Alleged Co-conspirators Will Shred Allegations MJEOL Bullet #139 Much ado has been made concerning the new conspiracy charge in the Michael Jackson case via doom-and-gloom forecasts from reporters too lazy to question the actual charge itself. But is the prosecution actually walking into an ambush by pursuing this self-proclaimed case in this way? Some say that with the added conspiracy charge, it is indeed indicative of the fact that prosecutors havent been able to find any corroborating evidence of the underlying charges of molestation and the administration of alcohol. Many legal experts see this charge as a plus for the prosecution because they can now bring in hearsay information that otherwise wouldnt have come up. But what they fail to point out is that this, too, can be a major plus for Jacksons defense team. Sources say Jacksons defense team may have truly been expecting a charge like this and could have been preparing a defense for it long before the charges were read during the April 30 2004 hearing. By taking the case in this direction, prosecutors may be allowing Jacksons defense team to also bring in evidence that otherwise may not have been allowed in court. Also potentially damaging is the fact that Santa Barbara Sheriffs Department (SBSD) did their own 2 month investigation into allegations around this very family. That investigation lasted from Feb 18 April 16 2003, according to media reports. Remember, the prosecution is alleging this conspiracy ended March 31 2003. That investigation turned up absolutely nothing: no criminal activity, no complaining witnesses and no other allegations. Whats also important to note is the fact that alleged co-conspirators usually dont flip (turn on) the main defendant if they can actually prove they did nothing wrong. This is not comparable to what happened in the Martha Stewart case or the Jayson Williams case, although you will see comparisons to the two trials. The convoluted allegationcoupled with the suspicion of some of Jacksons employees of this familys motives very early onwill all but guarantee that this conspiracy charge wont be as cut-and-dry as in those two cases. This is an incredible gamble by the prosecution that, sources say, will end up blowing-up in their faces. Soon we will see if the prosecution has played right into the defenses hands by pursuing this kitchen-sink charge of conspiracy. A charge which some legal experts say is somewhat disturbing in light of a changing timeline and changing molestation charges. In a FindLaw.com article, Jonna Spilbor points out the fact that prosecutors often throw in this charge as a way to get leverage or get evidence that they lack. She also says that Jackson not actually being charged with what hes alleged to have conspired to dochild abduction, false imprisonment, and extortionis telling as well:
Stranger still, is that Jackson has not been indicted on the actual objects of the conspiracy itself. In other words, the crimes of Child Abduction, False Imprisonment and Extortion are not charged as stand-alone crimes — nor are they even charged as attempted crimes. What is really going on here? Perhaps the missing charges mean the grand jury refused to indict despite the evidence presented. Or, perhaps prosecutors were not able to present the grand jury with evidence to support the missing charges — because supposed co-conspirators in Jackson’s entourage would not, or did not, testify against him. Perhaps no such evidence exists, and the entourage is telling the truth after all. (see article)
More specifically, Spilbor notes that had the prosecution knew exactly of this being the case, the indictment would have read differently:
Meanwhile, another potential problem with the conspiracy is indicated by the fact that the conspiracy count is written like a multiple-choice quiz. Typically, a prosecutor who believed a conspiracy had these objects might charge them this way: one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Child Abduction,” one count of “Conspiracy to Commit False Imprisonment,” and one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Extortion.” Charging a single count but including three possible objectives may suggest that the prosecutor’s knowledge of the conspiracy is limited, and that he is hoping the evidence will support at least one of these alleged objects.
