Skip to content

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

July 10, 2012

Sanger then pivots the topic of conversation to Gavin’s portion of the interview, and his reaction to the rebuttal tape. Initially, Det. Zelis couldn’t “remember” what was said between Gavin and Sneddon about the tape, so Sanger had to show him the transcript to refresh his recollection. Upon reviewing the transcript, Det. Zelis made a bombshell revelation and confirmed that Sneddon conveyed to Gavin what he wanted him to say about his reasons for being forced to shoot the rebuttal video. At that point, Gavin couldn’t “recall” if he had been abused either before or after the video was shot, so Sneddon planted an idea into Gavin’s mind to rationalize why Jackson would want Gavin to shoot the video!

Sanger also challenged Det. Zelis about the timeline given by Gavin in multiple interviews: in July 2003, Gavin said the abuse started near the end of his stay at Neverland (his last day there was on March 12th, 2003), but in January 2004 Gavin said he was sure if he was abused before or after the filming of the rebuttal video on February 20th, 2003:

Q. Okay. Let me have just one second, Your

5 Honor.

6 Let me go one more time to the interview on

7 January the 19th. And do you remember Mr. Sneddon

8 actually asking questions in that interview, or

9 making comments in that interview.

10 A. Which interview. Of which interview.

11 Q. Of Gavin. Yes, of Gavin.

12 A. I —

13 Q. January 19th, 2004, interview of Gavin.

14 Sorry.

15 A. I do not recall.

16 Q. Okay. Do you recall whether or not Mr.

17 Sneddon expressed concern in the presence of Gavin,

18 the complaining witness in this case, about why he

19 made these kinds of remarks on the rebuttal video.

20 A. I do not recall.

21 Q. Do you recall whether or not Gavin responded

22 to Mr. Sneddon, to Mr. Sneddon’s remarks.

23 A. I do not know.

24 MR. SANGER: Okay. May I approach, Your

25 Honor.

26 THE COURT: Yes.

27 MR. SNEDDON: What page are you talking

28 about, Counsel. 2358

1 MR. SANGER: 13.

2 Q. I’m going to show you page 13, but you can

3 read the whole thing if you want. Do whatever you

4 want. I’m going to ask you if it refreshes your

5 recollection about the exchange between Mr. Sneddon

6 and Gavin Arvizo.

7 A. Okay.

8 MR. SANGER: May I retrieve the book, Your

9 Honor.

10 Q. Does that refresh your recollection.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Before I ask you about what was said, let me

13 put this in context.

14 As an investigator, when you’re interviewing

15 a witness, you’re supposed to get information.

16 You’re not supposed to convey to the witness what

17 you would like them to say, correct.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Do you recall now, having refreshed your

20 recollection, that Mr. Sneddon said, “So, in your

21 mind, one of the things that you’re thinking is,

22 they’re doing this video that they want you guys to

23 do, that if you ever told them the truth about being

24 molested by him, that nobody would believe you”.

25 Remember that question.

26 A. Yes.

27 Q. And then Gavin Arvizo says, “Yeah, that they

28 would use that and say that we’re lying. That’s 2359

1 what I think they used it for. I think that’s why

2 they told us to say all those things in the tape.

3 They told us it was for — they told us it was for

4 so they could release the tape out to the media for

5 rebuttal for what they were all saying, but I don’t

6 think — they were, like, kind of forcing us to say

7 those things. 99.9 percent of the things they were

8 telling us to say weren’t even true.”

9 So — and then the answer ends.

10 Was that what Mr. Sneddon said and what

11 Gavin Arvizo said in response.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And at that point in the interview, as the

14 investigator in the case, it was your understanding

15 that what Gavin Arvizo was saying at that point is

16 that he was claiming he was molested before the

17 rebuttal, and that this was to — the rebuttal was

18 to cover up a molest; is that correct.

19 A. No.

20 Q. Well, that’s what Mr. Sneddon was asking,

21 wasn’t it. “If you ever told the truth about being

22 molested by him, that nobody would believe you”.

23 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, that calls for a

24 conclusion on the part of the witness. It’s —

25 THE COURT: Sustained.

26 MR. SANGER: All right. Excuse me one

27 second.

28 Q. You may need to look at this again, so I’ll 2360

1 let you do that if you need to. But just so we’re

2 clear on that — and Mr. Mesereau was kind enough to

3 direct me on this. Just so you’re clear on this,

4 just preceding this exchange with Mr. Sneddon, the

5 question was asked, “The acts of molestation, had

6 they already begun by the time you did this video.”

7 MR. SNEDDON: I’m going to object to this

8 as asked and answered. He’s just reading. There’s

9 no question pending.

10 THE COURT: No, I’m going to allow him to

11 read that. I assume it’s the preface to a question.

12 MR. SANGER: Right.

13 THE COURT: Go ahead.

14 Q. BY MR. SANGER: And I think you did refer to

15 this, but to put it in context, the question:

16 “The acts of molestation, had they already

17 begun by the time did you this video; do you know.

18 “A. I think so.”

19 And then:

20 “Q. Within hours after doing the video was

21 that meeting with the workers from the Child

22 Protective Services. Is that how you remembered

23 it, or you’re not certain.

