinates. They went into the water at 6:45 in the morning, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: They continued their search until one in the afternoon, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. What did they find?

ARMENDARIZ: On this day they did not recover anything related to this case.

GERAGOS: Didn't find any anchors. They didn't find any remains. Didn't find anything, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: I can't speak for what the divers found under the water. They did not bring up anything to the boat to me on that day. They could have found items. I don't know. You would have to speak to the divers to find out exactly what, if anything, they located underneath the sea.

GERAGOS: If they found some cement anchors, they would left them down on the bay floor?

ARMENDARIZ: No. But there was, I know there is a lot of garbage underneath the bay.

GERAGOS: Well, there were other searches. There is a lot of garbage down there. They brought the garbage up, correct? Back in September they brought up a number of items that were garbage, correct?


GERAGOS: Beer bottles, tea glass bottles, small items of garbage were brought up repeatedly from the bay floor by the divers, correct?


GERAGOS: Now, the next day, let's see. The 19th, were you out there then? May 19th?

ARMENDARIZ: No, I was not.

GERAGOS: Okay. As far as you know, did the search go on May 19th and May 20th without you?

ARMENDARIZ: This search was, continued to go on. And I did not participate on the 19th or the 20th.

GERAGOS: Okay. Then I assume the next search that you were on was in September.e ARMENDARIZ: Correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. So if I have got, if I understand this correctly, you had been out to the bay some time in December, right?

ARMENDARIZ: To the marina, correct.

GERAGOS: To the marina, correct?


GERAGOS: Then you went out. And for the first three days of this search in May, this is after Laci and Conner's remains were found, you were assigned to search to see if you could find any evidence in this area that the U.S. Geological had indicated had a high probability, area, right?


GERAGOS: You did the search there. As far as you know, you didn't find anything of any evidentiary value, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: On the specific boat that I was on, correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. Then, once again, you are assigned out there, I assume assigned out there some time in September to do another search, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, in, what was the, September 18th was the first day you went back out there?


GERAGOS: Now, on September 18th, you were once again with a number of people from Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: Correct. If I can just take a step back. Actually went back out on September 11th.

GERAGOS: What did you do on September 11th?

ARMENDARIZ: Just to, well, we went out and searched the bay again. But, however, on this particular search, we were looking at specific targets, as compared to the May searches where we were just looking at grids and covering grids, and searching general areas. When we went back on September 11th, we went back and were given specific locations to go out and dive.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, as far as when you say specific targets, did you understand that what happened is, in the interim, some time after May, that somebody had mapped the floor of the Bay?


GERAGOS: Okay. And mapped the floor of the bay by using Side-Scan Sonar, which basically would take pictures of the entire floor of the bay, or the area that was, that had been marked as the perimeter, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: Well, let me clarify. We did not map the bay when Side-Scan Sonar went down on May the May 16th and those days. The sonar would go down. We would see items of interest; and, again, these are not pictures that are clear and concise. We're looking at shapes, size and shadows. And anything that would look remotely interesting, we would save those, mark the GPS location. Those photographs were then analyzed by Detective Dodge Hendee. You would have to check with him as far as how they were able to weed through those. Then on September 11th is when we went out and dove on specific items.

GERAGOS: Well, specifically, after the May searches, in July didn't the Modesto Police Department hire a firm to map out positions or portions of the bottom of the San Francisco Bay with something that was called a REMUS, R-E-M-U-S?

ARMENDARIZ: I couldn't answer that. I wasn't a party of that. I wasn't privy to that information.

GERAGOS: Okay. Were you aware that the Modesto Police Department, after May, and after the Side-Scan Sonar, had, in fact, mapped out the entire, or hired a firm to map off the entire bottom of the bay?

ARMENDARIZ: Again I was not aware of the followup that was being done. I was not privy to that information.

GERAGOS: Were you aware that, you said there were targets. And let me show you a report. This is marked as 33651. Were you aware that the targets that you were looking at was based upon this REMUS device that had been supplied by this commercial firm which gave in excess of a couple hundred targets to dive on?

ARMENDARIZ: The item, the report you are showing me is a 7 report that was written by Detective Dodge Hendee, and he would be the person that you would need to contact regarding those questions specifically with that. The only information that I was aware of on the 11th, there were specific locations we were to dive on, and that's what we did.

