Defense Witnesses Tear Through Testimony from Pros. Witnesses – MB #266

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Defense Witnesses Tear Through Testimony from Pros. Witnesses – MB #266 Nine witnesses, in their own ways, help to implode the prosecution’s “case” MAY 16 2005 — It was a day filled with defense bombshells in the Michael Jackson trial. Jackson’s defense team is meticulously obliterating testimony from prosecution witnesses, including Janet Arvizo and the rest of the family. They are zeroing in on allegations made by the family, and showing the jury that the Arvizos came to court and lied under oath. On the stand today was one of Jackson’s bodyguards. Jennifer London (msnbc) and the AP reported that one of the bodyguards, Shane Meredith, testified about catching Gavin and Star Arvizo red-handed. He says once when he was doing a check of the property, he caught the brothers in the wine cellar with a half empty bottle of wine. He also said that Jackson was nowhere around. Meredith testified that when he came upon the brothers, they were “pretty shaken”. From an AP report titled “Jackson Guard: I Saw Accuser With Wine”:

Security guard Shane Meredith testified Monday that he found the boys in the wine cellar, which has an entrance behind a juke box in Neverland’s arcade, after noticing that the juke box door was open. Meredith said he went down the stairs and surprised the boys. “I saw the two children laughing, giggling,” Meredith said. “I could see them with a bottle of alcohol. … I told them they needed to get out of that area right now. … They were pretty shaken.” Meredith noted that the bottle was half-full. (see Jackson Guard: I Saw Accuser With Wine)

Under cross-examination, defense attorney Mesereau specifically asked both Star Arvizo and Gavin Arvizo if they were ever caught in Jackson’s wine cellar by themselves. They denied it. Here’s a snip from their previous testimony:

Star Arvizo’s testimony Q: Do you recall ever being caught in the wine cellar — A: The wine cellar doesn’t have a combination lock. Q: Do you recall ever being caught in the wine cellar drinking wine when Michael Jackson wasn’t present? A: Never. … Q: Let me repeat my question. Do you recall ever being caught in the wine cellar at Neverland with Gavin drinking wine when Michael Jackson wasn’t even there? A: No. Q: Are you saying that never happened? A: Yes.

Gavin Arvizo’s testimony Q: No one ever walked down in the wine callar at Neverland and caught you and your brother drinking when Michael wasn’t there? A: No. Q: Did you know where the key was to the wine cellar? A: I don’t think he ever knew. He was always with me everywhere we went.

So clearly Mesereau found out about what the guard witnessed. And now there is yet another mark against the accusing family, with both brothers on the stand lying about that specific incident. This is exactly the kind of testimony that Tom Mesereau alluded to in his opening statement. Another defense witness testified today. Angel Vivanco was allowed to testify today, over the objections of prosecutors, about what happened between him and the accuser’s brother, Star Arvizo. Vivanco worked at Neverland and was seeing the accuser’s sister, Davellin Arvizo. There were numerous calls from the Arvizo home to Vivanco made by the sister after the family left Neverland, according to phone records introduced as evidence in this trial. Vivanco says the accuser’s brother, Star Arvizo, once asked Vivanco to make him a milkshake and to put liquor in it. He testified that Star threatened to get him in trouble with Jackson if he didn’t. The public already knows that Vivanco, who was reportedly 18 at the time, was seeing Davellin Arvizo, who was 16 at the time. Vivanco could certainly have been afraid that Star Arivo would tell Jackson that he was seeing an under-aged guest at Neverland. According to an article from Reuters titled “Jackson witnesses portray family as rude, greedy,” Vivanco also says that the accuser’s brother once held a large knife to his neck. From that report:

Vivanco said the younger boy once held a large knife up to his neck for no apparent reason, which made him “nervous.” Defense attorneys say Vivanco had a brief romance with the now 19-year-old sister of Jackson’s accuser, who they say confided in him that her mother was “psycho.” (see Jackson witnesses portray family as rude, greedy)

Previously, Kiki Fournier also testified that the brother held a knife to her back when she stopped him from cooking in the kitchen. She says she thought he could have been kidding. But the incident freaked her out enough that she remembered it and relayed it during her statements around this so-called “case”. The defense clearly establishing that he has a history of this kind of behavior. Vivanco’s testimony presents yet another problem for the prosecution. The prosecution gave the jury the impression the only time the Arvizo clan was given alcohol was by Jackson. Well, there’s testimony before the jury from two different sources who corroborate the fact that clearly they were into something, but it wasn’t with Jackson. It also wasn’t the only time one of the Arvizos was linked to liquor. Flight attendant Cynthia Bell testified that she served the accuser’s sister, Davellin, alcohol on that flight back from Florida to Neverland in early February 2003. She reportedly said she carded D. Arvizo. Apparently, D. Arvizo showed her a fake ID for the purposes of obtaining liquor. This is in direct contrast to what the sister testified to under oath. And like D. Arvizo, her brothers too now have been shown to be lying about their familiarity with liquor. They claimed that the only time they were around liquor or knew anything about it was when Jackson allegedly gave it to them. Yeah, right. Attorney Yasmin Cader appeared on Crier Live May 16 2005 to talk about Birchim’s testimony. She says it clearly establishes that these kids were very “manipulative”. Cader says there’s a difference between being rebellious and being “manipulative”. From her comments:

These kids were cunning and manipulative. For example the statement [from Star Arvizo], ‘hey if you don’t put liquor in there, I’m going to tell Michael Jackson’, doesn’t mean that he really will. It means that he knows Michael Jackson is [Vivanco’s] boss, and he better do what [Star] wants. I don’t think it’s indicative at all that Michael Jackson in fact wanted him to have liquor in there. Instead it shows that this kid is cunning. He’s manipulative. And he knows how to get what he wants.

Also taking the stand today were a series of witnesses who established that the family wasn’t held hostage and that the mother lied about specific events she testified to under oath. There was also testimony that the Arvizo children were staying in the guest suites during the time when they claim they were sleeping in Jackson’s room allegedly getting molested and allegedly witnessing molestation. Oops. Some of these witnesses are 3rd party witnesses with absolutely no biases one way or the other, which caused such a problem for prosecutors that they didn’t even cross-examine some of these witnesses. One of the allegations made under oath by the mother is that she “invented” a reason for her children to leave Neverland with her, and that one of those “reasons” was that they needed to see the dentist. So what does the defense do in their case which the prosecution was too afraid to do? They call the dentist that the Arvizo family saw during their alleged “kidnapping”. Jean Seamount testified that the family saw her on Feb 24 2003. She says the mother asked her to remove Gavin Arvizo’s braces because the mother was angry with the orthodontist who put the braces on. According to Seamounts testimony, Janet Arvizo told her that the original orthodontist “wanted more money” when that orthodontist found out where she was. So the mother’s plan was to take the braces off and mail them back to this original orthodontist. From an AP report titled “Jackson defense calls orthodontist to stand”:

“She claimed that once the orthodontist found out who she was he wanted more money,” Seamount testified. Seamount did not testify about any attempt by the mother to indicate she needed help or wanted to escape. Defense attorneys presented a picture of Seamount’s office showing several dental chairs alongside one another in an open setting. (see Jackson defense calls orthodontist to stand)

There was no attempt at an “escape”. Neither one of the family members said anything to this doctor about being held hostage. Neither one of them tried to call the police. Remember, they’re claiming that they were ALL held hostage and threatened. It is lunacy to suggest that they ALL wouldn’t have said anything in a wide open space had they really been held hostage. Seamount also addressed another issue concerning Gavin Arvizo’s lack of respect for other people’s property. She says the accuser was disrespectful and actually rummaged through her draws, contaminating a number of sterilized materials. More from that AP report:

She testified that boy who is now Jackson’s accuser behaved poorly and went through drawers, forcing her to throw away several sterilized items. Seamount also testified there was no film crew present, as the mother testified, no sign the family was held against their will, and no sign that they were in fear. (see Jackson defense calls orthodontist to stand)

This goes directly to illustrate that the accuser, Gavin Arvizo, particularly would be the kind of person just disrespectful enough to go through Jackson’s private belongings and happen upon things that he shouldn’t be into – like, for example, Jackson’s adult material. There were previous reports that some of the people at Neverland actually caught them going through Jackson’s stuff, just like one of the security guards caught them in the wine cellar by themselves. This testimony also corroborates testimony from Cynthia Bell, who testified that the accuser behaved so terribly on a flight back from Florida to Neverland in early Feb 2003 that it was an embarrassment to have him on-board. Remember the big row about body waxing? Well the defense actually called the body waxer, Carol McCoy to the stand. She testified that Janet Arvizo was there for 4-5 hours and could have left or called the police at any time. McCoy, who performed the waxing on Feb 11 2003, says that unlike what Arvizo testified to under oath, she got a brow wax, leg wax, arm wax, face wax and a bikini wax. She also testified that Arvizo was bragging about how good Jackson was to her family and that she wanted her children to call him “daddy”, which seems to conflict with a prosecution contention that it was somehow Jackson’s idea for them to call him “daddy”. This stands out because the mother was so adamant about it not being a “body wax” and completely lying about it on the stand. She even accused Jackson of doctoring the receipt. Just to have the documentation on the record, Jackson’s defense showed the $140.00 receipt for the body waxing which the accuser’s mother didn’t want to look at when she was being cross-examined by Mesereau earlier in the trial. The jury could very well be thinking that if she would lie about something so inconsequential, she could certainly lie about some or all of the allegations she’s made against Jackson and his ex-employees. The defense also called… >>> [pagebreak] (continued) The defense also called Katie Bernard to the stand. She testified she actually drove Arvizo to the body wax salon. Apparently, Arvizo never told her either that she or her children were being kidnapped. It would have been completely idiotic to claim she was being kidnapped anyway when Bernard was freely driving her to the body waxing salon. Bernard also testified that Arvizo was telling her how wonderful Jackson was treating them. From an AP report:

Neverland worker Kathryn Bernard also told of taking the mother to town to go shopping. “She was just praising Michael and telling me how bad she had it with her ex. I kept thinking, ‘I don’t know this lady and why is she telling me this?'” Bernard testified. (see Jackson Guard: I Saw Accuser With Wine)

Maria Gomez also took the stand. She says she also cleaned the guest suites to which the accuser and his brother were assigned. She testified that their beds had been slept in and were “torn apart”. She also says the Arvizo boys always left their room in a complete mess. Gomez’s testimony corroborates testimony by Kiki Fournier who, under cross-examination, testified the guest suites that the Arvizo hell-raisers were assigned to were always a mess. She said it was so bad when she would come to clean it, that she once complained to the house manager about the mess. According to Trace Gallagher (fox), one of the maids in charge of cleaning the rooms also dropped the bombshell that she found some adult magazines in Star Arvizo’s backpack when she was cleaning the guest suite in which they were staying. This could go right to the heart of the defense’s contention that the Arvizos went through Jackson’s personal belongings and took things that didn’t belong to them. On the other hand, it may also mean they brought their own adult magazines to Neverland, which would corroborate a defense contention from Vivanco. Vivanco’s testimony was mentioned previously. What also came out in one of the defense’s court motions was that Vivanco also says he saw the Arvizo brothers in possession of adult material BEFORE Feb 2003. From that defense motion:

Secondly, after the family has left Neverland, Davellin Arvizo continued to call Mr. Vivanco on a nightly basis. She informed Mr. Vivanco that Janet Arvizo and Jay Jackson were planning “something big” that involved Mr. Jackson. This supports the defense theory that the Arvizos made these allegations as part of a scheme to obtain money from Mr. Jackson. Third, Mr. Vivanco observed Star and Gavin Arvizo drinking alcohol and possession sexually explicit materials prior to February and March of 2003, and outside the presence of Mr. Jackson. This contradicts the testimony of Gavin and Star. (see Witness: Family Not Held, Planned “something big” against Jackson – HOT DOC)

The prosecution desperately argued to keep his testimony out. Vivanco could be called back to the stand by the defense at a later date. Reportedly, the prosecution didn’t even attempt to cross-examine some of these defense witnesses because their testimony is so straight forward, concise and without bias that there really is nothing they can say against it. For example, prosecutors didn’t even cross-examine McCoy. Also called by the defense was Russ Birchim. Birchim, sort of a hostile witness, was called to establish that prosecution witnesses Ralph Chacon and Kassim Abdool never approached him about any illegal activity when the 1993 investigation began. Unlike the wishful thinking from some pro-prosecution pundits, Birchim clearly established that it was only after Abdool and Chacon weighed their options about selling stories to the tabloids and getting police protection that they came up with their stories back in 1994. Birchim admitted that Chacon and Abdool told him they could make a lot of money by selling their story to the tabloids; something both of them did by the way, and reportedly received tens of thousands of dollars for doing so. Reportedly, the defense asked Birchim, “When you first approached Chacon and Abdool, they didn’t say they saw criminal activity at Neverland, did they?” To which Birchim responded, “No, they didn’t.” Chacon and Abdool also reportedly asked the police what they could get from them if they made allegations of criminal activity at Neverland. These points alone cast Chacon and Abdool’s testimony even more into doubt regardless of how Birchim wanted to protect the prosecution. What’s worse is that through Birchim, the defense made it clear there was a huge chunk of time between when they claim to have seen untoward behavior and when they actually made an allegation to the D.A.. He is scheduled to continue his testimony tomorrow to which the prosecution may try to delve into the 1993 allegations. The defense, however, isn’t shying away from the 1993 allegations at all and may be prepared to allow the prosecution to walk through a door they opened so that they can continue to blast away at the stale, uncharged, and unfounded 1993 allegation that started all of this mess to begin with. Stay tuned. -MJEOL

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