Two Jurors Change Tune to Cash-In? – MJEOL Bullet #279

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Two Jurors Change Tune to Cash-In? – MJEOL Bullet #279 This, while another juror actually believed the tall tales of Gavin Arvizo AUGUST 7 2005 – “What the hell is wrong with those 2 jurors?” asked a friend of mine after hearing media reports about the shenanigans allegedly engaged in by 79 year old Eleanor Cook and 62 year old Raymond Hultman. They are the first two to get book deals, reportedly, and they are also the two who are now singing a different tune. Surprise, surprise. Meanwhile, a third juror actually believed the conflicting and unbelievable tales woven by Gavin Arvizo according to the tabloid the NY Post. According to published and broadcast reports, the two flip-flopping jurors, Cook and Hultman, are claiming Jackson is really guilty of something – after voting for acquittal…and just in time for their upcoming books. Imagine! Some in the public thought Jackson was just being overly sensitive or paranoid when he and his supporters say that people will do anything or act in any inappropriate way to make money off of him. That third juror, Katharina Carls, apparently says she believed the Arvizo liar but not beyond a reasonable doubt. Well which story does she believe? The one he told the shrink Stan Katz? The one he told the police? Or the one he told on the stand?? Thank goodness not all of the Jackson jurors were as gullible. Carls is the wife of a local Santa Maria reporter. Of course, these opinions are held in the face of absolutely no evidence presented to them pointing towards guilt. You would have to just WANT to believe that Jackson’s guilty in order to come to that conclusion because there damn sure wasn’t any evidence which would point a reasonably thinking person in the direction of guilt. Now, we’ve got the two jurors with the book deals apparently doing interviews and soliciting writers for “tell-all” books. Shock! Not. What’s worse is that at least one of these two possible opportunists, Cook, was allegedly engaged in major misconduct during her stint on the jury. Stacy “Mouth Almighty” Brown claims he was approached to write a book by Larry Garrison, the person representing Cook and Hultman. They apparently told Brown about the misconduct. Brown claims Cook revealed that she tried to bring in a medical book to convince jurors that Jackson fit the profile of a pedophile. Of course it is debatable as to whether or not there is even a profile of pedophilia seeing as how pedophiles can be anyone: the product of any economic background, any racial makeup, any job description, and the product of any type of childhood. So, if true, not only was she trying to engage in blatant misconduct, but she was also trying to pass questionable information to the rest of the jurors and taint the proceedings. There are also claims that someone smuggled in a videotape of a broadcast of Court TV’s trial coverage to sway the jury. There have been 2 different versions of this Court TV tape story. But why Court TV of all networks? Well, I have my suspicions. However, even the blood-thirsty members of the media don’t really seem to want anything to do with this. Others are outraged and creeped-out at the actions of Cook and Hultman. MSNBC’s Dan Abrams said in a broadcast August 5 2005 that the only reason they would be changing their tune this soon after the verdict could either be because of peer pressure or because of money. That assessment is made all the more valid given the comments these two, themselves, made in interviews after the verdict. “Grandma” Cook apparently is claiming she was “bullied” into a not guilty verdict. Yeah right. This is the same woman who became downright upset that the accuser’s mother snapped her fingers at the jury. She doesn’t appear to be the bullying kind. Further, Cook didn’t say any of this in any of her past interviews. As a matter of fact, both she and Hultman appeared on Larry King Live June 23 2005. She told King that serving on this jury was “a great experience” (Larry King Live: 8 Jurors Talk to King (June 23 2005)). She also swore she didn’t watch any media during the trial. She mentioned being with Garrison (Silver Creek) to write her book during that June 23 interview. That’s not all she said. From the CNN transcript:

KING: Why, Ellie? Why the need to write a book? COOK: I don’t know that I need to write a book, as my granddaughter has said from the beginning, write a book. And I’m — what I’m really writing about is the bonding of this jury and the nice people I’m with. Because I’ve said that’s to me more important. (see Larry King Live: 8 Jurors Talk to King (June 23 2005))

Not exactly the words of someone who was bullied by her fellow jurors to vote a certain way. Was she bullied to lie to Larry King too? I hardly think so. That’s so ridiculous, it sounds like an Arvizo allegation. The mother was threatened to get a full body wax, and I guess “Grandma” Cook was bullied to vote not guilty then lie to King about why she did. Good grief. But that was just the tip of the iceberg with Cook’s comments. She called Janet Arvizo “the poorest excuse for a mother” she’s ever seen. She told King, “And I think she set her son up.” From the transcript:

COOK: …And I did have to leave my personal beliefs aside and go with the proof. And let me tell you, I did try to find proof. I did not find it. (see Larry King Live June 23 2005)

Did the proof she tried so hard to find magically materialize after the trial was over? I doubt it. During the press conference right after the verdict, she was asked a question by the AP’s Linda Deutsch. Deutsch wanted to know if there were any disagreements about the not guilty verdict or if they were pretty much in agreement. The person to answer that question was Cook. She told Deutsch, “I think we all just looked at the evidence and pretty much agreed.” (Editor note: MSNBCMS (June 13) 003) Huh?? They all pretty much agreed?? This is not what she’s saying now. Excuse me, but I’m about to be very blunt here. For them to be sitting on their book-writing asses after the trial and trying to make a dollar at Jackson’s expense is absurd and disgusting. Apparently, there are fellow jurors who also think their stance is absurd as well. Juror #10 Pauline Coccoz and Juror #8 Melissa Herard commented to Abrams, on an August 4 2005 show, about these alleged “revelations”. When asked what she thought of the alleged ‘change of heart’ of these 2 jurors, Coccoz said, “It’s absurd. It’s absolutely absurd.” From the MSNBC transcript:

PAULINE COCCOZ, JACKSON JUROR NUMBER 10 (via phone): It’s absurd. It’s absolutely absurd. You know you just don’t understand other than maybe there is some ulterior motives on their own behalf. (see Abrams Report: Melissa Herard and Pauline Coccoz (August 4 2005))

She said these were the jurors who “kept, I guess, prolonging the agony.” She said they kept injecting their own personal feelings into the deliberations instead of going by the evidence, or lack thereof. She told Abrams:

COCCOZ:… well, it just seemed as if they were looking for a needle in a haystack that wasn’t there, you know. And we had to keep reminding these two that you have to, you know, set personal issues aside, events that might have happened to you in the past aside, and you have to look at everything for the evidence in the case. And you know, so I’m just disgusted. I just can’t believe that either one of them can actually say what they’re saying. (see Abrams Report: Melissa Herard and Pauline Coccoz (August 4 2005))

Juror #8, Melissa Herard, also spoke to Abrams on that August 4 show. She said no one pressured these jurors to change their minds. Herard says because those two felt so strongly about guilt, the rest of the panel would ask them to point out some evidence to back up their suspicion. She says neither Cook nor Hultman could come up with anything. From that August 4 2005 show:

MELISSA HERARD, JACKSON JUROR NUMBER EIGHT (via phone): Oh, no. No, it wasn’t like that at all. It was like if they felt so strong about it, we would—when they were feeling strong about it, we’d ask them, OK, you need to show us where’s the proof, and we’d have a whole closet full of evidence, but not one thing could they come up with, not one thing. And we did go through a lot of the testimony and we put stuff up all over the room and went through the lies and… ABRAMS: But they agreed—I guess what I’m—they agreed with this verdict, right? I mean… HERARD: Yes. ABRAMS: If they—I want to just be clear here, that they were on board with the rest of the jury when verdict time came. COCCOZ: Absolutely. HERARD: Oh, definitely. (see Abrams Report: Melissa Herard and Pauline Coccoz (August 4 2005))

These two possible stealth jurors wanted a conviction, at first, based on no evidence. The other jurors wanted to see something other than personal suspicions to convict. “Grandma” Cook flew under the radar with me. But I have to say I immediately became suspicious of Hultman. He’s the one that sent off red flags after the trial was over. Mr. ‘I think he’s guilty of something even though there’s no evidence’ Hultman did numerous interviews trying to explain why the jury was “forced” to acquit Jackson. Hultman just moved to Santa Maria 2 years ago. That was suspicious the first time I heard it. He moves to Santa Maria just in time to register to vote and to get called for jury duty in the Michael Jackson trial? What a streak of luck. But ok, I can’t find fault with that….yet. Hultman is also the one that used terminology which I had only previously heard from frantic talking heads on broadcast news. For example, he specifically used the “365 nights” terminology, when citing his suspicions about past alleged behavior around Brett Barnes. Never mind that the now grown man, Barnes, testified under oath that Jackson never touched him. No! I guess Hultman can’t be bothered with such trivial nuances. All sarcasm aside, the evidence didn’t come out in court in that way. As far as the court transcripts we’ve seen, not one of the witnesses used the phrase “365 nights”. That phrase was espoused and repeated by prosecution sympathizers in the media and later apparently by prosecutors. But, okay, that’s still not enough to openly go after Hultman…until his recent flip-flopping actions. Especially in light of what he’d told Larry King back in June 2005. He told King that “the accuser and his family had some real credibility problems” (see Larry King Live: 8 Jurors Talk to King (June 23 2005)). He also said to King, “But there wasn’t enough evidence to prove he had molested the accuser in this case.” Just what in hell is Hultman basing his opinion on now? An allegation from 1993. But, again, there are problems with that because there was no “evidence” in that either. There was no credible evidence from 1993 besides the word of people with absolutely no credibility at all; people who were sued into bankruptcy by Jackson; people who were found by another Santa Maria jury to have acted with malice against Jackson; people who still to this day owe Jackson over $1 million; people who sold stories to the tabloids; and people who were lied to by police. These people on which Hultman is apparently relying, also admitted to lying under oath in previous depositions, admitted to selling stories to the tabloids to fund a lawsuit against Jackson, and came off as evasive or complete liars on the witness stand. Thus, as pointed out earlier, Hultman would have to just WANT to believe Jackson is guilty in order to disregard all of this because there was no credible evidence presented about the 1993 allegation in this trial. And the one who started all of this, Jordan Chandler, refused to cooperate with prosecutors even though nothing was stopping him from testifying……and finally getting cross-examined. What was the motive for this sudden change in attitude from Cook and Hultman? Has the peer pressure gotten to them? Do they feel they’ll sell more books by pushing a ‘guilty’ angle? Carls and her ‘I believe the accuser’ comments, puts her at odds with the jury foreman and most of the other jurors. The foreman, Paul Rodriguez, appeared on Paula Zahn’s show June 13 2005 and was asked if there was anything he believed from the accuser. He told Zahn that it was hard to believe the accuser because, “there was too much conflicting information coming out”. But Carls apparently didn’t mind the conflicting information. If Carls actually believed Gavin Arvizo’s story, she had to have her mind made up from day one because not even the most pro-prosecution pundits fully believed his story(ies). One has to wonder if she would feel the same way if she knew Larry Feldman once told Larry King that Janet Arviso was after money and that he didn’t believe the allegation at first. Whatever the reason, the jurors with this opinion seem to be getting the most attention because they are espousing what some in the media wanted to hear; short of a “guilty” verdict, that is. They, after all, still need Jackson to at least appear “guilty” – regardless of whether he actually is – to profit in some way from the outcome of this trial. Low and behold, “Ray-Ray”(Hultman), “Grandma” (Cook), and “Wifey” (Carls) are granting their wish. You can’t be too shocked at this, can you? What I don’t think these three jurors yet realize is the severe backlash waiting for them by some media pundits who have, finally, started to question the motives of these jurors. People on all sides of this issue – pro-prosecution, pro-defense and neutral – have come out blasting these jurors for their behavior and are already skeptical about their motivations. Celebrity Justice’s Harvey Levin appeared on the Abrams Report August 5 2005 to talk about these two jurors. Levin was very blunt concerning the claims from Cook and Hultman. From the show:

HARVEY LEVIN: I think Eleanor Cook is a wacko, Dan. I think if any of these allegations are true, these jurors need to be prosecuted. This is jury tampering from within the jury, if these allegations are true. …I think Tom Sneddon himself should prosecute without respect to whether it would have been pro- and anti- Michael Jackson.

