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March 28th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Judge Melville’s Decision on Prior Bad Acts & Settlements Evidence, George Lopez, Ann Serrano Lopez, and Robert Spinner (Direct & Cross Examination), Part 3 of 4

September 14, 2012

The next prosecution witness was comedian George Lopez, who at one point was friendly with the Arvizo family, until he was accused of stealing $300 dollars from Gavin’s wallet, which was accidentally (or intentionally?) left at his home.

Lopez began his testimony by describing to Zonen his background, and his work with the Laugh Factory’s comedy camp, where he initially met the Arvizo family:





6 Q. Mr. Lopez, good morning.


7 A. Good morning.


8 Q. Sir, what is your current occupation?


9 A. I’m a comedian/actor.


10 Q. And do you have a television show at this


11 time?


12 A. I do, named “George Lopez,” on ABC.


13 Q. How long has that show been in progress?


14 A. The show has been on for four years.


15 Q. You’re expected to go on for another four?


16 A. I’d like three more, and then to retire.


17 Q. Mr. Lopez, prior to going on television,


18 what were you doing professionally?


19 A. I was a host of a radio program in Los


20 Angeles, which was on 92.3, Mega 92.3, in the


21 morning.


22 Q. For what period of time did you do that?


23 A. From November of ‘99 to August of 2000.


24 Q. Have you been a stand-up comic for some


25 period of time?


26 A. 25 years.


27 Q. Are you familiar with The Laugh Factory in


28 Los Angeles? 3793


1 A. Yes, sir, I am.


2 Q. And where is The Laugh Factory?


3 A. It’s located on Sunset Boulevard —


4 Q. Is that —


5 A. — in Hollywood.


6 Q. Is that a nightclub that features comedians?


7 A. It is.


8 Q. And have you performed there?


9 A. Many times.


10 Q. Over what period of time have you performed


11 at The Laugh Factory?


12 A. I’ve probably performed there over the last


13 15 years.


14 Q. Do you know Jamie Masada?


15 A. Yes, sir, I do.


16 Q. What is Mr. Masada’s association with The


17 Laugh Factory?


18 A. He’s the owner of The Laugh Factory.


19 Q. Are there other Laugh Factories other than


20 the one on Sunset in Los Angeles?


21 A. I understand he opened one in New York.


22 Q. Have you ever appeared at the one in New


23 York?


24 A. I have not.


25 Q. What is the comedy camp that’s associated


26 with The Laugh Factory? What’s that?


27 A. Well, Jamie Masada, for years, has had a


28 program where they took underprivileged youth and 3794


1 used comedians who worked the club as kind of


2 mentors to the kids, and they would teach them


3 stand-up, and also, you know, give them something to


4 do, you know, with writing jokes, and performing,


5 and stuff. And it was available during the day when


6 nothing really was going on at The Laugh Factory.


7 Q. Do comedians periodically come by and assist


8 with mentoring the children?


9 A. Yes, sir.


10 Q. What’s the criteria for being a child


11 attending that club?


12 A. I think Jamie puts it out, and all — you


13 don’t really need to pay anything, it’s just whether


14 you’re interested and have, you know, a way to get


15 to The Laugh Factory, you can sign up.


16 Q. Do you know if these are children that are


17 either at risk or disadvantaged in some fashion?


18 A. Most of the time they’re at risk and


19 underprivileged youth.


20 Q. Do you know how many years Mr. Masada has


21 been running the comedy camp?


22 A. It seems, to me, he’s been doing it for


23 about seven or eight years.


24 Q. Does he periodically solicit the assistance


25 of the comedians from the entertainment community?


26 A. Yes, sir.


27 Q. And are you one of them?


28 A. I am one of them. 3795


1 Q. How many times — and perhaps “times” is not


2 quite the right way to ask it, but on which


3 occasions have you assisted in working with the kids


4 at comedy camp?


5 A. Over the years I’ve been asked several


6 times. And I’ve only performed — participated one


7 time, and that was in the fall of ‘99.


8 Q. And by “one time,” does that mean one single


9 occasion, or one camp?


10 A. One camp.


11 Q. And that’s for a period of time of how long,


12 then?


13 A. Probably — probably seven weeks.


14 Q. All right. Were you there for the bulk of


15 those weeks?


16 A. Yes, sir.


17 Q. Do you know the Arvizo family?


18 A. I do.


19 Q. And do you know the children who are members


20 of the Arvizo family?


21 A. Yes, I do.


22 Q. How do you know them?


23 A. Jamie asked me if I would participate in the


24 camp; that there was a special Latino family that


25 was underprivileged and they had requested me, and,


26 you know, it was a sister and two brothers. And I


27 said yes.


28 Q. What are their names? 3796


1 A. Davellin, Gavin and Star Arvizo.


2 Q. And for what period of time did you work


3 with those three kids?


4 A. I worked with them in the fall, probably


5 from the middle of November through the end — the


6 middle of October till the end of November.


7 Q. What year was that; do you recall?


8 A. I think it was ‘99.


9 Q. Okay. How old were the kids, as best you


10 recall?


11 A. I think Davellin was probably 15. Star was,


12 I think, nine or ten. And Gavin was 11.


13 Q. How did they do in the comedy camp?


14 A. They were pretty good. They were fearless.


15 So, you know, they talked about a lot of things that


16 I talked about, coming from an underprivileged


17 background. And, you know, they were fearless in


18 their performing. And they were kind of very sweet,


19 you know, and very kind.

20 Q. Did you work with them the entirety of that


21 time?


22 A. I did.


23 Q. Did you work with other kids, or just those


24 three?


25 A. I did not. Just those three.


26 Q. How many sessions do you think you had with


27 them?


28 A. You know, probably like seven. On Mondays, 3797


1 from like 3:00 in the afternoon to about 5:00. Just


2 two hours a week.


3 Q. Did you get to meet their mother?


4 A. I did.


5 Q. What is her name?


6 A. Her name is Janet.


7 Q. All right. Over the same period of time,


8 did you see her?


9 A. You know, I only saw Janet during the period


10 of time that we spent at The Laugh Factory.


11 Q. Was she there every time?


12 A. She was there.


13 Q. With the kids?


14 A. Every time.


15 Q. Do you know how they got there?


16 A. They took the bus.


17 Q. Did that impress you in some way?


18 A. Absolutely. I mean, you know, anybody that


19 rides the bus in Los Angeles is a hero to me.


20 (Laughter.)

Next, Lopez bolster’s the prosecution’s assertions that the defense exaggerated Janet’s role in the family’s money making schemes by denying that Janet had ever asked him for money or any other type of assistance:

26 Q. During the period of time that you knew the


27 Arvizos in association with The Laugh Factory, did


28 Janet Arvizo ever ask you for any assistance in any 3798


1 way?


2 A. No.


3 Q. Did she ever ask you for money in any way?


4 A. No.


5 Q. This went on for a period of how many


6 months, to your knowledge?


7 A. Well, the whole time that I’ve known the


8 Arvizo family, it was probably eight months.

Next, Lopez describes how he initially met the family:

9 Q. Did you ever meet the kids’ father during


10 the time that the kids were at the comedy camp?


11 A. Yes.


12 Q. And what is his name?


13 A. His name is David.


14 Q. At some point in time, did you become aware


15 of the fact that one of the children became ill,


16 seriously ill?


17 A. Yes.


18 Q. And how did that come about?


19 A. I got a phone call from Janet on my cell


20 phone, and, you know, as any mother would be,


21 completely distraught and was asking for help. And


22 I went to the hospital as soon as I found out that


23 Gavin was as sick as he was.


24 Q. The call then came from Janet?


25 A. Yes.


26 Q. And did you then go to the hospital?


27 A. I did.


28 Q. And what did you find when you got there? 3799


1 A. Well, I found Gavin in dire condition. I


2 mean, he was really just clinging to life. And


3 that’s when I met David. I had never seen him


4 before until I showed up at the hospital.


5 Q. You didn’t meet him during the time — maybe


6 I’m wrong about this. During the time that the kids


7 were at the camp, at the comedy camp, that period of


8 a couple months —


9 A. Right.


10 Q. — did you meet David Arvizo?


11 A. I did not.


12 Q. You met him for the first time at the


13 hospital?


14 A. Yes.


15 Q. Do you know approximately how long after the


16 completion of the comedy camp it was that Gavin


17 became ill?


18 A. Probably six weeks.


19 Q. When you went to the hospital, did you go by


20 yourself or with somebody else?


21 A. I took my wife with me.


22 Q. And your wife’s name is?


23 A. Ann.


24 Q. Did you return to the hospital on other


25 occasions to visit with Gavin?


26 A. Yes, I did.


27 Q. Over what period of time do you believe you


28 went to the hospital? 3800


1 A. Over the next four months.


2 Q. Did you ever visit him at other locations


3 besides at the hospital?


4 A. Yes.


5 Q. Where did you visit him?


6 A. I visited him at his home in El Monte.


7 Q. All right. Do you know this to be his home


8 or his grandparents’ home?


9 A. I think it was his grandparents’ home.


10 Q. Can you describe that home in El Monte for


11 us?


12 A. It was a tract home in El Monte that — it


13 was one of those places where — probably a


14 two-bedroom house where the living and kitchen blend


15 into the same room, and it probably had every stick


16 of furniture they’d ever owned in it. And it had


17 this one room that looked like a suite out of the


18 Four Seasons.


19 Q. And what room was that?


20 A. That was Gavin’s room.


21 Q. And the rest of the house?


22 A. Reminiscent of my own childhood. Very —


23 you know, kind of plastic over the couch, and


24 plastic runners on the floor, and birds, and dogs,


25 and things like that.


26 Q. Modest?


27 A. Modest, to say the least.


28 Q. All right. And the one room that Gavin was 3801


1 in, describe that for us, as best you can.


2 A. That room was prepared for Gavin because he


3 was coming out of the hospital. I think Jamie had


4 made it so that he could get a hospital bed. And it


5 was — the carpet was removed, and it was kind of


6 like a cleanroom, like a place you’d go and it was


7 sanitary. I think you even had to wear a robe to


8 get in.

Lopez once again denies being asked for money by Janet, but recounts how David asked him for assistance in March 2000:

9 Q. For the entirety of that time that Gavin was


10 ill that you were visiting him, did you have contact


11 with his father?


12 A. I did.


13 Q. Did you have contact with his mother during


14 that time?


15 A. I did not.


16 Q. Can you explain that? Do you know why?


17 A. You know, I don’t know why. When Gavin was


18 at The Laugh Factory, I dealt with the mother. And


19 as soon as he got sick, the mother — I never saw


20 the mother again, and the only person I saw was the


21 father.

22 Q. Did you ever speak with her on the


23 telephone?


24 A. I did not.


25 Q. Did she ever contact you other than the


26 initial phone call to tell you that Gavin was sick?


27 A. No.


28 Q. Did she ever ask you for money? 3802


1 A. She did not.


2 Q. During your dealings with the father at that


3 point, during the number of months that Gavin was


4 ill, did he ever ask you for assistance in any way?


5 A. Yes.


6 Q. And when do you think was the first time, if


7 you know?


8 A. Probably the first time was maybe February


9 or March of 2000, approximately. Yeah, around


10 there.


11 Q. But this was after Gavin became ill already?


12 A. Yes.


13 Q. And in what way did he ask for assistance?


14 A. Well, you know, he made it known that he


15 was, you know, strapped for cash. And at that


16 point, I would help him with whatever I had on me.


17 You know, I’d give him, you know, $40, $50 if I had


18 it. Whatever I had, you know.


19 I would bring things to the hospital to try


20 to get Gavin to eat, you know, different kind of


21 drinks and stuff, energy drinks and things like


22 that.


10 Q. Okay. Now, the requests for money from


11 David, was that a frequent request from him?


12 A. Yes.


13 Q. And did you give him money on a fairly


14 regular basis?


15 A. Yes. Well, I wouldn’t call it fairly


16 regular. On occasion, I would say.


17 Q. How much would you give him?


18 A. You know, 40 here. Whatever I had. 30, 20.


19 I bought him a pair of shoes one time. Stuff like


20 that. But never, you know, a check for $10,000.

Lopez went on to describe the polar opposite views that he and David had on the fundraiser for Gavin; Lopez was more concerned with Gavin’s health and well-being, while David was more concerned with raising money:

1 Q. Have you participated in fund-raisers at The


2 Laugh Factory before?


3 A. Yes.


4 Q. Is that something that’s frequent at that


5 location?


6 A. Yes, it is.


7 Q. When fund-raisers are held at The Laugh


8 Factory, or any of the other entertainment clubs in


9 Los Angeles, is there a way in which they do that?


10 Is there kind of a traditional way that they raise


11 money?


12 A. Well, the way they do it is Jamie would ask


13 comedians to perform, and really that’s your only


14 obligation. You show up, you perform, and that’s


15 it. You’re not — really don’t understand where the


16 money goes to or any of that aspect of it. You’re


17 just there to really give your time. And then


18 whatever they collect goes to whoever the


19 beneficiary is of the fund-raiser.


20 Q. And by “what they collect,” what is it that


21 they’re actually collecting?


22 A. The donation at the door, whatever the price


23 of the ticket is.


24 Q. All right. And can that vary?


25 A. Oh, yeah.


26 Q. They can make it whatever they want?


27 A. Whatever it is.


28 Q. All right. Did David talk with you about 3805


1 doing a fund-raiser on his behalf, or, rather, his


2 child’s behalf?


3 A. Yes.


4 Q. And what was the nature of that discussion?


5 What is it that he was asking you to do?


6 A. He was asking me to take care of a


7 fund-raiser for Gavin, which I was more than happy


8 to do. But then it became apparent to me that it


9 wasn’t about Gavin anymore. I was about how Gavin


10 was and how he was feeling. I wasn’t about money


11 for Gavin. And it seemed to me at that time that


12 David Arvizo was more interested in the money than


13 he was about his son.


14 Q. All right. Was David working at the time,


15 to your knowledge?


16 A. To my knowledge, I don’t think he was


17 working.


18 Q. Did he ever express to you any concerns


19 about insurance, medical insurance?


20 A. I was always led to believe that they had no


21 insurance whatsoever.


22 Q. All right. And that was from David?


23 A. Yes, sir.


24 Q. You never had a conversation with Janet


25 about that subject?


26 A. Never.


27 Q. She never asked you for money?


28 A. Never did. 3806


1 Q. All right. Did you come to an understanding


2 with David that you would assist in some kind of a


3 fund-raising effort?


4 A. Yes.


5 Q. And — go ahead. That —


6 A. Okay. Thanks.


7 THE BAILIFF: You have to — there you go.


8 THE WITNESS: (To the court reporter)


9 Hello.


10 Uh-huh.


11 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: What was the nature of the


12 fund-raiser that you were going to do, and where?


13 A. I was going to do a fund-raiser and use the


14 radio to raise money for Gavin and I was going to do


15 it at The Ice House in Pasadena. And I was going to


16 take care — I was going to do it myself. I was


17 going to plan the whole thing. And because of my


18 schedule at the radio, we kind of got a little


19 behind. And David became, you know, pretty


20 aggressive about when it was going to happen and how


21 much he thought we could raise and that kind of


22 stuff.


23 Q. What do you mean by “pretty aggressive”?


24 A. A lot of phone calls. A lot of, “When’s it


25 going to happen?” And, I said, you know, “I’m


26 working right now, man. We’re trying to put it


27 together. We’re trying to get guys to perform.”


28 And every call was about the same thing. 3807


1 Q. Did he always inquire about the money that


2 you would raise?


3 A. Yes, he did.


4 Q. Did he ask about specific amounts?


5 A. Yeah, he did. He asked about how much I


6 thought we could raise.


7 Q. What did you tell him?


8 A. I told him that with those things, you never


9 know. I mean, you never know how much you’re going


10 to raise. And really, when I do fund-raisers, it


11 was never about, “How much money do you think you


12 could raise?” It was about getting it off


13 succesfully. It wasn’t about the bottom line. It

14 was about doing a fund-raiser.

Zonen continues to drive the narrative that David Arvizo was responsible for the Arvizo’s falling out with George Lopez by asking him about what differentiated David from other people that George has associated himself with, as well as asking him to describe in detail the wallet incident. Notice how Mesereau’s objection to Zonen asking Lopez for a THIRD TIME if Janet had asked him for money was sustained by Judge Melville:

18 Q. You’ve dealt with other benefits for other


19 people in need, have you not?


20 A. Yes, I have.


21 Q. Was there something unique about David’s


22 behavior as compared to the others?


23 A. Yeah. I mean, the guy was like — you know,


24 he was — it was more than one call, and it was


25 always about the same thing. And he’d call while I


26 was on the radio, while I was working. I couldn’t


27 talk to him. And after a while, it became — I told


28 my wife that it was — I told my wife Ann that it 3809


1 was becoming apparent to me that it wasn’t a good


2 idea to have the fund-raiser. I — I decided not to


3 do it because I didn’t like the way it was kind of


4 turning out.


5 Q. Was there a particular event that occurred


6 that put you over the top on this, made you decide


7 not to do it?


8 A. Yes.


9 Q. What was that?


10 A. On May 5th of that year, I think 2000 —


11 whatever the year — 2000 — I think, to the best of


12 my knowledge, it’s 2000. I was doing a show at the


13 Acapulco Restaurant on May 5th from 5:00 to 10:00 in


14 the morning in El Monte.


15 And at ten o’clock, he approached me outside


16 of the restaurant, right in front of the restaurant,


17 and asked me aggressively what was the deal with the


18 fund-raiser.


19 And I told him that I didn’t think it was


20 going to happen. And he said, “What do you mean


21 it’s not going to happen?” And I said, “It doesn’t


22 look like it’s going to happen.” And then he — his


23 tone changed, and we had words, and that was the


24 last time I ever saw him.


25 Q. Did he ever call you again thereafter?


26 A. No.


27 Q. All right. Was there an event that preceded


28 that that affected your decision? 3810


1 A. Yes. There was a situation with a wallet at


2 my house.


3 Q. All right. Let’s talk about this. Let’s


4 start with, first of all, did you ever take Mr.


5 Arvizo and any of the kids, or Gavin, out shopping?


6 A. I did.


7 Q. All right. Did that begin with a visit to


8 your home?


9 A. Yes, it did.


10 Q. And your home at that time was in what area?


11 A. In Sherman Oaks, California.


12 Q. Have you moved since then?


13 A. I have.


14 Q. Who came to your home with David Arvizo?


15 A. Gavin.


16 Q. Only Gavin?


17 A. I think Star might have come also.


18 Q. Okay. Do you recall if Davellin was there?


19 A. She was not there.


20 Q. Where did you go that day? What did you do?


21 A. Well, I picked them up in El Monte. I


22 brought them to the house, and they played in the


23 backyard for a little bit. And then I took them to


24 Pizza Hut and I took them to the mall, and we walked


25 around the mall a little bit. And then I brought


26 them home, brought them to the house and they used


27 the rest room, and then I drove them back to El


28 Monte. 3811


1 Q. All right. Was Gavin still ill at this


2 time, or had he already gone into remission?


3 A. He had kind of gone into a little remission.


4 He was out of the hospital.


5 Q. But he was still going back and forth for


6 treatment?


7 A. Yes.


8 Q. How was his appearance at that time?


9 A. He was kind of energetic. I think he was —


10 you know, he was okay. He was walking around. He


11 wasn’t, you know, as frail as he was when he was in


12 the hospital. He was doing okay.


13 Q. All right. And David was there; is that


14 right?


15 A. Yes.


16 Q. Did you notice anything unusual about their


17 behavior when they were in the stores?


18 A. Well, you know, like any kid in the mall,


19 you know, Gavin wanted everything, and David kind of


20 was off to the side, a little bit in the back, kind


21 of conspicuously out — just out of the way. He


22 wasn’t really with us. Kind of off to the side.


23 Q. Was Gavin asking for things?


24 A. Yes.


25 Q. And were you purchasing things for him?


26 A. Not everything, but a few things.


27 Q. Okay. Did David’s behavior strike you as


28 unusual? 3812


1 A. Yeah, I think so.


2 Q. In what way?


3 A. In that he was, you know, a little — he was


4 a little, you know, distant. He was distant but


5 yet, you know, always a little tense, you know. He


6 was a little — not as relaxed as somebody would be,


7 I guess.


8 Q. Did you feel he should have been a little


9 more responsible as a parent while his child was


10 asking you for things?


11 A. Yeah. He wasn’t anywhere around.


12 Q. All right. Now, when you finally got back


13 home, and David left, what did you notice in the


14 house?


15 A. Well, I took them home, and I came back.


16 And we had this room that really a lot of people


17 have. It’s very popular with Mexicans. We have a


18 room that’s no one’s allowed to sit in, and


19 everything stays — everything stays put. And it


20 was my — our house, and even I wasn’t allowed in


21 that room.


22 So on the mantle, there’s nothing on the


23 fireplace mantle except this brown and black wallet.


24 So as I walk in the house, your eyes immediately go


25 to the mantle. It’s the first thing you see.


26 So I see this wallet, and I pick it up and


27 it’s not mine, and I open it up, and it has an I.D.,


28 Gavin’s I.D. And I look, and there’s a $50 bill in 3813


1 it, one $50 bill.


2 So I go to the kitchen, where my wife is,


3 and I say, “Ann, Gavin left his wallet.” So we call


4 Gavin, tell him that he left his wallet. They say


5 to drop it off at The Laugh Factory. We end up


6 sending it in the mail so that we can get rid of it.


7 And then sometime later, I understand


8 through Jamie Masada at The Laugh Factory, that


9 David Arvizo told Jamie Masada, who owns The Laugh


10 Factory, that I had taken $300 out of Gavin’s


11 wallet.


12 Q. Okay. Janet Arvizo never accused you —

13 A. No.


14 Q. — of taking money from her son’s wallet; is


15 that correct?


16 A. No. That’s correct.


17 Q. Did you ever have a conversation with Janet


18 Arvizo about the wallet?


19 A. Never.


20 Q. All right. Did Janet Arvizo ever ask you


21 for money?


22 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; asked and answered


23 three times.


24 THE COURT: Sustained.


25 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Following this event, the


26 conversation with Mr. Masada —


27 A. Yes.


28 Q. — about the wallet, did you ever have 3814


1 another conversation with David Arvizo?


2 A. I never did. Oh, after the wallet — after


3 the wallet, I had the exchange on May 5th.


4 Q. Now, when you had the exchange on May 5th,


5 did you already know — had you already had the


6 conversation with Mr. Masada about the wallet?


7 A. My wife did.


8 Q. All right. Did you know about it at the


9 time —


10 A. I did.


11 Q. — of the conversation?


12 Was that one of the reasons that you no


13 longer wished to be associated with them?


14 A. You know, that might have put me over the


15 top.


16 Q. Were you involved in any fund-raisers for


17 the Arvizo family at all?


18 A. You know, I can’t recall.


19 Q. The one that was at The Laugh Factory, you


20 don’t have a recollection of having been there?


21 A. You know, I think early on I may have. But


22 I really — I can’t remember. I think — I think


23 the one that Fritz Coleman hosted was the one that I


24 performed at. But it was early on, so I really


25 can’t say.


26 Q. Other than the one that you organized, or


27 began to organize at The Ice House, were you


28 organizing any other fund-raisers for the Arvizo 3815


1 family?


2 A. No.


3 Q. Did you give any money to any other member


4 of the family of the Arvizo family, other than David


5 Arvizo?


6 A. I did not.


7 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; misstates the


8 evidence.


9 THE COURT: Overruled. The answer was — is


10 in. Next question.


11 MR. ZONEN: Let me have just one moment,


12 please.


13 Q. In Janet’s telephone call to you when she


14 announced that her child was ill, did she ask for


15 your assistance at that time in that conversation?


16 A. You know, other than —


17 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; asked and


18 answered.


19 THE COURT: Overruled.


20 You may answer.


21 THE WITNESS: Can I answer?


22 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Yes.


23 A. Other than just finding out her son was


24 gravely ill and didn’t know what to do, that’s what


25 I got from the call.


26 MR. ZONEN: Thank you. I have no further


27 questions.


28 THE COURT: Cross-examine? 3816


1 MR. MESEREAU: Yes, please, Your Honor.

Mesereau’s cross examination started off by him asking Lopez to describe the shopping trip that he went on with David and Gavin, and how Gavin constantly asked him to buy him gifts right in front of David, who did not tell Gavin to stop:





5 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Lopez.


6 A. Good afternoon.


7 Q. My name is Tom Mesereau, and I speak for


8 Michael Jackson.


9 We’ve never spoken before, right?


10 A. No, sir.


11 Q. Now, you interviewed with the Santa Barbara


12 Sheriffs on — last Friday, correct?


13 A. I did.


14 Q. And who did you interview with?


15 A. I interviewed with the gentleman who was


16 just asking me the questions.


17 Q. That’s Prosecutor Zonen?


18 A. Yes.


19 Q. Okay. And how long did you meet with


20 Prosecutor Zonen?


21 A. Me personally?


22 Q. Yes.


23 A. 25 minutes.


24 Q. And were you with your attorney?


25 A. I was.


26 Q. And your attorney is sitting here today,


27 right?


28 A. Yes. 3817


1 Q. Mr. Blancarte?


2 A. Yes, sir.


3 Q. Okay. And you didn’t want that interview to


4 be tape-recorded, correct?


5 A. That’s correct.


6 Q. So as far as you know, there was no tape-


7 recording of what you said, right?


8 A. That’s correct.


9 Q. Okay. Now, you told Prosecutor Zonen that


10 you think you gave David Arvizo, in total, something


11 less than $400, right?


12 A. Right.


13 Q. And this had to do with moneys you gave him


14 at the hospital primarily; is that correct?


15 A. Yes, sir.


16 Q. But you also told Prosecutor Zonen that you


17 went shopping with David and Gavin, and Gavin kept


18 asking you to buy him things in front of his father,


19 correct?


20 A. Yes.


21 Q. And you found it kind of strange that the


22 father never told him to stop doing that or spoke


23 up, right?


24 A. Right.


25 Q. Okay. And did you buy him anything while


26 you were shopping with Gavin and the father?


27 A. Yes.


28 Q. Okay. What did you buy Gavin? 3818


1 A. You know, we took him to the Discovery Store


2 and bought a few — maybe like a race car track, and


3 a ball that extends, and things like that.


4 Q. Okay. And how often would you buy — well,


5 let me rephrase that. How often did you go shopping


6 with Gavin and David?


7 A. That was the only time.


8 Q. Just one time?


9 A. Just one time.


10 Q. And to your knowledge, how many times, if

11 you remember, did Gavin ask you to buy something for


12 him in front of his father?


13 A. Four.


14 Q. Okay. Did you buy whatever he wanted every


15 time?


16 A. Well, I — no.


17 Q. Okay. Okay. You bought some of the things


18 he wanted and didn’t buy other things he wanted?


19 A. Kind of expensive.


20 Q. Didn’t you also bring gifts to the hospital


21 when Gavin was ill?


22 A. Yes.


23 Q. And what gifts did you bring to the


24 hospital?


25 A. You know, cast-iron cars and things like


26 that.


27 Q. Okay. But the money — the actual money you


28 donated was to David directly, correct? 3819


1 A. Yes.


2 Q. Did you ever give Gavin anything directly?


3 A. No.

Next, Mesereau questioned Lopez about his signed declaration from February 16th, 2005, in which he contradicted his earlier statements by declaring “I never provided money to the Arvizos or any of them”. Lopez explained that he “couldn’t recall” at that time if he had given them money:

4 Q. Okay. Now, do you remember signing a


5 declaration under penalty of perjury in this case on


6 February 16th, 2005?


7 A. Um, yeah.


8 Q. Do you remember testifying under penalty —


9 excuse me, not “testifying.” Do you remember


10 swearing under penalty of perjury the following:


11 “I never provided money to the Arvizos or any of


12 them”?


13 A. Yes.


14 Q. Well, that wasn’t true, was it?


15 A. Well, at that time I couldn’t recall.


16 Q. So on February 16th you couldn’t recall,


17 under penalty of perjury, if you gave any money to


18 any of the Arvizos, correct?


19 A. That’s right.


20 Q. But when you met with the prosecutor on


21 Friday, you suddenly recalled that you gave David


22 money on a periodic basis, right?


23 A. Right.


24 Q. You gave him, what, no more than 40 or 50


25 bucks at a time, correct?


26 A. Right.


27 Q. And you thought the total was less than


28 $400, right? 3820


1 A. That’s correct.

Lopez had another memory lapse when he completed his signed declaration on January 18th, 2005, in which he stated that “I have not been involved, appeared or participated in a fund-raiser for the minor and alleged victim in the Michael Jackson case”:

2 Q. Okay. Now, from what you said today —


3 correct me if I’m wrong, I think you said that you


4 were involved in planning for a fund-raiser, but


5 never went through with it?


6 A. That’s correct.


7 Q. Okay. And you didn’t go through with it


8 because David’s activities offended you, correct?


9 A. That’s correct.


10 Q. You thought he was leaning on you too hard


11 for money, right?


12 A. That’s right.


13 Q. And was it your understanding that he was


14 married to Janet at that time?


15 A. Yes.


16 Q. Okay. Do you remember signing another


17 declaration under penalty of perjury in this case on


18 January 18th, 2005?


19 A. Yes.


20 Q. And you said, “I have not involved” — “I


21 have not been involved, appeared or participated in


22 a fund-raiser for the minor and alleged victim in


23 the Michael Jackson case,” right?


24 A. That’s correct.


25 Q. That wasn’t totally truthful, was it?


26 A. I could not recall.


27 Q. Okay. So on January 18th you couldn’t


28 recall if you had any involvement in a fund-raiser, 3821


1 but after you signed that declaration under penalty


2 penalty of perjury, you remembered that you were


3 involved in some of the early planning stages; is


4 that correct?


5 A. Well, I signed the — I couldn’t recall, and


6 then I, you know, remembered.


7 Q. Okay. Okay. So that’s two declarations you


8 signed under penalty of perjury in this case, right?


9 One on January 18th, and one on February 16th,


10 right?


11 A. Yes.


12 Q. Okay. Okay. And after signing those


13 declarations under penalty of perjury, you then


14 remembered some other facts that, had you known at


15 the time, you wouldn’t have signed the declaration?


16 A. Well, at the time I couldn’t recall.

Here’s yet another memory lapse by Lopez! He couldn’t remember if Janet had asked him to visit Gavin when he was in the hospital until Mesereau showed him a police report where he stated that she did ask him:

2 Q. Okay. Now, between the comedy camp ending


3 and Janet calling you to talk about the hospital,


4 how much time elapsed, if you remember?


5 A. Six weeks.


6 Q. Okay. All right.


7 A. Over the holidays of that year. Probably


8 six weeks.


9 Q. And Janet asked you to come and spend time


10 with Gavin, right?


11 A. Well, he was — you know, he was sick, so I


12 went to see him.


13 Q. But she asked you to go spend time with him,


14 right?


15 A. You know, I don’t know if she particularly


16 asked. But when — you know, I was a fan of


17 Gavin’s. So when he was not well, I went to the


18 hospital to see him as a friend.


19 Q. Would it refresh your recollection if I just


20 show you a police report where it says you told the


21 police “Janet asked George if he would come spend


22 time with Gavin”?


23 A. It could.


24 MR. MESEREAU: May I approach, Your Honor?


25 THE COURT: Yes.


26 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Mr. Lopez, have you had a


27 chance to see that report?


28 A. I saw it. 3828


1 Q. Okay. Does it refresh your recollection


2 about what you told the sheriff?


3 A. It does not.


4 Q. It does not?


5 A. I mean, you know, if she asked me to — you


6 know, here’s the difference. I mean, did she


7 formally ask me? She said Gavin was ill and I went


8 to the hospital. There wasn’t a formal invitation.


9 Q. Okay. But you didn’t tell the sheriffs


10 that, “Janet asked George if he would come spend


11 time with Gavin”?


12 A. You have to repeat the question.


13 Q. Yeah, okay. I’m asking you if, in your


14 interview last Friday, you told the sheriffs Janet


15 asked you if you would come spend time with Gavin in


16 the hospital?


17 A. Well, in a sense, that’s what that is.


18 That’s what that phone call was.

19 Q. Okay. Okay. Now, you began visiting Gavin


20 with your wife, correct?


21 A. My wife went the first time, and on a couple


22 other occasions maybe. But for the most part, I


23 would go right after I got off the radio, so I would


24 go by myself. I would try to sneak away to see


25 Gavin as much as I could, when I could.


26 Q. Right. And that’s when you brought him


27 gifts and snacks?


28 A. Well, not every time, but on occasion. 3829


1 Q. Okay. Did you find it strange that you


2 never saw Janet at the hospital?


3 A. Well, you know, I — I mean, I knew she was


4 a waitress, so I thought — I really thought she was


5 working. I’d just say that I never really — I


6 wasn’t there all the time, so I didn’t know whether


7 she was there when I wasn’t there. But every time I


8 went, she wasn’t there, so I just figured that she


9 was always working.


10 Q. You really don’t know if she was working, do


11 you?


12 A. I don’t know.


13 Q. Okay. Okay. And you may have thought she


14 was a waitress, but you really don’t know where she


15 was waiting tables, right?


16 A. She never served me.


17 Q. Okay. And never told you where she was


18 working, right?


19 A. No.


20 Q. And David never told you where she was


21 working, right?


22 A. Never did.

In this excerpt, Mesereau asked Lopez for more details on his relationship with David, the way that David would ask him for money, and for what reasons he would ask:      

23 Q. Okay. Okay. How aggressive was David in


24 asking for money?


25 A. You know, it was — it was pretty


26 aggressive. I mean — I mean, when you’re two guys


27 talking, and the subject always comes up, it — you


28 know, you kind of get turned off to it. Every time 3830


1 we spoke, it was always about — really about money.


2 Q. And he always said he had no way to pay the


3 family’s bills, right?


4 A. That’s right.


5 Q. And you gave him little amounts that you had


6 in your pocket at the time?


7 A. Yeah, I only had little amounts at the time.


8 Q. Okay. And you — and you told the sheriffs


9 you never turned down — David never turned down any


10 gesture of kindness you offered him?


11 A. Never.


12 Q. He always wanted money, didn’t he?


13 A. He did.


14 Q. Okay. Okay. You thought the largest money


15 you gave him at one point was 80 bucks?


16 A. Probably around there, yeah.


17 Q. Okay. All right.


18 A. I literally would give the guy everything I


19 had in my wallet and just figured I’d get more


20 later.


21 Q. Now, did he ever tell you that he was giving


22 any of his money to Janet?


23 A. Never.


24 Q. Okay. You don’t know one way or the other,


25 do you?


26 A. I don’t.

Next, Lopez testified that he knew nothing about the $10,000 dollars that Louise Palanker gave to David Arvizo, which is ironic because earlier in his direct examination he just so happened to mention that he never gave David $10,000 dollars.Where did he come up with that figure?

27 Q. Okay. Now, do you know Louise Palanker?


28 A. You know, I don’t know Louise Palanker. 3831

1 Q. Ever heard her name?


2 A. Yeah, I heard her name here.


3 Q. Okay.


4 A. And on E!


5 Q. Okay. You don’t know anything about her —


6 you don’t know anything about her giving 10,000


7 bucks to Janet, do you?


8 A. I don’t.


9 Q. You don’t know anything about her giving


10 10,000 bucks to David, do you?


11 A. No, I don’t.


12 Q. Did you ever hear about that?


13 A. You know, I think it’s odd when a comedian


14 has $10,000 period, you know, so I never —


15 (Laughter.)

Here’s what Lopez said during direct examination by Zonen:

10 Q. Okay. Now, the requests for money from


11 David, was that a frequent request from him?


12 A. Yes.


13 Q. And did you give him money on a fairly


14 regular basis?


15 A. Yes. Well, I wouldn’t call it fairly


16 regular. On occasion, I would say.


17 Q. How much would you give him?


18 A. You know, 40 here. Whatever I had. 30, 20.


19 I bought him a pair of shoes one time. Stuff like


20 that. But never, you know, a check for $10,000.

Here is more information from Lopez on how Gavin would ask for him to buy gifts right in front of David, who made no attempt to stop him from making those requests:

7 Q. Okay. Okay. When you went shopping with


8 David and Gavin, were Star or Davellin present?


9 A. I think Star was.


10 Q. Okay. But you seemed, in your interview


11 with the sheriffs, to particularly recall Gavin


12 asking you to buy things for him, right?


13 A. Yes.


14 Q. You never mentioned to the sheriffs that


15 Star was asking you to buy things for him, correct?


16 A. No.


17 Q. And you thought it rather odd the father


18 never just said a word as the son looked at you and


19 said, “Buy this for me”?


20 A. It would have been nice if he stepped in.


21 Q. But he never did, right?


22 A. Never did.


23 Q. Did you ever talk to him about it?


24 A. No.


25 Q. Ever ask him, “Why are you letting your son


26 just keeping leaning on me like this”?


27 A. He’s not my kid.


28 Q. Okay. Okay. Now, would Gavin just 3836


1 typically come up to you and point at something and


2 say, “Would you buy that for me?”


3 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object to “typically.”


4 Talking about one event.


5 MR. MESEREAU: I’ll rephrase it.


6 No, it’s not — Your Honor, we’re not


7 talking about one event. It’s one day.


8 MR. ZONEN: Then it’s vague for exactly that


9 reason.


10 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You went shopping with him


11 on one particular day, right?


12 A. Right.


13 Q. You went to a number of stores, correct?


14 A. Yes.


15 Q. Gavin was with you, right?


16 A. Right.


17 Q. David was with you?


18 A. Right.


19 Q. And you think Star was with you?


20 A. I can’t remember, but I think.

21 Q. And in various stores, Gavin would point to


22 items and ask you to buy them for him?


23 A. You know how a kid does in a store, “Can you


24 buy me this?” And —


25 Q. Yeah.


26 A. — “Oh, I really” — it’s the old, you know,


27 “Oh, I really like this.”


28 Q. Well, but he wasn’t looking at his father 3837


1 and saying, “I really like this.”


2 A. No.


3 Q. He was always looking at you, with the


4 father standing right there, correct?


5 A. Yes.


6 Q. Okay. Okay. And you told the sheriffs,


7 “David seemed to intentionally stand back and make


8 no effort to rein in Gavin’s requests”?


9 A. That’s correct.


10 Q. You thought that was strange, right?


11 A. Seemed odd.


12 Q. Did you take them to lunch that day?


13 A. Yes, sir.


14 Q. Okay. And did you take them to lunch on any


15 other days; do you know?


16 A. No.

Mesereau then questions Lopez about the important details surrounding the accusation that he had stolen $300 dollars from Gavin’s wallet:

17 Q. All right. Now, where did you see the


18 wallet?


19 A. The wallet was on the fireplace mantle of my


20 house. It was the only thing on the mantle.


21 Q. And when you saw it, how did you think it


22 got there?


23 A. You know, it never occurred to me how it got


24 there, because, you know, they — nobody played in


25 that room, so it was kind of odd that a wallet would


26 end up on that — on that mantle.


27 Q. And how high up was the mantle?


28 A. You know, shoulder height. 3838


1 Q. Taller than Gavin, wasn’t it?


2 A. At that time, maybe.


3 Q. So, did it seem peculiar to you that


4 suddenly a wallet’s just lying there?


5 A. Well, being that in that room, really


6 nothing’s supposed to be in there, yeah.


7 Q. Had you seen Gavin or David in that room?


8 A. No.


9 Q. And how long had they been at your house?


10 A. Well, the beginning — when I first dropped


11 them off, they played in the backyard probably about


12 45 minutes to an hour. And then we went to the mall


13 and then came back. They just really came back to


14 use the rest room, because the drive was a little


15 far, so not much time.


16 Q. And you testified, I believe, there was a


17 $50 bill in Gavin’s wallet?


18 A. Yes, sir.


19 Q. And there was also an I.D. card, correct?


20 A. A school I.D.


21 Q. That was for Gavin, right?


22 A. Yes.


23 Q. And you told the sheriffs you thought it was


24 odd that Gavin would have $50 in a wallet, right?


25 A. Yeah.


26 Q. Not to mention the wallet sitting up on the


27 mantle in that room?


28 A. Right. 3839


1 Q. Okay. And what’s the first thing you did


2 when you opened the wallet, saw that Gavin’s name


3 was on an I.D. card, and there’s a $50 bill in it?


4 What’s the first thing you did?


5 A. The first thing I did was show it to my


6 wife, who was in the kitchen.


7 Q. And then what did you do?


8 A. Then we called the Arvizo house and made


9 arrangements to get the wallet back to them.


10 Q. And how did you get it back to them?


11 A. We sent it.


12 Q. Did you call the Arvizo home?


13 A. Yes.


14 Q. Who did you talk to?


15 A. My wife called, and I think she spoke to


16 David.


17 Q. Okay. David said, “Just send it to the


18 house”?


19 A. Yeah.


20 Q. Okay.


21 A. Well, he wanted us to take it to The Laugh


22 Factory, but we ended up sending it to the house.


23 Q. Who first talked to you about planning the


24 fund-raiser for Gavin?


25 A. You know, at that time I was having


26 conversations with David, so — and being in the


27 hospital, so I think it was between David and I and


28 my wife. 3840

1 Q. Okay. And you told the sheriffs David was


2 particularly persistent and aggressive about how


3 much money they were going to make, right?


4 A. Yes, sir.


5 Q. And you are still never seeing Janet during


6 any of this, right?


7 A. No. That’s correct.


8 Q. Never see her at the hospital, and she never


9 goes to your house, right?


10 A. That’s right.


11 Q. At some point, your wife confronted David


12 about his constant requests for money, right?


13 A. That’s right.


14 Q. Okay. And he got kind of nasty, didn’t he?


15 A. He did.


16 Q. Okay. Were you there?


17 A. I was not there.


18 Q. Okay. But you heard about it?


19 A. I did.


20 Q. And that sort of started a downhill slide in


21 your relationship with the whole family, right?


22 A. Yes, sir.


23 Q. At some point you cut off all relationships


24 with that family, correct?


25 A. That’s true.


26 Q. And you called off any work that you were


27 doing on the benefit?


28 A. That’s right. 3841

In this excerpt, Mesereau questioned Lopez further about his falling out with the Arvizos; Lopez testified that he called David an extortionist because he felt that David was falsely accusing him of stealing money from that wallet. Lopez also stated that he was upset with Jamie Masada for repaying David the $300 dollars, which implied that Jamie believed that Lopez had stolen the money:

1 Q. All right. And I think you said David tried


2 to repeatedly call you at the radio station, right?


3 A. That’s correct.


4 Q. Did you take his calls?


5 A. I did not.


6 Q. Okay. Did you tell anybody to tell them,


7 “Stop the calls”?


8 A. Well, he called usually when we were on the


9 air, but I wasn’t going to take the call after his


10 conversation with my wife.


11 Q. Okay. Now, at some point you told David


12 there’s not going to be any benefit, right?


13 A. That’s right.


14 Q. And actually, that wasn’t really correct,


15 was it? You just weren’t going to work on it


16 anymore?

17 A. I wasn’t going to do the one that I was


18 planning.


19 Q. There was some others being planned you knew


20 about?


21 A. I think so, yeah.


22 Q. How did you know about them? Through Jamie?


23 A. Through Jamie.


24 Q. Did Jamie seem to be your main source of


25 your information about the Arvizo family, other than


26 what you saw directly?


27 A. Yeah, that’s how I met them. And pretty


28 much, you know, everything was kind of going through 3842

1 Jamie. He was kind of the guy that everybody talked


2 to.


3 Q. Okay. David tried to make you feel guilty


4 about not helping Gavin at that point, didn’t he?


5 A. Um, yes. At the point of May 5th, he did.


6 Q. And you told him basically he’s an


7 extortionist, correct?


8 A. I did.


9 Q. That wasn’t a pleasant conversation, was it?


10 A. It was not.


11 Q. Okay.


12 A. And I don’t use big words like that, you


13 know.


14 (Laughter.)


15 Q. All right. Now, after you called him an


16 extortionist, what happened next?


17 A. You know, it was pretty — it was a pretty


18 heated exchange. And after that, he left. And, you


19 know, I got — I got to be honest with you, after


20 that, I had no conversations with Gavin or any of


21 the Arvizos after May 5th of that day.


22 Q. You then learned at some point from Jamie


23 Masada that Jamie had given David some money


24 supposedly to make up for what he claimed was lost


25 from the son’s wallet?


26 A. That’s right.


27 Q. And the implication was that you had taken


28 it – 3843


1 A. That I had taken it.


2 Q. And you never took a thing, right?


3 A. I did not.


4 Q. Were you upset with Masada that he would


5 even pay him something?


6 A. I was. Yeah, I was.


7 Q. Did you complain to Masada?


8 A. I did. I said, “How could you do that?”


9 Q. Okay. And he basically said to you, he


10 wanted to make peace, or words to that effect?


11 A. Words to that effect.

Shortly before ending his cross-examination, Mesereau attempted to question Lopez about his knowledge of the JC Penney scam (but Judge Melville sustained Zonen’s objection), and then questioned Lopez of his knowledge of the fact that the Arvizos had two residences, but then deliberately led him to believe that they only lived in the studio apartment in order to give him the impression that they were poorer than they really were:

12 Q. Okay. Okay. Now, are you certain you never


13 performed with Fritz Coleman at a benefit for Gavin?


14 A. You know, I’m not certain.


15 Q. So you may have done that?


16 A. I may have.


17 Q. Okay. Okay. Now, did anyone ever mention


18 to you anything about a J.C. Penney lawsuit while


19 you knew the Arvizos?


20 A. You know, I did not know about that until —


21 until after my — all ties were broken.


22 Q. Okay. And how did you learn about the J.C.


23 Penney lawsuit?


24 A. I think I learned about that from —


25 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as


26 irrelevant and hearsay.


27 THE COURT: Sustained.


28 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay. Do you recall, 3844

1 sometime after your relationship soured with the


2 Arvizos, Janet gave you a key chain?


3 A. She did.


4 Q. And approximately when was that?


5 A. That might have been maybe six months after


6 our — my dealings with David.


7 Q. Okay. So six months after you pretty much


8 severed your ties with the family?


9 A. Yeah, a key chain showed up.


10 Q. She approached you, correct?


11 A. You know, I can’t recall how I got it.


12 Q. She gave you a key chain as a way of


13 thanking you for what you’d done for the family,


14 correct?


15 A. That’s correct.


16 Q. Do you know where that happened?


17 A. You know, I don’t. I can’t remember.


18 Q. Okay. Okay. Do you know approximately when


19 it was?


20 A. No.


21 Q. Okay. Do you remember speaking to her when


22 she gave you the key chain?


23 A. You know, I can’t recall.


24 Q. Okay. But you told the sheriffs, in your


25 mind, it was her way of thanking you for what you


26 had done for the family. You told them that in your


27 interview, correct?


28 A. I think so. 3845


1 Q. Okay. Now, obviously it goes without saying


2 if Janet and David were discussing ways to get money


3 from people, you weren’t there?


4 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as speculative.


5 THE COURT: Sustained.


6 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You spent very little time


7 in their home, correct?


8 A. That’s correct.


9 Q. And you said they were from East L.A.


10 Did you mean El Monte?


11 A. You know, I only know El Monte. So if I


12 said “East L.A.,” I meant El Monte.


13 Q. When you say “El Monte,” you don’t mean East


14 L.A. is El Monte, do you?


15 A. Well, you know, any Chicano knows better


16 than that.


17 Q. Well, let me ask you this: You said —


18 A. That’s Chicano 101. East L.A. is not El


19 Monte.


20 (Laughter.)


21 Q. Right. Well, let me ask you this: You said


22 that when you first started at the comedy club, they


23 were taking a bus from East L.A., right?


24 A. Right.


25 Q. But you said when you visited their home,


26 you went to El Monte.


27 A. Yeah.


28 Q. So you never really visited a home for the 3846


1 Arvizos in East L.A., correct?


2 A. I did not.


3 Q. But they told you they were from East L.A.,


4 true?


5 A. Yeah. You know, I never really thought


6 about their geographic location whatsoever.


7 Q. Okay. So did it ever occur to you that


8 there may be two residences?


9 A. No.


10 Q. Well, if they said they were taking a bus


11 from East L.A., but they took you to their home in


12 El Monte, doesn’t that suggest two residences?


13 A. I never thought about it.

14 Q. Well, as you think about it now —


15 A. I was way off. But once they got on the


16 bus, my contact with them ended.


17 MR. MESEREAU: Okay. Okay. No further


18 questions. Thank you.


19 THE WITNESS: All right.

Under redirect examination, Lopez was questioned about his concern for Gavin when he was in the hospital, and Zonen asked a leading question by asserting that Jackson’s late night phone calls to Gavin were a cause for Lopez’s concern, which Mesereau objected to but was overruled by Judge Melville:

26 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Were you concerned at the —


27 what you were finding at the hospital when you found


28 out that Gavin had been visiting with Michael 3849

1 Jackson at his ranch?


2 A. Well, when I went to see Gavin during the


3 day, he was, you know, asleep. He was, you know,


4 tired, really tired and stuff.


5 Q. That was in conjunction with David telling


6 you he was on the phone for hours at a time in the


7 middle of the night?


8 A. Correct.


9 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; move to


10 strike.


11 THE COURT: Overruled.

Next, Lopez was asked to describe his intentions in helping out the Arvizo family, to explain why (at the time) he was a “big fan” of Gavin, and whether or not anyone besides David contributed to his decision to sever all ties with the Arvizos:

5 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: What was your intent when she


6 called you and notified you of her child’s illness?


7 A. You know, when I was — the first time I met


8 the Arvizos at The Laugh Factory, you know, I really


9 enjoyed their company, and the kids were great. And


10 I had a really good time teaching them, and they


11 were fun, you know, so — and, you know, I’d take


12 them and buy them things after, snacks. And I kind


13 of invested in them, because I saw a lot of myself


14 in their family.


15 So when I got the call that he wasn’t well,


16 you know, I did what any friend would do, is go to


17 the hospital.


18 Q. You said you were a big fan of Gavin. What


19 do you mean by that?


20 A. He’s a great kid. I mean, he had a lot of


21 spirit. And he was fearless and — you know, he did


22 little dances and stuff. It was great.


23 Q. Even when he was asking you to buy things


24 for him at the shopping mall?


25 A. I don’t know if he danced and asked at the


26 same time, but he was always kind of, you know,


27 interesting.


28 Q. When you said you cut off the family, did 3851


1 that have anything to do with the rest of the family


2 beyond David?


3 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; vague;


4 asked and answered.


5 MR. ZONEN: It’s certainly not asked and


6 answered.


7 THE COURT: Overruled.


8 You may answer. Would you want the question


9 read back?


10 THE WITNESS: Yeah. That would be nice.


11 Thank you.


12 (Record read.)


13 THE WITNESS: It was — it was everyone in


14 the family. At that time I was only having


15 conversations with David by phone. And when that


16 happened, I never spoke to anyone in the family


17 again.


18 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: You’re saying you cut off


19 everybody in the family?


20 A. Yes.


21 Q. But your reason for doing so — what were


22 your reasons for cutting off the other members of


23 the family besides David?


24 A. Was, you know, that the guy was aggressively


25 trying to get money from me. And when I cut him


26 off, you know, the rest of the family followed. I


27 wasn’t going to talk to Gavin behind his father’s


28 back, and — you know, the altercation we had May 3852


1 5th, he used that, you know, against me, because I


2 said to him, you know, “I only” — “I’ve only tried


3 to help you.” And he said, “You’ve helped me?” And


4 at that point, it was just — you know, kind of the


5 wind went out of my sails.


6 And then he said, “What am I supposed to


7 tell Gavin?” And I said, “Tell him his father’s an


8 extortionist.”


9 Q. Was there anything that Davellin, Star or


10 Janet did to contribute to your cutting off the


11 family or your attention?


12 A. No.


13 MR. ZONEN: Thank you. No further


14 questions.


15 MR. MESEREAU: No further questions, Your


16 Honor.


17 THE COURT: Thank you. You may step down.


18 THE WITNESS: Thanks.


19 MR. ZONEN: And we’ll call Ann Lopez to the


20 stand.

The next prosecution witness was Ann Serrano Lopez, the wife of George Lopez.  She testified that she never met Janet Arvizo in person, but only spoke with her on the phone during Gavin’s treatments:

22 Q. Were you ever introduced to the Arvizo


23 family?


24 A. Only in the hospital after Gavin got ill.


25 I was home with our daughter, so I didn’t ever go to


26 the comedy camp.


27 Q. Did you know that your husband was a mentor


28 to the three children — 3855

1 A. Yes, I did.


2 Q. — in conjunction with the comedy camp?


3 A. Yes, I did.


4 Q. All right. At some point in time, did you


5 become aware that one of those three children had


6 become ill with cancer?


7 A. Yes. It was around two months after the


8 graduation.


9 Q. Did you visit with him at the hospital? And


10 “with him,” I mean Gavin.


11 A. Yes, I actually met Gavin in the hospital.


12 Q. All right. Had you ever had a conversation


13 with Gavin’s mother prior to his being stricken with


14 cancer?


15 A. No.


16 Q. Did you ever meet her?


17 A. No.


18 Q. Did she ever call you prior to that?


19 A. No.


20 Q. All right. Have you ever actually met her


21 at any time?


22 A. No.


23 Q. All right. So you wouldn’t be able to


24 recognize her if you saw her?


25 A. No.


26 Q. Okay. Did you ever have any telephone


27 conversations with her at all?


28 A. Yes. 3856


1 Q. When did the telephone conversations begin?


2 A. The first telephone conversation was when


3 Gavin was stricken with cancer. She called our home


4 very distraught, and George spoke to her. And then


5 I got on the phone to comfort her about her sick


6 child.


7 Q. All right. And did you get on the phone and


8 have a conversation with her at that time?


9 A. Yes, I did.


10 Q. And did she tell you the extent of the


11 illness that she was dealing with?


12 A. Yes. She talked about the cancer.


13 Q. Did she say anything to you about the


14 description of the cancer that he had, or the


15 diagnosis, or the prognosis?


16 A. Just that it was very grave; that there was


17 a very large tumor, 10, 11, 12, something like that,


18 pounds in his cavity, and that they were going to


19 have to take out a kidney, I believe, and maybe a


20 spleen; that there were — you know, it was — that


21 there was spots on his lung. They had found spots


22 on the lung. So it was, very, very severe.


23 Q. How often did you go to the hospital?


24 A. I went less than my husband. Probably six,


25 seven times.


26 Q. The hospital we’re talking about, can you


27 tell us which hospital it is and where?


28 A. I believe it was Kaiser Permanente. 3857


1 Q. And do you know where, the location?


2 A. In Los Angeles, I think, towards downtown.


3 Q. The Sunset and Vermont hospital facility?


4 A. That’s where it was, uh-huh.


5 Q. When you got there, or any of the times that


6 you went there, did you ever see Janet?


7 A. No.


8 Q. Did you ever talk with her on the telephone


9 while you were at the hospital?


10 A. Yes. When she would call I would get on the


11 phone and speak to her, and just try to comfort her.


12 Q. Were those frequent conversations?


13 A. No. Maybe two or three times.


14 Q. Okay. How often do you think it was that


15 you visited Gavin at the hospital?


16 A. Between six and eight times. I’m not sure


17 exactly how many.


18 Q. Was David there?


19 A. Always.


20 Q. All right. Now, David is who?


21 A. David is Gavin’s father.


22 Q. And his last name?


23 A. Arvizo.


24 Q. On each of the times that you were there, he


25 was there?


26 A. Yes.

Once again, Zonen tried to portray the narrative that  David Arvizo was the grifter of the family, not Janet:

7 Q. Did you ask Mr. Arvizo, David Arvizo, where


8 his wife was?


9 A. Yes, I did.


10 Q. And what did he tell you?


11 A. He told me that she was just distraught;


12 that she couldn’t handle being there at the


13 hospital; that she would break down; and that she


14 emotionally couldn’t handle it.


15 Q. Did you have concerns about that?


16 A. Yes, I did.


17 Q. Did you have conversations with David Arvizo


18 about his financial state?


19 A. He had conversations with me about his


20 financial state.


21 Q. And tell me the distinction.


22 A. Well, he would hint that they were having


23 financial problems, and would tell me he wasn’t sure


24 how they were going to pay their bills or how they


25 were going to pay the rent.


26 Also, he told me that they were living in a


27 studio apartment, and he didn’t know how he was


28 going to get Gavin’s hospital bed and how Gavin 3859


1 could go back to that place.


2 Q. This is early on, I. Assume?


3 A. The very first visit.


4 Q. Okay. Did you know where they were living,


5 where their residence was?


6 A. No.


7 Q. Did you ever go to visit them at his home?


8 A. No.


9 Q. Or did you go to visit Gavin at the time


10 that Gavin was out of the hospital in a residence?


11 A. No.


12 Q. So you don’t know necessarily where they


13 were living?


14 A. No.


15 Q. All right. What did you think about his


16 initial comment on that first visit about his


17 financial state? What did you understand was going


18 on?


19 A. Well, it seemed to me that, you know, they


20 were a lower income family. He was taking a leave


21 of absence from his job. He told me that. And he


22 said that one of them had to work to make money for


23 the family.


24 And I found it a little strange that it


25 would be Janet because he said that she was a


26 waitress. And I thought, well, a waitress doesn’t


27 make as much as he was making. And he was also —


28 he had told me his job was the job that had medical 3860


1 care, the medical insurance.


2 Q. Did he tell you any — did he express


3 concern to you about his medical insurance?


4 A. No.


5 Q. Did he have any conversation with you at all


6 about who was paying the bills?


7 A. No, he just said it was covering the


8 expenses and that his job covered the medical


9 insurance.


10 It wasn’t until one of the later visits that


11 he said he was worried that the insurance was going


12 to run out. And I told him “Then, well, you should


13 go back to work.”


14 Q. Did he tell you that he was concerned the


15 insurance would run out because he was not at work?


16 A. Yes, because his leave of absence was


17 already very long, and he — if he didn’t go back to


18 work, then the medical insurance would lapse.


19 Q. What did you tell him?


20 A. I told him he should go back to work and get


21 on with it, and get his insurance for his son; that


22 that was the most important thing, that his son was


23 covered with medical insurance.


24 Q. At some point in time, did you make a


25 decision, perhaps with your husband or by yourself,


26 as to whether or not the Lopez family would be


27 contributing money from your own pockets to David


28 Arvizo? 3861


1 A. Yes.


2 Q. And what was that decision?


3 A. No.


4 Q. Had you talked with David about that


5 specifically?


6 A. No. I just — from the very beginning, I


7 saw things that just seemed very strange to me. I


8 didn’t know them at all. This was the first


9 meeting. David and I walked — let George have some


10 time with Gavin the first meeting and be in the


11 room. And there was like a glass partition. So


12 David and I stepped out and we were talking. And,


13 you know, at first it was very normal. He was very


14 concerned about his son and the medical attention.


15 But when he walked back into the room, I


16 noticed that the children shied away from him. And


17 there was no — there was no closeness, there was no


18 touching. I didn’t see anything that would indicate


19 that there was a bond between these children and


20 their father, especially at such a difficult time.


21 And then when he told me that Janet was not


22 going — was not going to be at the hospital, I also


23 found that — being a mother, I found that very


24 strange. Here was this woman that would take the


25 bus to take her three children to comedy camp for


26 months on end, but she can’t be at the hospital with


27 her sick child. That just seemed very strange to


28 me. So I thought there was something a little off 3862


1 there.

Next, Ann Lopez recounts what she knew about the missing money that David alleged was taken from Gavin’s wallet by George:

12 Q. Now, did you ever get a phone call back from


13 David Arvizo with regards to the wallet at any time?


14 A. No.


15 Q. Was there ever a subsequent conversation


16 from David, whether it was a phone call or in


17 person, where the subject of that conversation was


18 the wallet?


19 A. No.


20 Q. At some point in time, did you hear from


21 anybody with regards to an issue of money missing


22 from the wallet?


23 A. The way we found out about that was about a


24 month after we stopped having any contact with


25 David, I called Jamie Masada for a completely


26 different reason. I just needed a business number.


27 And, you know, we were talking. He gave me


28 the number I needed, and he said, “Listen, by the 3867


1 way, I want you to know that” — “remember that


2 wallet?” And I said, “Yes.” And he said, “Well,”


3 you know, “David said that the wallet was empty when


4 it was returned.” And I said, “Jamie, it had $50 in


5 it.”


6 And he’s like, “Well, he says there was $300


7 in it, and that it was empty when it was returned.”


8 And I was just like, “Jamie, do you really


9 think we would steal $300 from this child that we’ve


10 been trying to help?” And he said, “No, I know you


11 didn’t do it. But I gave him the $300 just to get


12 him off my back.”


13 And I offered to reimburse Jamie $300. And


14 he said, “No, absolutely not. Don’t worry about


15 it.” I was like, “Are you sure?” And he was like,


16 “Yeah, just don’t worry about it.”


17 Q. Did you have any additional conversations


18 with David Arvizo after your conversation with


19 Jamie?


20 A. No.


21 Q. In other words, at the point where you


22 learned that Jamie had been — had given $300 —


23 A. No.


24 Q. — to Mr. Arvizo, no further conversations?


25 A. No.

Zonen ended his direct examination on a high note by, once again, reiterating to the jury that David was responsible for the falling out with between the Arvizos and George Lopez, while Janet had never asked either of them for money.

8 Q. Were you having conversations with David


9 Arvizo about what was happening in pursuit of this


10 fund-raiser?


11 A. Oh, yes. He was really hounding me, calling


12 me and asking me a lot of questions.


13 Q. And tell us, give us a sense of it. I mean,


14 how often was he calling, and what was he asking?


15 A. He was calling me like every other day and


16 asking me how much money could be raised. And it


17 was just — you know, he wanted to know how much


18 money, how much money can be raised. And I told him


19 I thought we could raise probably between seven and


20 $14,000, which was actually quite a bit for a Monday


21 night fund-raiser. But my husband had gotten


22 permission to announce it on the radio station that


23 he was working at at the time.


24 Q. Was his behavior, David Arvizo’s behavior,


25 different than what you would expect of people for


26 whom you were doing fund-raisers?


27 A. He made me very suspicious, because I had


28 never done a fund-raiser where someone had asked me 3870


1 how much money was involved. I mean, usually people


2 are just so grateful that you’re helping them. And


3 so this was very strange, and I got very suspicious.


4 Q. Did you finally decide to have a


5 conversation with him that dealt specifically with


6 where the money was going to go?


7 A. Well, what I did, was I decided to test him,


8 and I told George what I was going to do. I said,


9 “You know, this is” — I just started feeling very


10 uneasy. And I said, “You know, there’s something


11 strange here. I want to test him to make sure that


12 his intentions are honorable.”


13 And so what I did was, I called him up on


14 the phone and I said, “Well, David, I just wanted to


15 let you know, the fund-raiser is going to be at such


16 and such a time, such and such a date, and I need to


17 start getting your bills. You know, I need to get


18 the name of your landlord, I need to get your credit


19 card bills, your gas bills, so we can start paying


20 them.”


21 And he became, you know, a little like,


22 “What do you mean? Aren’t I just going to get the


23 cash?” And I said, “No, we can, like, pre-pay your


24 rent for six months. We can pay your bills.” I


25 said, “No, that’s not how it works.”


26 And he said, “Well, some people that I owe


27 money to, I just owe them money.” And I said, “Give


28 me their names so we can pay them.” And he got very 3871


1 agitated. And I said, “Well, listen, this is” —


2 you know, “The radio station is involved, and that’s


3 the way it has to be handled, because they need to


4 have documentation.”


5 And then he got very angry at me.


6 Q. All right. You say he got angry at you.


7 How did he manifest that anger? What did he do?


8 What did he say?


9 A. He cursed at me.


10 Q. What did he say? I know this is a little


11 embarrassing, but what did he say?


12 A. He called me a fucking bitch and a


13 mother-fucking whore, and that’s when I hung up the


14 phone.


15 Q. Was he angry while he was saying this?


16 A. Oh, he was irate. His whole demeanor


17 changed.


18 Q. And loud?


19 A. Oh, yeah, it was — he frightened me. I was


20 shaking when I hung up the phone.


21 Q. Did he ever present like that to you before,


22 prior to that date?


23 A. No.


24 Q. Either in person or on the telephone?


25 A. No.


26 Q. And you were frightened by that?


27 A. Uh-huh.


28 Q. What did you do after that telephone call? 3872


1 A. I immediately picked up the phone and called

2 my husband at the radio station.


3 Q. And you discussed with him what had


4 happened; is that correct?


5 A. Yes.


6 Q. Was the decision made not to engage in any


7 more conduct with Mr. Arvizo?


8 A. Yes. George was very angry. And really our


9 suspicions are true, were true. I mean, they came


10 to light that he was just wanting money maybe for


11 some other reason, and it wasn’t going to go to the


12 bills. So we decided that the fund-raiser was off,


13 we weren’t going to do it, and that was it.


14 Q. How many conversations do you think —


15 telephone conversations do you think you had with


16 Janet Arvizo?


17 A. Probably four at the most. Four or five.


18 Q. During any of those conversations that you


19 had with her, did she ever ask you for assistance?


20 A. No.


21 Q. Did she ever ask you for money?


22 A. No.


23 Q. Did she ever behave in any way


24 inappropriate, in your mind?


25 A. No.


26 MR. ZONEN: Thank you. I have no further


27 questions.


28 THE COURT: Cross-examine? 3873

Ann Lopez’s cross examination will begin in the next part in this series: 

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