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     Lo, as usual, was in the courtroom for that day's hearing. The daily transcript reveals that Trammell rubbed her nose in the relationship between Jin and Chu. As summarized in Jin's habeas petition, Trammell asked Jin the following questions calculated, Jin alleges, to further his aim of alienating Lo from Jin:

(1) Jin, tell me if you loves [sic] your babysitter Ms Chu

(2) Jin, do you loves [sic] your lover, Ms Chu?

(3) Jin, do you remember you said you loves [sic] Ms Chu very much when you took the stand on trial?

(4) Jin, you took the guilty plea so People discharge on [sic] your lover, is that correct?

It was Jin's intelligence and hard work on this Petition that would ultimately crack the jealously guarded shroud of secrecy around the case.

     By then deputy DA Morrison seems to have become sufficiently uncomfortable with the idea of a mandatory life sentence for Chu to offer to strike the special allegation of bodily harm as to the kidnapping charge, which if accepted would have the affect of reducing the sentence to life with the possibility of parole--still an unconscionably heavy sentence for someone in Chu's position. The case had produced some serious injustices and there was no graceful remedy. No one but Jin and Lo yet guessed that these injustices had resulted from a judge who had been bent on getting leverage over the defendants rather than presiding over a fair trial. The only possible remedy was a new trial, and until the sentencing and new trial motion hearing, Trammell held absolute power.
     Meanwhile, Christmas and New Year's passed without further steps toward a final disposition while Trammell wallowed in his deepening entanglement with Lo. A pathetic travesty of a lover's tête-a-tête occurred during a January 5, 1997 phone conversation which, as had become her practice, Lo taped. Trammell proposed to use a beeper code to tell Lo the precise degree to which he loved her, with 55-100 meaning that he loved her 100%. That day he told her he loved her 100%. In the same conversation he talked about the upcoming hearings and how Jin had written from the county jail to ask Trammell to grant him pro-per status. Trammell told Lo that he had granted Jin's request which would give Jin access to the law library and other resources with which to prepare legal documents. It's likely that Trammell assumed that this privilege would avail Jin little. After all, he was an immigrant who spoke broken English.
     In fact, however, while Pifen Lo kept up her charade with Trammell, Jin used those pro per privileges to draft a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus addressed to the Second District Appellate court. Citing a long list of irregularities, it asked the appellate court to take a close look at the injustice surrounding his conviction and current imprisonment. It was Jin's intelligence and hard work on this Petition that would ultimately crack the jealously guarded shroud of secrecy around the case and free him, Lo and Chu from Trammell's warped judicial powers.
     Among the documents Jin intended to file in support of his heabeas petition was a statement of Pifen Lo based on what she had told him of her meetings with Trammell. Before he completed the habeas petition, one of the prison guards discovered the as-yet-unsigned declaration in Jin's cell. It was immediately turned over to police. On January 9 detectives armed with search warrants went to Trammell's chambers and to his house. On January 10 Trammell abruptly resigned his judgeship and went into seclusion. He has made himself unavailable to the media except an interview with the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin wherein he claimed to have resigned because he didn't want to be a victim of Jin's extortion for favorable rulings. "If I gave an adverse ruling," Trammell is quoted as telling a reporter, "there's only one thing he could do, which is to have me killed."

     Whether out of genuine fear for his life or a desperate plan to create an excuse for his gross abuse of judical powers in pulling Lo into a sexual liaison, Trammell made his fears public before and after his resignation. In late 1996, during a hearing scheduled for a new trial motion which Trammell ended up postponing, he announced to all present--including Jin, Chu, Lo and their attorneys--that he had "grave concern" for his safety because he had returned home one day to find his unmade bed made and his loaded shotgun under the comforter. These were signs "Asian organized crime might very well use to intimdate," Trammell said police had told him. Then, perhaps wanting to cushion this somewhat unexpected and bizarre disclosure, Trammell also tossed out an alternate explanation--that one of his daughters had pulled a practical joke.
     If Trammell was in fear for his safety, he may have made those statements to let Jin know that he was under police protection. If not, he was simply creating a record to support an excuse he could fall back on if things got messy.
     Later, after his relationship with Lo became public and the focus of inquiries by the DA's office, Trammell claimed that his relationship with Lo had never become sexual, merely "amiable", and that he had befriended her as a self-protection measure. If Jin intended to kill him, Trammell's theory went, a friendly Lo would warn him. Judge Fasel's May 30 findings of fact expressly rejects Trammell's contention that he had not engaged in sex with Lo, but offers no finding as to whether Trammell was in actual fear for his life.
     Trammell's behavior grew even more bizarre following his resignation. In the cell of Lorraine Wade, a convicted arsonist serving time in the Los Angeles County jail, investigators discovered several letters Trammell had written under the alias of John Gee--the Chinese American surname of Karen Gee, the second counsel he had appointed for the nanny Yu Chu. The letters spoke of how he had given Lo "compassion, concern, kindness and friendship." Page 13

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