Closing Argument Puts Con Artists and Persecutors on High Blast MB#271 UPDATE Michael Jacksons defense attorney put the entire family on high blast during his closing argument to the jury. Deliberations have of course begun in the case with the jury only deliberating for about 14 hours as of this first writing.
Mesereau did not mince words in explaining to the jury how this family of con artists, actors and liars took advantage of a number of people and entities; including Jackson, Chris Tucker, the Mid Valley Newspaper, and the Los Angeles County Welfare system, not to mention the people of the State of California. Mesereau began working his way through the different stories told by this accuser at various times. One of the major points was that the entire timeline of events changed. If you remember, MJEOL and other MJ website contributors pointed out the minute the indictment info was released and long before any media entity publicly recognized it the entire timeline shifted. Originally prosecutors and the family claimed molestation began near the very beginning of February 2003. Then suddenly the allegation changes to beginning near the very end of February and going through March 12. Never mind the fact that Jackson wasnt at Neverland during some of these dates. Never mind that the family spent a large chunk of this time away from Neverland and from Jackson when they were put up in fancy hotel while looking for another house to move into. Facts like that dont matter much to these prosecutors. Mesereau, of course, brought this out during this closing. He highlighted for the jury how the accuser conveniently changed his story, reports Guthrie. Mesereau said the accuser changed the timeline because he knew he would have to deal with all of the interviews he gave to various people; interviews to people including this Los Angeles Dept. of Children & Family services, Mark Geragoss private investigator ( Brad Miller), the Dean of his school and comments they made to Ed Bradley in Feb 2003 (see Ed Bradley Talked to Accusing Family during Feb 2003 – CNN). In the interest of time, to bring as much detail as possible, and to get right to the point, were going to do it note style. The following includes information and excerpts from the closing argument, as well as some contextual information. Personal Attacks Addressed -Mesereau responded to the personal attacks of prosecutor Ron Zonen
-BACKSTORY: Prosecution water-carrier Zonen was allowed to make the closing arguments for the prosecution —The judge apparently allowed prosecutors to put in their pinch hitter, Zonen after claiming at the beginning of trial that whoever did the opening statement had to do the closing arguments. —Instead of forcing Sneddon to bumble through this closing, he allowed Zonen to close. —In his close, Zonen went after Mesereau trying to make a big deal out of Mesereaus opening statements; bringing up how some defense witnesses didnt say exactly what he claimed they would say. —Some observers found this laughable considering all the disastrous witnesses prosecutors put on the stand.
-So, Mesereau gets up and flat out says that whenever a prosecutor starts out going after the defense attorney, the case is in serious trouble -He then briefly mentioned some of the people that blew up the face of the prosecution —Debbie Rowe: Said the exact opposite of what prosecutors told the judge and the jury she would say ——–Some observers suggest that prosecutors wanted to backdoor her into this case hoping she would get on the stand and lambaste Jackson in front of this jury —Chris Carter: Carter is current sitting in a Las Vegas jail on felony charges of burglary, robbery and kidnapping —–Even with the prosecution fighting to allow him to testify AND plead the 5th Amendment (like Janet Arvizo and Cynthia Montgomery), Carter STILL refused to testify —–There was speculation at the time that maybe Carter may have lied in the grand jury and to the prosecutors about Jackson. And, after fighting to get him his partial-5th deal with the judge in this case, refused to call him because he backed out of his grand jury story. —Christian Robinson: Apparently, prosecutors claimed Robinson would confirm that the family was scripted. —–He actually interviewed this family for their rebuttal interview (and interview which never made it in the final version of the rebuttal documentary aired on the Fox Network in Feb 2003) —–He says there was no script and that the family wasnt scripted and wasnt being coached
-Mesereau says, This is not a popularity contest between lawyers. The issue in this case is the life, the future, and freedom and the reputation of Michael Jackson. Naïve, but not a criminal -Mesereau drove home the point that Jackson is very idealistic in his views about society —He quotes Jackson telling Bashir about children. From the transcript:
16-23 (p 12881) Now, Mr. Jackson got himself in trouble by very innocently and naively telling Bashir,I have allowed children into my bed. I have allowed children into my room. What do you do with a child that has no parents? What do you do? Children flock to me all over the world. Im a childlike figure. And I see nothing wrong with it because nothing sexual happens. And the world needs more love, and children need more caring, and this is, like, kids are bringing guns to schools. Idealistic, naive, in light of the target he is, but not criminal in nature.
