Judge Grants Defense Motion to Delay Trial – CNN Headline News Update

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Sources say CNN Headline News just reported that the judge in the Michael Jackson case has granted the defense’s motion to delay the trial. The new trial date is Jan 31 2005, according to the report. For the judge to grant this delay, he must have found that prosecutors STILL have yet to turn over some fairly important information to the defense. Stay tuned to the official hearing thread at the MJEOL forums: :check [url=http://forum.mjeol.com/index.php?showtopic=18243]Official July 27 2004 thread[/url]

Judge postpones Michael Jackson trial until January 31 11 minutes ago Add U.S. National – AFP to My Yahoo! “It is apparent from discovery problems and the huge amount of material that the trial that I set was overly optimistic,” Judge Rodney Melville said. The trial had been scheduled to start on September 13. Earlier in the day, prosecutors and Jackson’s attorneys battled in a pre-trial hearing to determine whether there is enough hard evidence to go ahead with the case. Deputy district attorney Gordon Auchincloss charged that Jackson, 45, built his Neverland ranch, complete with amusement park rides, to abduct, abuse and seduce children. The ranch, which takes its name from the Peter Pan tale, “was designed to entice and attract children,” Auchincloss said. “It is an isolated and gated area where Michael Jackson could carry out his plans (of) false imprisonment, child abduction and extortion,” Auchincloss said. Jackson attorneys led by Thomas Mesereau tried to get the judge to drop the charges, which they argue the grand jury handed down without the benefit of evidence. Mesereau condemned the case against the megastar as absurd and urged the judge to throw it out, saying there is evidence the family is trying to get money. “The case is an effort to take down a major celebrity,” Mesereau alleged. But, Auchincloss said, “there is no way the grand jury is misled in indicting Michael Jackson.” Jackson pleaded not guilty on April 30 to charges that include child molestation and conspiracies to abduct a child, false imprisonment and extortion. He could face a long prison sentence if convicted. “There are 28 covert acts that support the conspiracy charges. Michael Jackson had the opportunity and motive to commit the crime,” Auchincloss said. The prosecutor said the child, identified as John Doe, a cancer victim, “thought Michael Jackson was the coolest guy in the world” while Jackson showered him with gifts. In the documentary “Living with Michael Jackson,” which was broadcast in February 2003, the star acknowledged having shared his bed with children. “The video was Michael Jackson’s downfall. The day after it was broadcast the (Michael Jackson) camp went onto a crisis mode to put out the fire started by the video,” Auchincloss said. “The fact he rationalized his conduct on national TV was his downfall. He ignited a fireball of criticism that made him an object of international loathing and scorn,” he added. After the television program aired, prosecutors said, Jackson and his associates forced the alleged victim’s family to take a vacation in luxurious resorts. Mesereau countered: “The idea that they were imprisoned and forced to fly on private jets to Florida, to socialize with celebrities such as (actor) Chris Tucker, is absurd on its face. It would be laughed out of court by a jury.” Earlier this week, Jackson’s team filed a motion to have the indictment thrown out, claiming Prosecutor Tom Sneddon had “bullied” and cajoled witnesses into making groundless allegations before the grand jury that handed down the charges. They accused Sneddon of “flagrant misconduct” and of flouting the laws of evidence during the hearings in March and April in an “overzealous” bid to prosecute Jackson. The defense team suggested that Sneddon, who led the failed 1993 investigation into the allegations against Jackson, held a grudge against the superstar. Jackson, who is charged with sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy at Neverland last year, on June 17 issued a statement saying: “I did not, and would not, ever, harm a child.” He spoke out after details of a secret 1993 out-of-court settlement of an earlier child abuse case were leaked to media. Under the deal, Jackson agreed to pay a teenage boy 15.3 million dollars in a civil settlement that led to the collapse of the criminal investigation. :nav Source: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040727/ts_alt_afp/us_jackson_040727235832

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