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March 16th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Steve Robel (Cross Examination), Paul Zelis, Victor Alverez, and Karen Shepherd, Part 2 of 3

July 8, 2012

Detective Paul Zelis was the next prosecution witness called to the stand by Sneddon. At the time, he had 12 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, and was assigned to be an investigator in the Michael Jackson case on June 13th, 2003.  He was a part of the Neverland raid, and his role was to attempt to locate evidence in Jackson’s upper bedroom suite:



5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Zelis.

6 A. Good morning.

7 Q. You’re employed by the Santa Barbara County

8 Sheriff’s Department.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And would you tell the ladies and gentlemen

11 of the jury how long you’ve been employed by them.

12 A. I’ve been employed with the sheriff’s

13 department — well, I’ve been in law enforcement for

14 about 12 years. First four years was with the

15 marshal’s office, Santa Barbara. And remaining with

16 the sheriff’s department.

17 Q. How long have you been a detective.

18 A. Almost four years.

19 Q. And with regard to the investigation

20 involving the defendant in this case, Michael

21 Jackson, were you assigned at some point to be an

22 investigator on that investigation.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Do you recall when that was.

25 A. It was June the 13th. It was a Friday.

26 Q. Of what year.

27 A. 2003, I’m sorry.

28 Q. All right. And the jurors probably heard 2286

1 this, but we should hear it from you. You

2 participated in some interviews of the Arvizo

3 children; is that correct.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And those interviews were videotaped.

6 A. Correct.

7 Q. Now, at some point on November the 18th of

8 2003, did you participate in the execution of a

9 search warrant at Neverland Valley Ranch.

10 A. I did.

11 Q. And what was your role in the execution of

12 the search warrant.

13 A. To attempt to locate evidence.

14 Q. And were you assigned to a particular place

15 to search.

16 A. Yes. I was assigned to the main house,

17 specifically Mr. Jackson’s bedroom.

18 Q. Any particular place within Mr. Jackson’s

19 bedroom.

20 A. The upstairs part of the two-story suite.

Sneddon begins his direct examination by asking Det. Zelis to identify some of the evidence

An example of what a folding futon looks like.

that was confiscated during the raid at Neverland. Det. Zelis identified a briefcase full of adult magazines, and the mannequin that Star and Gavin claimed that Jackson simulated sexual acts upon, among other items. Interestingly, Det. Zelis also identified a folding futon in the lower suite of Jackson’s bedroom, which corroborates Jackson’s claims of sleeping either on the floor (in sleeping bags), or on the folding futon.

3 During the course of the time that you

4 executed this warrant, did you see a mannequin in

5 the room.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And where was the mannequin when you saw it

8 for the first time.

9 A. In the upstairs bedroom area of the

10 two-story suite.

11 Q. And when you saw the mannequin, what did you

12 do with it.

13 A. I booked it into evidence.

14 Q. So this was another item that you took down

15 and gave to Deputy Padilla.

16 A. Detective Padilla, yes.

17 Q. Detective Padilla.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Can you just generally describe what the

20 mannequin looked like.

21 A. It’s a mannequin, life-sized mannequin of an

22 eight-year-old Afro-American girl.

23 Q. Okay. Now, during the time that you were

24 processing these pieces of evidence, were you

25 wearing gloves.

26 A. Yes.

27 Q. During the course of the search that day,

28 did you see anything that looked like some kind of a 2298

1 folding chair or a futon of some kind in Mr.

2 Jackson’s room.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Would you describe where it was and what it

5 looked like to you.

6 A. It was — it was actually to the right of

7 the right nightstand where I’ve located these items.

8 It was like a little cushion seat. I think you can

9 fold it out. I’m not quite sure of this, but it

10 looked like the type that could be folded out and

11 slept on.

12 MR. SANGER: I’m going to move to strike

13 based on speculation, Your Honor, the last part.

14 THE COURT: Sustained. And it’s stricken.

Sneddon then proceeded to question Det. Zelis about the numerous articles of evidence that were seized at Neverland, and afterwards he ended his direct examination by asking Det. Zelis about his interview with Gavin Arvizo. Det. Zelis confirmed that he seized a black briefcase that matched exactly what Gavin described to him in their interview.

Det. Zelis also stated that he didn’t allow anyone to touch the adult magazines during the grand jury proceedings, and that he wore latex gloves while handling the evidence. The defense will later argue that Gavin handled the adult magazines without wearing gloves, and it was done on purpose to fabricate fingerprint evidence.

14 Q. Okay. Now, on the exhibit chart, 286, you

15 told the ladies and gentlemen of the jury that you

16 found the briefcase that’s in evidence, that’s 470,

17 in a particular location below that bedroom; is that

18 correct.

19 A. Correct.

20 Q. Are you able to show the ladies and

21 gentlemen of the jury the general area on the chart,

22 286, as to where the entryway to that closet is in

23 relationship to the bedroom.

24 A. The entry door was on the bottom floor,

25 right next to the staircase, so it would have been

26 in this area here.

27 Q. So towards the area on the chart where the

28 stairs are, but just to the right of it; is that 2311

1 correct.

2 A. That is correct.

3 Q. Would you please indicate on the exhibit

4 chart, 286, just put the number — or just put

5 “Briefcase” in the general area of where you found

6 the briefcase.

7 A. Okay.

8 Q. And I’ve handed you a photograph that’s

9 marked as People’s 72, which is in evidence.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Do you recognize that.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And do you recognize — what is People’s 72;

14 tell the jury.

15 A. It is a picture, downstairs, of the stairway

16 and several entry doors. One to a closet; one into

17 the actual room where the picture was taken. The

18 stairs are what is depicted in this diagram here.