GERAGOS: Well, did you know, in Dodge Hendee's report on September 11th, that, that specifically what they are referring to, what they are actually going to do was to dive on the targets that were mapped out by this company?

DISTASO: Objection, your Honor. Calls for facts not in evidence.

JUDGE: Sustained.

GERAGOS: Are you aware that that's why you were sent back out there?

ARMENDARIZ: The only information that I was privy to was the fact that there was an additional followup. And with the Side-Scan Sonars that we have done May 16th, there were specific locations for us to dive on in September. And that was the only information that I was privy to.

GERAGOS: Now, when you went back out there, you started on September 11th, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: And you met with the Contra Costa Emergency Services Dive Recovery Team, right?


GERAGOS: You took Dive Boat Number One, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: I don't remember specifically what number we were identified as. But, yes, I did go out with Contra Costa County Dive and Rescue Team.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, there was a list of items that were picked up on those dives; is that correct? Prepared by you. I'm looking at 33094.

ARMENDARIZ: You are looking at 33094, you are referring to September 18th?

GERAGOS: That's correct.

ARMENDARIZ: You are asking me questions on September 11th.

GERAGOS: No. You started on September 11th, correct?


GERAGOS: You were out there for how long?

ARMENDARIZ: I was there September 11th, and I went back September 18th.

GERAGOS: Okay. When you went back on September 18th, you did a chronology, or at least an itemization of all the GPS points, the time in, the time out, and what was located, and who the divers were, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, to go through here, the first two locations, these targets that you had, nothing was located, right?


GERAGOS: The third location the divers found a wooden stick, right?

ARMENDARIZ: You are referring to F45. And that's correct.

GERAGOS: How big was this wooden stick?

ARMENDARIZ: There is a photograph of it on 33096. And it was F45.

GERAGOS: How big would you estimate it to be?

ARMENDARIZ: There is a ruler in the photograph, which is a foot long. And looks like it's approximately foot and half, possibly about two feet long.

GERAGOS: So apparently the, whatever, however you got these targets, the divers were able to find pieces of wood that were a foot and a half long, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: Correct. They went to the dive location. And in that general dive location was a piece of wood that they found.

GERAGOS: You don't know what it was that triggered whether they saw this picture of the wooden stick first, but you know that there was a target location where they were supposed to dive, correct?


GERAGOS: And you would identify that as a GPS point, correct? A global positioning point where the divers were instructed, hey, we have got a target down here, so this is where it is, go down and find it. They went down and found it, and it was a one-foot or foot-and-a-half wooden stick, right?


GERAGOS: Now, the next thing that actually was found, at least in your report, is in a location called F26; is that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, F26 is, once again, a specific area of the bay that was marked off as having a target of, or some kind of item of interest. You don't know how it was that they saw this. You know this was something down on the bottom of the bay floor, correct?


GERAGOS: The divers went down there; and, sure enough, after they had been down there for about twenty minutes, what did they find?

ARMENDARIZ: They recovered a tire.

GERAGOS: How big was the tire? Can you show the jury with your hands approximately how, what size that tire was?

ARMENDARIZ: It was a standard automobile tire.

GERAGOS: Okay. And apparently somebody could see that, and was on the Side-Scan Sonar or this other device, you don't know when, but it was target. They went down there, within twenty minutes they found it, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: No. I can't tell you that that's the item they saw on the Side-Scan Sonar. I can tell you that when we went down on that particular geographical area, that within the general area of that location there was a tire that was recovered.

GERAGOS: Anything else that was recovered from F26?

ARMENDARIZ: No. That was the only thing that was recovered.

GERAGOS: They were down there for twenty minutes, right?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: They found an item, turned out to be a tire, right?

ARMENDARIZ: Yes, that's what I said.

GERAGOS: Okay. What about F24? They go down to another specific area on the bay floor, find something there?


GERAGOS: Okay. They were down there for two minutes; is that correct? The divers went down, and within two minutes they found the object, right?

ARMENDARIZ: They found an object, right.

GERAGOS: They found an object. What was that object?

ARMENDARIZ: There was a pipe, a metal pipe approximately, looking at the photograph on 33096, it was an approximate three-foot-long metal pipe.

GERAGOS: How thick was the metal pipe?

ARMENDARIZ: I'm looking at the photograph at 33026. It was approximately an inch to inch and a half in diameter.