-He makes the point that if Jackson were a child molester, theres no way he would have told Bashir that he lets kids sleep in his room sometimes —He says Jackson naively let people run roughshod through his home and has opened the gates of Neverland to all kinds of people; some of whom see him as a target. More from the transcript:
27-28 | 1-11 (p 12881-12882) And if he really were out to commit crimes, why would he go on an international documentary and make these statements? Because he hasnt been committing crimes. But he has naively and idealistically and in a childlike way let people run roughshod through his home, let them sleep in his bedroom. He has opened his gates to all kinds of people. And its a naïve way to look at the world because he is such a target. He is. Say to yourself, why would he say these things to Bashir if he were a criminal? Why? Because hes not.
Police video not as impressive as prosecutors (and pundits) suggest ~On the police video tape, before the accuser ever makes an allegation, Mr. Robel told Gavin A. Were going to bring a criminal case.. From the transcript:
5-26 (p 12869) You saw Mr. Robel in that taped interview with Gavin in July, the first interview, before any investigation had ever taken place, he looked at him and he said, Were going to bring a criminal case. You and your mother are victims. Mr. Jackson is wrong. The people around him are wrong. He hadnt even investigated the case and the train started rolling and nobody would put the brakes on. They didnt know anything about the Arvizos on that date. They didnt want to know. They didnt want to know about welfare fraud and perjury and lying under oath, and J.C. Penney, and hustling celebrities, and bank accounts, putting checks into her mothers account to hide it from welfare and everybody else. Nobody knew about that on this side of the table. The problem is when they began to learn, nobody wanted to say Stop, and thats why were here. And I submit, you cannot let injustice happen in this courtroom. You cannot let these people prevail. Theyre all just ready to pounce with a conviction.
—According to media reports, the accuser also says on that tape that this interview is the first time hes ever made any allegations —–The public knows that 4 months passed between the alleged molestation and this police interview. In those 4 months, he talked to no less than 2 (maybe more) lawyers and psychologist Stan Katz. So hes caught in a lie even on that police video tape, if the reports are accurate. No forensic evidence -Mesereau makes the point that there is absolutely no forensic evidence in this trial. —There is no DNA evidence, no semen stains, bodily fluid, hairs or fibers. Mesereau says prosecutors dont like to bring attention to that fact:
4-13 (p 12876) The prosecution doesnt like to focus on the fact there is no forensic evidence supporting any of these alleged molestation claims. No DNA supports it. Theres no semen stain or sample that supports it. No evidence of bodily fluids support it that you can link to Gavin. No hair, no fibers. They didnt fingerprint the bottles or any of the area where hes supposed to have been molested. No forensic evidence. No independent witness to any of this.
—If youll remember, the media through leaks from prosecution or their supporters claimed there was DNA evidence. Well now the public knows thats was a big lie. Conspiracy to force them to . spend his money -Mesereau brought out the fact that with this conspiracy nonsense, Janet A. left more than once and came back more than once during the prosecutions timeline. —He says:
6-11 (p 12877) And to even consider it, you have to believe Janet Arvizo beyond a reasonable doubt that she escaped from Neverland, went back, escaped from Neverland, went back, escaped from Neverland, went back. Its absurd on its face.