24 “A. I don’t know. I’m not sure it

25 happened — whether it happened before or after.

26 You guys probably would know that date.”

27 That’s what I had asked you about before.

28 Is that all accurate. 2361

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And then immediately following that, Mr.

3 Sneddon says, “So, in your mind, one of the things

4 you’re thinking is, they’ve done this video that

5 they want you guys to do so that if you ever told

6 them the truth about being molested by him, that

7 nobody would believe you,” correct.

8 A. Correct.

9 Q. And then Gavin Arvizo essentially adopts

10 Mr. Sneddon’s interpretation.

11 A. It was — that question asked by Mr. Sneddon

12 was a clarification of an idea that was given to us

13 by Gavin prior to that.

14 Q. So that he was molested before the video,

15 and the video was done in order to negate any claim

16 that he was molested.

17 A. No.

18 Q. And you understand that other times, Gavin

19 Arvizo has claimed that the molest occurred at the

20 end of his stay at Neverland, not in early February

21 or mid-February, correct.

22 A. Are you asking my understanding. I’m sorry,

23 could you repeat the question.

24 Q. Well, let me clarify it, if I may.

25 Other times, you told us July 7th, he said

26 it was right at the end of his stay. That would

27 have been March, correct.

28 A. Correct. 2362

1 Q. And you don’t know what he testified to here

2 in court.

3 A. No.

In this excerpt, Sanger questions Det. Zelis about the information that was passed on to him from Det. Terry Flaa, who cleared Jackson in April 2003 and moved on to another division before the Arvizo case was reopened in June 2003. Det. Zelis couldn’t remember if he spoke with Det. Flaa about the Arvizo case specifically, but he confirmed that Det. Flaa found no criminal activity had occurred when he closed the case in April 2003. Notice how Sanger questioned Det. Zelis about Det. Flaa’s experience and expertise before asking him to confirm that Det. Flaa concluded that no criminal activity had taken place; this was done to show that Det. Flaa was thoroughly qualified to make the assessment that no criminal activity had taken place when he closed the case:

6 Q. All right. So before the break, just to

7 pick up where we left off, you indicated you were

8 appointed as an investigator on this case June the

9 13th of 2003, correct.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And then Sergeant Robel, sometime after

12 that, came in as co-lead investigator, correct.

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. And you told us you did not call Terry Flaa

15 to gain the benefit of what he had done on the case;

16 is that correct.

17 A. I did say that before the break. But I

18 thought about it, and I believe I may have spoken

19 with him.

20 Q. You may have. Do you know if Sergeant Robel

21 spoke to him.

22 A. I don’t know.

23 Q. Okay. And Detective Flaa was still working

24 for your department in June of 2003, correct.

25 A. I’m not sure.

26 Q. And he had — and again, I don’t mean any

27 offense, but he had considerably more experience as

28 a detective than you had at that point; is that 2366

1 correct.

2 A. Yes. He’d been in the division a lot longer

3 than I had.

4 Q. And he also had quite a bit of specialized

5 training in sexual offense cases; is that correct.

6 A. That’s my — that’s what I believe, yes.

7 Q. Okay. And he eventually, by the end of the

8 year or so, he left the sheriff’s department,

9 correct.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And then he went to work at the Santa Maria

12 Police Department; is that correct.

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. Okay. During that year, or I’m sorry, half

15 a year while he was still at the department, did you

16 and Sergeant Robel consult with him on this case.

17 A. Together, do you mean.

18 Q. Independently or together.

19 A. I can’t speak for Sergeant Robel, but I

20 believe I may have talked with him, yes.

21 Q. You may have talked with him. Do you recall

22 consulting with him on this case.

23 A. Not specifically, but I may have.

24 Q. Okay. And he found that there was no

25 criminal activity, right.

26 A. Correct.

27 Q. And he was pretty much out of the picture

28 after that; is that correct. 2367

1 A. Yes.

2 MR. SANGER: Okay. No further questions.

After Sanger ended his cross-examination, Sneddon had one more question for Det. Zelis under redirect- examination. He wanted to read to Det. Zelis and the jury the question that preceded the conversation that he and Gavin had in their January 2004 interview about why Gavin felt the rebuttal film was shot:

4 REDIRECT EXAMINATION

5 BY MR. SNEDDON:

6 Q. Detective Zelis, I actually have just one

7 question. And I want to direct your attention back

8 to Mr. Sanger’s examination about Gavin’s response

9 to my question on the day that you were interviewing

10 him. Do you recall that.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Do you recall, that report in front of you,

13 is that with the one you took a long time to find.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. All right. At the time — let me ask you a

16 question. If you don’t remember the answer, I’ll

17 allow you to look at it and you can refresh your

18 recollection.

19 Mr. Sanger didn’t finish reading the rest of

20 the questions and answers, but at the time that

21 Gavin made that statement, was he talking about

22 something that he believed at the time that the

23 rebuttal was made or something that he was

24 reflecting back on.

25 MR. SANGER: Objection; calls for

26 speculation.

27 THE COURT: Sustained.

28 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Based — based on Gavin’s 2368

1 statement during that conversation, was he

2 indicating that that was his current belief as to

3 what happened or that was his state of mind at the

4 time that the rebuttal film was made.