GERAGOS: Apparently somebody identified a target in this specific area that was about three feet by an inch to inch and a half?

ARMENDARIZ: That's just an estimation looking at the photograph, correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. They recovered. And the divers, they brought the pipe up, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Then they have another location, which would be the next grid over, which was F25. Once again, this was a target or targeted area for the divers to go down there, correct?


GERAGOS: And they found another tire there, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: They brought that tire up?


GERAGOS: Then they went to a couple of other locations, looks like one, two, three, four, five, then the next that they went to was B12; is that right?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Once again, that's just a letter and number that's assigned to a specific grid area on the bottom of the floor?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Now, they found a plastic bag?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: So apparently at least the visibility, or the, however it was determined that there was a target down there, was sophisticated enough that it could find a plastic bag on the bay floor, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: I'm not going to agree to that statement. I can state that that specific target area within that search area, there was a bag that was recovered within that area.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, is this different than the, this plastic bag, was that retained in evidence?

ARMENDARIZ: These items were documented photographed and were,

GERAGOS: Thrown away?

ARMENDARIZ: Thrown away after they were, I believe they were not related to this case.

GERAGOS: They weren't tested by anybody, were they?


GERAGOS: Okay. Nobody did, you didn't send them to the crime lab, or anything, did you, as far as you know?


GERAGOS: So what you did, you photographed it, somebody photographed it, then they just determined it wasn't related, they threw it away?


GERAGOS: Who made that determination that it wasn't related?

ARMENDARIZ: Referred the information to Detective Dodge Hendee.

GERAGOS: Now, were there any other items that you went down on the 18th and determined and found in these target areas, besides the ones we have just gone through?

ARMENDARIZ: Well, we returned, Sergeant Christensen from the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department located an empty bag, that was a plastic bag that was floating in the general area of the search.

GERAGOS: That was a gravel bag?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. That's the gravel bag was that specifically photographed and thrown away?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct. Again, referred to Detective Dodge Hendee.

GERAGOS: Now, on September 11th, you did the same thing we just went through with the jury for September 18th, correct? I'm referring you to 33092.

ARMENDARIZ: Yes, correct. I went to the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department with their dive team.

GERAGOS: The first three areas that you went to, you didn't locate anything, correct?


GERAGOS: Actually the first four. Then the fifth one, which was marked as F47, that's another grid area, right?


GERAGOS: Okay. And they went down looking for a target, and after ten minutes they came up with a tea glass bottle?


GERAGOS: How big is the tea glass bottle?

ARMENDARIZ: It's photographed in 33026. And it's a standard, this is an estimate, approximately twelve-ounce tea bottle, glass tea bottle.

GERAGOS: When you say standard, like a Snapple bottle?

ARMENDARIZ: No, it was a little larger than a Snapple bottle.

GERAGOS: And apparently they were able to, divers were able to find that on the bottom of the bay floor?

ARMENDARIZ: They recovered that from the bay.

GERAGOS: What page is the picture there?


GERAGOS: And what was the next thing that was found on the bottom of the floor of the bay?

ARMENDARIZ: There was F44. There was a piece of wood which I indicated was approximately two feet long, three inches wide.

GERAGOS: Okay. How many inches?

ARMENDARIZ: Piece of wood, two feet long, and three inches wide, approximately.

GERAGOS: Apparently that was such that the divers could see it, find it, and retrieve it and bring it up so you could photograph it; is that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: I don't know if they were able to see it, but they recovered it from under water and brought it up to the boat.

GERAGOS: Okay. The pictures that you are talking about, I'd like to, which I think already identified by the Bates number stamp. These the same pictures?


GERAGOS: Mark these has defense next in order.

JUDGE: Triple G. Copy of Pictures

Marked as Exhibit GGG for identification.

D. HARRIS: With the usual copying and substituting the copy.

GERAGOS: Just for the time being I'll stip.

JUDGE: Stipulate a copy can be substituted?


GERAGOS: Now, the pictures of the items that you found, specifically this is the tea bottle right here?

ARMENDARIZ: F47, correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, we have got F44 there. What's that?

ARMENDARIZ: F44 is the piece of wood that was approximately two feet long and three inches wide.

GERAGOS: Okay. So on the bottom of the bay floor there is piece of wood that's about 24 inches by three inches. Was there anything attached to it? Or was it just a piece of this, is it right here?