—During this conspiracy, she also spent Jacksons money going shopping and getting a body wax ~There isnt even so much as an incriminating statement made by Jackson about any conspiracy ~Mesereau makes reference to something that was shown during the prosecutions closing argument. —He says that they can have all the fancy arrows going every which way but Sunday, but where is Michael Jackson in the middle of this? ~Mesereau also made the point that Michael Jackson is the only person charged with conspiracy. —None of these other people whom the prosecution has used to suggest a conspiracy happened, has been charged with anything —None of them flipped either. —When Vincent Amen and his attorney negotiated an immunity deal so that he can tell the truth, his truth was apparently so devastating to the prosecutions case that the prosecution didnt even call him. —Prosecutors also refused to honor his immunity deal when the DEFENSE wanted to call Amen to the stand to testify for Jackson -He made the point that during the prosecutions timeline, there were significant events at Jay Jacksons house. Prosecutors alleged this conspiracy/abduction began Feb 1 2003 —The DCFS interviewed the family at Jay Jacksons house on Feb 20 2003 —Bradley Miller interviewed the family at Jay Jacksons house reportedly on Feb 16 2003. —How in hell are they being kidnapped and held hostage at Jay Jacksons house? -Mesereau brought out the fact that Azja Pryor testified Janet A. told her, These people are separating me from Michael Jackson. Conspiracy to go to Brazil .with no tickets -Mesereau says that there is no evidence that Jackson had any kind of intent to enter into a conspiracy with anybody to do anything illegal to this family -There were no tickets to Brazil purchased. —Many in the media have purposely glossed over the fact that under cross examination, it came out that no tickets to Brazil were actually purchased by anyone. From the transcript:
26-28 | 1- 4 (p 12876) No plane tickets were ever purchased for the trip to Brazil. When they didnt want to go to Brazil, they went home. And they went home when they realized Michael Jackson was not going to Brazil, because Janet was playing all sides, like so many other people around Michael Jackson.
The Scammer, Janet Arvizo – Mesereau talked about how prosecutors tried to prop her up and justify her illegal activity.
21-27 (p 12856) You have heard so much testimony about the scams of Mrs. Arvizo. The prosecutor gets up and tries to prop her up, justify her actions, explain her as a nice person, tell you you can trust her, tell you everyone should trust her. And he especially looks at you in the eye and says, She never asked for money.
-Apparently the mother had these trained liars out working celebs for money from a very early age —He asks the jury to ask themselves if the mothers Venus Flytrap-like behavior was tantamount to asking for money —–He says she ingratiates herself to people that shes just met; saying to people things like: Youre our family. Youre my brother. Youre my father. Were all part of your family and youre part of ours. (20-22 pg 12861) -He says whereas Zonen told the jury they had no contact with Jackson in 2002, he says she starts sending letters to Jackson in 2002:
23-28 | 1-4 (pg 12861-12862) She starts sending letters to Michael Jackson in 2002, when Mr. Zonen told you there was no contact. Every letter, Daddy Michael, youre our family. We love you. We cant live without you, words to that effect. Janet Arvizo waits and develops a relationship before she looks you in the eye and gives you a tale of woe about why you should give something to her. And its happened time again, time again, time again.
-Mesereau talked about Janet A. wanting them to be actors, and even sent them to various schools to be actors —He says every time she would try to get them enrolled, she told the teachers about how poor they allegedly were -He spoke about Janet A. having Gavin A. do skits at the Laugh Factory about how poor the family was:
1-10 (p 12857) When she took her children to The Laugh Factory, placed them on stage, had them do skits and plays about their poverty, about how poor they were, about the part of town they came from in front of George Lopez; when she told George Lopez a story about how her children used to dive for coins in a fountain; when the fund-raisers took place and money was raised, and Janet Arvizo called George Lopez and wanted to give him a gift to thank him, was she asking for money?