Multiple-choice conspiracy allegations? Changing timeline? Changing charges? Ridiculous. And what’s worse, sources say, a number of people have been trying to warn the prosecution to the fact that they could be setting themselves up for a major fall by pursuing this “case” and specifically these alleged abduction/hostage/conspiracy charges. The attorney for two of the rumored alleged co-conspirators, Joe Tacopina, has said repeatedly that his clients are completely innocent of these allegations. He has also mentioned the existence of a number of documents and other evidence that will shred the conspiracy charge and the allegations. Tacopina appeared on ABCs Good Morning America April 12 2004 and spoke to Cynthia McFadden. He said his clients are innocent and neither one has any knowledge at all of Jackson giving alcohol to any minor. When asked if one of his clients, Frank Tyson, threatened the brother of the accuser as alleged, Tacopina says:
Oh god, absolutely not. Frank Tysons one of the most passive individuals youve ever come across. I dont think he could get those words out, number one. And number two, he has no, absolutely no knowledge of Michael giving alcohol to any minor at all. And he would know. (see article)
Tyson has known Jackson since at least the age of 15, so he would be in a position to know this information. As a matter of fact, Tacopina says if they were even asked by Jackson or anyone else to be involved in a conspiracy or to threaten the accusing family, they wouldnt. The attorney told McFadden that the accusers mother was ridiculed by her friends as a result of the Bashir documents and ran to Jackson seeking refuge:
Heres a woman who, after this documentary hit the air, was ridiculed by her friends; was mocked, was called a bad mother. She wanted to get out of her community. She turned to Michael Jackson for help and his generosity, and you know, played on it.
Tacopina also questioned the prosecutors and their investigators ability to be impartial when looking for the truth in this case. He told Rita Cosby (Fox News Live) on April 18:
I do not see the investigators, the prosecutors in this case, going in with an open mind. I think they believe in their theory of the case whatever that theory is gonna be. I dont think any witness is gonna take them off that theory. I know what Frank Tyson and Vincent Amen would say would take them [prosecutors] off their theory. They support Michael Jacksons innocence. They have issues with the mother of this alleged victim. (see article)
He denied, again, that his clients were in any way involved in the ever-changing tales told by this accusing family. He also says he would have a picnic if he had to go out and meet these charges head on with his clients:
I wish I really wish, Rita, I could try my case right here. I wish I could expose all the evidence I know about. I will have a picnic, quite frankly. It would be my pleasure to go out and meet these types of charges if theyre ever levied. They are ludicrous. I know that theres absolutely no credible evidence that will sustain those charges against Frank and Vinnie. They did nothing against her will. Anything she got, she got cause she wanted it. She had a certain agenda quite frankly. And to now go and implicate my clients at this late date, were not gonna stand for it. Fortunately, we dont have to answer for it now. But if there should come a time when were asked to speak our peace in front of a trial jury, well be more than happy to accommodate the accuser.
Tacopina also appeared on The Abrams Report April 22 saying that the evidence his clients have will shatter any notion that they had anything to do with kidnapping or threatening these accusers:
If I have to answer these charges for my clients or client, Dan, I am so confident that we willand I dont mean to sound cavalier, because Im not taking this lightly. But Im so confident that we will shatter the notion that Frank or Vincent did anything wrong. Im not only confident based on my conversation with my clients, based on witness conversations, but there are documents out there that will absolutely shred these allegations. (see article)
Continuing the public warnings that the prosecution is seriously barking up the wrong tree by going after this conspiracy nonsense, Tacopina talked to Debra Norville April 30 2004. He says the district attorney has his position set in stone and says he definitely wasnt gong to give the prosecution a sneak preview of their defense during the one-sided grand jury proceeding:
A grand jury is a one-sided proceeding. In my opinion, the district attorney in this case, you know, sort of had his position set in stone. And I dont think, quite frankly, my clients going in there giving them a sneak preview of what our defense will be, if, in fact, theyre charged, would really bode well for them down the road. If were invited into this foray, if these two really terrific young kids, who are very intelligent, sweet people, are dragged into this mix, I will do everything in my power to make sure that the person who made that decision will regret it and regret it good.
Whether or not the prosecution decides to come to its senses and investigate the family making the allegations remains to be seen, but is unlikely at this point. More likely than not, they will decide to run head-on into a brick (bed rock? graphite? diamond?) wall that Tacopina and others have previously tried to warn them against. -MJEOL