It would be a complete shock if Sneddon or any prosecutor tries to go after these jurors for misconduct. These were two stealth jurors, in my opinion, who wanted to convince the others to convict Jackson. Sneddon probably won’t touch them. Fortunately there were other jurors on the panel who wanted to see evidence, and who made sure these three lunkheads had no choice but to follow the Judge’s jury instructions. And, again, we have yet to know what they are basing their allegations of guilt on besides someone’s completely discredited testimony. During MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann also on August 5 2005, Jim Moret weighed in on this latest bit of news. Moret says it angers him to think that jurors may be trying to make money after the fact. He, too, says prosecutors should be looking into filing charges against any juror that was engaged in jury tampering or attempted jury tampering and other misconduct. Court TV’s Savannah Guthrie appeared on Olbermann’s show the day before Moret, August 4 2005, and told guest host Alison Stewart that she had actually read Hultman’s book proposal. Even she calls some of his claims “outrageous”. From the transcript:

GUTHRIE: Well, you know, that’s the question, especially since these are two jurors who are now saying, Oh, I really meant to vote guilty, I wanted to vote guilty, but I thought that I was going to get kicked off the jury. I think this is part of the problem when jurors are writing these books because the pressure is to make a more and more sensational claim. I’ve actually seen the book proposal that came from Ray Hultman, juror number one, and he does make some pretty outrageous claims, including his speculation that perhaps one of the jurors was paid off, a speculation that a couple of the witnesses were paid off. (see Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann: Savannah Guthrie Re: Jurors (August 4 2005))

Guthrie also makes the point that literary agents who are hired to shop the books around need to make them as sensational as possible to draw the public’s attention; a public which she says has “Michael Jackson fatigue”. “…I think this is an example of the broker, the literary broker who’s trying to sell these books to the publishers, trying to drum up some headlines so that these books will be published,” Guthrie told Stewart. This era of temporary Jackson fatigue certainly isn’t Jackson’s fault. But rather, it is the fault of people like Cook and Hultman who want to see what they can get through leveraging sensationalistic claims around the jury that acquitted Jackson. Much the same way Bashir leveraged sensationalistic misrepresentations of Jackson. Hey, it got him a cushy seat at ABC and, reportedly, a million dollar salary…..for now. __Violation of the 90 day waiting period?__ There is suppose to be a 90 day waiting period before jurors can engage in acts to make money from their jury stints. Apparently these two jurors could be violating that rule as well. Judge Melville’s jury instructions included an admonition about engaging in profiteering around serving on the jury. Looks like the trial jury instructions about finding guilt based on the EVIDENCE isn’t the only jury instruction these two may have ignored. Guthrie says if they aren’t outright violating this 90 day rule, they have come very close to doing so. From the transcript:

STEWART: Isn’t there some sort of law or some sort of agreement that jurors must have in high-profile cases where they can’t make money off of this in some way? GUTHRIE: Actually, there is. And you know, the jurors got an instruction from Judge Melville that for 90 days, they could not talk to anybody about or receive any kind of benefit or payment for their jury service or any information about the case. And you know, I don’t know the ins and outs of their discussions with the brokers and the literary agents and the publishers and everybody, but they would seem to be, at least, if not running afoul of this rule, walking very, very close to the line. (see Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann: Savannah Guthrie Re: Jurors)

Obeying rules seem to be a hard thing for some jurors. I can’t help but to wonder what Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau thinks about these three jurors. Or what his client thinks about their current attempts to use him, like so many other have, to increase their bank accounts. Jackson’s not just pulling it out of the sky when he finds fault with they way people treat him. He’s not just finding fault with people needlessly. For those who thought Jackson was complaining unnecessarily about being a victim, about being used, about having his image whored-out for financial gain, you now have further evidence that he wasn’t just protesting too much. -MJEOL

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