-Mesereau called the mothers interest with celebrities a compulsive addition and that she loved the thrill of hooking these celebs -He says at one point Chris Tucker testified in court saying: They made me think I was the only comedian in their life. I later learned they were calling every comedian in Los Angeles. (16-18 pg 12862) -Mesereau brought out the fact that Janet and Davellin (and Gavin) were hounding Chris Tucker for that truck —Tucker later changed his mind about giving the family that truck after becoming very suspicious of Janet A. -Janet A. also told her sob story to a woman who ran a dance class, Miss Kennedy. —Janet A. claimed the family still had no money to pay for dance lessons —Janet A. told the woman, You know, we settled the J.C. Penney case. We got some money out of it, but all we ended up with were two bicycles. Please continue to give my children free lessons. —–It came out in court that they received a $152,000 settlement. They ended up with $32,000 for Janet A., $25-29,000 for Gavin A., and $8,000 for Star A. -During the deposition in the J.C. Penney case, and after filing initial charges of assault, the mother tacked on sexual abuse allegations —The JC Penney lawsuit originated when 8 year old Gavin A. shoplifted clothes out of the store. —–The security guards followed them out of the parking lot, stopping the family —–Janet A. and David A. were arrested —–Janet A. would later claim she was severely beaten by the JC Penney guards. However, the defense showed the mothers mug shot taken right after that altercation. There were no bruises, no redness or swelling; and there wasnt a hair out of place —–There, she filled out documents stating that she had no medical problems or injuries. From the report:
9-16 (pg 12863) She filled out documents, I have no medical problems. I have no injuries. I dont need attention. She left the jail at approximately twelve oclock, went to a hospital that evening, and had photos taken within the next couple of weeks at the request of her attorney, and lo and behold, she was bruised, lo and behold she was injured, and lo and behold a lawsuit was filed.
—The lawyer who represented her in that JC Penney case testified in this trial that even he was shocked because hed never heard the allegation before that deposition:
21-25 (pg 12857) When Janet Arvizo concocted the J.C. Penney fraud, when her lawyer was shocked, after 25 meetings with her, to hear her say at a deposition how shed been fondled 25 times by J.C. Penney security guards, was she asking for money?
—She tacked on the sex abuse allegation, much to the surprise of her own lawyer:
20-28 | 1-8 (pg 12863) And Janet Arvizo initially did not allege sexual assault. Initially she alleged assault and false imprisonment. As her thoughts about how to get money from J.C. Penney and Tower Records developed, the sexual assault claims developed as well. She amended her complaint, and suddenly, to the surprise of her own lawyer, who couldnt believe what he was hearing at a deposition, she had been fondled 25 times in a parking lot, after security guards did belly flops on top of her, after they spit on her children, after they spit pumpkin seeds at them, after they hit them all with closed fists, after they hit them with handcuffs, after they bruised every part of her body. The claims went through an evolutionary process. They developed and got bigger and bigger and bigger.
——After she received the JC Penney settlement money, 10 days later she files for emergency welfare claiming her husband was abusing her —During that JC Penney lawsuit deposition, she admitted she filed for a state disability claim because she was allegedly depressed:
12-17 (pg 12859) In the J.C. Penney case, in her deposition when she admitted that she had filed a state disability claim because she was depressed, and when she was asked, Why are you depressed? she said, Because Im a nobody, was Janet Arvizo asking for money?
—During that case, she claimed her other son, Star A., has a cyst on his brain in order to get damages -Hamid Moslehi also gave Janet A. a check for $2,000 after she told him her tale of woe —According to testimony, she told him: Everybody abandoned us. DCFS. My husband. Everyone. Nobody would come. I couldnt — I couldnt feed my children. I had no cereal to give them. We had no money. We had no means of transportation. We couldnt get anywhere. (26-28 | 1-2 pg 12860-12861) —–This is the same story she said during that rebuttal interview with the family that didnt make the final cut of the Fox Take Two rebuttal documentary -Mesereau also says there was a conversation between Janet A. , Jay Jackson and Jamie Masada —Jay Jackson asked Masada to pay for karate lessons, even though he was making $80,000 a year -Mesereau mentions how the mother conned the Mid Valley News editor, Connie Keenan, into writing an article soliciting donations for medical bills that didnt exist. —Keenan says her reporter was told by Janet A. that they had no insurance —It came out in court that the familys medical bills were covered 100% by the biological fathers insurance. —–Janet A. told the newspaper: We have no insurance. Chemotherapy costs $12,000 per injection. Please put the bank account number in your article. Please do an article. I know its against your policy to do things like this, but please do it for us, because we cant pay our medical bills. ——–No word yet as to whether or not the El Monte paper has any legal recourse or if any statute of limitations have run out -He tells the jury to ask themselves whether they have a problem believing what Janet A. says. And that if they do, they must find for an acquittal on all charges:
18-27 (p 12859) When she fraudulently sought food stamps, when she fraudulently sought disability, when she fraudulently sought every state benefit she could get her hands on by perjuring herself and perjuring herself and perjuring herself through constant welfare applications, where she disguised settlements, disguised bank accounts, disguised benefits, was Janet Arvizo seeking money? Because if you think she was, the prosecution falls.