19 Q. Diagram 286.

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. All right. Could you put your initials on

22 the door that led to the closet where you found the

23 Item 470.

24 A. Okay.

25 Q. All right. So we’ve now put up for the jury

26 to see the photograph, 72, which is in evidence.

27 And I notice it has a dark “P” and a “Z.”

28 A. Correct. 2312

1 Q. Those are your initials on the door that led

2 to the closet where 470 was found.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Now, I have a few questions about that, and

5 then we’re going to be done.

6 With regard to the Item 470, the black

7 briefcase – okay. —

8 A. Okay.

9 Q. — prior to the time that you went to the

10 ranch on November 18th, had you participated in an

11 interview with the Arvizo boys, Gavin and Star.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And had they described to you an incident

14 involving Mr. Jackson showing them adult materials.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And did they describe to you where — the

17 container that the adult materials were in.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Why did you take Exhibit 470, the black

20 briefcase.

21 MR. SANGER: Objection. State of mind is

22 not relevant.

23 THE COURT: Sustained.

24 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: When you observed the Item

25 470, can you tell us whether or not it matched the

26 description of — the description given by the

27 Arvizo boys.

28 A. It matched the description exactly. 2313

1 Q. Now, with regard to that particular Exhibit

2 470 — and we can take that one down. And I want to

3 show this one again. That’s Exhibit 86, a

4 photograph. With regard to that particular exhibit,

5 did you testify before the grand jury.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And did the grand jury request to be able to

8 look at the materials inside of this suitcase.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And were you the officer who was chosen to

11 be the one to take the briefcase in and show them

12 the materials.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Did you allow anybody in the grand jury to

15 touch any of those materials.

16 A. No.

17 Q. Did you, in the course of showing those

18 things to the grand jury, take any precautions so

19 your fingerprints wouldn’t show up on those

20 materials.

21 A. Yes, I wore latex gloves.

22 MR. SNEDDON: Thank you.

23 No further questions, Your Honor.

24 THE COURT: Mr. Sanger.

25 MR. SANGER: Let’s — you don’t have to give

26 me all of them. Just give me the one that was just

27 up there. That’s fine. Yeah, okay.

Sanger began his cross examination of Det. Zelis by pouncing on the fact that the magazines that were found in Jackson’s briefcase were not tested for fingerprints until AFTER the grand jury proceedings in April 2004! Det. Zelis had a smile on his face as he exclaimed that he wasn’t shocked by that information.



3 Q. Detective Zelis, starting with the item we

4 left off with there, this is Item 315 as it was

5 booked into evidence, right.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So the entire briefcase, with all of its

8 contents, was booked into evidence as Exhibit 317.

9 A. Correct.

10 Q. You testified on direct that you gave it to

11 Detective Padilla, who booked it into the evidence

12 locker or into the evidence system in the Santa

13 Barbara Sheriff’s Office; is that correct.

14 A. That is correct.

15 Q. And he booked in — as you gave it to him,

16 he booked in the entire briefcase and the contents,

17 correct.

18 A. Correct.

19 Q. And it was numbered Item 317, correct.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now, I believe you said something about

22 forensics on direct examination with regard to this.

23 But I may be wrong.

24 So let me ask you, was it your intention

25 that the contents of this briefcase be evaluated and

26 analyzed by the CSI or forensic unit at the

27 sheriff’s department.

28 A. No. 2315

1 Q. Did you think anything about that.

2 A. No.

3 Q. You were wearing gloves when you — when you

4 seized this item, correct.

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. And you put it in a plastic bag, correct.

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. You didn’t think forensics was ever going to

9 look at this.

10 A. Well, I’m sure they would.

11 Q. Okay. And you’re sure they would for what

12 purpose. Look at that for fingerprints, perhaps.

13 A. Perhaps.

14 Q. Okay. Do you think that would be pretty

15 much a priority.

16 A. Possibly.

17 Q. Possibly.

18 And in 2004, April — March and April of

19 2004, in that time period, this briefcase was

20 brought to the grand jury in Santa Barbara; is that

21 correct.

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. And it was your understanding it had been to

24 forensics, right, when you brought it in.

25 A. That I’m not sure of.

26 Q. You’re not sure.

27 By the end of the grand jury proceeding, you

28 came to realize that nobody had checked for 2316

1 fingerprints on these materials inside of Sheriff’s

2 Item 317; isn’t that correct, sir.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. That was kind of a shocker, wasn’t it.

5 It wasn’t a shocker.

6 A. No, not to me.

7 Q. You’re kind of smiling. This — in fact,

8 when that was learned, that’s when you were sent in

9 with gloves for the grand jury to look at the

10 materials, so that they wouldn’t be picking it up

11 and handling it; is that right.

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. However, during the course of that grand

14 jury, the contents of this, of this briefcase,

15 Sheriff’s Item 317, was handed to Gavin Arvizo so he

16 could look through it, see if he could identify it;

17 isn’t that correct.

18 MR. SNEDDON: Objection. No personal

19 knowledge, no foundation.

20 THE COURT: I think he’s asking him if that

21 happened, so I will overrule the objection.

22 THE WITNESS: I would not know.

23 Q. BY MR. SANGER: So you weren’t advised by

24 the end of the grand jury proceedings that Gavin

25 Arvizo had taken the contents of this and looked

26 through it at the request of the District Attorney.

27 MR. SNEDDON: Same objection.

28 THE WITNESS: No. 2317

1 THE COURT: Sustained.

2 MR. SANGER: Okay.

3 Q. After the — 317. I’m referring to Item 317

4 for a reason. It is an exhibit here in court with a

5 different number, but Sheriff’s Item 317, this whole

6 briefcase, was booked into evidence at the grand

7 jury; is that correct.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And when you were assisting the grand jurors

10 to look through this material with gloves, it was in

11 evidence, it was in the possession of the Clerk of

12 the Court of the County of Santa Barbara; is that

13 correct.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And after you assisted the grand jury in

16 looking through this with gloves, it remained —

17 this Item 317, the briefcase and the contents,

18 remained with the Clerk of the Superior Court; is

19 that correct.

