March 30th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Cynthia Bell (Cross Examination), Dr. Stan Katz, William Dickerman, & Jeff Klapakis (Direct & Cross Examination), Part 4 of 4
Just to reinforce to the jury how lackadaisical and unsuspicious Dickerman was of Jackson, Mesereau once again pounded home on the fact that Dickerman didn’t report any abuse or illegal behavior in his letter to Geragos on April 3rd, and he didn’t call the police until “maybe June, maybe October” of 2003, after he had signed his agreement with Feldman, and even then he only called them to get an update on the status of their investigation.
Also, pay attention to the discrepancy in his claims: on March 31st, 2003 he Dickerman stated in an internal memo to himself that Janet had told him that the harassment had ceased, but on April 8th, 2003 he wrote another letter to Mark Geragos about allegations of harassment against Janet!
26 Q. Did you want Mr. Geragos to deliver items to
27 your office?
28 A. Yes. The passports, the visas, the 4354
1 clothing, the birth certificates.
2 Q. How about furniture?
3 A. No. Never asked him. Never arranged for
4 it. We never discussed it.
5 Q. Are you saying that the Arvizos had no
6 problem with the furniture remaining in storage as
7 long as Mr. Jackson was paying for it?
8 A. Well, it was unknown to me who was paying
9 for it. It was unknown where the — to me, where
10 these things were stored. And by far, as indicated
11 in these letters, the most important thing to be
12 returned were the passports, visas, birth
13 certificates, Gavin’s undergarments, his tap shoes,
14 and the other items that I specified in letter after
15 letter, and we can go through each of those letters
16 if you want to see me specifying them, over and over
17 and over again, asking for only those items.
18 And as to the materials, the items that were
19 stored, asking for a list of items that were stored,
20 information as to where they were stored, who had
21 the key, who had control, so that we could dispose
22 of those items as my clients wished.
23 Q. And your client, Mrs. Arvizo, told you she
24 had very little furniture that anybody could have
25 taken, correct?
26 A. Again, I — she hasn’t waived the
27 attorney-client privilege, so for me to say anything
28 that isn’t in these letters would be beyond what I’m 4355
1 ethically and legally allowed to tell you.
2 Q. Well, if there is a privilege that you were
3 honoring, why did you write on April 8th the
4 following to Mr. Geragos: “She tells me that
5 contrary to what you said about there being a
6 truckload, she had very few possessions, since she
7 lived in a bachelor apartment. She does not believe
8 that much, if any, furniture was removed”?
9 A. Well, to write a letter to an attorney is
10 not a violation of the attorney-client privilege.
11 Otherwise, one lawyer could never write a letter to
12 another lawyer making any demand on behalf of his
13 client, because then you’d be waiving the
14 attorney-client privilege, which I cannot. It’s
15 impossible for me to waive her privilege.
16 And in order to get things done, obviously
17 I’ve got to describe certain things that I’m told,
18 otherwise there could be no communication.
19 Q. You wrote a letter to Mr. Geragos on April
20 3rd, 2003, correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In that letter, you never mention anything
23 about molestation, correct?
24 A. That’s correct. The only purpose of the
25 letter was to get the items that I had written about
27 Q. In the April 3rd letter, 2003, you mention
28 nothing about alcohol, correct? 4356
1 A. That’s correct.
2 Q. You mention nothing about false
3 imprisonment, correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. You mention nothing about any alleged
6 kidnapping, correct?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. You mentioning nothing about any alleged
9 extortion, correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And as of April 3rd, 2003, you have never
12 called the police on behalf of the Arvizos, correct?
13 A. Not correct.
14 Q. You didn’t call the police to report false
15 imprisonment, molestation, or extortion?
16 A. That’s not what you asked. You’d asked if I
17 had ever called the police.
18 Q. When did you call the police?
19 A. I was interested to find out what was
20 happening with the investigation, and I called, I
21 guess it was the sheriff’s office, spoke to — I
22 don’t know. I know I called. I don’t know if I
23 spoke to Sergeant Robel.
24 Q. Not during this time period, sir.
25 A. No. I never called the police to report
26 anything about the Arvizos.
27 Q. You’re talking about calling the police at a
28 much later date to find out about this case, 4357
2 A. Right. But your question wasn’t limited,
3 and I wanted to make sure that I’m exactly accurate,
4 to the extent that I can.
