March 17 2005 Trial Update #4

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MARCH 20 2005 — Check out the wrap up of the maid’s testimony here: Former Maid Undermines Alcohol, Molestation Allegation? – MiniBullet #15

MARCH 17 2005 (8:30 PM) — More clarification of the Fritz Coleman’s “benign” testimony came today. Apparently, he didn’t outright deny that he knew the mother dropped his name in a domestic disturbance case. He clarified that he didn’t know this UNTIL a newspaper reporter informed him. That reporter is probably the one with the Santa Barbara News-Press where Coleman is quoted specifically talking about the mother. More info:

Even with Coleman’s benign testimony, the defense was able to extract a little blood. Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. asked Coleman about a police interview in which the accuser’s mother said the weatherman, Jackson and basketball star Kobe Bryant had agreed to help her in a domestic-abuse case against her then husband. Coleman said he’d offered no such help, and didn’t know of the mother’s statements until contacted about them by a newspaper reporter. (see Neverland Was “Pleasure Island”)

MARCH 17 2005 (7:40 PM) — Observers inside the courtroom say it was a very good day for the defense in court. They reported about the testimony of former maid Kiki Fournier. According to some courtroom observers, there was a bit of frustration and laughter at the prosecution. At one point, according to a courtroom observer reporting to MJJF:

“[Tom Sneddon (TS)] says ‘Did you see anything in your search? What did you find?’ Answer: a card. TS: ‘is the card in the same condition?’ Answer: yes. TS: ‘I have no further questions’ *courtroom laughs at TS* He did this for 3 witnesses.

The observer also said that another investigator was called by Sneddon who described how a replica of Peter Pan with a flute is sexually explicit. No, I’m not kidding. According to this observer, people were not buying this at all and some were laughing at this testimony. And here is more information from the cross-examination of the former maid:

Jackson Housekeeper Says Boys Ran Wild By LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent … On cross-examination by Jackson lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr., Fournier gave a vivid description of how the boy and his brother wreaked havoc in the guest quarters assigned to them. She said the destruction increased just before the family left Neverland for the last time, which occurred in March 2003. But even before that, she said, the boy and his brother had “become demanding.” She said they never seemed to like what was being served for dinner and would demand something different. “There was no respect,” she said. She also said she once summoned another maid to see the mess in the room where the two boys stayed. “They were always sloppy,” she said. “But toward the end things were broken and it was a mess. … There were things spilled, the refrigerator was a mess. It was like someone had gone in there like a tornado.” Mesereau asked if it appeared to her that in the two weeks before the family left the boys were sleeping in their own quarters. Fournier said she assumed they were, given how the place looked. The prosecution contends the accuser was molested by Jackson in the pop star’s bedroom during the family’s last weeks at Neverland. (see Jackson Housekeeper Says Boys Ran Wild)

Further information will become available as we get it.

MARCH 17 2005 (3:30 PM) – A former maid was called to the stand today by the prosecution to testify that she saw kids who “may”/”might” have been intoxicated at Neverland. Although she made unconfirmed allegations under direct testimony, she testified under cross-examination (cross) that the accuser’s brother, Star Arvizo, once pulled a knife on her. This is in direct contradiction to the sweet, little “charismatic” accusers the prosecution — through Fritz Coleman’s testimony today — tried to paint the children as. The maid admitted under cross that she has never seen Jackson giving/providing alcohol to any child. She also talked about the misbehavior of the accuser and his brother. Fox’s Trace Gallagher gave an update about what was said in court including information from the maid:

TRACE GALLAGHER: …[Under direct questioning] she said some kids actually came to dinner apparently drunk while the key to the wine cellar was locked away in a safe. But on cross-examination, Tom Mesereau got her to admit the cellar was often left open even when Michael Jackson was not there and that she never saw Michael Jackson give any child alcohol. And among the thousands of kids who come to Neverland every year, he asked her isn’t it usual for kids to get wild and out of control in a carnival-like atmosphere. She said yes. And then they got the accuser and his brother; the fact they often got in trouble at Neverland. They were hard to handle, demanding, disrespectful. At one point, she said the accuser’s 14 year old brother pulled a knife on her in the kitchen. That in their last days at Neverland, the boy not only looked like they slept in the guest quarters, but they tore the guest quarters apart. Broken glasses, food everywhere, furniture strewn all over the place. Legal experts saying on this witness, the defense appeared to have come out on top. (see Studio B: Accuser’s brother pulled knife on former Jackson maid + more March 17 2005)