ARMENDARIZ: That's it. Next to it is a paper ruler.

GERAGOS: That right?


GERAGOS: Okay. The paper ruler is to just show by comparison what the size of the piece of wood is. That's why you laid it next to it?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. So that's on the bottom of the bay floor. They are able to find that on the bottom of the bay floor, right?

ARMENDARIZ: That was recovered in that area, correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. How about A10? What is A10?

ARMENDARIZ: A10 is an another white plastic bag.

GERAGOS: Now, this white plastic bag on A10, is that, was there anything in the bag?


GERAGOS: So apparently the divers could find on the bottom of the bay floor a plastic bag with nothing in it, correct?


GERAGOS: Okay. Now, the F5. Do we have that, that's right here. What is that?

ARMENDARIZ: That is a cloth sail.

GERAGOS: A what?

ARMENDARIZ: A cloth sail.

GERAGOS: How large is that?

ARMENDARIZ: Other than the photograph that's depicted on 33096, I did not measure it.

GERAGOS: Okay. Now, the A14, right here. They also located that. And that was from yet another, by the way, every time you have got the letter and the number in there, that refers to another grid area, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: And that's one of these target areas that you were given both on the 11th and the 18th, correct?


GERAGOS: And so they found there was a target area, somebody was able to, either through side-scan, or through mapping, or something, to find something on the floor and they found a blue square bucket, right?

ARMENDARIZ: Blue square bucket was the item that was recovered by the dive team that brought that up to the boat, correct.

GERAGOS: How about the A15? What is that?

ARMENDARIZ: A15 was another bucket that was recovered from the dive team.

GERAGOS: Okay. A7?

ARMENDARIZ: A7 was a beer can that was located.

GERAGOS: So apparently they had, this was so sophisticated that they could actually spot a target as small as a beer can and recover that?

DISTASO: Objection, your Honor. It's argumentative.

JUDGE: Sustained.

GERAGOS: The beer can that they pulled up, you photographed. I assume you figured there was no evidentiary value, threw it away?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: Okay. The sail we talked about. What's A45?

ARMENDARIZ: A45 was a search from the 18th. That was a wooden stick.

GERAGOS: Okay. And the B12? Right there.

ARMENDARIZ: B12 was also the search that was done on September 18th. And that was a plastic bag.

GERAGOS: Okay. And, once again, I assume these are the rulers right here, to give you a size or an idea of how large these items are?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct.

GERAGOS: How long is that ruler?

ARMENDARIZ: That's a standard ruler size. Approximately twelve inches.

GERAGOS: Okay. So all of these items are measured up against a twelve-inch ruler that are in the pictures. How about, move it up. Here F24, what's that?

ARMENDARIZ: F24 was what I described earlier. It was an item that was recovered on the 18th. And it was the metal pipe.

GERAGOS: That's the pipe. Okay. And F26 and 25 are the two tires that you described?


GERAGOS: Okay. Now, the gravel bag, it's kind of hard to read here. That's what's in this bottom picture; is that correct?


GERAGOS: Now, all of these items were recovered in the various grid areas that were searched by the divers and the, from the various entities, whether it be FBI, Contra Costa, or whoever, right?

ARMENDARIZ: No, that's not correct. Items that were photographed were recovered from the divers on the boats that I was specifically on on September 11th and September 18th.

GERAGOS: Okay. How many of those locations did you go to? Have you counted them?

ARMENDARIZ: For what day?

GERAGOS: Start from the 11th. Let me just suggest it. 21. Did you go to 21 grid locations, and you located, it appears, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven items out of the 21 locations?

ARMENDARIZ: That's correct, for September 11th.

GERAGOS: Okay. September 18th how many locations did you go to? Specifically when I say locations, we're talking about a grid area where there was a target of interest.

ARMENDARIZ: Counting 23.

GERAGOS: Okay. And out of the those 23, you found one, two, three, four, five, things, basically. Two tires, a pipe a stick, and a plastic bag; is that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: That looks to be correct.

GERAGOS: Now, there were other searches going on in the interim, but were you not part of them; is that correct?

ARMENDARIZ: I was part of the search that was being done by the boat that I was on.

GERAGOS: And when was that, did you go back out there, so we have established you were out there the May dates, you were at the marina in December, you went back out on September 11th and September 18th?


GERAGOS: Any other dates you were out there searching?


