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3 CHP Officers, Prominent Attorney Arrested In Killing Of California Drifter

SACRAMENTO ( — The arrests of three CHP officers in the death of a California man is reverberating around the state Friday.

Nine people in all were arrested, including the officers, a prominent attorney who ran for district attorney in Modesto, his wife and daughter.

KCAL9's Dave Bryan says the murder and plot are like something out of a Hollywood movie.

The CHP commissioner says the arrests of the three officers on murder-conspiracy charges is devastating.

The murder victim was Korey Kauffman, who went missing in 2012.

He is described as a drifter who made a living by stealing copper pipe and  scrap metal and selling it to recyclers.

Law enforcement agents arrested nine people, who were allegedly involved in a conspiracy to kill Kauffman, including former CHP officer Walter Wells, who is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy and false imprisonment. Two other CHP officers are also charged with conspiracy and being accessories.

"To learn that you have employees in an organization like ours that have some involvement, any involvement, or any knowledge of a murder is devastating," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.

Farrow indicated the allegations against three officers are gut-wrenching for the organization.

"News like this obviously impacts our organization," Farrow said. "I think it impacts all of America's law enforcement. I think it rips at the soul of an organization."

Also charged in the case are Frank Carson, the prominent Modesto criminal defense attorney.

A 326-page arrest  affidavit in the case says the murder victim, Korey Kauffman was last seen in 2012. He reportedly left a friend's house to steal irrigation pipes from Carson's property.

And was never seen alive again.

The affidavit says Carson was out for revenge and wanted to teach Kauffman a lesson as well as wanting to send a message to people stealing scrap metal and antiques from his property in Turlock.

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