Court TV’s Savanna Guthrie also spoke about the importance of the guest suites. She says that the maid testified she would know whether or not children slept in the guest quarters by whether or not their beds were made or unmade when she came to clean. Remember, the accuser’s are claiming that they were sleeping in Jackson’s bedroom towards the end of their final stay at Neverland, and that that’s when the alleged molestation occurred. This maid, who started out as a prosecution witness, confirmed that the guest quarters the boys were staying in showed clear signs that they were sleeping there — and not in Jackson’s bedroom — before they left Neverland for the final time. The maid testified that the guest suite was torn up. The beds were unmade, furniture was strewn all over the place and glasses were broken. She says she remembered because she reported the mess to the house manager. From her report:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: …He asked her about this alcohol thing and he said, you know, ‘You never saw Michael Jackson give alcohol to any child, did you?’ And she had to say ‘No’ she did not ever see Michael Jackson provide alcohol. …And here I think is a very interesting point she brought up. She talked about how she would know that these boys, and some of them being the accuser and his brother, were staying in their guest suites if when she came to clean the room the next day — if the beds were unmade. …But here’s what’s interesting. She started to talk about how toward the end of their stay at Neverland, so March 2003, the accuser and his brother left their rooms a complete mess. Broken glass, furniture moved, food everywhere. It was so bad, that she and another maid actually had to complain to the house manager, Jesus Salas, about this mess. It really stuck out in her mind. Well Mesereau asked her ‘Were their beds unmade?’ And she said ‘Yes, I recall that they were’. That’s important because it suggests possibly that the accuser and his brother were sleeping the guest suites, not in Michael Jackson’s room toward the end of their stay at Neverland. And remember, the accuser said on the stand that the molestation occurred toward the end of his stay at Neverland. So potentially a really big point for the defense today through this witness.

Gallagher also said Fritz Coleman’s testimony was “uneventful”.

MARCH 17 2005 (2:25PM) – Fritz Coleman took the stand today after being called by the prosecution. Coleman apparently lavished praises on the accusing family. Coleman also seemed to develop a case of amnesia under cross-examination. Though, he said he didn’t know that the family got over $100,000 from a JC Penney settlement, he also said he didn’t know things for which he has be quoted in the media as specifically talking about. The following is an excerpt from March 17 2005 article from AP writer Tim Molly titled “Witness Praises Michael Jackson Accuser”:

On cross-examination, Jackson lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr. asked whether Coleman was aware that the family had collected more than $100,000 in a lawsuit against J.C. Penney. Coleman said he didn’t know that. He said he also didn’t know he had been mentioned by the mother in the J.C. Penney lawsuit. Coleman also said he didn’t know the mother had told Los Angeles police that he was going to help her in a domestic violence dispute with her husband. He said he knew that Palanker had given money to the family, but he was not allowed to say how much. Under defense questioning, Coleman said he heard at the Laugh Factory that the boy’s father had approached comedian George Lopez and “was fairly persistent about it. He was becoming a problem.” Mesereau asked Coleman how he knew that the family was needy. The witness said it was a requirement for families taking part in the Laugh Factory camp. “So your assumption was they must be poor or they wouldn’t be here,” said Mesereau. “Yes,” said Coleman. On his last visit to the ailing boy at the hospital, Coleman said, he saw a huge box of gifts from Jackson. “I remember (the boy) beaming that this was a gift from Michael,” Coleman said. Source:

However, Coleman is specifically quoted in a Santa Barbara News-Press (SBNP) article by Dawn Hobbs as directly talking about the JC Penney altercation among other things. From that SBNP article dated December 2 2004 titled “Jackson lawyers prepare to attack accuser’s mom”:

“The family welcomed me with open arms,” Mr. Coleman said. “I know their motives are being questioned here, but I don’t really know too much about the parents. I got on board to help with what I thought was a worthy cause. “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.” 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. Source: | OR |

So either Dawn Hobbs made the quotes up out of thin air, or Coleman just perjured himself on the stand. In any case, the defense can just subpoena Dawn Hobbs or whomever Coleman talked to for that Dec 2 2004 article to see what they have to say about Coleman’s testimony.

Stay tuned for up-to-the-minute-updates here:

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