5 Q. When did you call Mr. Robel, if you know?
6 A. It seems to me it was sometime after June
7 ‘03. Maybe October.
8 Q. October of 2003?
9 A. Maybe June, maybe October. I know I’ve
10 produced for subpoena a sheet of something regarding
11 a phone call to him.
12 Q. And this would have been after you entered
13 into a legal fee arrangement with Attorney Larry
14 Feldman, correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Approximately when did you enter into the
17 fee arrangement with Attorney Larry Feldman?
18 A. Probably early May.
19 Q. So you enter into a fee arrangement with
20 Attorney Larry Feldman in May, and possibly a month
21 later, you called the sheriffs to find out about an
22 investigation; is that correct?
23 A. I — I should probably take back the “June.”
24 I recall, I think October. But you’ve got the
25 notes. So if it’s June, it’s there.
26 Q. Okay. But right now we’re on April 3rd.
27 A. Let me clear up something, though, if I
28 might. I don’t know what the significance is of a 4358
1 fee arrangement with Larry Feldman. I previously
2 had fee agreements with the Arvizos that were
3 substantially more lucrative to me than they were
4 later on, and what they did was they retained both
5 of us. It was not they retained Feldman, who then
6 agreed to give me a share of whatever recovery there
8 Q. Up to this very date, as you sit here today,
9 you have a fee arrangement with Mr. Feldman, as you
10 testified, correct?
11 A. As far as I’m concerned, yes.
12 Q. Okay. You then wrote a letter to Mr.
13 Geragos on April 8th, 2003, correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Again, you discussed your clients’
16 possessions, right?
17 A. Yes. And other things as well.
18 Q. You talk about allegations of harassment,
20 A. Right.
21 Q. You say that the harassment has not ceased,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. But in your internal memo to yourself of
25 March 31st, 2003, you say that Janet has told you
26 the harassment has ceased, right?
27 A. As of that day, she said she was no longer
28 being harassed. I guess it picked up after that, or 4359
1 it was a lull in the harassment.
2 Q. You just got that information from Janet,
4 A. Just got what information?
5 Q. The information about harassment resuming
6 comes from Janet, correct?
7 A. Perhaps other of the family as well.
8 Q. And nowhere in that letter of April 8th,
9 2003, do you mention molestation, correct?
10 A. I think I can short-circuit this. I never
11 mentioned molestation, kidnapping, alcohol or any of
13 Q. False imprisonment?
14 A. Or false imprisonment to Mr. Geragos. That
15 was not the purpose of any of these letters. All of
16 these letters were for the purpose of him getting
17 things back to my clients and stopping the
19 Q. So in all of these letters, you represent —
20 excuse me, you identify various claims against Mr.
21 Jackson, like harassment, and wanting property
22 returned, and not wanting unauthorized use of the
23 Bashir material, but in none of them do you mention
24 the things I’ve just described, molestation,
25 alcohol, false imprisonment, extortion, kidnapping,
27 A. I’ve just said that.
In this excerpt, Dickerman described how he wrote a letter to Mark Geragos demanding that no footage of the Arvizos be used in Jackson’s “The Footage You Were Never Meant To See” documentary:
22 Q. You wrote to Mr. Geragos again on April
23 11th, 2003, right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The subject of that letter is your desire
26 that no footage involving the Arvizos be used by
27 anyone associated with Michael Jackson, right?
28 A. Well, it was with regard to a contemplated 4362
1 program by FOX.
2 Q. How did you learn that FOX was going to
3 broadcast something about Michael Jackson?
4 A. I don’t recall.
5 Q. But what you told Mr. Geragos was that if
6 there was any such program, they were not to use
7 your clients’ footage without their consent, right?
8 A. No. It said that there was no consent and
9 therefore they may not use that footage.
10 Q. The reason for all of this, Mr. Dickerman,
11 was the Arvizos wanted to be paid if the footage was
12 used, right?
13 A. I can’t say what was in their head. That
14 was never communicated to me —
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. — ever, under any stretch of the
18 If — I’ll tell you, if I thought so, I
19 would have been demanding money. I would have said,
20 “Give me a call, and let’s talk about what can be
21 done,” or we would have had a phone conversation.
