Prosecution Actions Spark Questions about Stability of Case – MB #228 UPDATE

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Prosecution Actions Spark Questions about Stability of Case – MJEOL Bullet #228 UPDATE A last-minute collection of DNA, a possible prosecution rift, and dubious stories all conspire to create a most incredulous set of events Prosecutors were back at Neverland Ranch Dec 3 2004 to collect a sample of Jackson’s DNA for what some have speculated is a non-existent “case”. Over a year after Jackson was arrested and almost 2 years after the prosecution’s timeline, they are just now collecting a swab from Jackson’s mouth. Fox News’s Geraldo Rivera got his hands on some exclusive information pertaining to what prosecutors were doing at Jackson’s ranch Friday and Saturday (Dec 3 and 4). Rivera reports that Jackson’s home wasn’t searched or raided per se; nothing was taken from the premises. Rivera also questioned the reasoning and last ditch efforts by these prosecutors. Some legal experts have openly questioned the timing of the latest move by prosecutors, while others find it incredible that they didn’t already get a DNA sample long before now. While some pro-prosecution observers were struggling to try to explain this last-minute gathering of “evidence”, there seemed to be no plausible reason as to why this happened two days before the cut off date to hand over discovery. Rivera says that Jackson voluntarily gave the DNA sample over to prosecutors on Saturday. Erroneous reports have claimed that Jackson refused to cooperate with police. Early ‘chicken-little’ reports from speculation-crazed pundits were laced with unconfirmed info about there being “new evidence” or “flipped co-conspirators”. Almost immediately came the rumors about ex-Jackson leech Marc Schaffel “flipping” and testifying for the prosecution. However, Schaffel’s attorneys have vehemently denied this rumor. None of these rumors have panned out thus far. Rivera reports that his sources say the basis of this latest search warrant was to get a saliva sample from Jackson along with other info. From The Fox Report:

First of all, the DNA sample from Jackson was the principal item investigators were after Friday, and was the basis for the search warrant obtained from the judge. They did not conduct another wide-spread search of the premises, and they did not remove any additional evidence from the estate. (see Fox Report: Geraldo Rpt. about 2nd raid Dec 4 2004)

__Watch that spin__ One thing’s for sure: Prosecutors want their side to be out in the public…and bad. Since this wasn’t a full-out raid, this could explain why the prosecution’s favorite reporter, tabloid reporter Diane Dimond, wasn’t tipped off beforehand. That hasn’t kept her from trying to spin the story, however. According to Dimond’s spin, Jackson’s first attorney (Mark Geragos) is to blame for the prosecution having to get a DNA sample this close to a scheduled trial. She claimed prosecutors asked but were refused by Geragos. Dimond, however, doesn’t credibly explain why prosecutors failed to secure a sample once Tom Mesereau became Jackson’s lawyer months ago. She’s now claiming that prosecutors kept asking Mesereau for a DNA sample. This again is in direct contradiction to other reports. And some case observers say that these new round of excuses from “sources” smacks of someone trying to place the blame on Jackson’s attorneys to explain away why they waited until the 11th hour to get a DNA sample. Regardless of what one wants to believe, reportedly there was no court order sought by these prosecutors to get Jackson’s DNA before December 3–when prosecutors executed a search warrant. Thus the ‘oh the defense kept putting it off’ excuse makes no sense. Prosecutors could have long ago executed a search warrant like they did on Dec 3 or long ago sought a court order. But they want the public to believe they just sat around twiddling their thumbs, waiting for Jackson to bestow a cotton swab on them? I guess they were doing Jackson a favor?? Even some pro-prosecution case observers say this isn’t a valid excuse. Dimond also claims that DNA evidence was found in Jackson’s bedroom belonging to the accuser. However, she goes on to mention reports of “fingerprints” belonging to the accuser found in Jackson’s bedroom and equates that to DNA. Maybe this is my misunderstanding, but last time I checked, there is a difference between fingerprints and actual DNA containing someone’s genetic info. Without getting into ridiculous and as yet unfounded claims from an article in the National Enquirer, it would stand to reason that the accuser’s fingerprints would be somewhere in Jackson’s personal living quarters because, as the public knows, the accuser and many other children and adults have been inside. Big smoking gun? Nope. This is not a situation where Jackson is claiming that the accuser has never been in his house. The public is well aware that the accuser has slept in Jackson’s bed while Jackson slept on the floor. That’s not an issue here. Giving credence to Matt Drudge’s characterization of her as a vampire with her teeth sunk into Jackson, Dimond is spinning that it was Jackson who, this time too, initially refused to give a sample. She actually says in a recent report: “He absolutely refused to give this swab. He had his attorney fly in. No one could convince him” (see Dimond: Could Jackson Have Been Jailed? (Dec 6 2004)). Not so, say sources who know better, and as reported by Rivera. According to his report, not once did prosecutors ask for Jackson’s DNA before now:

RIVERA’S SOURCE(S): “Once Mesereau found out what they were looking for, all he can say was why all the hoopla? Why didn’t they just ask for the sample out front? We would have complied immediately. Not one time in this entire process have they asked Michael for his DNA.” (see Fox Report: Geraldo Exclusive about 2nd “raid” Dec 5 2004)

Not exactly the story being told after-the-fact by prosecution-sympathizers. Rivera’s source(s) also continued to say that once Mesereau found out what was going on, he called the authorities and suggested they come back the next day (Saturday, Dec 4 2004) to get their sample. From the report:

RIVERA’S SOURCE(S): “…As soon as he spoke to them Friday and found out what they were after it was Tom Mesereau who called them and suggested they come back and meet Michael the next day Saturday, and take their sample.” (see Fox Report: Geraldo Exclusive about 2nd “raid” Dec 5 2004)

__Who’s on first??__ The sheer ridiculousness of the 11th hour move, some observers say, has gotten numerous legal analysts scratching their heads. Everyone–from lawyers to legal analysts to law professors—has commented on the peculiar timing of the prosecution gathering DNA. As previously mentioned, some have tried to claim that there must be new evidence to explain this latest move. But this explanation may be more of a wish instead of reality. Attorney Gerald Lefcourt appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s own show December 5 2004. He admits that this move by prosecutors is strange:

It is very strange. I’ve never heard of a case quite after a year of charges being filed, to first go back and ask for DNA in a sex case. Every sex case today is clearly, you know, always involves DNA. What is going on here? Is there some new evidence to give the prosecutor the best outlook on this? Or is it something that maybe they think is gonna be suppressed that’s gonna hurt them from the search warrant hearings? It’s very very strange. It smacks me that there’s something going on that’s really bad in the prosecution camp. (see Rivera: Exclusive Rivera Info + Gerald Lefcourt + Linda Deutsch Dec 5 2004)

Lefcourt certainly isn’t alone in his feeling. Also appearing on the show was AP reporter Linda Deutsch and Fox News legal analyst Stan Goldman. Deutsch says she’s never heard of them doing a search this late in a case. Goldman says there are 3 reasons as to why this is happening now: (1) unethical behavior, (2)incompetence, and/or (3) new lead/evidence. From the report:

GOLDMAN: Gerry’s absolutely right as he said before the break. Very unusual. Very unusual for anything to happen this late in the case where you go in and engage in a search. There are only three–and the panel has already said it–three basic possible explanations for why you get DNA evidence at this late stage. One would be a somewhat ethically questionable one: trying to get the publicity. Second of all, they just forgot to get it before, which would be an example of incompetency. Or third, new evidence has come up. …I don’t know which they are, but it’s very surprising, regardless of which it is, that they would do this two days before discovery finished. (see Rivera: Exclusive Rivera Info + Gerald Lefcourt + Linda Deutsch Dec 5 2004)

The ill-contrived excuses for such actions also drew questions from CNN legal analyst Jeff Toobin. Toobin appeared on CNN’s American Morning Dec 6 2004 when the media was still reporting that Jackson’s ranch was actually searched again when it wasn’t. He says that while they could be doing this concerning new “evidence”, the indication is that there’s a weak case. He tells co-host Soledad O’Brien:

…Now it’s possible that they may be thinking about adding new charges, even new victims. That would justify an additional search, because all the documents are under seal and the participants are under a gag order, we can’t know for sure. But the indications seem to be, particularly from the judge, that maybe it’s a weak case. (see DNA Sample + Jeff Toobin (Dec 6 2004))

Toobin also says that if a judge ever has to tell a prosecutor that they don’t look ready, it means that prosecutors really are not ready. Thus, any question or indication of such a situation in this “case” would mean that prosecutors are in serious trouble…as if they aren’t already. Are prosecutors ready to go forward with this “case” and with the alleged “substantial evidence” they’ve claimed to have had for a year? Certainly this last ditch effort to get…whatever they hope to get couldn’t have been too important if their “case” was already strong like they’ve been claiming for months, right? Right?? Right??? Yeah right. The sometimes unfair-and-unbalanced Celebrity Justice (CJ) actually recently had the guts to report that there may be a rift on the prosecution’s side. The Dec 6 article, “Jackson Prosecution Split?” says that some people have begun to talk. In the surprising report from CJ, Santa Barbara florist Maurice Sourmany asked the questions many are asking of this latest move. From the report:

“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.” …the raid may have been a last-ditch effort by authorities to get whatever evidence they could because, “CJ’s” been told, so far there is no “smoking DNA gun” against Michael Jackson. (see Jackson Prosecution Split? – CJ)

CJ correspondents have also reported that some prosecution sources say the rift could be over whether or not to go forward with the possible trial on January 31 2005. If this “raid” was partially used for publicity’s sake, it looks like it has backfired. Speaking of backfiring, the point was made by Gerald Lefcourt that if this DNA sample doesn’t match whatever it is that prosecutors are testing it against, that could also be yet another crippling blow in a series of disastrous blows to this “case”. Lefcourt tells Fox:

LEFCOURT: You know, what if it is a new series of pieces of evidence that they wanna check out, this could really blow up in their face big time. RIVERA: I agree. LEFCOURT: Because what happens if the DNA they obtained from Michael Jackson does not match whatever new sample of DNA that they found somewhere or got form someone? (see Rivera: Exclusive Rivera Info + Gerald Lefcourt + Linda Deutsch Dec 5 2004)

Another issue paramount to this latest action is the way in which it happened. Why did it take a search warrant to get this DNA sample? And why didn’t prosecutors just ask for it? Well, the public already knows how prosecution-apologists like Dimond are spinning the story. She claims that they just got results back from their first round of tests and that’s one of the reasons why they waited just days before the discovery deadline to take a DNA sample. Other observers and sources quoted in various articles have a slightly different and more detailed account to tell. For example, Santa Barbara News-Press’s Dawn Hobbs spoke to MSNBC via phone on December 4 2004 to talk about it. She says normally these kinds of requests for DNA samples are made via a court motion:

…Such requests for DNA are typical in these criminal cases, but what—they’re usually sought out through a court motion rather than a search warrant. (see MSNBC A: Dawn Hobbs Talks about 2nd Neverland raid Dec 4 2004)

Hobbs also confirms what was said in open court about previous DNA tests, which came back negative for any DNA belonging to the accuser. From Hobbs’s interview:

…And you must also remember that portions of Mr. Jackson’s mattress were cut out by authorities last November during the original raid for DNA testimony. However, those tests recently came back and they did not provide a link to the accuser’s DNA. (see MSNBC A: Dawn Hobbs Talks about 2nd Neverland raid Dec 4 2004)

This lack of a DNA match was discussed in MJEOL Bullet #217: No DNA, Lies, Possible Welfare Fraud & A Trip to Australia. The info came out during a two day hearing (Nov 4 and 5 2004). _Eye witness, my $%&!__ For the record, judging from the prosecution’s timeline, they’re claiming the family was conspired against and kidnapped, then the accuser was molested, and then they were conspired against some more. All of this right in the middle of at least 2 investigations by independent government agencies. From reports, the brother of the accuser is said to have “witnessed” acts of molestation. However in a recent report from ABC News, sources are quoted as saying there was no molestation. Further still, one of the stories the accuser’s bother told doesn’t pan out because of where he claimed to be standing at the time he witnessed it:

Jackson’s defense has challenged this testimony from his accuser’s younger brother, saying that no molestation occurred. The defense says the boy’s claims are untrue because his view from the stairs would have been blocked by boxes in Jackson’s bedroom. (see Neverland Search Focused on DNA, Jackson Bedroom (Dec 6 2004) – ABC News)

Besides being a ridiculous set of events, some observers have openly called it incredulous that 1. Jackson would keep a family hostage; 2. Molest the kid which sparked at least two investigations; 3. Get them all drunk and molest the accuser in front of a witness while leaving the door open for anyone to witness it; and 4.The family “escapes” and then comes back to Neverland after that “escape”/“molestation”. It simply makes no sense regardless of whether you believe Jackson. The much-hyped DNA tests coming back negative for the accuser’s DNA is an explosive piece of exonerating evidence. Add to this (1)the reported videos and audiotapes of the family exonerating Jackson; (2)the reported sworn, signed affidavits from the family saying nothing happened; at least 2 independent investigations coming up empty (LA DCFS & SBSD’s 1st investigation); (3)damning testimony which shows a change in their stories during the grand jury process; (4)damaging testimony by the accuser’s stepfather in a previous hearing; (5)a previous case involving department story JC Penneys where the mother is alleged to have coached her children to lie; (6)the family’s own actions during the time they claimed to have been kidnapped/abducted/molested/whatever. ETC. __To all the scams they’ve run before…__ And still, coming on the heels of all of this info is new data regarding the mother’s psychological state and an incredibly ruinious report from a psychologist involved in that JC Penneys lawsuit. That psychologist, Dr. John Hochman, noted he thought the interviews with the accuser and his brother sounded rehearsed. The family claimed they were beaten and the mother was sexually abused by JC Penney guards. Dr. Hochman said the police didn’t see any bruising nor did they hear any complaints of sexual abuse at the time of the incident. From a Santa Barbara News-Press article dated Nov 30 2004:

The psychiatrist noted that he thought the interviews with the boy and his brother were rehearsed. He also noted “doubtful aspects” of the testimony by the family, including that it was “impossible” for all family members to have “identical stories years later.” The police, the doctor stated, saw no injuries and heard no complaints of sexual abuse. Those charges were added to the complaint two years later. (see Jackson defense loses bid to conduct mental testing of accuser, family)

Hochman said the mother alleged that she had to see a gynecologist because her body was traumatized and because every hormone in her body was being released………stop laughing. He says that she never presented any evidence confirming any of this. Nor did there seem to be evidence of any medical treatment they would have certainly had to seek based on the complaints they were alleging:

Quoting the mother, Dr. Hochman said that after the J.C. Penney incident, she “saw a gynecologist due to irregularities in her menstruating and she was this way because her body was traumatized and ‘every hormone in her body was being released.’ ” There is no evidence confirming (the mother’s) testimony she had to get her hormones straightened out due to the mall episode.” The family complained to the psychiatrist of headaches and nightmares after the incident. The children were also fearful “the bad people from J.C. Penneys” would come to their house and hurt them, Dr. Hochman said in the report. (see Jackson defense loses bid to conduct mental testing of accuser, family)

The “bad people” from JC Penneys, huh? Kinda like the “bad people” around Jackson too, according to the family. There seems to be a history here. Talk about prior bad acts! Are there more people who have been taken advantage of by this family? One person mentioned in that explosive declaration by Jackson attorney Brian Oxman was weatherman Fritz Coleman. The Santa Barbara News-Press tracked down Coleman and detailed what he had to say in a Dec 2 2004 report (“Jackson lawyers prepare to attack accuser’s mom”). Fritz says he and his colleagues got together and purchased Christmas gifts for the family at one time. In October 2000, the report says, Coleman was somehow involved in a fundraiser for the accusing family. He says he didn’t know where the money went:

In October 2000, the boy’s Laugh Factory friends learned he was diagnosed with cancer and held three fund-raisers to help with medical costs. Mr. Masada declined to say how much money was raised. Mr. Coleman didn’t know. “None of us were in control of where the money ended up,” he said. Mr. Masada would offer no information except to emphasize that the money was given directly to the hospital. A spokeswoman for Kaiser-Permanente said she could not comment because of privacy rules. Mr. Coleman and other Laugh Factory performers visited the boy in the hospital. In fact, the boy met Mr. Jackson through his Laugh Factory connections. Mr. Jackson held a blood drive for him at his Neverland Valley Ranch. And Mr. Coleman announced the fund-raisers at the club during his TV weather forecasts. (see Jackson lawyers prepare to attack accuser’s mom)

Coleman says it is possible that the money was used for reasons other than the one for which it was raised. If that’s the case, he says he will be very angry:

“It’s entirely possible the money was used for something else. If that’s the case, I’d be very mad — especially after my station allowed me to promote it. It’s a very sad and odd case. It’s all very bad. Either way, I’m sad for the children.” (see Jackson lawyers prepare to attack accuser’s mom)

The LA weatherman also revealed that the mother tried to use him by dropping his name in the dispute between the accusing family and that JC Penney lawsuit. From the report:

Mr. Coleman mentioned the mother did try to take advantage of him by dropping his name during the dispute with J.C. Penney employees. “She said, ‘If you’re not careful, I’m going to get my friend Fritz Coleman to come down with his camera crew,’ ” Mr. Coleman said. His name also appears in a Los Angeles police report from October 2001. The mother, who called authorities to report her husband had abused her, told officers that: “Kobe Bryant, Fritz Coleman, Michael Jackson and other celebrities are helping her,” the document states. (see Jackson lawyers prepare to attack accuser’s mom)

Fritz’s name was also dropped during a domestic dispute between the accuser’s mother and biological father according to a report dated October 1 2001. The State of California Health and Welfare report stated:

During the interview, mother told the officers that Kobe Bryant, Fritz Coleman, Michael Jackson, and other celebrities are helping her. The officers asked mother if she’s ever had psychiatric treatment and she said yes, in the past but not currently. (see State of California Health and Welfare Agency Report| or from the dl section)

__Follow the money trail__ More over, Jackson may not have been the only celebrity they defrauded/scammed, according to published reports. Actors and comedians Chris Tucker and George Lopez may have also gotten suckered in by this family. As you know, Jamie Masada went on a media crusade apparently to create sympathy for the accusing family early on in this “case”. As discussed before, he claimed the accuser’s other kidney was failing and was asking for blood donations until it was revealed the accuser was not sick and did not need a new kidney. Money was raised allegedly for this family at Jamie Masada’s club, The Laugh Factory, from those like Tucker and Lopez. Where the money really went to is unclear at this time. According to CJ, Masada and those spinning for the family claimed that the money may have gone to the accuser’s father. There’s a new theme which has cropped up lately: blame the accuser’s biological father. Concerning the JC Penneys incident, prosecution-apologists have claimed it was the father who made the kids shop-lift. Now, sources around Masada are saying it was the father who may have received donated funds earmarked for the accuser’s cancer treatments. The attorney for the father, however, is said to have scoffed at this notion. According to CJ:

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. (see Jackson Prosecution Split? – CJ)

Speaking of the father, there was a report from Fox news months ago that the mother went to court to increase child support payments from the biological father…right during the prosecution’s incredulous conspiracy/abduction timeline. No, that’s not a typo. Apparently she didn’t tell that judge or the bailiff or anyone inside the courthouse that she was being kidnapped either. Jeez. All of this new info comes on the heels of previous reports about the mother receiving checks from Los Angeles County and cashing them during the time they claimed to have been held/abducted/kidnapped/whatever at Neverland. It has been previously reported that the mother may be guilty of accepting welfare checks while living with a man (now her husband) who makes $80,000 a year. And there are rumblings that she is being questioned regarding this. Why blame the father when by all accounts it is the mother in total control of these kids? What is going to happen if it turns out that the mother defrauded a number of celebrities, including Jackson? Is the mother being investigated for welfare fraud? Will the accuser’s brother get caught up in a lie concerning his so-called eye-witness account? Is there turmoil in the prosecution’s camp? All of these questions remain to be answered. Stay tuned. -MJEOL

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