Thursday, October 21, 2010

Telecom experts testify in Siavii trial

by Tom Nadeau

Experts in telecommunications technology and the vagaries of telephone tower reception and transmission highlighted testimony Wednesday in the trial of Poe Blue Siavii, a Samoan defendant accused of killing fellow drug dealer.

Last word was that the jury will hear closing arguments in People v. Poe Blue Siavii, #08F07611 and then begin to deliberate their decision.

Perhaps the highlight of the day’s testimony came during the vetting of defense telecommunications expert Robert L. Beegle III of DeltaPhase Inc. in Rescue, Calif.

As the witness attempted to explain what he does in identifying quality aspects of phone signal transmissions, Deputy District Attorney Chris Ore interrupted him.

“Can you hear me now? Is that what you do,” Ore said, referring to the famous cell phone commercial.

“That’s me,” Beegle said, chuckling.

Telecom details followed ...

There followed a lengthy explication of how to read a phone bill and what information such documents include: who called who, if a connection was achieved, how long they talked, from which area tower conveyed the signal, etc., etc., etc.

Siavii is accused of shooting Joshua Kalb twice in the back of the head as the victim sat in his car at the Elkhorn Boulevard Park ‘n’ Ride lot off Highway 99 May 5, 2008.

Siavii and key prosecution witness Steven Riddick, a drug runner for Siavii, both admit being present when the 27-year-old Kalb was killed, but each claims the other did it.

Arrested Sept. 12, 2008, Siavii is charged with murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait. Siavii has pleaded innocent. If convicted, he faces a possible term of life in prison without parole.

Kalb was one intermediary dealer in a chain of dealers in an ever-changing ring linking methamphetamine manufacturers and Sacramento area middlemen with drug distributors in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Siavii and Riddick, both Samoans, were members of close-knit community of Samoan “cousins” who lived and worked in the Sacramento area.

The meth was packaged and shipped to Hawaii via common carriers such as United Parcel Service and messenger, or “runner,” Riddick, would later fly over to the island bring back the pay-off.

The amounts of these pay-offs varied considerably – as did the “facts” of the events and circumstances did as Siavii shifted his testimony under Ore’s pointed cross-examination.

Under questioning by Knapp, Siavii had previously admitted his traffic volume and single pay-offs sometimes ran as high as $380,000.

Siavii has admitted storing nearly $1 million in drug money profits in a storage unit.

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