22 If you want money, this is not the way to go about
24 Q. Mr. Dickerman, the way to go about getting
25 money is to tell people not to use the footage and
26 start the process of negotiation right there,
28 A. That’s not the way that I would do it. 4363
1 Q. Okay. All right.
2 A. Especially with a fellow who was as hostile
3 as Mr. Geragos was. That’s not at all how I would
4 do it.
5 Q. But you were writing to other lawyers around
6 the country, including Mr. Zucker in New York, and
7 lawyers in England, and lawyers in Los Angeles, in
8 Burbank, right?
9 A. I did write to other lawyers. But I can
10 tell you this: There was never a request for money.
11 And the reason there was no request for money is
12 because I was never told — in fact, much to the
13 contrary. I was never told to seek money for any
14 purpose from anyone with regard to Michael Jackson,
16 Q. Did Mr. Masada, your client for many years,
17 ever say words to the effect to you, “They’re making
18 millions and these poor people are getting none of
19 the money”?
20 A. I don’t recall.
21 Q. Okay. But obviously he’s the one that
22 brought them to you, right?
23 A. I don’t know what you mean by “obviously,”
24 but Mr. Masada brought them to me, yes.
Finally, Mesereau concluded his cross-examination by questioning Dickerman on his knowledge of the fact that if someone earned a conviction in criminal court on child abuse charges, they could automatically win a judgment against the perpetrator in civil court, to which Dickerman replied that he assumed that would be the case. This was an attempt by the defense to show the true motivation of the Arvizos to participate in this criminal prosecution of Jackson; the money won from a subsequent civil lawsuit was their light at the end of the tunnel!
28 Q. Now, as a civil litigator, you’re aware that 4373
1 if you obtain a criminal conviction in a case of
2 alleged child molestation, any parallel civil case
3 is automatically won on liability, right?
4 A. Actually, I’ve heard that recently. But not
5 having ever been involved in such a case, I can’t
6 say that I know that for sure. I haven’t researched
7 the law on it.
8 Q. But you certainly know that if someone has a
9 judgment of a criminal conviction against them for
10 sexual assault, you can use that in a civil court to
11 establish liability and not have to incur the
12 expenses and the time involved in a trial on
13 liability, right?
14 A. I would assume that to be the case.
15 Q. The only issue at that point would be how
16 much money you get in a civil courtroom, correct?
17 A. I don’t know if there are other issues, but
18 I think as the judgment, that’s true of any criminal
19 action, that you don’t then have to go, once again,
20 and prove exactly what was proved with a higher
21 burden of proof.
22 MR. MESEREAU: No further questions, Your
In a last ditch attempt to portray the Arvizos in an impressionable light, Zonen got Dickerman to once again reaffirm that he never sought money for the Arvizos from any media outlet, and that he merely wanted to stop their exploitation:
25 REDIRECT EXAMINATION
26 BY MR. ZONEN:
27 Q. Mr. Dickerman, before we took the break, Mr.
28 Mesereau had asked you about a letter that you had 4374
1 sent to Michael Kahan, or Kahana, and we took the
2 break and we came back and he didn’t follow up on
3 that document.
4 Have you had a chance to see that document
5 dated April 3rd, 2003?
6 A. I did. I found it in my file.
7 Q. Mr. Dickerman asked you if, in fact, you
8 made a demand for royalties for photographs
9 published in the Globe; is that correct?
10 A. Do you mean Mr. Mesereau?
11 Q. I’m sorry, Mr. Mesereau asked that of you.
12 A. I don’t recall if he asked that or not.
13 Q. Did you, in fact, make a demand for
14 royalties in this letter?
15 A. No, I — I — I never made a demand for
16 money on behalf of the Arvizos in any letter, in any
17 communication, for any purpose under the sun.
18 Q. What did you ask the Globe newspaper to do
19 in this case? I’m assuming the Globe is a
21 A. Yeah, it’s a tabloid.
22 Q. What did you ask them to do in this letter?
23 A. I’ll quote the last paragraph. “Unless the
24 Globe and American Media can provide valid consents,
25 as described above,” that’s referring to consent by
26 my clients to be in the Globe, “the Arvizos demand
27 that the Globe and American Media immediately cease
28 and desist from using or in any other way exploiting 4375
1 photographs of any of my clients.
2 “My clients further demand the Globe and
3 American Media cease and desist from any further
4 mention of them in any publications,” close quote.
5 Q. You asked that they take them out of the
6 newspaper and not put them back in again, is that
8 A. That was it. That was — the concern was to
9 stop exploiting them, period.
10 Q. Did not ask for money?
11 A. No.
12 MR. ZONEN: No further questions.
13 MR. MESEREAU: No further questions, Your
15 THE COURT: Thank you. You may step down.
16 Call your next witness.
The next prosecution witness was Lieutenant Jeff Klapakis, who previously testified earlier in the trial, but was re-called by Sneddon in order to discuss the forensics evidence in this case. He was in charge of overseeing the entire investigation against Jackson; here’s his description of his involvement with the forensics evidence of this case.
Notice the cheap shot that Sneddon took at Mesereau by sarcastically asking Lt. Klapakis if the FBI could also be referred to as “the government”:
18 Q. Now, were you involved in developing a —
19 what might be called a forensic game plan for the
20 processing of the items that were taken from the
21 Neverland Valley Ranch on November 18?
22 A. Yes, I was part of that.
23 Q. And what was your role in that plan?
24 A. As well as providing input and asking
25 questions, I was the ultimate person to make the
26 last decision on what we were going to do.
27 Q. And with regard to the particular plan, what
28 did you do in your capacity as the person in charge 4381
1 of making these decisions to help you make those
2 kinds of decisions? Did you do any research? Did
3 you do any checking? Did you have people do things
4 so they could give you advice as to what the
5 decision should be?
6 A. Yes, I conferred with my forensic unit. We
7 talked about the type of materials that we had, and
8 that we had seized from the ranch.
9 One of the things we decided to do was to go
10 out and get a similar type of material, adult
11 material magazine, and practice with it. Again,
12 we’re talking about different forms of paper. We
13 wanted to make sure that any processes that we did
14 to develop and stabilize latent prints would not be
15 destroyed by a previous process. So, that was one
16 of the things that we went out and did, and
17 practiced with that.
18 Q. When did you commence that portion of your
19 planning stages on the game plan?
20 A. Well, the first part of the game plan was to
21 photograph some of the materials. And we started on
22 that process. At that point in time, I stopped the
23 forensic unit, and I asked them to go over the
24 materials with an alternate light source in hopes of
25 developing or finding any biological fluids.
26 Q. And when specifically do you recall, in
27 terms of from November the 18th of 2003, was it that
28 the alternative light source was used to process the 4382
1 materials that still remained in the sheriff’s
2 department custody?
3 A. I’d say December or January. December ‘03
4 to January ‘04.
5 Q. And were you aware of the fact, in your
6 capacity as the lead person in making these forensic
7 decisions, that certain items were taken to the
8 Department of Justice in the month of February?
9 A. Yes, they were.
10 Q. Was that under your — your direction that
11 they be taken there?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, let’s go back just a second to the
14 testing protocol. You told the ladies and gentlemen
15 of the jury one of the things that you directed
16 staff to do was to buy various magazines and to
17 experiment with them; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, was that particular experimentation or
20 process development directly related to a particular
21 type of forensic examination, or to more than one
22 type that you anticipated?
23 A. Multiple types.
24 Q. And what would be the multiple types that
25 you had in mind?
26 A. Certainly super gluing, and using other
27 types of — I’m not a forensic scientist, but super
28 gluing those would be one of them. Using a process 4383
1 called ninhydrin would be another one. Certainly
2 fingerprint powder, to see if that developed any.
3 We wanted to do — also examine it with the
4 naked eye as — without any powders or anything on
5 it by using a — what we refer to as a Scenescope.
6 Q. So most of the things that you just talked
7 about were the processes directly related to the
8 latent print examination, correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, in connection with developing the
11 process that was eventually used to process latent
12 prints or process the magazines that may or may not
13 have developed latent prints, did you consult with
14 any outside agencies in the development of that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Who did you consult with?
18 A. The FBI.
19 Q. Now, the jury’s heard a lot about several
20 organizations, and I want to just digress for just a
21 moment and talk about this a little bit.
22 The FBI is a federal agency, correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Or as Mr. Mesereau would call them, they’re
25 the government?
26 A. Yes.
27 Q. Now, where are their labs that deal with the
28 fingerprint and latent examinations? 4384
1 A. Quantico, Virginia.
2 Q. Now, we’ve also heard another branch of
3 government called the Department of Justice,
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And when you use the Department of Justice,
7 what are you talking about?
8 A. That’s a state lab. California state lab.
9 Q. And with regard to that particular lab, do
10 they have local facilities?
11 A. Yes. Small, but yes.
12 Q. Do they provide a full range of forensic
13 assistance at the local lab?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Are there certain things that are sent to
16 the local lab, but then have to be sent up to the
17 Department of Justice elsewhere?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And to your knowledge, does the Department
20 of Justice do latent fingerprint examinations?
21 A. I don’t believe they do those. At least we
22 have never used them for that.
23 Q. Do they do DNA work?
24 A. Yes, they do the preliminaries. And then I
25 believe that they send those out to Richmond, I
27 Q. In a lab in Richmond?
28 A. Yes. 4385
1 Q. Now, after the — you’ve told the ladies and
2 gentlemen of the jury that certain materials were
3 sent to the Department of Justice locally for a
4 forensic examination in February?
5 A. That’s right.
According to Lt. Klapakis, there were over 100 adult magazines tested for fingerprints:
6 Q. Now, at some point, you received the items
7 back from the Department of Justice, the local
8 Department of Justice, that had been sent in
9 February. Do you recall that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you recall when you got them back?
12 A. The latter part of July, almost August.
13 Q. And when you got those materials back, most
14 of those were magazines; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And was a decision made at some point after
17 that as to how, and in what priority, certain
18 materials would be processed?
19 A. Yes, based on the testing protocol that we
20 had done, plus our conferring with the FBI, we
21 developed our own protocol to what would work best
22 in trying to develop and stabilize any latent prints
23 on the magazines. And then that, I believe, was in
24 August ‘04. In conference with your office, my
25 office, we developed prioritizations of which
26 magazines to do first.
27 Q. Do you have an estimate of how many
28 magazines were involved here? 4387
1 A. Hundred-plus.
2 Q. Have you ever had a situation to do latent
3 examination on 100 magazines in a case?
4 A. Not every page.
5 Q. Now, you said that there was a meeting
6 between your department and the District Attorney’s
7 Office —
8 A. Right.
9 Q. — with regard to prioritization.
10 What decisions were made with regard to
11 how — what month was that?
12 A. August, ‘04.
13 Q. And with regard to that, what prioritization
14 was developed for the processing of the magazines in
15 this case that were seized from Neverland Ranch on
16 November the 18th?
17 A. Prior to — the priority was placed on Item
18 317, the magazines from the briefcase.
19 Q. And thereafter, what was the priority to be?
20 A. I believe — and any other magazines found
21 within Mr. Jackson’s bedroom. Bedroom, den, room.
22 Q. Upstairs or downstairs?
23 A. Yes. Bathroom as well.
24 Q. Now, did you or anybody under your direction
25 take steps to obtain the release of the magazines
26 and the briefcase that we refer to in this case as
27 470, and you refer to as 317 from the grand jury?
28 A. Yes. 4388
1 Q. And what occurred in that connection?
2 A. Detective Bonner — we had to get a court
3 order to get it out of the grand jury. In order to
4 do that process, we — I believe the Court requested
5 that we replace what we took out with photographs.
6 Detective Bonner — and I believe the defense had to
7 review that as well, before we can get the court
8 order. I sent Detective Bonner to the Court, who
9 took photographs of the items from the grand jury.
10 And then in October we received a court order and
11 got the magazines out.
Under cross examination, Lt. Klapakis tried to defend the decision to use 69 officers to search Neverland by saying it had nothing to do with Jackson’s celebrity, but was instead due to the multitude of operations that required additional personnel. Notice how he said that the media was not contacted prior to the search, but that’s not true! There was a certain tabloid reporter who was the first to report the raid, and guess who it was? I’ll reveal it after the excerpt below!
27 BY MR. MESEREAU:
28 Q. Good afternoon. 4392
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. Approximately 69 personnel did a search on
3 Neverland Ranch, correct?
4 A. Approximately 69 persons were involved in
5 the operation, yes.
6 Q. And how many were sheriffs, if you know?
7 A. I would say 90 percent.
8 Q. Have you ever done a search with that many
9 sheriffs before?
10 A. I was involved in a peripheral investigation
11 with the City of Guadalupe where we basically took
12 over the town, so, yes, I’d have to say.
13 Q. Your typical homicide investigation in Santa
14 Barbara County, you don’t use 69 sheriffs for a
15 search, do you, of a home?
16 A. No.
17 Q. And your typical homicide investigation in
18 Santa Barbara County, you don’t even come close to
19 using that number in a search of a home, right?
20 A. That’s correct.
21 Q. It was done here because Mr. Jackson is a
22 celebrity, correct?
23 A. That’s not why it was done.
24 Q. The fact that Mr. Jackson is known as a
25 megastar around the world has nothing to do with
26 taking 69 people to search his home?
27 A. There were a lot of other operations going
28 on in regards to the search that required additional 4393
2 Q. Were you in charge of the search?
3 A. Yes, sir, I was.
4 Q. And isn’t it true that your office contacted
5 the media before the search?
6 A. That is not correct.
7 Q. Do you remember an operations plan you put
8 together to have people read before the search?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did it talk about media observing the
12 A. One of the personnel that we had there was a
13 public information officer; that the sole purpose of
14 having him there was, once we conducted the search,
15 we thought the word might get out.
The “reporter” who was at Neverland during the raid was – surprise, surprise! – Diane Dimond! Here’s an excerpt from page 3 of her book “Be Careful Who You Love”, where she describes the “birthday present” that she received on November 15th, 2003: a confirmation of the raid on Neverland that she had ALREADY been alerted to a few months prior!
Several years went by. My life went on. Flash-forward to my birthday, November 15, 2003. I got “the” call. I had been alerted a few months earlier that a new Jackson child molestation investigation was percolating and on that day I learned that another raid on Neverland was a go. There was also a secret arrest warrant pending, and if Michael Jackson was anywhere on his 2,700-acre ranch, he would be arrested on child molestation charges immeditely.
I knew this story was going to explode worldwide again, almost exactly ten years after the first provocative headlines about Michael Jackson linked his name and the words “child molestation.” But this time there was an enormous difference— the complaining family was determined to cooperate with police investigators. Sources told me, emphatically, they weren’t after money. This family was after justice.
And let’s listen to Dimond herself describe the calls that she received from her “sources” about the investigation and upcoming raid on Neverland, beginning at the 6:25 mark:
Next, Lt. Klapakis was grilled by Mesereau about the press conference that was given by Sneddon and Sheriff Jim Thomas, which can be viewed in its entirety here:
16 Q. Before you conducted the search, did you
17 make plans for any type of press conference?
18 A. I — I believe the sheriff’s department was
19 involved in that process, yes. I didn’t. Your
20 question was did I.
21 Q. Let me rephrase it.
22 A. Okay.
23 Q. Before approximately 69 people searched Mr.
24 Jackson’s home and surrounding location —
25 A. Uh-huh.
26 Q. — plans were already in effect by the Santa
27 Barbara Sheriff’s Department to conduct a press
28 conference, right? 4394
1 A. I believe that they planned that.
2 Q. Did that have anything to do with the fact
3 that Mr. Jackson is a megastar?
4 A. I believe that we do that for all newsworthy
5 stories that we become involved in.
6 Q. You haven’t answered my question. Let me
7 rephrase it.
8 A. The answer is no, then.
9 Q. So the planning of a press conference by the
10 sheriff’s department before the search of Mr.
11 Jackson’s home and the plans specifically directed
12 at a press conference had nothing to do with the
13 fact that Mr. Jackson is perceived as a megastar,
15 A. You know, I — maybe it was. I’m not — I’m
16 not sure I can answer that. I mean, it was involved
17 with who it was and the case, the type of case that
18 we were investigating. It’s a newsworthy item.
19 Q. Did the fact that Mr. Jackson is perceived
20 as a well-known celebrity internationally have
21 anything to do with the number of people involved in
22 the search?
23 MR. SNEDDON: Objection as asked and
24 answered, Your Honor.
25 THE COURT: Sustained. Sustained.
26 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Who planned the press
27 conference prior to the search?
28 A. Well, I’d have to say Sergeant Chris Pappas 4395
1 was involved in that, but I’m not — I’m not sure.
2 I was involved in a different aspect of it. I think
3 that they were talking about the potential of the
4 media getting involved in this and so they wanted to
5 have a plan in place.
6 Q. How fast after the search began was there
7 any press conference?
8 A. Mr. Mesereau, I couldn’t tell you that. I
9 was so engrossed in the events on the ranch that I
10 wasn’t paying attention to what was going on
12 Q. Do you recall your participating in any
13 press conference related to the search of Mr.
14 Jackson’s home?
15 A. No, I don’t believe I was.
16 Q. Was anyone from your office involved in that
17 press conference, to your knowledge?
18 A. There was a press conference with — with,
19 I believe, the public information officer outside of
20 our office.
21 Q. Before you conducted your search, press
22 releases had already been printed regarding the
23 search, true?
24 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, I’m going to
25 object. No foundation.
26 THE COURT: Foundation is sustained.
27 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Do you know whether or
28 not, before you conducted the search of Mr. 4396
1 Jackson’s home with approximately 69 personnel, any
2 press releases had already been prepared regarding
3 the search?
4 A. No, I do not know that.
5 Q. Did you ever see such a press release at any
6 time that you’ve been involved in this case?
7 A. It’s possible I have. I can’t tell you
8 when. Certainly — I don’t believe I saw one prior
9 to the service of the search warrant.
10 Q. Were the people who searched Mr. Jackson’s
11 residence instructed in advance how to handle the
13 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, I’m going to
14 object to this as immaterial, irrelevant, and beyond
15 the scope of the direct examination.
16 THE COURT: Did you go into the search on
18 MR. SNEDDON: I just asked him if he was
19 there. I didn’t go into any of the details of it.
20 Just to lay the foundation for what he did to
21 process the stuff forensically.
22 MR. MESEREAU: He did go into the search,
23 Your Honor. Not the media issue, but he did go into
24 the search.
25 THE COURT: All right. I’ll allow the
27 Do you want it reread?
28 THE WITNESS: Please. 4397
1 (Record read.)
2 THE WITNESS: Yes.
3 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Who did the instructing,
4 if you know?
5 A. Probably myself, Sergeant Koopmans, possibly
6 Sergeant Robel.
7 Q. Did you say probably yourself?
8 A. Probably my — we had an operations briefing
9 where several persons involved in different aspects
10 of the operation gave briefings on their aspect.
11 Q. Did you engage in any such briefing?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. When was that?
14 A. The morning of the search.
15 Q. When you arrived at Neverland to commence
16 the search, did you see any representatives of the
17 media present?
18 A. I saw a car on the side of the road. There
19 wasn’t an insignia on it.
20 Q. Did you see any helicopters flying above?
21 A. No.
22 Q. At some point did you see them?
23 A. At some point there were several helicopters
25 Q. Do you have any idea who notified them about
26 the search?
27 A. I have no idea.
28 Q. No clue at all, right? 4398
1 A. I have none.
2 Q. Do you have any knowledge that anyone in the
3 sheriff’s department notified the media about the
4 search of Mr. Jackson’s home?
5 A. I have no knowledge of that.
Here’s a copy of the press release that was issued about the raid, followed by a press released announcing the arrest warrant for Jackson:
Open this link to see other press releases that were released by Sneddon in the days and weeks following Jackson’s arrest: http://web.archive.org/web/20071114164321/www.sbsheriff.org/mj/ In this next series of questions, Mesereau attempted to drive home the fact that 69 officers raided Nevrland on alleged child abuse charges, but there have never been that many who raided the homes of murderers, so
Jackson’s celebrity certainly had something to do with such an exorbitant amount of force being used (although Lt. Klapakis refused to admit it.)
26 Q. Were you in Mr. Jackson’s home during the
27 day of the search?
28 A. Yes, I was. 4399
1 Q. How many people were in Mr. Jackson’s home
2 on the day of the search that were part of your
4 A. Inside his main house?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. I would say inside his main house, we had –
7 it changed – anywhere from 15 to 25 at any one
8 particular time.
9 Q. How many people in total out of the 69 that
10 were involved in the search of Mr. Jackson’s
11 residence entered his house that day, if you know?
12 A. Again, the main house?
13 Q. Yes, please.
14 A. Well, we kept a log of people that were
15 entering in the house. I myself entered and exited
16 several times. So I cannot give you an adequate
17 answer to that question.