GERAGOS: Okay. And during all of the times and all of the searches that you were out there, the sum total of evidence related to this case that was recovered from the bottom of the bay floor, zero.

ARMENDARIZ: On the boats that I was on, correct.

GERAGOS: Thank you. I have no further questions.


Redirect Examination by Rick Distaso

DISTASO: Sergeant Armendariz, these items that we see that were found in the Bay, obviously just garbage, correct?


DISTASO: And was that indicative of what was scattered throughout the bottom of the San Francisco Bay?

GERAGOS: Objection. Calls for speculation.

JUDGE: Sustained.

DISTASO: Was garbage located, to your knowledge, on other boats when people, when these searches took place?


DISTASO: So these items that were we're seeing here,

GERAGOS: I would object. He's just indicated he had no knowledge of the other boats apparently what they did.

JUDGE: He just testified, Mr. Distaso, that he could only testify as to what was recovered on his boat.

DISTASO: Right. Let's just go down the boats that you were on. This garbage that was recovered,

GERAGOS: Be an objection as to his characterization of garbage.

JUDGE: Call them items so we don't get these objections. These items he's already testified he thought they were garbage.

JUDGE: Let's refer to them as items then.

DISTASO: These items that you have testified were garbage, this was, these were items that were found, it appears, throughout the days you were out searching in the bay?


DISTASO: And these grid areas that you were given to search, about how large were they?

ARMENDARIZ: Grids specifically were approximately quarter mile in size. And those were the grid areas which we were, we were searching different days.

JUDGE: Quarter mile square?


DISTASO: So then the, and what would happen is, you would,

GERAGOS: Objection. Leading.

DISTASO: Well, why don't you tell us what would happen? That's even easier. In this quarter mile square grid, how would the searches work?

ARMENDARIZ: On the searches that we did on May 16th, again, what we were doing, we would, we were given a grid map of the bay. And the entire grid was approximately a mile and quarter by mile and three quarters square in size. Within that there were grids in itself that were approximately a quarter mile square. And on the 16th, 17th and 18th, what we would do, we would go, we would be given an assignment, whichever square we would go to in that area, the boats would go out, the Side-Scan Sonar, on the boat that I was with, Side-Scan Sonar, we would begin the search up and down either north and south, or, actually, the search we did were north and south within that grid area using the Side-Scan Sonar identifying any items of interest, if there was anything that was interesting. Again, these images are not clear and concise. They were blurry. They are black and white. We are looking at three different areas. We are looking at the size of the item, the shape of the item, and the shadow of the item, if you will, that's not clear and concise. Anything that looked like to be remotely interesting or possible item, we would identify by saving that image, and saving it on the hard drive. We would continue the grid search until the water conditions became, specifically the undercurrent, because the Side-Scan Sonar is attached to the boat, the Side-Scan Sonar would start to,

GERAGOS: Objection. Non-responsive.

JUDGE: This is narrative now.

DISTASO: Okay. Let me stop you. So something about the current would impact how the Side-Scan Sonar worked?


DISTASO: What was that?

ARMENDARIZ: The undercurrent.

DISTASO: Okay. And these the pictures, so the jury understands, is this like, you know, like, are you looking at the screen, look like you are watching a TV, TV screen of the bay floor?


DISTASO: I mean it's an, you know, clear, like your digital image at home where you see everything you want to see?


DISTASO: And so these pictures that we're looking at, you said that you, you are looking at shape and shadows. What else did you say?

ARMENDARIZ: Size, shape, and shadow.

DISTASO: So like, for example, one of those buckets like the bucket there in A15 on the screen, what would that look like on the,

GERAGOS: Be an objection. There is no foundation he specifically, whenever I tried to question him about his faint knowledge of Side-Scan Sonar,

DISTASO: Objection, your Honor. That's argumentative. It's not even true.

JUDGE: First of all, you weren't looking at the Side-Scan Sonar, as I understand. You were looking at the images that were portrayed on the Side-Scan Sonar.

ARMENDARIZ: I did see the images at the time. When the deputy assigned to it was reviewing, I would take a look over at it.

JUDGE: A15, do you recall ever looking at what was purported to be A15, that was finally recognized.

ARMENDARIZ: Specifically A15, I couldn't say I did.

JUDGE: Next question.

DISTASO: What I just want to get out of, when you looked over the, well, you are not an expert in evaluating these images, correct?

