Jarec Wentworth Trial Day 2: Sean Cody Employees, The FBI, And Etienne Yim
The second full day of the Jarec Wentworth extortion trial has just concluded at U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles. I’ll be recapping the day’s events each night this week in detail here, and in shorter observations on Twitter, as time permits during court recesses. The prosecution and the defense have now called all of their witnesses, and things are running a bit ahead of schedule. Tomorrow morning, both sides will present their closing arguments and the case will be handed over to the jury. I don’t expect the jury to deliberate for very long, so we could have a verdict back by lunch time tomorrow. For those of you who have no idea who Jarec Wentworth is or why he’s on trial, you’ll find a comprehensive recap here. Here’s a recap of everything that happened yesterday, and here’s a recap of the conclusion of Donald Burns’ testimony from earlier today.
Here’s a brief recap of the remaining witnesses called today (not including Justin Griggs/Sean Cody’s Taylor, whose recap is forthcoming):
Prosecution Witness Etienne Yim
This is the so-called friend of Wentworth’s who partied with Wentworth in the days leading up to his arrest, borrowed a gun for Wentworth, and drove Wentworth to the scene of the sting operation where he was arrested. As you might know, Yim has already pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony for his role in the alleged extortion plot, and part of his plea deal was to provide truthful testimony in the Wentworth trial today. As you might not know, Yim is hot!
Unfortunately, the young, gravel-voiced, tattooed, Jersey Shore-esque hunk had to stop multiple times during his testimony because he didn’t understand what certain words meant. When asked by the prosecution to look at an exhibit in the binder in front of him on the witness stand, he asked, “What’s a binder?” Later, during cross-examination, Yim was confused when defense counsel referred to his impending sentencing as being “lenient,” because he was cooperating with the government. He replied, “lenient?” When the defense counsel clarified that “lenient” meant “less severe,” Yim was able to proceed with an answer.
Yim testified that he secured the gun because he and Wentworth were worried that Donald Burns might “eliminate them” upon meeting up for the money transfer. In short, Yim was there to throw Wentworth under the bus by claiming that Wentworth had told him that he was blackmailing Burns. Yim also told the court that he was currently working as a financial adviser, which is a stark departure from his previous career as a cookie ice cream sandwich maker at San Diego’s “The Baked Bear,” from which he was fired.
Prosecution Witness Special Agent Michael Winning, FBI
Winning was there to put everyone to sleep testify about more cell phone data extraction, similar to the cell phone data extraction we heard yesterday. Winning testified about the authenticity of texts extracted from Wentworth’s phone and Burns’ phone, plus Wentworth’s Twitter account and that infamous “anyone know Don?” tweet, prison emails, and bank accounts showing the $500,000 deposit.
Prosecution Witness Benjamin Williams
This is the San Diego man who loaned his gun to his friend, Etienne Yim, who told Williams that they’d be using the gun at a shooting range. Williams had no other connection to the case and had never met Wentworth before.
Defense Witnesses: Sean Cody’s Vice President of Production & Sean Cody’s Vice President Of Operations (not pictured above, although they were both hot!); Special Agent Jonathan Bauman
Presumably, the defense will have a very strong closing argument that ties together some of the theories and strategies I’ve speculated about earlier, because these three witnesses (yep, they only called three) were fairly underwhelming, in my opinion. The first two, from Sean Cody, gave almost identical testimonies (they were asked almost identical questions) about Donald Burns’ desire to film Sean Cody movies in his La Jolla home. Sean Cody did consider the offer and sent a production team to Burns’ Razor House, but due to bad lighting and virtually no privacy (the entire house is surrounded by see-through glass), they ultimately declined the invitation. Burns told the Sean Cody production team that having them film in his home would be something to “brag” about to his friends. Also, the Vice President of Production revealed that Burns had caused “problems” for Sean Cody in the past, as there were multiple instances of models canceling their scheduled Sean Cody shoots so they could go and fuck Donald Burns for money instead.
The defense’s last witness (and final witness of the entire trial) was an extremely uncooperative (you might call him “hostile”) FBI agent named Jonathan Bauman. Essentially, the defense was trying to get him to admit that Burns’ accusations against Wentworth might not have been 100% truthful, and they pressed him on why all of Burns’ cell phone data wasn’t extracted (Burns only allowed the FBI to view data on his phone from February and March 2015) during their search. The FBI agent said he would’ve liked to have seen everything on the phone going back years (which might’ve provided a full picture of the Burns/Wentworth relationship), but that didn’t end up happening.
Closing arguments being tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m., and then Jarec Wentworth’s fate will be in the hands of the jury. He faces up to eight years in prison.