5 MR. SANGER: I still object. That calls for

6 speculation.

7 THE COURT: Sustained.

8 MR. SNEDDON: Judge —

9 THE COURT: You can have him state what he

10 said, not what his conclusion is.

11 MR. SNEDDON: All right. I was trying to do

12 it — all right. I’ll do that.

13 Q. Question by me: “Did you think that at the

14 time, or that that’s what you think now, now that

15 you see it.

16 “A. No. That’s what I think now, when I

17 see it, everything.”

18 Was that his statement to you at that

19 time —

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. — in relationship to the question Mr.

22 Sanger had brought to your attention that I asked

23 him earlier.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. That was the question and answer that

26 preceded the entire conversation.

27 A. Correct.

28 MR. SNEDDON: Nothing further. 2369

Sanger recross-examined Det. Zelis and caught Sneddon in an error (or possibly a lie?) regarding the timing of his question, which he claimed preceded the exchange between him and Gavin about Jackson’s motivations behind the rebuttal film. After reading the transcript again, Det. Zelis confirmed that the question that Sneddon had allegedly asked prior to that exchange was really asked AFTER that exchange!

1 RECROSS-EXAMINATION

2 BY MR. SANGER:

3 Q. All right. Just so we’re clear, because we

4 had the words “preceded” and so on there, what Mr.

5 Sneddon just read to you, you were following in the

6 transcript; is that correct.

7 A. Not at the same time, no.

8 Q. Oh, okay. Then during the break he reviewed

9 this with you; is that correct.

10 A. No.

11 Q. Did you see this during the break.

12 A. You let me read it.

13 Q. Pardon.

14 A. I believe you let me read it.

15 Q. Okay. Okay. So maybe I didn’t ask that

16 question correctly. Mr. Sneddon, during the break,

17 let you read that part of the transcript.

18 A. No.

19 Q. What are you talking about. You said he let

20 you read it.

21 A. No, I said, “You let me read it.”

22 Q. Oh, okay. I didn’t let you read it during

23 the break.

24 A. No.

25 Q. But if you’d asked, I probably would have,

26 but — all right. During the break, did you discuss

27 that with Mr. Sneddon at all.

28 A. No. 2370

1 Q. All right. So he got up there and he asked

2 you about these comments preceding the comments that

3 he made; is that right.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. These comments did not precede the comments

6 that Mr. Sneddon made, did they.

7 May I approach the witness.

8 THE COURT: Yes.

9 Q. BY MR. SANGER: I’m going to show you the

10 transcript.

11 MR. SNEDDON: That’s what I was trying to

12 do.

13 Q. BY MR. SANGER: What Mr. Sneddon just read

14 to you came after the exchange between Mr. Sneddon

15 and Gavin; is that correct.

16 A. May I —

17 Q. You can look at whatever you want to look at

18 in there.

19 A. It is after the question by Mr. Sneddon to

20 Gavin.

21 Q. And after Gavin gave his explanation about,

22 “Yeah, that’s what they were doing, and it was 99.9

23 percent of it was not true.” Right.

24 A. Correct.

25 Q. And then what Mr. Sneddon read followed

26 that; is that correct.

27 A. Correct.

28 MR. SANGER: Okay. I have no further 2371

1 questions.

2 May I approach to retrieve my book.

3 MR. SNEDDON: No questions, Your Honor.

4 THE COURT: Yes.

5 All right. You may step down. Call your

6 next witness.

7 MR. SNEDDON: Detective Alvarez.

8 THE COURT: All right. When you get to the

9 witness stand, please remain standing. Face the

10 clerk and raise your right hand.

Summary of The Testimony of  Det. Paul Zelis

1. 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.

2. Sneddon began his direct examination by asking Det. Zelis to identify some of the evidence 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. Sneddon questioned 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, during which Gavin described the alleged abuse that he suffered at the hands of Jackson. 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 .

4. 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.

5. Sanger 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.

6.  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. 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.

7.  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.

8. Det. Zelis remembered 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 copy of the interview transcript!

9. Sanger 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.

10. 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.) 

11. Sanger 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. Sanger then pivoted the topic of conversation to Gavin’s portion of the interview, and his reaction to the rebuttal tape. Initially, Det. Zelis couldn’t “remember” what was said between Gavin and Sneddon about the tape, so Sanger had to show him the transcript to refresh his recollection. Upon reviewing the transcript, Det. Zelis made a bombshell revelation and confirmed that Sneddon conveyed to Gavin what he wanted him to say about his reasons for being forced to shoot the rebuttal video. At that point, Gavin couldn’t “recall” if he had been abused either before or after the video was shot, so Sneddon planted an idea into Gavin’s mind to rationalize why Jackson would want Gavin to shoot the video!

13. Sanger also challenged Det. Zelis about the timeline given by Gavin in multiple interviews: in July 2003, Gavin said the abuse started near the end of his stay at Neverland (his last day there was on March 12th, 2003), but in January 2004 Gavin said he was sure if he was abused before or after the filming of the rebuttal video on February 20th, 2003.