20 A. To my knowledge, yes.

21 Q. And during the testimony in the case with

22 regard to Item 317, do you or do you not know — let

23 me withdraw that and start again.

24 During the course of the grand jury

25 proceedings, do you know how many witnesses were

26 shown the contents of this briefcase, Sheriff’s Item

27 317.

28 A. How many witnesses. 2318

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. I do not know.

3 Q. And after you completed your assistance to

4 the grand jury by wearing gloves so they could look

5 through this material, do you know whether or not

6 the court clerks wore gloves when they went through

7 and inventoried all this material.

8 A. I do not know.

9 Q. Do you know when this item was removed from

10 the grand jury for the purpose of doing a

11 fingerprint analysis.

12 A. I do not know. I did not remove it.

13 Q. Okay. But you were the — one of the lead

14 detectives on this case; is that correct.

15 A. Correct.

16 Q. Okay. And so in that capacity, it’s your

17 job to know pretty much what’s going on in the case,

18 isn’t it.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Okay. And in the course of acting as one of

21 the lead detectives on the case, you came to realize

22 that fingerprints had not been taken until after

23 this briefcase was released from evidence sometime

24 in the summer of — spring or summer of 2004; is

25 that right.

26 A. That is my understanding.

Next, Sanger asked Det. Zelis about briefcase that the Arvizos claimed to have seen adult material in at Neverland, but Det. Zelis corrected him and said that they said the word “suitcase” instead of briefcase:

19 Q. Now, I’ll work backwards a little bit here

20 through what was said, since it’s fresh in our mind.

21 You mentioned that the Arvizo boys — you

22 had interviewed the Arvizo boys – I think this was

23 the way it was put – and the briefcase matched a

24 description that they had given of a black

25 briefcase, correct.

26 A. Correct. Except I think they used the word

27 “suitcase,” instead of briefcase.

28 Q. So you found a black briefcase, and it 2322

1 seemed to be similar to what they were describing as

2 a suitcase; is that correct.

3 A. Yes.

Next, Sanger asked Det. Zelis about the vast collection of books of all types that were seen at Neverland, in all areas of the main house and bedroom, the fact that the pornographic book by Robert Maxwell was found in the same closet as dozens of other books, and that there were no illegal adult materials (i.e. child pornography) found anywhere at Neverland:

12 Q. All right. So talking just about the main

13 residence that you walked through, the main

14 residence, did you observe a number of books in the

15 main residence.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Is it safe to say that there were probably

18 thousands of books in the main residence.

19 A. I don’t know about thousands. Maybe

20 hundreds.

21 Q. Hundreds. Okay. And in Mr. Jackson’s, what

22 you called his suite, the first floor, there were

23 stacks of books in front of the big screen T.V.; is

24 that correct.

25 A. To the side of a big screen T.V., yes.

26 Q. Along that wall.

27 A. Yes.

28 Q. All right. And then there was also a 2329

1 bookcase with books right next to that door that you

2 showed us; that you showed us the inside of the

3 door, but just outside of that door where the

4 stairway is, that was a bookcase.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. With a lot of books there.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. There were also all sorts of books and

9 magazines piled up in the upstairs bedroom part; is

10 that correct.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Just stacks of books here and there and all

13 over the place, right.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. In addition to that, there were — in the

16 main house that you went through, including Mr.

17 Jackson’s suite, there were a number of items that

18 appeared to have been sent by fans. Would you say

19 that’s correct.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And there were a number of items that seemed

22 to have been given to Mr. Jackson or sent to Mr.

23 Jackson by other celebrities; is that correct.

24 A. I don’t have personal knowledge of that.

25 Q. Well, did you see a letter sitting on the

26 piano from Steven Spielberg, for instance.

27 A. No.

28 Q. Did you see any cards from Liza Minnelli. 2330

1 A. No.

2 Q. Are you aware that any of those — that Liza

3 Minnelli card was seized.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. So it was somewhere. You just didn’t see it

6 while it was sitting there.

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. Did you see items that were original items

9 signed by Walt Disney, for instance.

10 A. I didn’t see that.

11 Q. You didn’t see that in the same closet that

12 you were retrieving the black briefcase from.

13 A. There may have been some frames on the wall.

14 I don’t know who signed them.

15 Q. And there were a lot of — there was a lot

16 of memorabilia from other movie stars, including

17 Shirley Temple, and a number of other movies; is

18 that correct.

19 A. Yes. Memorabilia.

20 Q. Memorabilia. And it appeared that Mr.

21 Jackson had saved — in stacks or piles or bookcases

22 or on the floor, all over his private quarters, he

23 had saved a tremendous number of things that had

24 been sent to him by other people, right.

25 A. Yes.

26 Q. All right. So you don’t know where the

27 Maxwell book came from, do you. You just found it.

28 A. I know it came from his bedroom. 2331

1 Q. Okay. And of all the materials that you

2 observed, there were no materials of an adult nature

3 or sexually explicit nature, there were no materials

4 that were, in and of themselves, illegal to possess,

5 were there.

6 A. Not that I recall, no.

7 Q. Okay. And the magazines that you picked

8 out — I won’t put them back up unless you want me

9 to. But the magazines that you picked out and you

10 pulled out of the drawer to photograph on the bed,

11 for instance, those are commercially available

12 magazines. You could go to a store and buy them,

13 right.