-Mesereau says perjury is meaningless to Janet A. —He says she lied in the JC Penney deposition, on the welfare applications, and in the courtroom in this trial Abuse allegations all over the place -Gavin Arvizo once claimed his mother abused him in the 1990s —According to Mesereau, he made the claim and then withdrew it. —According to reports, once when Gavin A. was late to class, his teacher was going to call his mother. He reportedly broke down and asked the teacher not to call her because she was going to beat him -In the middle of her divorce from David A., she accused him of abusing the sister, Davellin Arvizo. From the transcript:
3-11 (pg 12865) You note in the middle of Janets spousal abuse case with her ex-husband David, suddenly the claim that David had molested Davellin surfaced. Im going to show you her testimony in this courtroom. She doesnt remember it. She didnt know it happened. She said she was too young. Janet told her it happened. The slow evolution of a claim of molestation. Just like what happened in this case.
Coached to con celebs -He talks about how the mother coached them to call celebrities and ask for money and other things —Actress Vernee Watson Johnson testified in court that when the Arvizo children would call her, she could hear the mother telling them what to say in the background —–She says the children would call and shed hear the mother in the background saying Tell her you love her, tell her you love her —–She also says they were coached to ask for sleepovers at Johnsons house -He brings up the testimony of the obnoxious Jay Leno —For all the asinine jokes outside the courtroom, in the courtroom he had no choice but to admit Gavin A. repeatedly left his messages which he says sound scripted:
11-20 (p 12858) When the calls went to Jay Leno, repeated messages, Youre my favorite comedian, messages he thought were awfully effusive, sounded scripted, sounded contrived, didnt sound like the appropriate message from a child of that age, when he called the hospital and a woman was in the background telling her son to be effusive, to be wordy, to continue to tell him, Youre my favorite comedian, when he thought they might be asking for money but they actually didnt, what was Janet Arvizo doing?
Lawyers hatching plans for a civil suit…in the middle of their kidnapping -Mesereau makes the point that during their kidnapping, they met with civil attorney Bill Dickerman on Feb 21 2005 —It is utterly ridiculous to suggest a kidnapper would drop you off to meet with a civil attorney in the middle of a kidnapping. —Reports say that Vinnie Amen actually drove them to the meeting with attorney Dickerman —They didnt tell the attorney anything. They didnt complain about being threatened, held hostage or harassed. —This meeting with Dickerman happened before they agreed to go to various federal buildings to get passports. They went to the Brazilian consulate and to the federal building in Los Angles. Neither one of them ever complains to any of the armed guards in the buildings —Mesereau says all of these actions were done because they were in the process of developing a lawsuit against Jackson which spiraled out of control when she and her sons tacked on the molestation allegation. From the transcripts:
20-28 | 1-5 (p 12866-12867) Bill Dickerman represents her for a period of time and then shuttles her off to Larry Feldman, who is a very well-known attorney in Los Angeles who had represented the Chandlers against Mr. Jackson in 1993. Why do you think he sends her to Larry Feldman? Why do you think he has a profit-sharing arrangement with Larry Feldman? Why do you think Mr. Feldman gets ahold of Stanley Katz, a psychologist he used against Mr. Jackson in the early 90s? Why do you think Mr. Masada is bringing her to all these meetings? Doesnt it suggest everybodys looking for a big payday against Michael Jackson? Theres only one thing they need. A conviction, by you.
-Mesereau talks about the people waiting in the wings for a guilty verdict on any charge and how theyre ready to pounce with lawsuits after testifying in this trial -He says Feldman admitted on the stand that he spent a lot of money in the early 1990s litigating and trying to get a settlement from Jackson. —He also makes the point that if Feldman can help get any guilty verdict in this case, he is almost assured a payday in a future lawsuit —Feldman represented Jordan Chandler (1993 accuser) after Barry Rothman then Gloria Allred were both dumped as attorneys by the Chandlers —Feldman also made some incredibly damning comments to talk show host Larry King about the mother. —–According to Kings testimony, Feldman called the mother a wacko, said she only wanted money and said he didnt really want to represent her. —–Melville didnt allow King to testify —–Another person, Michael Viner, was also present when Feldman made those comments. The judge didnt allow Viner to testify either even though Feldman flat-out denied on the stand that he had ever had a meeting with Viner -Mesereau told the jurors to think about how this was done and how the lawyers will gain from using the criminal courts to ensure a civil victory. He says this case isnt the first time lawyers have used the criminal courts to get their work done for them. From the transcript:
10-22 (p 12871) This is not the first time civil lawyers have tried to manipulate the criminal process to get their work done for them, by the way. Think about it. You dont have to hire experts. You dont have to hire investigation. You dont have to go through months of trial. Because if somebody is convicted and found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the civil burden of proof, preponderance of the evidence, is already established. They want the taxpayers of this county to establish liability for them. And its crystal clear that that has been their plan from day one. And Im asking you not to let it happen.
-Mesereau talks about how people have taken advantage of Jackson —He says Jackson is a musical genius who is very childlike and naïve. From the transcript:
3-16 (p 12868) He has a reputation for being a very childlike person, very naive, very idealistic, a musical genius. A person who likes to sit in trees and compose. A person who likes to spend time in the studio. A person who, from an early age, was such a genius at what he did that he attracted millions of dollars before he even knew what it meant. A person who has not managed his money terribly well. Has allowed people to use his signature. Has trusted the wrong people. Theyve emptied out accounts. Theyve diverted funds. Mr. LeGrand even had the people around him investigated for stealing from Mr. Jackson, the very people the prosecution claims were his co-conspirators.
—Mesereau says Jackson has been a target for years; especially after he settled the 1993 civil suit —–He says its because Jackson doesnt like courtrooms, he doesnt like lawyers particularly, he doesnt like litigation. —– He says, Hes known to have developed his own lifestyle in a very idealistic and naive kind of way. And he is an unbelievable target because hes attracted millions and millions and millions of dollars through the years because of his genius and his talent and through his hard work. (26-28 | 1-3 (p 12868)) -He asks jurors from what theyve learned of Jackson if he was even capable of running a conspiracy to abduct kids, falsely imprison a family and ship them off to Brazil —He asks, For what purpose? To make a documentary that they didnt even appear in? For what purpose? Ridiculous timing of the allegations -Mesereau brought out the ridiculous timing of the allegations prosecutors are trying to sell this jury —Prosecutors allege a conspiracy BEGAN Feb 1 2003, and that alleged molestation began Feb 20 March 12 2003 —The DCFS was investigating; an investigation which lasted from Feb 14 Feb 27 2003 —–One of these interviews with the family took place on Feb 20 2003 —Mesereau says Mark Geragos had also began his own investigation in the Arvizo family by that time —–Geragos says he was concerned about who these people were, what their motives were and he found out about the JC Penney lawsuit —Mesereau says the timelines is absurd. Its unrealistic. And it makes no sense. Because this whole case makes no sense.