[b]Jackson Prosecution Split?[/b] December 6, 2004 Citizens — and potential jury pool members — in Santa Barbara, California, are scratching their heads over Friday’s 11th hour raid on pop star Michael Jackson’s ranch, and “CJ” has discovered the search may signal a division in the ranks of his molestation case’s prosecution. “CJ” talked to Santa Barbara florist Maurice Sourmany, who says he was in the Junior Chamber of Commerce with District Attorney Tom Sneddon. “I don’t want to judge Tom Sneddon because he’s a personal friend of mine,” Sourmany told us. “But by the same token, people are starting to talk.” Sourmany said he wonders why his old buddy waited until such a late date to put a cotton swab in Michael Jackson’s mouth to get a DNA sample from the superstar. “Why now? Why so late in the game?” Sourmany asked. “These are things I thought he should have done a long time ago.” Meanwhile, in a rare moment, Jackson prosecutor Gerald Franklin spoke to us outside the DA’s office. While he stressed that the gag order prevented him from discussing details, sources are privately pointing to a possible rift within the DA’s office, with one faction saying they are ready for a January 31st trial, while others insist the last-minute raid shows they need to buy more time to get the case ready. We also spoke with defense attorney Robert Sanger, who was similarly mum, but sources tell us that the defense might not ask for a delay — precisely because they sense the DA might not be ready, even as both sides hit the Monday deadline to turn over discovery to the other side. “What will be, will be,” Franklin said to us, regarding discovery. “I don’t have any expectations. I imagine there will be the odd document.” In terms of strategy, the defense is now reportedly expected to attack Jackson’s accuser’s mother. Published reports say the defense will likely question that the mother appropriately used money raised at The Laugh Factory in 2000 by comedians like Chris Tucker and George Lopez; the funds were earmarked for the accuser’s medical expenses since the boy had cancer at the time. A source close to the Los Angeles comedy club told us he thinks the money went to the accuser’s father, but the dad’s attorney scoffed at that claim, saying he’s never heard of any money from any fundraiser going to his client. Source: http://celebrityjustice.warnerbros.com/news/0412/06a.html

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