14 A. Correct.

The book “Robert Maxwell Photographs” was listed as Item #365 on the “Santa Barbara County Continuation Sheet”. This document compiles a list of many of the pornographic magazines that were found at Neverland.  

Sanger then asked Det. Zelis about “People’s No. 86”, which was the August 2003 issue of Barely Legal magazine that Star Arvizo identified as a magazine that Jackson allegedly showed him during his final days at Neverland in March 2003. Det. Zelis was not aware of that major discrepancy in the dates:

15 MR. SANGER: All right. Can we have the

16 screen again, please, Your Honor. And still up

17 there is No. 86.

18 Q. Did you determine the date of the top

19 magazine, the “Barely Legal”.

20 A. I did not.

21 Q. Were you aware that it is dated after the

22 time that the Arvizos were at the ranch.

23 A. No.

24 Q. And that hasn’t come to your attention.

25 A. No.

Here is a brief excerpt of what Star had to say about that magazine under Mesereau’s cross examination on March 8th, 2005:

6 Q. And what you’re looking at is Exhibit 86,

7 right.

8 A. I don’t see the number.

9 Q. Okay. Just — what you’re looking at is

10 a — appears to be a black briefcase with some

11 girlie magazines, right.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And the first one says “Barely Legal” on it;

14 do you see that.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And it appears to be a blonde woman lifting

17 up her shirt, correct.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And it appears to be a blonde woman who’s

20 exposing her breasts, right.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And she appears to be wearing a dark pair of

23 shorts, right.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Before you testified yesterday you looked at

26 that photograph with Prosecutor Sneddon, correct.

27 A. Yes.

28 Q. You told Prosecutor Sneddon that those are 1279

1 the magazines you had seen at Neverland, right.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. You told Prosecutor Sneddon that Michael

4 Jackson had showed you those magazines, right.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Michael Jackson never showed you that

7 magazine, “Barely Legal,” did he.

8 A. What.

9 Q. Michael Jackson never showed you that

10 magazine, “Barely Legal,” did he.

11 A. He did show us.

12 Q. He did.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Well, Star, did you look at the date of the

15 magazine. It’s August of 2003, is it not.

16 A. Well, I never said that was exactly that

17 one.

18 Q. Well, your family had left Neverland many

19 months before, never to return, correct.

20 A. That — I’m telling you that that wasn’t

21 exactly the one he showed us.

22 Q. That’s not what you said yesterday, and it’s

23 not what you said today, right.

24 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, that’s

25 argumentative.

26 THE COURT: Sustained.

27 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: When you told the jury

28 yesterday that Michael Jackson showed you the 1280

1 magazine “Barely Legal,” you were not telling the

2 truth, right.

3 A. Um, I said that he did show us Barely Legal.

4 I didn’t say that he showed us that exact one. He

5 showed us those magazines.

6 Q. You told the jury yesterday that Michael

7 showed you the particular magazine depicted in the

8 photograph, didn’t you.

9 A. No. I said that he showed us those type of

10 magazines.

11 Q. You’re saying it now because you just found

12 out what the date is, right.

13 A. I never said those were exactly the ones.

Next, Det. Zelis confirmed that he had no idea when the adult magazines were placed in their respective locations, or how many (if any) were there during the time that the Arvizo family was at Neverland:

26 Q. All right. You don’t know — of the

27 materials you seized, you don’t know when they were

28 actually placed or stored or put wherever you 2332

1 located them. In other words, you don’t know when

2 they came to be there. You just know they were

3 there on November 18th, 2003; is that right.

4 A. Correct.

5 Q. So you don’t know what, of those items, was

6 there, if any, in February or March of 2003,

7 correct.

8 A. Correct.

In this excerpt, Det. Zelis confirms that the photo of the Arvizo children that was found in Jackson’s bedroom was not a personal photo, but rather a commercially produced photo that was probably given to Jackson, and that there were many photos of people of all ages throughout Neverland, many of which were sent to him by fans:

12 I think it’s Exhibit 338. You found a

13 picture that appeared to be of the Arvizo children,

14 correct.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And it appears to be a picture — well,

17 maybe I could put it up, Your Honor, if I may.

18 It appears to be a picture that was taken of

19 the children and probably given to Mr. Jackson,

20 correct.

21 A. Correct.

22 Q. It doesn’t look like a candid snapshot. It

23 looks like some kind of a commercially prepared

24 picture; is that right.

25 A. Correct.

26 Q. All right. When you looked through the

27 house, just the main house that you looked through,

28 Mr. Jackson had a tremendous number of photographs 2333

1 of adults, children, people of all sorts all over

2 his house, did he not.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And it appeared that quite a number of those

5 photographs were, in fact, sent to him by fans or

6 people who were sending him photographs. They

7 weren’t snapshots taken by Mr. Jackson; is that

8 correct.

9 A. Correct.

Next, Sanger asked Det. Zelis about the mannequin that was found in Jackson’s bedroom, which the Arvizo boys claimed to have seen Jackson simulating a sexual act upon. It was defaced by the Arvizos, but Det. Zelis failed to ask Davellin, Star, and Gavin if they did it, which is just another sign of the sloppy police work that was conducted in this investigation:

10 Q. All right. I want to ask you about the

11 mannequin and the — well, it’s not here. Do you

12 have the photograph of the mannequin.

13 A. Here it is.

14 Q. Oh. It’s up there.

15 A. Yes.

16 MR. SANGER: May I approach, Your Honor.

17 THE COURT: Yes.

18 MR. SANGER: Thank you.

19 THE WITNESS: Uh-huh.

20 MR. SANGER: What else do you have there.

21 Let me see, so I don’t make too many trips.

22 Now, 153 I believe is in evidence; is that

23 correct, Your Honor. In any event, I’d like to

24 publish it. I believe it is.

25 THE COURT: Yes. 153’s in evidence. You

26 may show it.

27 MR. SANGER: Thank you.

28 Q. When you look at 153 – and you have to wait 2334

1 a second – it appears to be a — a mannequin of a

2 child, you said, right.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Do you know if that is a mannequin that

5 represents some member of Mr. Jackson’s family.

6 A. I don’t know.

7 Q. Were you aware that someone had defaced this

8 mannequin.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. All right. And did you examine the

11 mannequin to see the portion that was, in fact,

12 defaced.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. All right.

15 I’d like to have I think it’s 5033. This

16 was marked for identification previously with

17 another witness, Your Honor.

18 THE COURT: It was.

19 MR. SANGER: I’d like to approach the

20 witness, if I may.

21 THE COURT: Yes.

22 MR. SANGER: Thank you.

23 Q. Let me show you 5033, and ask you — let

24 me — let me go back here to ask you a question, if

25 I may.

26 Showing you 5033, does that appear to be the

27 portion of the mannequin that was defaced.

28 A. Yes. 2335

1 Q. Basically — and let me ask, is that — does

2 that appear to be an accurate depiction of the

3 actual subject matter.

4 A. Yes.

5 MR. SANGER: Your Honor, I’d move 5033 into

6 evidence.

7 THE COURT: It’s admitted.

8 MR. SANGER: May I approach to retrieve it.


10 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Now, does it appear that

11 somebody defaced this with a marking pen of some

12 sort.

13 A. Yes.

14 MR. SANGER: All right. Your Honor, I’d

15 like to publish this, if I may.

16 THE COURT: You may.

17 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Standing — and I’m going to

18 turn it first so you can see the evidence — exhibit

19 tag, and then I’ll show this here.

20 So it looked like somebody had drawn in —

21 drawn this in on this particular doll; is that

22 correct.

23 A. It appears that way, yes.

24 Q. Did you find out who did that.

25 A. No.

26 Q. You interviewed the Arvizos a number of

27 times, the Arvizo children, Star, Davellin and

28 Gavin, correct. 2336

1 A. Correct.

2 Q. Did you ever ask them if they did this.

3 A. No.

Here is what Gavin had to say about this mannequin during his cross examination on March 15th, 2005:

26 Q. Have you seen that mannequin before.

27 A. Yes, I saw it in Michael’s bedroom.

28 Q. Is that the mannequin that you’re claiming 2049

1 Mr. Jackson simulated a sex act with.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Okay. Now, did you ever discuss with Mr.

4 Jackson where that mannequin came from.

5 A. No. He said that — there was a bunch of

6 mannequins all over his bedroom.

7 Q. Well, did he ever tell you this was

8 something that was custom made and it’s a mannequin

9 of a cousin of his.

10 A. No. He just said that he has lots of

11 mannequins.

12 Q. So you never discussed with him what this

13 mannequin was all about, right.

14 A. No.

15 Q. You never knew that this mannequin was

16 something that was paid for and custom made because

17 it’s his cousin.

18 A. He never told me that.

19 Q. Okay. Okay. When did you first see this

20 mannequin.

21 A. In his bedroom. Where the bed actually is.

22 Q. And do you know approximately when that was.

23 A. I don’t — probably the first time I went in

24 his room I saw it there. And then the second time I

25 was in his room. All the way after Miami was when

26 we made the joke about it.

27 Q. At some point you learned that somebody had

28 defaced that mannequin, right. 2050

1 A. Defaced. What do you mean.

2 Q. Yes. Somebody had taken like a magic marker

3 and messed up that mannequin, right.

4 A. No, I don’t remember that.

5 MR. MESEREAU: Your Honor, at this time I’d

6 like to approach the witness and show him Exhibit

7 No. 5033, which is a photograph —

8 THE COURT: All right.

9 MR. MESEREAU: — of a mannequin as well.

10 Q. Mr. Arvizo, I’m showing you Defense

11 Exhibit No. 5033. Do you see that.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And do you see where somebody went into the

14 vaginal portion of that mannequin and defaced it

15 with a magic marker.

16 A. Yes. I see that, I guess.

17 Q. You know who did that, don’t you.

18 A. No.

19 MR. MESEREAU: May I publish this, Your

20 Honor.


22 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You don’t know who did

23 that at all.

24 A. No.

25 Q. You didn’t do it.

26 A. No.

27 Q. Your brother didn’t do it.

28 A. No. 2051

In this excerpt, Det. Zelis describes the interviews with the Arvizos that he participated in between July 2003 and January 2004. Surprisingly, he couldn’t remember if he was present at the November 25th, 2003 interview, even after he was shown a transcript!

19 And, in fact, there were interviews which

20 were done of the Arvizo children on 7-7-03, July 7,

21 ‘03, correct.

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. And you participated in that interview; is

24 that correct.

25 A. Yes.

26 Q. You interviewed Davellin, Star and Gavin on

27 that day; is that correct.

28 A. Correct. 2342

1 Q. And that’s tape-recorded.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And you have transcripts of the tape,

4 correct.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And then there were follow-up interviews on

7 8-13-03. You participated in those; is that

8 correct.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And again, you interviewed all three of the

11 children at that time; is that correct.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. You then had the search, which was November

14 18 of ‘03, correct.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And then there was some brief interviews on

17 November 26, ‘03; is that correct.

18 A. I don’t — I don’t remember that date

19 specifically.

20 Q. Well, do you remember a date in November.

21 Was it the day of the month or you don’t remember

22 doing it at all. Did I say 26th or 25th. In any

23 event, November 25th.

24 A. Of 2003.

25 Q. Of 2003.

26 A. Interview with the children.

27 Q. With Gavin and with Star that were

28 tape-recorded and transcripts made. 2343

1 A. I’m not sure.

2 Q. Okay. Would it help if I showed you a

3 transcript to see if that refreshes your

4 recollection.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Take a look at that. My question was, were

7 you there. I’m showing you a transcript of an

8 interview.

9 And I believe Detective Robel indicated he

10 was there, if that helps you.

11 A. I don’t recall this interview.

12 Q. Were you advised of that interview at all by

13 Detective Robel.

14 A. I would have to read it further.

15 Q. Take your time.

16 A. He may have briefed me on the interview. I

17 don’t think he got into detail.

18 Q. All right. In any event, so what you’re

19 saying, you may or may not have known that there was

20 an interview. You think you probably were told.

21 A. Correct.

22 Q. And you don’t think you were there.

23 A. I don’t believe so.

24 Q. Okay. The next interview was January the

25 19th, 2004; is that correct.

26 A. Correct.

27 Q. And you were at that one.

28 A. Yes. 2344

1 Q. And who was at that interview.

2 A. Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen. I

3 believe District Attorney Tom Sneddon.

4 Q. And who else.

5 A. Lieutenant Jeff Klapakis. Sergeant Robel.

6 The Arvizo children.

7 Q. All right. Did Sergeant Robel stay for the

8 entire interview.

9 A. I do not believe so.

10 Q. Okay. Did you stay for the entire

11 interview.

12 A. Yes.

13 MR. SANGER: All right. May I retrieve my

14 book, Your Honor.

15 THE COURT: Yes.

16 MR. SANGER: Thank you.

Sanger then questioned Det. Zelis about the details of the January 19th, 2004 interview, which began with the detectives viewing the rebuttal video with the Arvizos together, in its entirety, for the first time. Sanger first asked for details of Davellin’s interview, and her explanation for the hand holding scene between she and her mother when they thought the cameras weren’t rolling. Davellin’s explanation was that she was told to say those quotes by Frank Cascio and Dieter Wiesner:

17 Q. Now, at the time of this interview, let’s

18 say before January 19th, had you ever seen the

19 rebuttal video.

20 A. I don’t believe so.

21 Q. All right. And this interview process

22 started with a showing to the Arvizo children of the

23 rebuttal video; is that correct.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And before it was shown to them, they

26 were — let me withdraw that.

27 Before the rebuttal film was shown to them,

28 the Arvizo children were told what they were about 2345

1 to see; is that correct.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And after the film was shown to them, they

4 were then interviewed on tape; is that correct.

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. And Mr. Sneddon actively participated in the

7 interview; is that right.

8 A. I do not believe so.

9 Q. Okay. We’ll come back to that. I want to

10 direct your attention to Davellin’s interview first,

11 if I may. And in Davellin’s interview, she was

12 asked, in general, how they could have responded the

13 way they did in this rebuttal film based on the

14 allegations that they were making, correct.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And specifically Davellin was asked about

17 the hand-holding. Remember that.

18 A. Vaguely, yes.

19 Q. Do you remember the scene in the rebuttal

20 video where Janet Arvizo doesn’t appear to know that

21 she’s even on film and she says, “Hey, hey, get

22 this, get this. Get us holding hands just like

23 Bashir,” and everybody kind of joins in as to what a

24 good idea it is. Do you remember that.

25 A. Vaguely.

26 Q. All right. And do you recall asking her —

27 did anybody ever talk to you or talk to Gavin and

28 your mother that they should hold hands together, 2346

1 “Gavin and your mother during this,” and then it’s

2 unintelligible.

3 Remember that question.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And Davellin says, “Oh, yeah, they —

6 because they — they wanted to — because the fact

7 that they did the Bashir thing, they wanted my mom

8 to do it so it could erase what they saw of

9 Michael.”

10 Remember that.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And later, as she was asked, she was asked

13 about the part of the video where they are calling

14 Michael Jackson “daddy” and talking about him as

15 “daddy” and his family. Do you remember that.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And her explanation for that was that Frank

18 and Dieter told them to do that; is that correct.

19 A. Mainly Dieter is my recollection.

20 Q. Okay. Primarily Dieter. But you remember

21 her talking about Frank as well, “Frank told us,”

22 and “Dieter told us” at one point, too.

23 A. I recall mainly she mentioned Dieter.

24 Q. Okay. Now, did you interview the kids

25 independently, or were they all sitting there

26 together.

27 A. Independently.

28 Q. They were all sitting there together to 2347

1 watch the film, though, correct.

2 A. Correct.

3 Q. And you didn’t record what they said during

4 the film while the film was being played for them,

5 did you.

6 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, I’m going to

7 object. Assumes facts not in evidence.

8 THE COURT: Sustained.

9 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Okay. Did they say anything

10 while the film was being played.

11 A. No.

12 Q. Nothing at all.

13 A. They were instructed not to talk to each

14 other.

Next, Sanger questions Det. Zelis about Gavin’s interview, but he is admonished by Judge Melville spending too much time on one question.

15 Q. All right. On the — when you talked to

16 Gavin — let me withdraw that for a second.

17 Before they saw the film, they — the Arvizo

18 children, Gavin and Star in particular, had been

19 confronted before that — before they saw the film,

20 they had been confronted by law enforcement as to

21 the fact that there was a film in which they

22 appeared to be very happy with Michael Jackson,

23 correct.

24 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, I’m going to

25 object to the use of —

26 MR. SANGER: I’ll withdraw it. We won’t say

27 “confronted.” We’ll say they were advised. They

28 were asked. 2348

1 THE WITNESS: I’m sorry, could you repeat

2 the question.

3 Q. BY MR. SANGER: The Arvizo children,

4 particularly Gavin and Star, were asked about the

5 rebuttal film before they saw it.

6 A. I’m not sure.

7 Q. Okay. And when you just briefly reviewed

8 the Gavin transcript there from 11-25-03, was there

9 any question asked about a rebuttal video at that

10 time.

11 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, I’m going to

12 object to the question. He said he doesn’t believe

13 he was present.

14 MR. SANGER: Okay.

15 THE COURT: Sustained.

16 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Were you advised that —

17 before they saw the video on — you’re the

18 detective, one of the lead detectives in this case,

19 right.

20 MR. SNEDDON: Asked and answered.

21 THE COURT: Sustained.

22 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Okay. When you’re sitting

23 there on January 19th, 2004, with Mr. Sneddon, Mr.

24 Zonen and the other people, including your

25 lieutenant and your sergeant, you are concerned

26 about what these kids are going to say about this

27 video, correct. You want to know what they have to

28 say. 2349

1 A. Yes.

2 MR. SNEDDON: Object. That’s compound.

3 THE COURT: Sustained.

4 MR. SANGER: Okay.

5 MR. SNEDDON: Move to strike the answer.

6 THE COURT: Stricken.

7 Q. BY MR. SANGER: You wanted to know what they

8 had to say about the video, right.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And so as the investigator, one of the lead

11 investigators at that time, you were aware that the

12 fact that the video had been discussed with at least

13 Gavin and Star — I’m not talking about Janet

14 Arvizo. That’s another subject. But as to the

15 children, it’s been discussed with at least Gavin

16 and Star the fact that there was a video where they

17 portrayed themselves of being very supportive of

18 Michael Jackson. That was discussed with them

19 before —

20 THE COURT: This question is just going on

21 and on.

22 MR. SNEDDON: Move to strike.

23 THE COURT: Start over.

After the admonition, Sanger questioned Det. Zelis about Gavin’s claim that “99.9%” of what he said in the rebuttal tape was false, but Det. Zelis believed that Gavin mean that 99.9% of what he was TOLD to say by Dieter Wiesner was false:

24 MR. SANGER: Let me start over, okay.

25 Q. Did you discuss — let me withdraw that.

26 Were you aware that the Arvizo children had

27 discussed with law enforcement the fact that there

28 was a rebuttal video before they showed up on the 2350

1 19th to watch it.

2 A. I don’t believe I was aware.

3 Q. So you thought this was just cold, outside

4 the box; nobody had ever talked to them about it.

5 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, that’s

6 argumentative.

7 THE COURT: Sustained.

8 Q. BY MR. SANGER: When you say you weren’t

9 aware, was it your belief at that time when they sat

10 down that they weren’t even aware you had a rebuttal

11 video.

12 A. I don’t know what they were aware of and

13 what they were not aware of.

14 Q. Well, as an investigator, the state of mind

15 of the subject that you’re interviewing is

16 important, is it not.

17 MR. SNEDDON: Object; argumentative.

18 THE COURT: Overruled.

19 THE WITNESS: Maybe I should clarify that.

20 THE COURT: No, you should just answer the

21 question. Do you want the question read back.

22 THE WITNESS: Please.

23 (Record read.)


25 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Okay. Now, when Gavin was

26 asked about the video, after he saw the rebuttal

27 video on January 19, 2004, he said that Dieter had

28 told them what to say; is that correct. 2351

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And he also said that 99.9 percent of what

3 was shown on the rebuttal video was not true — or

4 let me rephrase that. 99.9 percent of what was said

5 on the rebuttal video was not true; isn’t that

6 correct.

7 A. That is not correct.

8 Q. All right. You don’t have a copy of this

9 with you, do you.

10 A. I may have.

11 Q. I think you attached it to one of your

12 police reports. If it’s not handy, I’ll show you

13 mine.

14 A. It may take me some time to find it. If you

15 have it handy, that would be more efficient.

16 Q. All right. I think it was — let me — I’ll

17 just show you mine.

18 May I approach, Your Honor.

19 THE COURT: Yes.

20 Q. BY MR. SANGER: I’m showing you page 12.

21 And you’re welcome to read before and after,

22 whatever you want to do, but I’m kind of directing

23 your attention there to the middle of that page.

24 I’d like you to read that. And then after

25 you’re through, tell me if that refreshes your

26 recollection as to what Gavin said.

27 A. Okay.

28 Q. Okay. And that refreshes your recollection. 2352

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And he said, “Like 99 percent of the things

3 weren’t true”; is that correct.

4 A. That Dieter, or “they,” were telling them

5 what to say on the rebuttal video. Not what was

6 said on the rebuttal video. What they were told to

7 say.

8 Q. And what they were told to say was the same

9 they said they were saying. They were claiming it

10 was the same thing that they said, was it not.

11 MR. SNEDDON: Object as argumentative.

12 THE COURT: Do you understand the question.

13 THE WITNESS: Well, I don’t know the exact

14 specifics of what Dieter told them to say prior.

15 Q. BY MR. SANGER: The question — you’d be

16 asking questions about the calling Michael “daddy”

17 and saying they were members of his family, and they

18 were — all of those things were the subject matter

19 of what you were asking about, correct.

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. And he said Dieter told him to say it,

22 right.

23 A. Of the things to say, yes.

24 Q. And he said 99.9 percent of that wasn’t

25 true, right.

26 A. Yes, he does say that, to what Dieter told

27 him to say.

28 Q. All right. Never told you Dieter told him 2353

1 to say anything that he didn’t say, did he. He

2 didn’t say, “Dieter told me the moon’s made out of

3 blue cheese, but I wouldn’t say it”.

