Defense attorney speaks out after being acquitted in man’s death

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MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Modesto defense attorney Frank Carson, who was accused of masterminding the murder of a Turlock man, told his side of the story for the first time since a jury acquitted him in June.

Korey Kauffman disappeared back in March 2012. His remains were discovered in the Stanislaus National Forest over a year later.

In 2015, Carson and eight others, including three former California Highway Patrol officers, were charged in Kauffman’s death.

Now, Carson is once again a free man.

“Well, it’s been a relief, a welcome relief,” he told FOX40 on Monday. “We hadn’t done anything. We had truth.”

Carson’s wife, step-daughter, two brothers, who own a connivance store, and three former CHP officers were also charged in the case.

For years, police and prosecutors sold the theory Carson masterminded a plan to catch a thief stealing from his Turlock property and kill him or her to send a message to other would-be thieves.

“One set of lies after another,” Carson said.

During the trial, testimony revealed Kauffman told others of his plan to steal scrap metal from one of Carson’s properties.

“All it had to take was a common-sense look at this to know how stupid these allegations were,” Carson said.

But Carson insists the prosecutors’ theory is totally bogus and that the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office and law enforcement in the county had it out for him for years because he was winning all of his cases in 2013 and 2014.

“It was the politics of personal destruction,” Carson told FOX40. "It was to bring us and cripple us."

Carson said he’s glad that the jury didn’t buy it.

“The jury has told us that they could clearly see from the outset that this was a vendetta,” he said.

Carson said he is filing a lawsuit against the county, seeking damages done to his practice.

“The taxpayers of this county, they are the ones that are footing the bill for this vengeance,” Carson said.

He didn’t pull punches when talking about those prosecutors or the law enforcement involved.

“Until our dying day we’re going to call them the cowards and thugs and bullies and liars and cheats that they are,” Carson said.

As for Kauffman’s family, Carson claimed they were simply misled.

“Your heart goes out to them. They need justice,” he said. “They certainly didn’t get it in the prosecution of me.”

FOX40 reached out to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office for a comment but has not heard back.

Kauffman’s family has said in the past they believe Carson is behind his death.

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