ARMENDARIZ: No, I'm not.

DISTASO: Just what did you see when you looked at the screen? I just want the jury to understand. What is it that you see when you are along at the screen?

GERAGOS: There would be an objection. It's irrelevant. The person to testify to that is the person that's operating the Side-Scan Sonar.

JUDGE: He's testified that he looked over the shoulder.

DISTASO: Okay. Well, that, I'm assuming he was looking at the screen.

DISTASO: What would you observe? You said shape, shadows, and size, right?

ARMENDARIZ: Right. And I would look at the screen. I would see dark little images, little blurs. Can't make them out. I would ask the operator what those images were, if it was anything related. And sometimes they were fish. Sometimes they were just piles of mud that accumulated under the bay. Just various items, various shapes.

DISTASO: Counsel asked you about the visibility that the divers were reporting, and you said they were reporting zero visibility. What did you mean by that?

ARMENDARIZ: Black water. That they would have to do their searches with their hands literally. They couldn't see their hand in front of their mask.

DISTASO: So when they were down on the bottom, they were reporting they were kind of crawling along the bottom.

GERAGOS: Objection. Hearsay. Searching with their hands.

JUDGE: It's also leading. Sustained. Jury can draw their own conclusion, Mr. Distaso.

DISTASO: This was a question that I asked you last week, and forgot to ask you the follow-up. Remember, you testified that on one of the boats you were on, the San Mateo boat, lost their sonar unit?

ARMENDARIZ: Their Side-Scan Sonar unit.

DISTASO: How long did it take them to find this?

ARMENDARIZ: They didn't recover it until approximately two weeks later on. They actually located it on the 23rd after doing extensive searches, even though they had a general area of where they lost it at. They marked it when they lost it.

DISTASO: They found on it May 23rd. What day was it lost?


DISTASO: Nothing further, your Honor.


Recross Examination by Mark Geragos

GERAGOS: How big is this side scan unit that was lost?

ARMENDARIZ: As I testified couple of days ago, it was approximately five feet in length, yellow in color. Looks like a torpedo. Weighs approximately fifty to sixty pounds.

GERAGOS: It's five foot?

ARMENDARIZ: Approximately.

GERAGOS: About 50 or 60 pounds. And it was lost on the 11th?

ARMENDARIZ: No. It was lost on May 10th.

GERAGOS: Okay. How many times did they go out searching for it between May 10th and May 23rd?

ARMENDARIZ: They advised they spent approximately thirty hours. They, being specifically Deputy George Carrie.

GERAGOS: Okay. So an item that's five feet tall, that weighs fifty pounds, they find within 30 zero on the floor of the bay; is that right? Thirty hours worth of search. And that item that was five foot and weighed fifty pounds, they were able to find in 30 hours?  

ARMENDARIZ: That is approximately correct.

GERAGOS: What if the item was a hundred fifty-three pounds and five feet, how long would that take?

DISTASO: Objection, your Honor. Argumentative.

JUDGE: Sustained. Argumentative. Sustained.

GERAGOS: Items that are up here on the chart which has been marked as triple G, they were able to find those items, correct, the divers?

ARMENDARIZ: No. They were recovered, those items in the specific geographical area, they were given, when they do their search in that area, those were the items that were recovered.

GERAGOS: How many specific geographical areas were you given, total?

ARMENDARIZ: I think we went over that, covering the numbers on the 11th and the 18th.

GERAGOS: No. You are talking about the ones that you just searched. I'm talking about all of the search teams. How many geographical area and targets of interest were they given?

ARMENDARIZ: You would have to check with Detective Dodge Hendee for Modesto PD who coordinated the entire search for that week.

GERAGOS: You are aware that it was over 223 quarter-mile locations, aren't you?

DISTASO: Objection, your Honor. Calls for speculation.

GERAGOS: To search?

JUDGE: Sustained.

GERAGOS: The divers that you were working with, you were working with both the FBI Dive Team, and Contra Costa?


GERAGOS: And, once again, how many items of evidence related to this case did you find on your boats during all of those searches?

DISTASO: Objection. Been asked and answered.

JUDGE: Sustained. Zero is the answer.

GERAGOS: Thank you. I have no further questions.

JUDGE: That's it?

DISTASO: I don't have anything further.

JUDGE: May this witness be excused?




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