[b] Michael Jackson’s Attorneys Seek To Delay Trial[/b] POSTED: 3:23 pm PST December 13, 2004 LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson’s lawyers have filed a series of motions including a request to continue his Jan. 31 trial date and to dismiss charges on grounds of “vindictive prosecution and outrageous government conduct.” But the lawyers, following a procedure set up by Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville, asked that the motions be kept secret. The judge has ordered that everything in the case initially be filed under seal for his decision on whether any of it should be released. Not even the proposed new date of trial was released. Melville has repeatedly pushed lawyers to meet the Jan. 31 start date for jury selection. The motions, containing a cryptic description of their subject matter, were filed Dec. 10 and became available Monday. They were scheduled for argument in hearings to begin Dec. 20. In addition to continuance and dismissal motions, the defense asked to suppress all evidence seized under four new search warrants. But that request was sealed as well. Most search warrants in the case have either been sealed or heavily edited. The new motions are likely to stem from an unexpected search of Jackson’s Neverland ranch on Dec. 3 and 4 during which authorities took a DNA sample from the pop star pursuant to a search warrant and took measurements of rooms in the house. Legal experts had predicted that the late searches, on the eve of a deadline for turning over all discovery materials, would set the stage for defense lawyers to seek a delay in starting trial. “How do you go to trial in a case when they are still serving search warrants?” said Loyola University Law Professor Laurie Levenson. Lawyers in the case, who are abiding by the judge’s strict gag order, refused to comment on the new filings. The 46-year-old entertainer has pleaded not guilty to charges of child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent, alcohol, to his alleged victim. Jackson’s estate was searched in November 2003, shortly before he was charged. In the latest visit, sheriff’s deputies stayed for over eight hours one day, then returned the second day to take the DNA sample which Jackson provided voluntarily. Source: http://www.ktvu.com/news/3994233/detail.html

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