Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Kari Abbey Preliminary Hearing Day Two Part Two

By Emerson Drake

The District Attorney’s Chief Investigator on the Kari Abbey case, Mike Hermosa is still on the stand and starts discussing the rental property onOlympia St.where Nora Martinez and Javier Arreygue have been after Jose Flores for some time asking him to rid the home of the rat and cockroach infestation.  They also complain about the homes lack of window screens.  This has been an ongoing issue and they have withheld rent in order to motivate the landlord which they believe isFlores.  Hermosa points out itsFloreswriting on the rental application. The renters smell gas and call PG&E who shut off the gas line until the leak on the house side is repaired.


D.A. Investigator Mark Smith returns to the stand after teaching class that morning. The discussion goes back to a co-worker of Kari Abbey’s, Pat Hanuula, and Abby’s early morning trips to Starbucks.  Smith states Hanuula told him that Abbey used this time to study for her real estate license course. Rains countered she was doing paperwork for her rental property.


The topic switches to the police search of the house where the “log book” concerning the  marijuana growing operation was found.  James Abbey told Mark Smith that the log didn’t track marijuana that was sold but the cost of growing it and that the grow was all his.


Kari Abbey told Smith that the grow room was her fathers not hers. Already mentioned was the fact one of Kari Abbey’s deputy uniforms was in a closet off of the grow room.


Jose Flores told Smith and Hermosa he and Kari had gone to 1708A Donald the week before the shooting in an attempt to collect the rent. Charles Rivas,  a tenant was there but Rita wasn’t and Flores and Abbey were told they would have the money next week.


Smith noted that Kari Abbey had a for rent sign in her work car (Scion). 


Back to Mike Hermosa: Hermosa had asked questions to see if the Sheriff’s Office was aware of Abbeys managing the rentals, which they were. Three were owned by James Abbey, nine co-owned by Kari and Bennie, one by Bennie himself, and a few by a bay area company (PLM) and the rest by anotherModestocouple.


Hermosa detailed several different addresses used by Rita during the summer on 2010 along with using a variety of sources for getting that information.


In the affidavit for the search warrant dated 3/24/11, support for a violation of penal code 602.5 and 418 and 602.5, in particular supporting the conspiracy charge, conspiring involves having no rental agreement to make the eviction process easier if it keeps the electricity in Abbey’s name. 


A discussion ensues regarding the altercation onSanta Cruz.  Kari and Bennie had told the MPD officer Bennie had hit Victor with an open hand according to the MPD report. But later Bernie acknowledges he hit Victor with his fist. Apparently James Abbey had taken a rental down payment and security deposit but refused to give the tenants a rental agreement to take to MID to get the electricity turned on because of a former debt. The renters created a fake renter agreement to get the power turned on, but MID checked with Abbey and then refused to.


Defense attorney Rains then produced a lengthy series of rental agreements which all showed the lessee was responsible for the electricity. All of these rental agreements name Kari Abbey as the property manager. But during cross D.A. Harris was able to point out these properties were unknown to the prosecution and were owned by someone else. 


These properties stretched from Ripon throughModestoand added to Abbey’s already heavy workload. They also highlighted the fact these other owners all used rental agreements and Abby many times didn’t.


James Abbey had made a series of personal notes where he detailed going into properties that were occupied without obtaining permission.


It’s also pointed out how James Abbey lied to officers on the night of the shooting, 9/24/10, by not mentioning Jose Flores having been at 1708A Donald and not knowing who the green truck belonged to (Flores) that witnesses said was in the driveway.


Former S.O. Sergeant and now Deputy Coroner Seymore tells the court how he was Abbeys supervisor from 3/09 thru 1/31/11.  He proudly relates he’s considered anal by his subordinates regarding keeping track of their whereabouts and how they keep him informed about everything they do.


He details how Kari’s schedule was 4 ten hour days and that she would talk with him when she needed to use flex time which by his estimation was about twice a week.  Sgt, Seymore suggested Abbey kept him well informed with her schedule and aware of what she was doing.


D.A. Harris asks if the S.O. has a policy that requires deputies to inform their supervisors regarding “official contact” with another police jurisdiction.  He said they did.  Harris then asked him if Abbey had reported the contact with the MPD regarding the tenant’s complaints along with the fight between Bennie and Victor.  Sgt. Seymore said no she didn’t.  Harris then said, “apparently she doesn’t tell you everything then does she.”  Sgt. Seymore said “I guess not.”




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2 thoughts on “Kari Abbey Preliminary Hearing Day Two Part Two

  1. This class being taught by Mark Smith is it paid for by a government agency or is it a private agency? Seems to me if Smith is working for the DA’s office then he needs to schedule around the Pretrial not the court scheduling around Mark Smith’s for profit moon lighting job. What is this a Kangaroo Court?

    Abbey and Taylor were heavily involved in bay area real estate, I’d be surprised if the county car was not driven over there for personal business.

    This just goes on to show how mismanaged the county sheriff’s policies are.

    I predicted the defense would provide more evidence about Detective Abbey’s real estate involvement than the prosecutors would. This just hurts the prosecutions case, one would have figured that would have been known by the prosecutor before the Pretrial.

    “Another thing over looked on purpose or not is that Detective Abbey was in a Real Estate partnership along with her husband and another man in the Bay Area, Mr. Abbey is not a partner in those businesses.

    Same thing as before, rental properties. Another reason to say to the Jurors that the prosecution did a sloppy investigation for not mentioning that.

    So far I am not impressed by the prosecution or the investigators they seem to be leading themselves to be trapped by the defense attorneys, it looks like this case against Detective Abbey will be a rout.

    Waiting for the defense testimony I have a feeling they are going to bombshell the prosecution with so many holes in the case now I will not be surprised if that happens. ”

    • Mark Smith teaches a class at Modesto Junior College that is scheduled far in advance. Some might argue the busier Kari Abbey was with her own business the less time she would have spent as a Detective strengthing the prosecution’s case.

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