14. Sanger ended his cross examination by getting Det. Zelis to confirm that Det. Flaa, that lead detective of the original investigation, was  very experienced when it comes to investigating sex crimes, and he concluded that no criminal activity had occurred when he closed his investigation in April 2003.

15. During redirect examination, Sneddon wanted to clarify his statements to Gavin in the January 2004 interview that were used by Sanger to show that Sneddon was coaching Gavin. Sneddon asked the following question to Gavin regarding why he thought Jackson made his family shoot the rebuttal video:

“So, in your mind, one of the things that you’re thinking is, they’re doing this video that they want you guys to do, that if you ever told them the truth about being molested by him, that nobody would believe you”.

And Gavin answered with the following:

“Yeah, that they would use that and say that we’re lying. That’s what I think they used it for. I think that’s why they told us to say all those things in the tape. They told us it was for — they told us it was for so they could release the tape out to the media for rebuttal for what they were all saying, but I don’t think — they were, like, kind of forcing us to say those things. 99.9 percent of the things they were telling us to say weren’t even true.”

Sneddon accused Sanger of not being 100% forthright with his quote, and asked Det. Zelis to quote what was omitted from that question, which was the following:

“Did you think that at the time, or that that’s what you think now, now that you see it.

And Gavin answered:

 “A. No. That’s what I think now, when I see it, everything.”

Sneddon claimed that question and answer preceded the previous exchange between him and Gavin, but under recross-examination, Det. Zelis corrected himself and testified that the aforementioned exchange came AFTER the first exchange! Sneddon clearly planted the idea in Gavin’s mind that the rebuttal video was made to make Gavin look like a liar in case he ever admitted to being molested by Jackson.

The next prosecution witness was Detective Victor Alverez, a then 25 year veteran of law enforcement who was assigned to work as one of the investigators in the Jackson case in November 2003, about a week prior to the raid on Neverland. He took fingerprint impressions from the Arvizo boys “three or four months” prior to his testimony, which would be sometime in either December 2004 or January 2005. That is an awfully long time to wait to get their fingerprints, when you consider the fact that Sneddon’s investigation started in June 2003!

22 DIRECT EXAMINATION

23 BY MR. SNEDDON:

24 Q. Detective Alvarez, you’re a deputy sheriff.

25 A. That’s correct.

26 Q. How long have you been a deputy sheriff.

27 A. About 25 and a half years.

28 Q. And you’re a detective now, correct. 2372

1 A. That’s correct.

2 Q. How long have you been a detective.

3 A. Five and a half years.

4 Q. And did — some point in time, did you get

5 assigned to work as one of the detectives on the

6 investigation into the child molestation charges

7 against the defendant in this case, Mr. Jackson.

8 A. Yes, I did.

9 Q. Do you recall when it was that you were

10 assigned.

11 A. I think it was approximately one week before

12 the initial search warrant.

13 Q. And do you remember what month and year that

14 would have been, then.

15 A. It would have been November of 2003.

16 Q. During the course of your time as a

17 detective on this particular case, were you asked to

18 obtain some rolled fingerprint impressions from the

19 Arvizo boys.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Do you remember when you did that. Just

22 generally the month and the year.

23 A. I would imagine it was three or four months

24 ago.

25 Q. All right. Let me show you an exhibit. It

26 might help.

27 (Off-the-record discussion held at counsel

28 table.) 2373

Det. Alverez didn’t participate in the raid on Neverland initially; instead, he and Det. Bonner interviewed Jesus Salas on the day of the raid, at 7:00am, and Det. Alverez arrived at the ranch later in the day to interview employees and assist with the search of Jackson’s bedroom. Det. Alverez confiscated adult magazines that were near the bathtub in Jackson’s master bathroom.

1 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: I’ve handed you an exhibit

2 marked 287 for identification purposes. Do you

3 recognize that exhibit.

4 A. I do.

5 Q. When and where was the first time you saw

6 that exhibit.

7 A. When I sealed it, and when I rolled these

8 fingerprints.

9 Q. And you were the one responsible for rolling

10 those prints.

11 A. That’s correct.

12 Q. Where were you when you rolled them.

13 A. At the Arvizo home.

14 Q. And the prints contained in that exhibit are

15 the prints of both boys.

16 A. That’s correct.

17 Q. All right. And then you sealed and booked

18 it into evidence.

19 A. I did.

20 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, I move that be

21 admitted into evidence, People’s 287.

22 MR. SANGER: No objection.

23 THE COURT: All right. It’s admitted.

24 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: All right. Let’s go back a

25 little bit in time to prior, at the time that you

26 were assigned to the case.

27 Were you involved in the execution of the

28 search warrant on November the 18th of 2003 at 2374

1 Neverland Valley Ranch.

2 A. Not — I was assigned to do an interview

3 prior to going to the ranch.

4 Q. And did somebody go with you to that

5 interview.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Who was that.

8 A. Detective Bonner.

9 Q. And where did the interview take place.

10 A. At the Santa Maria Sheriff’s Department

11 Substation.

12 Q. And who did you meet there.

13 A. Jesus Salas.

14 Q. And did you videotape that conversation.

15 A. We did.

16 Q. And do you speak Spanish.

17 A. I do.

18 Q. Mr. Salas speaks Spanish.

19 A. He speaks English pretty good. But if there

20 was a word that he didn’t understand or was stuck on

21 a word, I translated for him.

22 Q. Now, after you completed your conversation

23 with Mr. Salas on the 18th — by the way, we didn’t

24 establish everything, but what time was it when you

25 made contact with Mr. Salas.

26 A. We called Mr. Salas, or we were to meet with

27 Mr. Salas, it was a prearranged meeting, at 7:00 in

28 the morning. 2375

1 Q. Did Mr. Salas know what the purpose of the

2 meeting was.

3 A. No.

4 Q. And did you meet him at 7:00.

5 A. If it wasn’t at 7:00, it was very close to

6 7:00, shortly thereafter.

7 Q. After you finished your conversation with

8 Mr. Salas, what did you do.

9 A. We left the Santa Maria substation and went

10 to Neverland Ranch.

11 Q. When you say “we,” who was with you.

12 A. Detective Bonner.

13 Q. And do you remember about what time it was

14 when you got to the ranch.

15 A. Close to ten o’clock.

16 Q. And when you arrived at the ranch, were you

17 assigned any particular responsibilities at that

18 time.

19 A. Yes, I was.

20 Q. What responsibilities were you assigned.

21 A. To help with the interview of the Neverland

22 employees.

23 Q. And after you completed that, were you given

24 any other assignments.

25 A. Yes.

26 Q. And what assignments were those.

27 A. To search — to help continue the search of

28 Mr. Jackson’s master bedroom. 2376

1 Q. And do you recall approximately what time it

2 was when you became involved in those activities.

3 A. I’d say about 11:00 or 11:30 in the morning.

4 Q. During the course of the time that you were

5 there, did you seize some items that were eventually

6 booked into evidence.

7 A. I did.

8 Q. Do you remember the first thing that you

9 found.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And what was that.

12 A. They were some books containing adult

13 material that were located near the bathtub in the

14 master bedroom — or master bathroom.

15 Q. All right. Anything else that you found

16 that day that you eventually seized.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. What else.

19 A. A black computer bag that would be for a

20 laptop, the name was Targus, T-a-r-g-u-s, that

21 contained adult videos and adult magazines.

22 Q. And where was that located.

23 A. That was located on the floor in the master

24 bathroom next to the sink area, so it would be in

25 between the sink and the round bathtub.

Throughout the remainder of his direct examination, Sneddon asked Det. Alverez to identify numerous articles of evidence that was seized from Jackson’s bedroom suite.

Sanger began his cross-examination by asking Det. Alverez his role in the investigation, who testified that he was one of four co-lead investigators, along with Sgt. Robel, Det. Bonner, and Det. Zelis. Next, Sanger asked Det. Alverez to confirm to the court that the adult magazines that were seized were perfectly legal, and commercially available.

13 When did you become involved in this case.

14 A. Approximately a week before the initial

15 search, which was November 18th of 2002.

16 Q. How about November 18th of 2003.

17 A. 2003.

18 Q. Okay.

19 A. Correct.

20 Q. I don’t want to talk you into anything,

21 but —

22 A. A year and a half ago.

23 Q. Okay. So — and you started as a detective

24 in November of ‘99, right. So you had four years as

25 a detective at the time you were assigned to this

26 case.

27 A. Approximately.

28 Q. All right. 2398

1 A. I’ve got over five years as a detective now,

2 and I’ve been on this case for about a year and a

3 half.

4 Q. Okay. So that would be about four years,

5 right.

6 A. Sounds good to me.

7 Q. Okay. And you remained — after you were

8 brought into the case, you remained as one of the

9 main detectives on this case; is that correct.

10 A. That’s correct. One of the lead

11 investigators.

12 Q. So you’re a co-lead investigator with

13 Detective Zelis and with Sergeant Robel.

14 A. And Detective Bonner, yes.

15 Q. And Detective Bonner. All right.

16 Okay. Now, let me ask you — let’s just

17 start again somewhat at the end of things. You were

18 aware, were you not, sir, that the events in this

19 case were alleged to have occurred in February and

20 March of 2003; is that right.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And so in November of 2003, you get assigned

23 to the case and eventually you end up out at

24 Neverland Valley Ranch during the search, correct.

25 A. Yes.

26 Q. I’m going to ask you — in fact, what I

27 might do is just approach — well, let’s do it this

28 way. Let me put it up, if the Court doesn’t mind. 2399

1 Are we hooked up to this.

2 MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.

3 MR. SANGER: These were 293 and 292.

4 Q. 292 is a “Penthouse” magazine of some sort,

5 right.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And that’s commercially available, correct.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. It’s also not unlawful to possess it, in and

10 of itself, correct.

11 A. No.

12 Q. I said “correct.” I’m sorry. Is it lawful

13 to possess it, for an adult to possess this

14 magazine.

15 A. For an adult, yes.

Sanger began to question Det. Alverez about one of the adult magazines that was seized by asking about the date the magazine was published, compared to the dates when the Arvizo boys claimed to have been shown adult magazines at Neverland. Sneddon objected to several of Sanger’s questions, and Judge Melville sustained them all:

16 Q. Okay. There you go.

17 All right. And you’re aware that the

18 alleged incidents, the incidents were alleged to

19 have occurred in February and March of 2003, right.

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. What’s the date on this magazine.

22 A. I can’t read it from here. It’s —

23 Q. Okay. May I approach, Your Honor.

24 THE COURT: Yes.

25 Q. BY MR. SANGER: I can bring you the

26 magazine, but I think you can see it on the exhibit

27 here.

28 A. I still can’t read that. 2400

1 Q. All right. Let me bring you the book that

2 goes along with that.

3 May I approach, Your Honor.

4 THE COURT: Yes.

5 Q. BY MR. SANGER: I’m going to bring you the

6 books here, and we’ll talk about these a little more

7 in a minute.

8 I’ll ask you, if you look at that —

9 Let me stand here for one second, Your

10 Honor, and make sure.

11 THE COURT: Yes.

12 MR. SANGER: Okay.

13 Q. Okay. That’s the actual magazine. What’s

14 the date of the magazine.

15 A. I don’t see a date on it.

16 Q. You don’t see a date on it.

17 A. I don’t.

18 THE COURT: You can go up and show where it

19 is.

20 Q. BY MR. SANGER: Look right under the “SE” in

21 “Penthouse.”

22 A. Okay.

23 Q. Does it say “July-August of 2003”.

24 A. It does.

25 Q. So is it safe to say, to your knowledge, as

26 one of the co-lead investigators, no individual

27 associated with this case, none of the Arvizos

28 claimed that they saw this particular magazine in 2401

1 February or March of 2003.

2 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, can I object to

3 that question as being compound. Because — I won’t

4 say anything else, but I object as compound.

5 THE COURT: Sustained.

6 MR. SANGER: All right.

7 Q. To your knowledge, did — well, this may be

8 compound. I’m going to ask about them as a group.

9 You can say “yes” or “no,” and we can take it one by

10 one.

11 To your knowledge, did any of the Arvizos

12 claim that they saw this magazine in February or

13 March of 2003.

14 A. This particular one.

15 Q. Yes. That particular one.

16 A. I don’t know.

17 Q. As a detective, an investigator, you would

18 suspect that they would not have seen it, correct,

19 since it was published after the events.

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

21 object to that. It calls for a conclusion as to

22 when it was published. No more. I object. Lack of

23 foundation as to when the magazine actually hit the

24 stands.

25 THE COURT: Sustained.

26 MR. SANGER: All right.

27 Q. Based on your experience, do magazines hit

28 the stands, you know, three or four months before 2402

1 their publication date.

2 A. No.

3 Q. Sometimes it’s a month before a publication

4 date.

5 A. I’d say a month. If you’re a subscriber,

6 you usually get them a month early.

7 Q. All right. And I’m going — I brought you

8 the other book, just in case you can’t read this.

9 But I’m going to put up 293, if I may, Your Honor.

10 THE COURT: Yes.

11 Q. BY MR. SANGER: And again, this is a

12 commercially available magazine; is that correct.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And you can buy it in a store, in other

15 words.

16 A. Some stores.

17 Q. Yes. Well, not every store, I would agree.

18 What’s the date on this magazine.

19 A. July 2003.

In this excerpt, Det. Alverez admits that, although he was responsible for collecting the fingerprints and palm prints of the Arvizos, he was not a certified fingerprint examiner:

2 Q. BY MR. SANGER: You did the prints that were

3 marked as Exhibit 287, right.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Okay. And you — to take those

6 fingerprints, you simply rolled the fingerprints.

7 A. They weren’t done with a machine. But the

8 palm prints were done with a roller.

9 Q. Okay. Say that again, because I couldn’t

10 hear what you said.

11 A. You’re looking at the fingerprints

12 themselves.

13 Q. Fingerprint cards.

14 A. Those were done by hand.

15 Q. So you actually rolled the prints.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. You had —

18 A. There’s a technique, but, yes.

19 Q. Okay. And you are not a certified

20 fingerprint examiner; is that correct.

21 A. Not examiner, no.

22 Q. All right. You, however, have experience in

23 booking people and rolling their prints, right.

24 A. Booking a lot of people and booking a lot of

25 prints.

26 Q. All right. But you know the difference

27 between that and being a certified fingerprint

28 examiner, of course. 2405

1 A. Yes.

Sanger asked Det. Alverez to describe a few more articles of evidence and verify that they were all commercially available and legal for adults to own, and that none of the Arvizo boys ever claimed to have been shown those articles of evidence during their “imprisonment” at Neverland, and then ended his cross examination. Sneddon declined to redirect-examine Det. Alverez.

The next prosecution witness was Detective Karen Shepherd, a then seven year veteran of the Special Operations Division of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office. She participated in the raid at Neverland, and searched the main house, master bedroom, and master bathroom area. Her entire direct examination consisted of her identifying the articles of evidence that she seized at Neverland.

Sanger questioned Det. Shepherd in much the same way that he questioned the other detectives who raided Neverland; he asked them to confirm that there was nothing illegal about anything that was seized, it was all commercially available, and there were many books and photographs that were not seized, despite being in the vicinity of the seized items.

12 Q. All right. So just as far as what you saw –

13 you don’t have tell me what you did, but what you

14 saw of the premises – was the main house — did you

15 see the whole main house.

16 A. No. I was just in the master suite area.

17 Q. Okay. Did you see the library, by any

18 chance.

19 A. No.

20 Q. Okay. And then you went to the — to the

21 office, so you saw the office area, which is a

22 building adjacent to the main house, correct.

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. Did you go to any other structures while you

25 were there.

26 A. No.

27 Q. All right. Now, in the part of the house

28 that you were in, there were books and magazines and 2439

1 photographs and other items that were pretty much

2 stacked up all over the place; is that right.

3 A. Correct.

4 Q. Okay. And among the items that were stacked

5 up there were art books; is that correct.

6 A. Correct.

7 Q. History books.

8 A. I’m sure.

9 Q. Okay. Do you remember seeing any Black

10 History books, for instance.

11 A. I don’t recall seeing any.

12 Q. Okay. Did you — and you saw a lot of

13 memorabilia from different kinds of films or things

14 from The Three Stooges, for instance; is that

15 correct.

16 A. I don’t recall seeing any.

17 Q. You don’t, okay.

18 Do you recall that there were a number of

19 Three Stooges — when I’m saying “memorabilia,” a

20 number of things that related to The Three Stooges.

21 A. I don’t remember seeing anything related to

22 The Three Stooges.

23 Q. A number of things related to Shirley

24 Temple, right.

25 A. I believe so, yes.

26 Q. A number of things related to Disney and

27 Disney productions, correct.

28 A. Correct. 2440

1 MR. SANGER: If we could, Your Honor, I’d

2 like to put 65 up.

3 Q. Just coincidentally, right under the thing

4 on the right, is something about The Three Stooges,

5 is it not.

6 A. Correct.

7 Q. None of the things that you seized were

8 contraband; is that correct.

9 A. No.

10 Q. So, in other words, they were lawful for

11 adults to possess.

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. All right. And all of what you seized was

14 essentially commercially produced, commercially

15 available material; is that right.

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. All right. Now, there were — when we

18 talked about art books, there were a lot of art and

19 photography books that you saw —

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. — in the various places. And in the office

22 as well, correct.

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. And Mr. Jackson is a performer and an

25 artist; is that correct.

26 A. That’s correct.

27 Q. You’re aware that his — that his likeness

28 is sought by photographers all over the world. Are 2441

1 you aware of that.

2 A. No.

3 Q. Okay. Are you aware that photographers send

4 him their work on a regular basis with the hope that

5 he’ll let them photograph him and be his

6 photographer.

7 A. I’m not aware of that.

I

n this excerpt, Sanger asked Det. Shepherd to describe the memorabilia that she saw in Jackson’s private office at Neverland:

19 Q. And then you go through a door, and the next

20 door — or the next room is what appears to be Mr.

21 Jackson’s private or personal office, with a desk

22 and so on; is that correct.

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. And in those offices, there are mannequins

25 of various sorts; is that right.

26 A. That’s right.

27 Q. Some of them somewhat humorous.

28 A. Correct. 2444

1 Q. Depending on your point of view, I suppose.

2 All right. And there are also displays of

3 various movie memorabilia and things from Disney,

4 that sort of thing; is that correct.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. As you go through the door into this first

7 area that I called the reception area, for lack of a

8 better term, if you go to the left there’s a

9 hallway; is that correct.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And if you go all the way down to the end,

12 there’s a bathroom, right.

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. But if you take a left from that hallway,

15 there’s an L-shaped room. It might be like a

16 walk-in-closet-size sort of thing, correct.

17 A. Correct.

18 Q. And that’s actually lined with bookcases,

19 and there’s hundreds, probably thousands of books in

20 there; is that correct.

21 A. Correct.

22 Q. And then in Mr. Jackson’s office itself,

23 besides chairs and mannequins and memorabilia, there

24 were stacks of books in different places, correct.

25 A. Correct.

26 Q. Now, do you recall seeing items in that

27 office; for instance, a letter from President Bush.

28 A. No. 2445

1 Q. Okay. Do you recall seeing letters or

2 items from various other celebrities or

3 personalities or —

4 A. No.

5 Q. — people of stature.

6 A. I was assigned as a scribe in that area, so

7 I didn’t do any of the searching.

8 Q. So — okay. So you didn’t look through the

9 materials that were there.

10 A. No.

11 Q. All right. But did you go in that room,

12 that L-shaped room, and look at some of the books in

13 there.

14 A. I saw the L-shaped room. I noticed there

15 was a lot of books and there was a lot of stuff in

16 there.

17 Q. All right. Did you notice that, as you

18 just — I understand you didn’t search it per se,

19 but did you notice that there was some books where

20 there were multiple copies of the same book.

21 A. No.

22 Q. Okay. Back in the house, where you were

23 going through the residence, did you focus your

24 entire efforts in the master bathroom.

25 A. Yes.

26 Q. Okay. So you didn’t go upstairs.

27 A. No.

28 Q. Did you even walk upstairs to see what was — 2446

1 A. I did walk up, but I didn’t search.

2 Q. So when you walked up and you saw upstairs,

3 there was stacks of books and items stacked and

4 lined up and in bookcases around that room; is that

5 correct.

6 A. Stacks of — I don’t know if they were

7 books. There was stacks of stuff everywhere.

8 Q. A lot of movie memorabilia.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. A lot of art type of books, photography type

11 of books.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And downstairs, going back downstairs, did

14 you go into the hallway and the bathroom areas on

15 the right side of the — of the room, if you were to

16 face the big screen television.

17 A. Yes, I walked through there.

18 Q. You walked through. You were not detailed

19 to search that area, though; is that correct.

20 A. No.

21 Q. And did you notice that there was movie

22 memorabilia there.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Things from Disney, again Shirley Temple,

25 other regular commercial movies and that sort of

26 thing.

27 A. Yes.

28 Q. Okay. And then in the main — on the main 2447 

1 floor, in the big room on the main floor with the

2 big screen T.V., there were stacks of books on the

3 floor right next to the television; is that correct.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And again, there were books in a bookcase to

6 the right, just before you went into the hallway

7 before going up the stairs, correct.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And do you remember a piano there in the big

10 room.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. The grand piano, the black one.

13 A. Yes, I remember that.

14 Q. And there were — there were some books and

15 things that were sitting on that piano.

16 A. There might have been.

17 Q. Okay. And do you remember, behind the

18 piano, there was an alcove there where there was

19 bookcases with books.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now, did you discern that in different

22 areas, there were different themes, or did all the

23 books seem to be pretty much mixed up.

24 A. I didn’t search through those books. I

25 spent my time searching in the bathroom.

26 Q. But you did notice, when you were going

27 through, a tremendous number of books in that whole

28 area on the first floor were photography and art or 2448

1 entertainment kind of books; is that correct.

2 A. I can guess, assume so, yes. I didn’t go

3 through all of them.

Finally, Sanger brought his cross examination to a close by asking Det. Shepherd about the other books and magazines that were in the master bathroom area, in the same general location as the pornographic materials. This was done to give the jury a complete impression of what type of books Jackson had in his bedroom and bathroom area, as their impressions were surely tainted by the adult magazines that Sneddon displayed for them under his direct examination:

2 Q. All right. Did you go into the closet.

3 There was a closet off that master bathroom, like a

4 walk-in closet there.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And there were some books in there, were

7 there not.

8 A. Yes, a lot of books.

9 Q. Do you remember the subject matter of those

10 books.

11 A. No.

12 Q. Were you assigned to search that area as

13 well.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. So in that master bathroom, with the books

16 that we saw stacked up here and there, and the

17 closet, those were two areas that you were

18 searching. Were there any other areas that you

19 searched.

20 A. No, that’s it.

21 Q. Okay. So, just in that — in those areas,

22 how many books do you think there were.

23 A. Hundreds. I —

24 Q. And of the hundreds, you seized the ones

25 that you felt were appropriate; is that correct.

26 A. Yes.

27 MR. SANGER: Okay. Thank you. I have no

28 further questions. 2450

1 MR. SNEDDON: No questions, Your Honor.

2 THE COURT: All right. Thank you. You may

3 step down.

4 All right. We’ll recess until tomorrow

5 morning, 8:30. See you then. Remember the

6 admonitions.

To be continued: https://michaeljacksonvindication2.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/march-17th-2005-trial-analysis-fritz-coleman-kiki-fournier-ruby-wolff-shawn-ogrady-jeffery-ellis-and-conn-abel-direct-cross-examination-part-1-of-3/

Advertisements
3 Comments leave one →
  1. nannorris permalink
    July 10, 2012 10:53 pm

    Sanger to Det Shepard:
    27 Q. You’re aware that his — that his likeness

    28 is sought by photographers all over the world. Are 2441

    1 you aware of that.

    2 A. No.
    ————————–
    LOL give me a break…another great job David..
    Sneddon is such a horrible human being .They had to have known this kid was lying before they ever walked into court.
    I find it so strange that they would wait so long to finger print these kids…I wonder if it was so the defense couldnt get that info until they absolutely had to give it to them ..I think they might t have done something like that with the phone records as well….With all the people they had working on this case , it sure wasnt for lack of staff

    • lynande51 permalink*
      July 11, 2012 11:26 am

      Sneddon is such a horrible human being .They had to have known this kid was lying before they ever walked into court.
      I find it so strange that they would wait so long to finger print these kids…I wonder if it was so the defense couldnt get that info until they absolutely had to give it to them ..I think they might t have done something like that with the phone records as well….With all the people they had working on this case , it sure wasnt for lack of staff

      @ Nan yes that is exactly what they did in this case. They delayed the discovery of the forensics and the completion of them to the defense since the first time they asled to them which was January 24th, 2004. If you read later Motions to compel you will find out that Sneddon and the police didn’t send them results from forensics until December of 2004 just two months before the start of the trial. That was just one example of their dirty little coverup.

Trackbacks

  1. March 16th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Steve Robel (Cross Examination), Paul Zelis, Victor Alverez, and Karen Shepherd, Part 2 of 3 « Michael Jackson Vindication 2.0

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: