Skip to content

March 21st, 2005 Trial Analysis: Detective Conn Abel (Cross Examination), Dr. Anthony Urquizo, Lauren Wallace, and Louise Palanker (Direct Examination), Part 1 of 3

July 27, 2012
tags:

Mesereau’s cross-examination continued where it left off on Thursday, March 17th, where he challenged Det. Abel about the fact that he had not personally tested the security related equipment that he seized from Neverland. Det. Abel did not make any attempts over the three day break to locate the investigator whose business card was found with the equipment:

21 CROSS-EXAMINATION (Continued)

22 BY MR. MESEREAU:

23 Q. Good morning.

24 When we left off Friday, we were talking

25 about the — what appeared to be security-related

26 equipment that you had found at Neverland, right.

27 A. Yes, sir, on Thursday.

28 Q. Oh, Thursday. That’s right. Pardon me. 2804

1 And you indicated that you had not

2 personally tested the equipment, right.

3 A. That’s correct.

4 Q. Have you tested it since we last spoke.

5 A. No, sir.

6 Q. And you may recall finding an investigate —

7 what appeared to be an investigator’s card with the

8 equipment, correct.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Have you made any further efforts since last

11 Thursday to investigate whether or not that

12 investigator exists.

13 A. I have not, no.

Upon further questioning, Det. Abel confessed that the equipment had not been tested for fingerprints, and that he didn’t know if the equipment was commercially available, or if it had been used by an investigator:

4 Q. Okay. And do you recall on Thursday, you

5 said that you really didn’t know if it was involved

6 in security, correct.

7 A. Well, I think I said at one point that it

8 could not be.

9 Q. You said you didn’t know, right.

10 A. I don’t recall saying that I didn’t know.

11 Q. Well, do you remember you said, look, words

12 to the effect, you hadn’t tested it, you didn’t know

13 if you could purchase it freely, and you didn’t know

14 if it was used by an investigator, correct. Do you

15 remember saying words to that effect.

16 A. I don’t believe it was exactly phrased in

17 that manner, no.

18 Q. I’m not suggesting it was exactly phrased.

19 But you said words to that effect on Thursday, under

20 oath, to the jury, true.

21 A. Possibly. I don’t recall that.

22 Q. Okay. You indicated you found the equipment

23 and then turned it over to someone, true.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Do you know if that equipment was ever

26 fingerprinted.

27 A. No, sir, it was not.

28 Q. Did you ask — excuse me, you say you know 2807

1 it was not fingerprinted.

2 A. No, I do not know if it was fingerprinted.

3 It does not appear that it was fingerprinted.

4 Q. Okay. Who told you that the prosecutors

5 wanted to discuss that equipment with you before you

6 testified today.

7 A. I don’t believe anybody did.

Next, Mesereau got into a heated exchange with Det. Abel, who admitted that he had a meeting that lasted “about five minutes” with Zonen, Sneddon, and Auchincloss about his testimony from the previous week. Det. Abel “couldn’t recall” the details of the meeting, which took place just prior to his testimony on March 21st, so Mesereau asked him if his memory of the Neverland raid (almost 18 months prior) is better than a meeting he had that very same morning!

8 Q. Well, that was the purpose of this morning’s

9 meeting, right.

10 A. It was not — it was not a meeting, sir. I

11 arrived early, just to be there for testimony today.

12 Q. Didn’t you just tell the jury you had a

13 meeting for about five minutes with three

14 prosecutors and the issue of that security equipment

15 arose, true.

16 A. Do you want me to explain it.

17 Q. No, I’d like you to answer my question,

18 please.

19 A. We did have a meeting, yes.

20 Q. To talk about what you said about the

21 security equipment, right.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Who spoke at the meeting besides you and Mr.

24 Sneddon.

25 A. Mr. Zonen and Mr. Auchincloss.

26 Q. Did they talk about the security equipment.

27 A. I believe they did.

28 Q. Did they tell you anything about that 2808

1 security equipment.

2 A. No, sir.

3 Q. So they discussed it but they didn’t tell

4 you anything about it, right.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Did they just ask you questions.

7 A. I don’t recall exactly what the content was.

8 I know there was a discussion about what was in the

9 case, and I explained what was in the case.

10 Q. Are you suggesting that neither Mr. Sneddon,

11 Mr. Auchincloss or Mr. Zonen told you anything about

12 that equipment in this morning’s meeting, which took

13 place approximately, I think, an hour and 20 minutes

14 ago.

15 A. I don’t believe anybody told me anything

16 about it.

17 Q. Did you tell them anything about it.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. What did you tell them about it.

20 A. I explained to them what was in the case,

21 and I explained to them what I believed that

22 equipment was utilized for.

23 Q. Did you tell them anything that contradicted

24 your testimony last week.

25 A. I don’t believe so.

26 Q. Was everything you said to them consistent

27 with your testimony last week.

28 A. I believe so, yes. 2809

1 Q. Did you have any discussions by telephone

2 with any of them since you testified last Thursday.

3 A. No, sir.

4 Q. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you remember

5 events from November of 2003 but don’t remember

6 events from an hour and 20 minutes ago when you met

7 with the prosecutors, right.

8 MR. SNEDDON: Object as argumentative.

9 THE COURT: Sustained.

10 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Is your memory better

11 about November of 2003 than it is about the meeting

12 this morning.

13 MR. SNEDDON: Same objection.

14 THE COURT: Sustained.

In this excerpt, in an attempt to show the jury that the adult materials found at Neverland represented a microscopic percentage of the total books available, Mesereau asked Det. Abel to estimate how many books he saw in the library at Neverland:

7 Q. Okay. Now, you went into an area that you

8 described as the library at Neverland, right.

9 A. Yes, sir.

10 Q. And please tell the jury what you saw in

11 that library area.

12 A. Well, there were rows like you would see in

13 a library that had books stacked upright in them.

14 There were boxes, numerous boxes, stacked throughout

15 the library. There was a — in the back area there

16 was a little sitting area, had a chair, lamp, et

17 cetera. Like I said, there was books and boxes

18 cluttered throughout the entire library area.

19 Q. How many books do you think you saw in that

20 library area.

21 A. Numerous. I mean, lots of books.

22 Q. There were books all over the place, right.

23 A. Yes, sir.

24 Q. And how big an area do you recall that

25 library being.

26 A. I would only estimate that it may be 25 foot

27 by 25 foot, thereabouts.

28 Q. There are thousands of books in that 2815

1 residence, aren’t there.

2 MR. SNEDDON: Excuse me, Your Honor. I’ll

3 object to the question. “Residence” versus what

4 he’s talking about, another area. Assumes a fact

5 that he was ever in the residence.

6 THE COURT: All right.

7 MR. SNEDDON: That’s my objection.

8 THE COURT: Foundation. Go ahead.

9 MR. MESEREAU: I can ask him that question.

10 Sure, Your Honor.

11 Q. Were you ever in the main residence at

12 Neverland.

13 A. No, sir.

14 Q. Never walked in once.

15 A. No, sir.

16 Q. Okay. Would it be, in your opinion, safe to

17 say that there are thousands of books in that

18 library area.

19 A. Several hundred, yes.

20 Q. More than that, right.

21 A. I — I don’t recall right offhand. It was a

22 lot of books in there. I couldn’t tell you if it

23 was several hundred or thousands.

24 Q. Did you count them.

25 A. No, sir.

26 Q. Okay. You also said there were boxes of

27 books around, correct.

28 A. Yes, sir. 2816

1 Q. And did you also say there were bags of

2 books around.

3 A. There were paper bags that had items in it.

4 I don’t recall if they contained books or not.

5 There was also records, records in boxes. I don’t

6 recall what was in the bags especially, sir.

7 Q. And did you go through all the books that

8 you saw in the library area.

9 A. No, sir.

10 Q. Did you at least try to get a look at the

11 titles of all those books.

12 A. Not all of them, sir.

13 Q. Did you see a lot of books that referred to

14 art.

15 A. I don’t — I don’t remember seeing specific

16 topics of what all of the books would equate to. I

17 mean, there was books on virtually everything in

18 there.

19 Q. And there are a lot of books on photography,

20 correct.

21 A. As I say, I don’t recall specific art,

22 photography, or exact titles, no, sir.

23 Q. But you said — you told the jury, I think,

24 that every subject imaginable was there, right.

25 A. I guess that was just a summation on my

26 part. There was books from — there was numerous

27 books on a lot of different titles.

28 Q. And did you see books on history. 2817

1 A. I can’t tell you exactly that I did. I

2 couldn’t tell you that I didn’t either.

3 Q. Did you see books on theater.

4 A. That would be the same answer. I mean, I

5 saw a lot of books. But I don’t remember exactly

6 what they all were titled or referred to.

7 Q. Did you see books on painting.

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

9 object as asked and answered. It’s obvious there is

10 no foundation.

11 THE COURT: Overruled.

12 THE WITNESS: I don’t specifically remember

13 books on painting. But as I said, I could not tell

14 you that there wasn’t books in there on painting.

15 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: When you saw these boxes

16 filled with books, what did you do with those boxes.

17 A. Well, for most — as much time as we had, we

18 went through as many books as absolutely possible.

19 But we could not have gone through all of the books

20 that were in that library area.

21 Q. Did you see a lot of bookcases.

22 A. Case — I don’t know exactly what you mean

23 by “cases,” sir.

24 Q. Well, let me explain. Did you see items of

25 furniture that had shelves of books in those items

26 of furniture.

27 A. That’s what I was referring to when I first

28 said there was rows of books scattered throughout 2818

1 the library. And I would estimate there was six, if

2 not more, rows of books.

3 Q. Okay. And you didn’t go through each row,

4 correct.

5 A. There were three of us searching. Three of

6 us kind of divided up the room. As the supervisor,

7 myself, I went through pretty much each row. I

8 looked at kind of some of the books. I looked at

9 some of the boxes that had books in them. I went

10 through some of the boxes, but I don’t recall that I

11 saw every title of every book in that library. It

12 would have been be virtually impossible. There was

13 just boxes — I could not have opened all the boxes

14 myself and personally look at them.

15 Q. To your knowledge, did somebody open all the

16 boxes.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Were there specific instructions that those

19 who were searching the library were to open boxes if

20 they saw any.

21 A. I believe I told them, other investigators

22 that were there, to make sure they looked through

23 the boxes, open them and look through the boxes.

24 Q. Were some of those boxes unopened, as far as

25 you know.

26 A. I — I personally believe they had all been

27 opened and looked at. Whether the investigators

28 reclosed the boxes or not, I don’t know. The boxes 2819

1 that I opened and looked at, I left open.

2 Q. Okay. But there are boxes that you actually

3 opened, true.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. There are boxes that appeared to have not

6 been opened before, correct.

7 A. Before I arrived.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And did you note down where those unopened

11 boxes appeared to have come from.

12 A. No.

13 Q. Did you notice that a lot of boxes appeared

14 to be sent from foreign countries.

15 A. I did not notice that.

16 Q. Okay. Did you ever make any attempt to note

17 where they appeared to come from, on any report.

18 A. No, sir.

19 Q. When you opened unopened boxes and looked

20 through them, did you go through every book in those

21 unopened boxes.

22 A. I can’t say that I went through each book in

23 every box that I opened.

In this excerpt, Det. Abel confirms that the books the he confiscated from the library were not illegally obtained, and he couldn’t know if Jackson had ever looked through them, or if they were purchased by Jackson or mailed to him as gifts:

24 Q. Okay. And as the person who was supervising

25 the search of the library, was there a point person

26 you were supposed to hand any books you retrieved

27 to.

28 A. Yes, sir. 2824 

1 Q. Who was that.

2 A. That was Detective Cooley.

3 Q. Was he the only one that books you retrieved

4 were handed to.

5 A. Well, I will clarify that — what happened.

6 Stuff was not arbitrarily handed to Mr. Cooley.

7 When it was located, it was photographed, and then I

8 instructed Mr. Cooley to obtain that item, the book,

9 and take it as evidence.

10 Q. Okay. The books you retrieved did not

11 appear to be illegally obtained, correct.

12 A. No, they did not.

13 Q. Okay. And you don’t know as you sit here

14 today whether the books you retrieved were either

15 purchased or were mailed as gifts, correct.

16 A. I don’t know.

17 Q. Okay. And if they were purchased, you don’t

18 know who purchased them, correct.

19 A. No, I do not.

20 Q. And you don’t have any idea who even looked

21 at them, if anyone did, right.

22 A. The day that we were there or before.

23 Q. Before you got there.

24 A. I don’t know.

25 Q. Okay. Were any of the books you retrieved

26 in boxes that appeared to be under other boxes.

27 A. That part I don’t recall.

28 Q. Okay. You don’t know one way or the other. 2825

1 A. I don’t know one way or another.

In yet another heated exchange, Mesereau asked Det. Abel if he thought that Jackson knew the surveillance equipment was at Neverland, and he answered “yes”, which caught Mesereau by surprise (judging by his “Oh, really!” reply), so Mesereau forced Det. Abel to admit that the equipment did not have Jackson’s fingerprints on it (in fact, it was never fingerprinted at all!), Jackson wasn’t on the ranch during the raid, Neverland had a heavy security force (which would be likely to use the surveillance equipment), and that he had no idea how often Jackson is even in his office on a typical day!

18 Q. Do you recall Michael Jackson being on the

19 property when that search began.

20 A. That I have no idea about, sir.

21 Q. You never saw him, right.

22 A. No, sir.

23 Q. And you certainly never saw Michael Jackson

24 around any of the equipment that you seized,

25 correct.

26 MR. SNEDDON: Object as asked and answered,

27 Your Honor.

28 THE COURT: I don’t remember. 2833

1 Go ahead. You may answer.

2 THE WITNESS: I don’t recall seeing Mr.

3 Jackson on that day at all, sir.

4 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay. So as you sit here

5 today, you don’t know if Michael Jackson even knew

6 if the equipment you seized was even on the

7 property, correct.

8 MR. SNEDDON: Calls for speculation, Your

9 Honor.

10 THE COURT: Overruled.

11 You may answer. Do you want it read back.

12 THE WITNESS: No, sir.

13 It would be my opinion that he knew that

14 that was there.

15 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Oh, really. Let’s explore

16 that a little bit. It’s your opinion that Michael

17 Jackson had seen the equipment you seized.

18 A. Are you talking books, or the equipment that

19 was used to monitor phone calls, sir.

20 Q. The equipment that appeared to be capable of

21 monitoring phone calls. Tell us, tell the jury,

22 when you ever saw Michael Jackson looking at that

23 equipment.

24 A. I — I can’t say that I ever saw him looking

25 at it. It was in his office, sir.

26 Q. And tell the jury if you ever found his

27 fingerprints on that equipment.

28 A. I did not have the equipment fingerprinted, 2834

1 sir.

2 Q. And Mr. Jackson wasn’t there that day, was

3 he.

4 A. No, he was not.

5 Q. Tell the jury how many security personnel

6 work at Neverland.

7 A. That I don’t know, sir.

8 Q. You were told security is heavy at

9 Neverland, correct.

10 A. I was told that there was heavy security,

11 yes.

12 Q. Okay. And by “heavy security,” what did you

13 mean. What do you think it meant.

14 A. That there could have been several security

15 personnel on scene, on the ranch.

16 Q. How many did you see.

17 A. I didn’t see any.

18 Q. Didn’t see any at all.

19 A. No, sir.

20 Q. Even from the time you went into Neverland.

21 A. I did not see anybody from security, sir.

22 Q. From Neverland security, right.

23 A. Yes, sir.

24 Q. Did you see a security shed as you entered.

25 A. At the gate — at the gate, as you enter

26 onto the property, yes, sir, there is a security

27 gate with a security shed. Yes, sir.

28 Q. Okay. All right. Have you ever seen Mr. 2835

1 Jackson in that office area.

2 A. No, sir.

3 Q. Do you know how often Mr. Jackson is even in

4 that office area on a typical day.

5 A. No, I do not.

6 Q. Okay. Is there any reason why you never

7 called the name on that card that was found with the

8 equipment.

9 A. Yes, sir.

10 Q. What’s the reason.

11 A. That was not my responsibility. It was not

12 part of my investigation.

13 Q. Okay. Okay. Do you know whether or not

14 that card suggested that somebody came over with a

15 proposal on what they could do with that equipment.

16 A. I never.

17 Considered that, no, sir.

18 Q. Okay. Do you know whether or not Mr.

19 Jackson’s even an expert on security systems.

20 A. I do not know.

Next, Det. Abel was asked if he needed a locksmith to access a locked storage area in the back of the arcade, and he initially couldn’t recall, until Mesereau showed him a copy of the police report where it clearly stated that he specifically asked for a locksmith:

13 Q. Okay. Now, you went into the arcade area,

14 correct.

15 A. The library is a portion of the arcade, yes,

16 sir.

17 Q. Okay. How did you get into the arcade.

18 A. The front door — that door I was talking

19 about was the front door into the arcade. That was

20 unlocked.

21 Q. Okay. Was it unlocked when you showed up to

22 the door to go in for the search.

23 A. Yes, sir.

24 Q. As you walk through the arcade area, did you

25 find that every door you wanted to go through was

26 unlocked.

27 A. No, I did not find that.

28 Q. Did you find that there was some locks that 2837

1 had to be unlocked.

2 A. Yes, sir.

3 Q. And you asked for a locksmith, didn’t you.

4 A. I did not, no, sir.

5 Q. Would it refresh your recollection if I show

6 you a police report that says you need a locksmith

7 in the arcade.

8 A. It might, but I don’t recall that we needed

9 a locksmith.

10 Q. Might it refresh your recollection to show

11 you the report.

12 A. Sure.

13 MR. MESEREAU: May I approach, Your Honor.

14 THE WITNESS: I still don’t recall that we

15 needed a locksmith, but I’ll look at the report.

16 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay.

17 A. It does say, “Sergeant Abel needs a

18 locksmith in the arcade,” and that was at 1200

19 hours. And I believe I remember what that was in

20 reference to now.

21 Q. Okay. So you’ve seen the report, right.

22 A. Yes, sir.

23 Q. Does it refresh your recollection about your

24 needing a locksmith in the arcade.

25 A. Yes.

26 Q. And what did that refer to.

27 A. There was a locked box on the back of a door

28 in the security — not in a security — there was — 2838

1 if you went through the arcade, there was a storage

2 area in the back of the arcade. And on the back of

3 the door of that door to the storage area, there was

4 a metal security box that I asked for a locksmith to

5 come and open.

Shortly thereafter, Mesereau ended his cross-examination, and Sneddon had some more questions for Det. Abel under redirect-examination. Specifically, Sneddon asked Det. Abel to give further details on the phone surveillance equipment that was found in Jackson’s office:

23 REDIRECT EXAMINATION

24 BY MR. SNEDDON:

25 Q. Detective Abel, you’ve been asked a lot of

26 questions by Mr. Mesereau about camera security

27 equipment. I want you to take a look again at

28 People’s 717. All right. 2843

1 A. Yes, sir.

2 Q. The equipment that’s in that particular

3 case, does it relate to cameras or does it relate to

4 telephone monitoring equipment.

5 A. The majority of the equipment that’s in

6 there refers to or is associated with telephone

7 monitoring equipment.

8 Q. Okay. And I’m not talking about the

9 paperwork. I’m talking about the actual equipment

10 itself.

11 A. There is one small cigarette lighter that

12 has also a camera in it that is also in a package

13 inside there.

14 Q. Okay. So except for that small little

15 camera inside of a — what did you call it, a

16 cigarette lighter.

17 A. It’s a camera disguised as a cigarette

18 lighter.

19 Q. Other than that, everything else in there

20 deals with telephonic monitoring; is that correct.

21 A. Telephonic and remote, covert microphones to

22 monitor conversations, yes.

23 Q. Now, with regard to the telephone monitoring

24 system itself, are you familiar with whether some of

25 that equipment can be voice-activated.

26 A. Yes, it can.

27 Q. Tell the jury what it means to

28 voice-activate a telephonic monitoring system. 2844

1 A. It would mean that the tape-recorder that is

2 inside the case would — it could be set to run

3 continuously or to only run when there is voice

4 conversation. Voice-activated.

Det. Abel was then asked by Sneddon to explain how so-called “alligator clips” could be used to surreptitiously record phone calls without the caller’s consent or knowledge; Mesereau objected on the grounds that Det. Abel wasn’t an expert in the field in this field, and Judge Melville sustained Mesereau’s objection, so Sneddon asked Det. Abel to talk about, in general terms, how alligator clips are usually used by law enforcement to investigate criminals, and how it is illegal for ordinary citizens to tap phone lines under California law.

5 Q. Now, you indicated I think in your testimony

6 both to Mr. Mesereau and before, there are items in

7 there called alligator clips; is that correct.

8 A. Yes, there are.

9 Q. Now, with regard to the monitoring or the

10 taping of telephone conversations, how does an

11 alligator clip work. Where is it — what is it

12 affixed to.

13 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; foundation.

14 THE COURT: Just a moment.

15 MR. MESEREAU: I think he said he’s not an

16 expert, Your Honor.

17 THE COURT: Are you asking him about

18 generally or about this equipment.

19 MR. SNEDDON: This equipment, Your Honor.

20 And particularly telephonic. Not security systems

21 in general, which is what I think Mr. Mesereau

22 asked.

23 THE COURT: All right. I’ll allow the

24 question as to this piece of equipment.

25 THE WITNESS: Are you asking me what the

26 alligator clips are attached to now or what they

27 could be.

28 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Well, they’re not attached 2845

1 to anything in there right now, are they.

2 A. They’re attached — well, the clips

3 themselves are not. The other end of them is.

4 Q. What are they attached to.

5 A. Looks like it’s a four-pronged device that I

6 associate with a telephone that has four prongs on

7 it —

8 Q. I’ll tell you what, let’s stop right there.

9 Open up the case and show us what you mean. It’s

10 probably easier than to have you do it with your

11 fingers.

12 A. There’s a plastic bag, Ziploc plastic bag

13 inside the case, with some batteries,

14 different-sized batteries. There’s an electrical

15 plug device.

16 And then there’s a phone cord that would

17 attach to a phone receptacle. And this just pops

18 off, but it was on here. And it has alligator clips

19 on there.

20 And then these two were not attached to

21 anything. These are alligator clips inside that

22 open up.

23 Q. And how do the alligator clips work in

24 connection with the taping of conversation or

25 monitoring.

26 THE COURT: All right. Your objection was

27 that he’s not qualified to —

28 MR. MESEREAU: That’s correct, Your Honor. 2846

1 THE COURT: All right. I’ll sustain that

2 objection.

3 MR. SNEDDON: I was just laying the

4 foundation.

5 Q. In your — in your role as a narcotics

6 investigator, were you trained with regard to

7 electronic surveillance.

8 A. Yes, sir.

9 Q. And in particular with regard to telephonic

10 surveillance, telephonic monitoring.

11 A. Yes, sir. I was instructed by the

12 Department of Justice, State of California, on

13 wiretap investigations.

14 Q. And how many such investigations have you

15 done.

16 A. I’ve been associated with three of those

17 type investigations.

18 Q. And this is where individuals who are

19 suspects of criminal activity had their individual

20 telephone calls monitored.

21 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

22 THE COURT: Overruled.

23 You may answer.

24 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.

25 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Based upon your training

26 and your experience, can you tell the ladies and

27 gentlemen of the jury, in your opinion, how are

28 those alligator clips used to monitor or tape 2847

1 telephone conversations.

2 MR. MESEREAU: Same objection, Your Honor.

3 THE COURT: Overruled.

4 You may answer.

5 THE WITNESS: The alligator clips on the

6 bottom end could be utilized in what you call a

7 phone junction box to clip onto the connections for

8 the telephone.

9 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: And to your knowledge, is

10 that activity legal in California.

11 A. No, it is not.

Sneddon ended his redirect-examination by asking Det. Abel why he thought that Jackson knew about the existence of that equipment in his office, to which Det. Abel testified that it was due to the Arvizo family’s claims that they were concerned that their outgoing phone calls were being tapped, and that is the reason why they didn’t call the police to escape their “imprisonment” from Neverland. This was an obvious attempt to prejudice the jury!

12 Q. All right. I just have one last question.

13 Mr. Mesereau asked you why you think that

14 Mr. Jackson knew that that equipment was — that he

15 knew about that equipment. And you answered you

16 thought he did. What was the basis of your opinion.

17 A. Um —

18 MR. MESEREAU: It’s been asked and answered,

19 Your Honor.

20 THE COURT: Overruled.

21 You may answer.

22 THE WITNESS: It was in his office with —

23 where the majority of items that I believed belonged

24 to him were.

25 There were allegations that the family

26 involved was concerned that their phone calls while

27 they were at Neverland Ranch were being monitored.

28 MR. SNEDDON: All right. Nothing further, 2848

1 Your Honor.

2 THE COURT: Recross.

Mesereau immediately began his recross-examination by questioning Det. Abel about the security measures that Jackson had to implement to protect himself and his family at Neverland, but Sneddon objected because it was beyond the scope of his redirect-examination, and Judge Melville sustained it.

4 RECROSS-EXAMINATION

5 BY MR. MESEREAU:

6 Q. Do you know whether or not Mr. Jackson has

7 ever had concerns that his children might be

8 threatened or kidnapped at Neverland.

9 A. I do not.

10 Q. Do you know anything about threats by

11 anybody around the world to ever do that to Mr.

12 Jackson or his children.

13 A. I can’t say personally I know about that,

14 no.

15 Q. When you went into Neverland to search, did

16 you have any understanding of any security measures

17 Mr. Jackson has ever used to protect he or his

18 family.

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

20 object as beyond the scope of redirect. My

21 redirect — well, I won’t —

22 THE COURT: Sustained.

Next, Mesereau caught Det. Abel in two material inconsistencies from his earlier cross-examination. First, Det. Abel admitted that he really did talk to prosecutors about the alligator clips that he found in Jackson’s office, and he gave a rambling excuse as to why he didn’t mention it when he was asked about the details of his meeting earlier in the day.

Second, Mesereau asked Det. Abel if he had done any research on the legality of purchasing the surveillance equipment that was found in Jackson’s office, and he admitted that he did an internet search, and that he should have said it earlier when he was asked (he denied doing any research earlier in the day).

23 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Now, you just told the

24 jury about alligator clips, correct.

25 A. Yes, sir.

26 Q. Did you discuss alligator clips with

27 Prosecutor Sneddon, Prosecutor Zonen and Prosecutor

28 Auchincloss at your meeting this morning. 2849

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Why didn’t you tell that to the jury when I

3 was asking you questions.

4 A. When. Today, or yesterday — or Thursday.

5 Q. Today. Remember I asked you about the

6 meeting you had, and you started off by saying it

7 was only five minutes.

8 A. Yes, sir.

9 Q. Remember I asked you what was discussed.

10 A. Yes, sir.

11 Q. Why didn’t you tell the jury you discussed

12 alligator clips with these prosecutors for the

13 government.

14 A. Well, I think you asked me if there was

15 questions and a discussion, and I think what I was

16 referring to was a discussion we had back and forth.

17 I discussed with — earlier today, I

18 indicated to them that there was that device in the

19 case. There was no question that they asked me

20 about it. I just indicated that it was in there.

21 Q. When you had your meeting this morning with

22 the three prosecutors for the government, did you

23 discuss the camera inside the lighter.

24 A. No, I did not.

25 Q. What else did you talk to them about in this

26 five-minute meeting.

27 A. I don’t recall that we discussed much more

28 than what I have explained. 2850

1 Q. Did you just suddenly remember it.

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

3 object as argumentative.

4 MR. MESEREAU: I’ll withdraw the question.

5 Q. Do you consider yourself an expert on how

6 this particular piece of equipment is utilized.

7 A. I would say that I’m familiar with it, but

8 I’m not an expert on it, no, sir.

9 Q. Have you ever used this equipment yourself.

10 A. This equipment.

11 Q. Yes.

12 A. No, I have not.

13 Q. Have you ever repaired equipment like that

14 yourself.

15 A. No, I have not.

16 Q. Have you ever installed equipment like that

17 yourself.

18 A. No, sir.

19 Q. Now, last Thursday, you weren’t sure whether

20 that equipment could be purchased lawfully by any

21 citizen. Remember that.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Have you done any research on that area

24 since last Thursday.

25 A. Yes.

26 Q. Why didn’t you say that this morning when I

27 asked you if you’d investigated any further what you

28 talked about last Thursday. 2851

1 A. It was an Internet search. And I should

2 have said it, but I didn’t, yes.

Pay attention to this next exchange between Mesereau and Det. Abel, as it is crucial to understanding the “guilty until proven innocent” mentality of the prosecution and the sheriff’s deputies who raided Neverland! In this excerpt, Mesereau questioned Det. Abel about whether it occurred to him that the reason that Jackson had the surveillance equipment in his office is because he was entertaining offers to possibly buy them legally from the licensed private investigator whose business card was included with the equipment. A schematic tiled “Video Surveillance System”, with a proposal and price list, was found, yet Det. Abel never entertained the possibility that it was for a legitimate business proposal for Jackson to consider.

Det. Abel found a document titled “Telephonic Taping System” with a receipt, and told the jury earlier that he thought it had been purchased for nefarious reasons (mainly to monitor the phone calls of the Arvizos), yet he also saw a separate document titled “Portable Electronic Surveillance Countermeasures Kit” with a receipt, but did not think negatively of it! The reason behind Det. Abel’s logic is simple: the telephone taping system was consistent with the Arvizo’s claims, while the portable electronic surveillance countermeasures kit was NOT consistent with their claims! Mesereau asked Det. Abel if he saw “want he wanted to see”, but Sneddon objected, Judge Melville sustained it, and Mesereau ended his recross-examination:

9 Q. When you found that equipment with an

10 investigator’s card and with documents that appeared

11 to scheme out a video-monitoring system and an

12 audio-monitoring system, did it ever occur to you

13 that someone may have been discussing different

14 types of surveillance systems with respect to that

15 equipment.

16 A. I — I never believed that, no.

17 Q. Did you see the document that said “Video

18 Briefcase Surveillance System with Audio”. Did you

19 see that.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. What do you think that refers to.

22 A. I’d have — just by the wording, it would be

23 that somebody could utilize the equipment in that

24 briefcase to covertly tape-record and/or monitor

25 conversations.

26 Q. When you saw the schematic that says “Video

27 Surveillance System,” did it occur to you somebody

28 may have been making a proposal for a video 2855

1 surveillance system.

2 A. That was not a consideration that I had, no,

3 sir.

4 Q. When you saw another document that’s

5 entitled “Remote Room Audio Monitor” with prices and

6 with schematics, did it ever occur to you that

7 somebody may have been making some proposals for a

8 room audio-monitoring system.

9 A. You keep mentioning the word “proposal,” but

10 I never considered that that was a proposal, sir.

11 Q. When you saw a document that gave a price

12 list for “Portable Electronic Surveillance

13 Countermeasures Kit,” did it ever occur to you that

14 somebody might be making a proposal for the purchase

15 of a Portable Electronic Surveillance

16 Countermeasures Kit.

17 A. As you say, “proposal,” I never considered

18 that, no, sir.

19 Q. So just putting two and two together, an

20 investigator’s card, a piece of evidence like that,

21 and all of this material dealing with various

22 surveillance systems, it never even entered your

23 mind that somebody might have been trying to present

24 or sell surveillance systems.

25 A. No, it was my opinion that this equipment

26 had been purchased possibly from Mr. Lupori by Mr.

27 Jackson and retained and possessed by Mr. Jackson to

28 utilize. 2856

1 Q. Ever see a purchase receipt.

2 A. I can’t say that there’s a purchase receipt,

3 but there are figures and there is what appears to

4 be a copy of a receipt, a tape — or a register-type

5 receipt on there.

6 Q. Okay. Did you see also register receipts

7 for a Portable Electronic Surveillance

8 Countermeasures Kit.

9 A. You’d have to show me all that again. I’d

10 have to look at it.

11 MR. MESEREAU: May I approach, Your Honor.

12 THE COURT: Yes.

13 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.

14 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Have you had a chance to

15 look at that document.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Does it appear to have a price list on it.

18 A. Yes, it does.

19 Q. Does it appear to have a typed receipt on

20 it.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Does it say at the top “Portable Electronic

23 Surveillance Countermeasures Kit”.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Are you saying, after looking at that

26 document, it didn’t occur to you that maybe somebody

27 was purchasing a security system at Neverland.

28 A. I never considered it to be a security 2857

1 system.

2 Q. Well, why would you look at a document that

3 says “Telephonic Taping System” with a receipt, and

4 tell the jury you thought that was being purchased,

5 and at the same time look at a separate document

6 that says “Portable Electronic Surveillance

7 Countermeasures Kit,” which also has a receipt, and

8 not tell the jury you had the same reaction;

9 somebody was buying security system equipment, true.

10 A. They were buying — that would have been for

11 countermeasures to make sure that they weren’t being

12 covertly monitored.

13 The other one goes along with purchasing for

14 covert monitoring and/or tape-recording.

15 Q. What about the Video Briefcase Surveillance

16 System. That’s got figures on it also, doesn’t it,

17 that document.

18 A. Yeah, I would have to look at it again. I

19 don’t know for sure.

20 Q. Sir, the bottom line is, you just saw what

21 you wanted to see, right.

22 MR. SNEDDON: Object as argumentative, Your

23 Honor.

24 THE COURT: Sustained.

25 MR. MESEREAU: No further questions, Your

26 Honor.

Summary of the Testimony of Det. Conn Abel

1. The next prosecution witness was Detective Conn Abel, a 30 year veteran of the sheriff’s department. During the raid, he searched the arcade and wine cellar, and found several nudist magazines that he confiscated as evidence due to their content.

2. Det. Abel seized eavesdropping equipment that he found in Jackson’s closet, near his office. This evidence was used by prosecutors to back up their assertions that Jackson tried to monitor the phone calls of the Arvizos during their “imprisonment”. However, Under cross-examination, Det. Abel was asked by Mesereau if the equipment had been tested to see if it had been used, and if it was commercially available in stores. Det. Abel testified that it had not been tested, and he wasn’t sure if it was commercially available. He also testified that he didn’t know if Jackson had purchased it, or if it was given to him as a gift.

3. There was a business card included with the equipment, and it was associated with a Private Investigation company, so Mesereau used this information to disprove the prosecution’s theory that Jackson owned the equipment for nefarious reasons. Det. Abel didn’t call the investigator to confirm that it was his equipment, or any other due diligence, and Det. Abel stated that it was because it wasn’t part of the scope of his activities. Mesereau sarcastically asked Det. Abel if it was because he wanted to just avoid the issue, but Sneddon objected before the question could be answered. Surprisingly, well actually not surprisingly, Det. Abel never met with any security personnel at Neverland to verify that the eavesdropping equipment was used for the ranch’s complex security system!

4. During the three day break from March 18th-20th, 2005, Abel made no attempts to locate the private investigator whose business card was found with the surveillance equipment. Upon further questioning, Det. Abel confessed that the equipment had not been tested for fingerprints, and that he didn’t know if the equipment was commercially available, or if it had been used by an investigator.

5. Mesereau got into a heated exchange with Det. Abel, who admitted that he had a meeting that lasted “about five minutes” with Zonen, Sneddon, and Auchincloss about his testimony from the previous week. Det. Abel “couldn’t recall” the details of the meeting, which took place just prior to his testimony on March 21st, so Mesereau asked him if his memory of the Neverland raid (almost 18 months prior) is better than a meeting he had that very same morning! Judge Melville sustained Sneddon’s objection, so Abel didn’t have to answer the question.

6. When questioned about the voluminous amount of books that were found at Neverland, Abel testified that the books the he confiscated from the library were not illegally obtained, and he couldn’t know if Jackson had ever looked through them, or if they were purchased by Jackson or mailed to him as gifts.

7. In yet another heated exchange, Mesereau asked Det. Abel if he thought that Jackson knew the surveillance equipment was at Neverland, and he answered “yes”, which caught Mesereau by surprise (judging by his “Oh, really!” reply), so Mesereau forced Det. Abel to admit that the equipment did not have Jackson’s fingerprints on it (in fact, it was never fingerprinted at all!), Jackson wasn’t on the ranch during the raid, Neverland had a heavy security force (which would be likely to use the surveillance equipment), and that he had no idea how often Jackson is even in his office on a typical day!

8. Under redirect examination, Det. Abel was then asked by Sneddon to explain how so-called “alligator clips” could be used to surreptitiously record phone calls without the caller’s consent or knowledge; Mesereau objected on the grounds that Det. Abel wasn’t an expert in the field in this field, and Judge Melville sustained Mesereau’s objection, so Sneddon asked Det. Abel to talk about, in general terms, how alligator clips are usually used by law enforcement to investigate criminals, and how it is illegal for ordinary citizens to tap phone lines under California law.

9. Sneddon ended his redirect-examination by asking Det. Abel why he thought that Jackson knew about the existence of that equipment in his office, to which Det. Abel testified that it was due to the Arvizo family’s claims that they were concerned that their outgoing phone calls were being tapped, and that is the reason why they didn’t call the police to escape their “imprisonment” from Neverland. This was an obvious attempt to prejudice the jury!

10. Mesereau immediately began his recross-examination by questioning Det. Abel about the security measures that Jackson had to implement to protect himself and his family at Neverland, but Sneddon objected because it was beyond the scope of his redirect-examination, and Judge Melville sustained it.

11. Next, Mesereau caught Det. Abel in two material inconsistencies from his earlier cross-examination. First, Det. Abel admitted that he really did talk to prosecutors about the alligator clips that he found in Jackson’s office, and he gave a rambling excuse as to why he didn’t mention it when he was asked about the details of his meeting earlier in the day.

Second, Mesereau asked Det. Abel if he had done any research on the legality of purchasing the surveillance equipment that was found in Jackson’s office, and he admitted that he did an internet search, and that he should have said it earlier when he was asked (he denied doing any research earlier in the day).

12. Mesereau questioned Det. Abel about whether it occurred to him that the reason that Jackson had the surveillance equipment in his office is because he was entertaining offers to possibly buy them legally from the licensed private investigator whose business card was included with the equipment. A schematic tiled “Video Surveillance System”, with a proposal and price list, was found, yet Det. Abel never entertained the possibility that it was for a legitimate business proposal for Jackson to consider.

13. Det. Abel found a document titled “Telephonic Taping System” with a receipt, and told the jury earlier that he thought it had been purchased for nefarious reasons (mainly to monitor the phone calls of the Arvizos), yet he also saw a separate document titled “Portable Electronic Surveillance Countermeasures Kit” with a receipt, but did not think negatively of it! The reason behind Det. Abel’s logic is simple: the telephone taping system was consistent with the Arvizo’s claims, while the portable electronic surveillance countermeasures kit was NOT consistent with their claims! Mesereau asked Det. Abel if he saw “want he wanted to see”, but Sneddon objected, Judge Melville sustained it, and Mesereau ended his recross-examination. This excerpt of testimony was typical of the sheriff department’s “guilty until proven innocent” mentality!

To be continued: https://michaeljacksonvindication2.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/march-21st-2005-trial-analysis-detective-conn-abel-cross-examination-dr-anthony-urquizo-lauren-wallace-and-louise-palanker-direct-examination-part-2-of-3/

Advertisements
6 Comments leave one →
  1. stacy permalink
    July 30, 2012 4:48 pm

    No matter how guilty you think a person is, you should always investigate any person who is making claims. If they had done that, then they could have saved themselves the embarassment as well as the city millions of dollars.

  2. stacy permalink
    July 28, 2012 12:03 pm

    I wonder why Sneddon was so obsessed with Michael Jackson. He used money out of his own pocket to travel around the world to find victims, had 2 laws changed, stalked people MJ knew for information, smiled at a press conference and said “we got him!” etc..I think he just really wanted to take on a high profile case to make himself famous world-wide.

    • nannorris permalink
      July 28, 2012 11:11 pm

      I didnt know he paid for those trips himself..He must have looked at it as an investment in his career..
      To have looked as hard as he did for victims and finally come up with the , obviously , lying Arviso family, and go forward with it .Seems to me “finally getting him”, when you never seem to have victims…??Well you have to be after him for another reason.ego? ambition? bigotry?
      Who knows , but I certainly think it is creepy how Sneddon really seem to relish the lurid details
      After seeing parts of VG book…..If they believed that stuff, I have in Brooklyn I would like to sell them ..
      People should be pointing these prosecutors out on the street and laughing at their stupidity

  3. stacy permalink
    July 28, 2012 9:52 am

    This is what happens when you rush to judgement and are not objective. They were so convinced of MJ’s guilt in 1993 that they didn’t even bother to investigate this family’s claims. If they had, then they would have known that the whole thing was a scam. Hell, even Larry Feldman was skeptical. They didn’t bother to investigate and rushed to judgement and in the end, ended up getting severely embarrassed..

    • nannorris permalink
      July 28, 2012 11:57 am

      If they had been objective in 93 , they would have seen all the holes in the Chandlers story.
      Isnt it funny how this was the biggest case in this detective life and they cant remember details.
      Forgot what he talked to the prosecutors about.
      Forgot his internet search
      Cant remember needing a locksmith , but when Mesereau shows it to him , he remembers.
      Unbelievable
      Just caught in a pack of lies,pathetic..

Trackbacks

  1. March 18th, 2005 Trial Summary: 1108 Prior Bad Acts Evidence Hearing (No Witnesses Testified), Part 2 of 2 « 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: