Judge Again Allows Prosecutors to Invade Defense Camp – MJEOL Bullet #216

Posted by

Judge Again Allows Prosecutors to Invade Defense Camp – MJEOL Bullet #216 False stories around Miko Brando and fan rallies pushed by the media thanks to wild speculation from the prosecution Inexplicably the current judge in the Michael Jackson case has AGAIN allowed prosecutors to get away with essentially stealing, some say, privileged information from the defense team. In late September 2004 police served a search warrant on Jackson’s personal assistant in which they took information, papers, and folders labeled “Mesereau”. Yes, September 2004, almost a year after the original Neverland raid. Most observers call this an obvious violation of attorney-client privilege. However this judge, Rodney Melville, does not seem to think that these prosecutors can do any wrong. He has once again ok’ed an obviously illegal search in this case. The first involved Bradley Miller, the P.I. hired by then Jackson attorney Mark Geragos. It seems that as late as September 2004, prosecutors still did not know where Jackson was from February-March 2003, and they raided the personal assistant’s office to try to find out. Jackson’s defense team says that the search did violate attorney-client privilege and sheriff’s deputies actually used a lousy excuse of only going through “a few pages” of that information before sealing it. Some familiar with police procedure have expressed doubts about this excuse. Police reportedly snatched at least three folders labeled “Mesereau”. In the defense’s Emergency Application filed in Sept 2004 after the raid, Jackson’s attorneys write:

It is known to the District Attorney and law enforcement that [redated name] is the personal assistant to Michael Jackson and that she maintains Mr. Jackson’s personal papers and files. From the Sheriff’s Department Property Form, it appears that some of the items seized relate to Mr. Jackson’s attorneys’ representation of him in this matter. It is apparent from the inventories that some, if not all of the items seized, are covered by the attorney client privilege. At this point we believe that at least one of the items, specifically, was a fax sent on behalf of the client to his lawyer regarding possible trial witnesses. Other items seized include 3 folders labeled “Mesereau”. (see Emergency Application; stamped Sept 16 2004 || pg3)

The audacity with which these raids took place also drew the ire of defense attorneys, as they stated in their Emergency Application:

Law enforcement and the District Attorney continue to attempt to use search warrants, after a case has been filed, and after a client has retained counsel, despite being aware that they run the risk of invading the defense camp. It is particularly peculiar that officers would seek a search warrant such as this; and that the District Attorney would approve of such a warrant, having been put on notice that their prior actions invaded the defense camp. (see Emergency Application; stamped Sept 16 2004 || pg3)

However, the larger issue may not be the Pinocchio-like tales the police and prosecutors have told the current judge, but rather the judge’s unfailing willingness to believe everything that comes out of the mouths of these people. What the current judge did was to allow defense attorneys and prosecutors to go through this privileged information—thereby possibly allowing prosecutors to see it anyway—and agree (or disagree) on what was attorney-client privilege. This is ridiculous. Some legal analysts say that at some point it is the judge who has to hold the reigns in this “case”. Thus far, it seems a great number of decisions have been made as if it is the prosecution who has total control over the “case” and the judge is there to excuse everything done illegally in order to move it trial regardless of huge violations. According to the Santa Barbara News Press in an article dated November 6 2004, Dawn Hobbs writes:

A judge tentatively ruled Friday that a search of Michael Jackson’s personal assistant’s home was legal but ordered some of the materials seized by authorities returned to defense lawyers because they relate to the entertainer’s legal representation. …His defense team, led by Thomas Mesereau, claimed the search violated attorney-client privilege because three files labeled “Mesereau” were taken. Sheriff’s detectives testified they had gone through only a few pages of the files and then sealed them once they spotted the lawyer’s name. (see Search ruled legal in Jackson case (Nov 6 2004))

