Defense Subpoenas Sneddon & Others for Misconduct – MJEOL Bullet #163 Update2 Michael Jackson’s attorneys are calling prosecutors out on their misconduct today (July 9 2004) in a pre-trial hearing. Tom Sneddon, the current district attorney of Santa Barbara, apparently engaged in misconduct when he lied—intentionally or not—in order to obtain a search warrant to raid the offices of a private investigator working for Mark Geragos. Sneddon himself went to Miller’s office, took picture and looked up Miller’s number in a phone book at a phone booth, days before he got the search warrant. As a result, Sneddon and investigators have now been subpoenaed to testify in at the next pre-trial hearing to be held July 27 2004; possibly by videotaped deposition. On the search warrant, Sneddon—obviously knowing Miller was a private investigator and working for Mark Geragos—claimed that Miller was “a Jackson employee” instead. Defense attorneys say this was done on purpose because Sneddon knew he wouldn’t be granted a search warrant if he told the truth. Defense attorneys also supposedly have documents and witnesses to prove their argument. One of those documents include a memo written by Sneddon which shows prosecutors knew Miller was a private investigator. That memo is dated Nov 10 2003, just days before both Geragos’s PI’s office and Neverland Ranch was raided. An AP report details some of the defense argument of info contained in that memo:

“Tom Sneddon, himself, in an unorthodox move, drove from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles and surveilled Mr. Miller’s office. Mr. Sneddon, himself, took pictures of the office. He looked up Mr. Miller’s telephone number in the Beverly Hills Yellow Pages.” (see article)

But this is not all. On a sheriff’s report dated Sept 10 2003, it refers to Mr. Geragos as Jackson’s attorney and cites correspondence between Miller and Geragos:

A sheriff’s report dated Sept. 10, 2003, indicated Mr. Geragos was an attorney who worked for Mr. Jackson and references correspondence between Mr. Geragos and Mr. Miller.

Most legal experts say that it was a bad move for a lead prosecutor–and particular, this prosecutor—to become involved in personally surveilling properties. He can, and most likely will, be a witness in the “case” based on his activities. These experts also say that Sneddon could and should have known exactly who the person was for which they sought a search warrant. I guess prosecutors are pleading stupidity. Or maybe Sneddon just forgot he did all of these activities. The affidavit supporting the Miller search warrant claimed that Miller had a role in “renting a storage until where he allegedly stashed letters written by Mr. Jackson”. It is unknown if these “letters” were actually written by Jackson, if they have anything to do with this “case”, or if they even exist. Police seized a number of things from Miller’s office that reportedly had absolutely nothing to do with Jackson. What makes the prosecution’s excuse more incredulous is the way in which they busted into Miller’s office and conference room. They went in with sledgehammers and broke into that office, but they claimed Miller stored these mythical letters in a rented storage unit. Reportedly, there were no rented storage units in Miller’s office, nor would there be cause to think there was. So, again, just why did they go into Miller’s office, with sledgehammers, after lying on the search warrant which allowed them access? The defense says it’s because they wanted to get their hands on defense work product. It is illegal for prosecutors to have access to defense work product. And what did prosecutors gain by doing this? Sources say the only thing they gained is a huge headache and a blow to their credibility. An audiotape—a point of contention—apparently contains denials of sexual abuse by the accuser and his family. Sources say the family is on tape completely denying any wrongdoing, as alleged by some people who watched the Bashir ‘mockumentary’ in Feb 2003. Sources also say that the mother’s boyfriend, Major Jay Jackson, was also present during the time they all denied any abuse by Jackson on that tape. For the record, Jay Jackson isn’t a party to the alleged ‘kidnapping/child abduction’ allegation. So if he was present, how in hell could they have been abducted or kidnapped? If prosecutors have listened to the tape, then they have violated attorney-client privilege. Since ignorance is no excuse for violating the law, prosecutors can’t get out of misconduct simply by claiming they didn’t know—which looks to be a lie since Sneddon surveilled, entered and took pictures of Miller’s office BEFORE they sought a search warrant. Sneddon and other investigators were subpoenaed to testify in the “case” based partly on finding out just what Sneddon knew when they broke into Miller’s office and seized work product. If at first your source looks inept, spin and spin some more On cue, prosecution mouthpiece are hitting the airwaves to spin today’s proceeding and to downplay Sneddon’s unusual conduct. Jim Thomas, the former sheriff of Santa Barbara and close personal friend of Tom Sneddon, claims that Sneddon is the type of prosecutor that does hands-on investigations. Nope. Sorry, that’s no excuse for this current mess Sneddon has gotten both prosecutors and police into. In a “case” where his motives are being questioned, it seems a no-no to engage in personal investigation. Diane Dimond has been focusing her reporting on the gag order issue discussed in court because it was the only mildly positive news for prosecutors. Judge Melville sent out a warning, basically telling Mesereau to get approval for statements to be released to the press. One of her sources being made to testify—a lead prosecutor no less—and she’s whining about the gag order. Who cares? Certainly not a number of legal sources, some of whom are livid, who have shook their heads in disbelief at the conduct (misconduct) thus far of prosecutors in this “case”. Appearing on The Abrams Report today, Jeanine Pirro (host), Dimond and Leslie Crocker-Snyder were on, trying to explain away the unusual behavior of this prosecutor. The two defense attorneys, Trent Copeland and Joe Tacopina could hardly believe the excuses being made for Sneddon’s behavior. Pirro, the host and pro-prosecution from her earlier comments on this case, kept trying to claim it wasn’t unusual for a DA to conduct a hands-on investigation. However, Joe Tacopina countered by asking her if she, a DA, has ever conducted her own investigation. Of course, she smiled and side-stepped the question. Tacopina also said this type of investigation is normally done by police officers or prosecutors get a ‘special master’ appointed to assist the district attorney. Copeland agreed that this district attorney has engaged in very biased behavior beginning from that first joking and unprofessional press conference given by Sneddon and Sheriff Jim Anderson. Tacopina also says that the public has no idea what will come out about this situation and that “there’s so much more”. So it seems that this may be only the tip of a titanic-sinking iceberg. Overall, I can only imagine how much better and more balanced that conversation would have gone had Rikki Kleiman been sitting in. Given Tacopina’s comments, we all better to stay tuned. -MJEOL :nav [url=http://forum.mjeol.com/index.php?showtopic=18224]Your Comments?[/url]

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