Sunday, April 8, 2018
Answer to the charges linked here.
Ventura County Star reported on the attorney's testimony in a November 2017 criminal trial in a matter unrelated to the bar allegations
The mother of a Ventura man accused of killing her boyfriend in 2011 said in testimony this week that she did not know her former beau died until a detective told her years later.
The testimony came in the third week of Michael Bresnak’s trial. He is charged with the murder of Jeffrey Korber, 58.
Bresnak’s mother, Mary Francesca Hannan, 70, is accused of helping her son hide Korber’s body.
Korber and Hannan were in an on-again-off-again relationship for about 10 years and had been living together at her home on Chippewa Lane in Ventura at the time prosecutors allege he was killed.
Bresnak, now 53, was arrested and charged with Korber’s murder after the victim’s body was found wrapped in black plastic and duct tape in a freezer at the Ventura Mini Warehouse storage facility in June 2013. The discovery was made about two years after Korber’s family reported him missing in Summer 2011 when he missed his daughter’s high school graduation.
This is the second time Bresnak is being held to answer for Korber’s death. A mistrial was declared in March 2016 after jurors deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction.
In February 2016, Hannan was indicted by a grand jury. She was charged with being an accessory to the crime after the fact and conspiracy to commit a crime. She has since pleaded not guilty.
As Bresnak’s retrial continued this week, Senior Deputy District Attorney Anne Spillner finished her case against the defendant.
Spillner presented evidence that alleged Bresnak and Hannan worked together to “derail” police from discovering Korber was dead.
Spillner presented to jurors a series of recorded phone conversations between mother and son in 2011 when Bresnak was in Ventura County jail on unrelated charges and again in 2013 when he was jailed on suspicion of Korber’s murder.
Bresnak’s defense attorney David Lehr began to argue his case on Monday, which included calling Hannan to the stand. Her testimony continued into Wednesday morning.
Lehr asked her about the phone calls Spillner presented.
She testified that she did not know Korber was dead until a Ventura police detective told her Korber's body was discovered. The conversation occurred after search warrant was served at Hannan’s home.
Lehr said in his opening statements that Korber became violent with Hannan when she told him to leave her home in March 2011. Hannan called her son for help, and Korber allegedly assaulted him.
The assault led to a fight in which Bresnak got Korber into a chokehold for 15 to 20 seconds, Lehr said. Bresnak let go of Korber, left the room and when he returned, he found Korber dead, Lehr said.
Hannan testified that she did not know her son and Korber had been involved in an altercation.
During cross-examination, Spillner asked Hannan to clarify the topics of conversation in the phone calls and to provide context.
Hannan, who is also an attorney, testified that some of the conversations were about a workers’ compensation and unemployment case she was representing her son on.
Ventura County Superior Court Judge Gilbert Romero denied Hannan’s request for a meeting with Bresnak but said he would not permit lines of questioning related to the cases she was representing him in.
Spillner brought up a June 28, 2011, conversation between Hannan and Bresnak in which she tells him Korber got a ticket in the mail. It was sent to her post office box where Korber had previously received mail, and Hannan told Bresnak she would “look into it” because “things are going to start happening now.”
Spillner asked Hannan what she meant by that and to explain what the conversation was about.
“A workers’ compensation matter,” Hannan testified.
In redirect, Lehr asked Hannan whether Bresnak would stay on the same subject in their conversations.
“Sometimes I would open the conversation with something about a book, a trial that was on TV or something like that, and Mike would have something else on his mind,” Hannan said.
Bresnak would start talking about that subject as soon as she stopped talking, Hannan testified.
After Hannan, Lehr’s next witness was the defendant himself. Lehr asked Bresnak about his interactions with Korber and their relationship.
Bresnak testified that he had lived with his mother and Korber for months at a time. He also said that the pair “coexisted” and did not like each other.
“We didn’t communicate much. Jeff didn’t like me, and the feeling was mutual,” Bresnak testified.
Lehr then questioned him about the night of the altercation with Korber. Bresnak said he “didn’t see it coming” when Korber assaulted him. He then explained how he moved Korber’s body from his mother’s upstairs bedroom to the garage where he wrapped Korber’s body.
Bresnak’s testimony is expected to continue this week.
The corpse of a suspected California murder victim who went missing more than two years ago has been found packed up in a storage unit freezer, police announced Wednesday.
Authorities say that they discovered the body of Jeffrey Korber, 58, at the Ventura Mini Storage facility in June, according to KTLA. Korber was reported missing in July 2011 by family members who said they had not heard from him for months.
“The body actually was pretty well-preserved,” said Ventura Police Commander Darin Schindler, according to KABC. “We were able to confirm through photos, also.”