Instead of ruling the entire search bad, which it was, prosecutors were allowed to cherry-pick what information they wanted and what info they claimed to be entitled to even though it invaded the defense camp. And, of course, there were no reported ramifications from this judge. It is unclear if Melville so much as reprimanded or admonished prosecutors or police for removing anything with the name of Jackson’s lawyer on it from the personal assistant’s office in the first place. If he did, the media certainly isn’t reporting it. It also came out that a number of items taken fell outside the February-March 2003 time period—the prosecution’s allegation timeline. But prosecutors still wanted to keep them in hopes of turning them around to claim some kind of guilt against Jackson. For example, because of personal information police took during the raid, the media claims that a payment was made to Miko Brando in December 2003 for some imagined crime. Prosecutors whined that this shows “movement” of money around Jackson and actually want to use this as “evidence”. First, there was no payment made TO Miko Brando. Brando was picking up money FOR Jackson to give TO Jackson. This is simply another illustration of how the media has twisted what was actually said in the courtroom based on ‘hail Mary’ speculation from a set of disgustingly desperate prosecutors. Brando is not listed as an alleged “co-conspirator”. Second, there is no basis to so much as even think this money has anything to do with the accusing family; the same family who, by December 2003 had long since been ejected from the Neverland Ranch. Police ransacked Jackson’s home in November 2003. So the question becomes what in hell does money picked up by Miko Brando for Jackson in December 2003 have to do with anything in this “case”? Prosecutors are grasping at imaginary straws. And if they are fighting this hard for this type of innocuous info, it is a sign of distress and panic. Third, at an almost 3,000 acre ranch, it is not unusual for thousands of dollars to move to wherever needed for the everyday upkeep of the ranch, say some. Jackson attorney Robert Sanger shot down this prosecution theory in court as well. According to an AP article entitled “Michael Jackson Judge promises no trial delay”, Sanger said:

Sanger responded, “There is nothing usual about Michael Jackson having $20,000 cash delivered to him for running his daily affairs. (see Michael Jackson judge promises no trial delays (Nov 6 2004) – AP)

Notice the “delivered to him”. This was not some pay-off to Brando for something that he may or may not have done regarding the accusing family, like crazed media are claiming. But if I didn’t know any better, I’d say these prosecutors were writing for a tabloid with these wild theories. Another issue being misconstrued is the fan-organized rallies outside of the courthouse. These were set up by fans who wanted to show support for Jackson. But, as they always do, prosecutors made irresponsible and wild accusations around them as well. Prosecutors alleged that the defense “orchestrated” these support rallies. What in the world does this have to do with a child molestation “case”? Well that’s the question. By all accounts, it was Jackson’s fans who initiated the meetings by thousands–and millions more who couldn’t physically be there–in front of the courthouse to show that they are behind Jackson 100% through the use of their own websites, messageboards, etc. Jackson attorney Robert Sanger said in court, according to the AP article:

Sanger said much of the materials seized involved events long before Jackson was charged with child molestation and added deputies who served them exceeded their authority to take materials. (see Michael Jackson judge promises no trial delays (Nov 6 2004) – AP)

And this too has become one of the only things the media is stressing out of a list of revelations made in court about the accusing family. Then there are other reports that this money is from petty cash. Whatever the situation is, it’s not likely to be anywhere close to what the prosecution is alleging, say some observers. Oh no, the media doesn’t trumpet the fact that none of the accuser’s DNA was found on Jackson’s mattress. Nor do they go out of their way to mention that the accuser’s mother may be guilty of welfare fraud; depositing her welfare checks into her husband’s account when he makes $80,000 a year, according to recent reports. Instead, we get weak theories around Miko Brando without the benefit of the actual facts. But the Brando issue and the fan-organized events aside, there seems to be serious problems with the number of violations prosecutors are getting away with. As discussed here at length, prosecutors and police also got away with invading the defense camp when they raided the office of Brad Miller the same day they ransacked Neverland ranch. As an excuse for that violation, everybody—prosecutors, police, accusing family members, etc—played dumb by claiming they “didn’t know.” And they did so despite a previous admission in the grand jury by Bill Dickerman (one of the accusing family’s attorneys at the time) that he did know Miller was employed by attorney Mark Geragos. What’s to stop prosecutors from raiding the offices of the defense, then? Will they get excused if they were to try that too?? Ultimately at some point someone is going to have to make these people follow the law, regardless. If that means the indictment gets tossed and “grumpy” Melville has to start over, then so be it. If that means privileged information and exonerating evidence is off limits to prosecutors, then so be it. But unless or until someone begins to force these people to do what they are supposed to do, there will continue to be questionable if not downright suspicious rulings from the judge and unchecked behavior from these prosecutors. -MJEOL

Leave a Reply