4 A. No.

Next, Sanger questioned Det. Zelis about the three interviews of Gavin that he remembered (July 2003, August 2003, and January 2004). Det. Zelis claimed that Gavin was consistent in all three interviews about the molestation, but when Sanger asked if Gavin claimed in his August 2003 interview that he couldn’t remember if he was abused before or after the DCFS interview Sneddon objected under the grounds of formulating a conclusion, and Judge Melville sustained it.

Sanger then went into the January 2004 interview, and Det. Zelis finally admitted that Gavin claimed that he could have been abused before the DCFS interview. (Although, according to the Grand Jury Indictment, the alleged abuse started after the DCFS interview on February 20th, 2003.)

5 Q. All right. Now, on another issue in this

6 same interview — well, let’s set the stage by going

7 back to the 7th of July interview. And let me ask

8 you in general.

9 During the — during the three interviews

10 that you had conducted — and there was a fourth

11 one, the 11-25-03, but you don’t know about that

12 other than what you’ve seen, so I’ll exclude that.

13 Of the three interviews, July, August and

14 January, was Gavin consistent as to when he claimed

15 the acts of molest that he was alleging had

16 occurred.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. In July, he said, “It was one of the last

19 days that I was staying at Neverland,” correct.

20 A. Something to that effect. I believe so,

21 yes.

22 Q. Okay. And in August, he was not clear as to

23 whether it was before or after the DCFS interview,

24 correct.

25 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, I’m — I’m going

26 to object, Your Honor. That —

27 THE COURT: Sustained. It’s a conclusion.

28 Calls for a conclusion. 2354

1 MR. SANGER: All right.

2 Q. Let’s just go to the January 19th, 2004 —

3 okay. In January of 2004, did he tell you that he

4 was sure as to the dates when the molest occurred,

5 the alleged molests.

6 A. That he was sure.

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. No.

9 Q. And at that time, he said he didn’t know

10 whether it was before or after DCSF, but that, “You

11 guys would know.” Remember him saying that.

12 A. That’s not what he said.

13 Q. Okay. What did he say.

14 A. He was asked — and this is my recollection.

15 He was asked of when the molestations occurred, and

16 if they could have been prior, or if they were prior

17 or after the DCFS interview. And he said, “I think

18 so,” period. That’s my recollection.

19 Q. He thought so, that they were prior to it,

20 before it.

21 A. I think so.

22 Q. He said, “I think so.” And then he said,

23 “You guys would know,” right.

24 A. No. He said we would know to when the DCFS

25 interview occurred.

26 Q. Okay. So you’re interpreting that as, “You

27 would know when DCFS occurred”.

28 A. Correct. 2355

1 Q. He didn’t say, “You guys would know when the

2 DCFS interview occurred”.

3 A. He indicated that we would know when the

4 DCFS interview occurred.

5 Q. Okay. So he said he thought it could be

6 prior, could be before.

7 A. The molestations occurred.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. He said he thought so.

10 Q. He thought so.

11 A. Yes.

Sanger then asked Det. Zelis about the fact that Star had sent cards to Jackson in 2001 calling him “father” and “daddy”, which would contradict Star’s claims that he only called Jackson “father” in the rebuttal video because he was told to do so by Dieter Wiesner. Det. Zelis didn’t ask him about the cards (although he was aware of them, but not of the effusive language on them), and he didn’t know about the cards to Louise Palanker.

12 Q. All right. And then you also interviewed

13 Star on that same occasion, on January 19th; is that

14 correct.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And once again, Star’s answer, after he saw

17 the video, was that Dieter told him to use terms

18 such as “father” and “humble”; is that correct.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And at that time you didn’t ask him about

21 using those terms before he ever met Dieter, did

22 you.

23 A. No.

24 Q. At that time were you aware that Star and

25 the rest of the family had sent cards to Michael

26 Jackson in 2001 calling him “father,” talking about

27 him being part of their family, using all those same

28 terms that are on the video. 2356

1 A. Can you repeat the question.

2 MR. SANGER: Could we have that read back.

3 THE COURT: All right.

4 (Record read.)

5 THE WITNESS: I know cards were sent. I do

6 not know the dates of when those cards were sent.

7 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Did you ask him about those

8 cards.

9 A. Personally, I don’t think so.

10 Q. So you didn’t say, “Well, Dieter told you to

11 say this, but you also said this in the cards”. You

12 didn’t ask him about that subject matter.

13 A. No.

14 Q. Were you aware that the family used that

15 same language in dealing with other people such as

16 Louise Palanker.

17 MR. SNEDDON: Can I object as to vague as to

18 the “same language”. Because there’s a number of

19 different terms.

20 MR. SANGER: Okay. “Mommy” instead of

21 “daddy.”

22 THE COURT: Sustained.

23 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Were you aware that they

24 were calling Louise Palanker “mommy” and saying they

25 were part of her family —

26 A. No.

27 Q. — using the same kind of language.

28 Did you recently learn that. 2357

1 A. No.

2 Q. Are you still on this case.

3 A. Yes.

To be continued:

4 Comments leave one →
  1. shellywebstere permalink
    July 9, 2012 5:24 am

    Just to be precise, I have seen the Robert Maxwell book and it’s not at all pornographic. It’s a collection of nude pictures, there is no sex involved.

  2. nannorris permalink
    July 9, 2012 12:38 am

    This is so interesting..He is still on the case but has no knowledge of the fact that Star is sending cards calling Mj , daddy and Louise mommy…
    but a mannequin he supposedly has no idea who it is supposed to depict, he can identify as an 8 year old african american girl..If he didnt know it was MJ cousin , then how would he be so sure of the age the mannequin was supposed to be..and to not even ask any of these children if they defaced it is just incredible…What a fake investigation this was …sickening..


  1. ⇧: Both Sides Now – trying to summarise the debate | ilovebigideas
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