California Attorney Arrested for Allegedly Hiring Killers, Orchestrating a Murder

By Peter Clarke, JD on August 18, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Defense attorneys do more than represent criminals. Apparently, they also make friends with them when there are nefarious deeds to be done. This seems to be the case with Frank Carson, a defense attorney in Modesto, California who allegedly used his criminal connections to mastermind a murder-to-hire plot.

In jail since last Friday, Carson is currently held without bail. If all goes well for the prosecutors, Carson may indeed be able to continue developing his relationships with criminals -- as he spends quality time with them behind bars.

Murder Over Scrap Metal

The murder mystery began with a pile of scrap metal in Carson's backyard. According to CNN, Carson told a neighbor, "If I ever catch anyone in my backyard, I will kill them, and no one will ever find them." And that seems to be what happened.

The victim, Korey Alan Kauffman, disappeared in 2012, shortly after he had allegedly taken some of the scrap metal from Carson's backyard. Kauffman was missing until August 2013, when hunters found his body in the Stanislaus National Forest.

The arrest affidavit released by the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department points to a conspiracy involving several henchmen, former highway patrol officers, and even Carson's wife and daughter.

Criminal Connections of a Criminal Defense Attorney

An investigation into Kauffman's death revealed close ties between Carson and Modesto's criminal underbelly. According to the arrest affidavit, "Frank Carson has multiple ties to the criminal element in the community and has solicited them on several occasions to commit acts of violence making him a significant danger to society."

The affidavit goes on to include revealing interviews from the alleged henchmen in the murder plot. For example, Robert Woody, a man connected with the murder, stated that "he felt he owed Carson a favor because Carson had represented him in court and had not charged him." This is a good reminder for attorneys to avoid making underhanded business deals with criminal clients.

While Frank Carson awaits to be formally charged, he technically continues to represent 71 pending criminal cases. The Modesto Bee suggests that he wants to continue representing his clients while in jail.

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