18 Q. It was more than 25, was it not?
19 A. That were conducting the search in the main
21 Q. That went into his house at any time during
22 the day.
23 A. I’d have to say yes.
24 Q. Was it more than 45, to your knowledge?
25 A. I’d say that possibly could be correct. We
26 were conducting interviews in the house, so, yes.
27 And you’re talking just our personnel or perhaps
28 ranch employees as well? 4400
1 Q. No, your personnel.
2 A. Then I’d say you’re probably — somewhere
3 around that.
4 Q. Close to 45?
5 A. I’m assuming, yes.
6 Q. You have never been in an investigation
7 where 45 people were allowed to walk into someone’s
8 home, correct?
9 A. In a home, no.
10 Q. This was the first time, correct?
11 A. It’s the first time I’ve been involved in
12 something, or an estate this size, that we had that
13 many people.
14 Q. Did the fact that Mr. Jackson is a
15 well-known celebrity have anything to do with the
16 number of people you allowed into his home on that
18 A. No.
19 Q. In your typical homicide investigation, 45
20 people don’t enter a residence, correct?
21 A. No, they do not.
Here’s where Lt. Klapakis recounts the second search of Neverland on December 4th, 2004:
22 Q. What were the hours you conducted that
23 search during the first day?
24 A. I believe eight or nine o’clock in the
25 morning till 11:30 at night.
26 Q. You then conducted a second search of Mr.
27 Jackson’s home, correct?
28 A. In, I believe, November ‘04. 4401
1 Q. And what were the hours that you kept in
2 that search?
3 A. I believe we entered about nine o’clock in
4 the morning and left in the afternoon time.
5 Q. That search was actually in December, wasn’t
6 it? December 4th sound right?
7 A. It could. It’s possible, yes.
8 Q. Now, both of those searches were done by
9 surprise, correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Special efforts were taken to make sure that
12 Mr. Jackson or his family did not know the search
13 was going to be conducted, right?
14 A. We didn’t publicize it.
15 Q. But special efforts were taken to make sure
16 Mr. Jackson and his family didn’t know about either
17 of these searches in advance, correct?
18 A. No more special than we do in any other
19 search warrant. So I don’t — if you’re — I didn’t
20 do anything different.
21 Q. Let me ask the question again.
22 A. Okay.
23 Q. I don’t think I’ve gotten an answer, but —
24 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, I’m going to
25 object to counsel’s comments, and it’s
27 THE COURT: Sustained.
28 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Were you in charge of the 4402
1 second search on or about December 4th, 2004?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Would you agree that within minutes of the
4 search of Mr. Jackson’s residence on December 4th,
5 2004, the press knew about it?
6 A. I wouldn’t say minutes. I’d say that the
7 press eventually found out.
8 Q. They seemed to know very quickly, correct?
9 A. Within an hour.
10 Q. Do you have any idea who notified them?
11 A. I have suspicions.
12 Q. Do you think somebody in the sheriff’s
13 department notified them?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Was a press release prepared regarding that
17 A. I don’t believe so, but I’m not sure on
19 Q. Have you ever seen a press release regarding
20 that search?
21 A. I have not personally seen it, no.
22 Q. So are you telling the jury that there were
23 efforts made in advance to deal with the media
24 before the first search but not before the second
26 A. What I’m telling you is that my job was not
27 involved in that aspect of it. That was turned over
28 to our public information officer. My 4403
1 responsibility was the service of the search at
2 Neverland, and that’s where my operation stayed.
3 Q. As the one in charge of both search teams,
4 did you have any involvement with your public
5 information office?
6 A. Just notifying, notifying them that we would
7 be conducting a search on that day, and at Neverland
8 Valley Ranch.
9 Q. Were you ever asked to review in advance any
10 information designed to be published by your public
11 information office about either search?
12 A. I do not recall — again, I do not recall
13 reading a press release, as you call it, prior to
14 the service of any search warrant at Neverland.
Next, Lt. Klapakis recounts the evidence that was obtained for DNA testing:
15 Q. What safeguards were taken to preserve
16 evidence that you seized from Neverland on November
17 18th, 2003?
18 MR. SNEDDON: Object as asked and answered.
19 MR. MESEREAU: I asked about contamination,
20 Your Honor. I think my question is broader. But I
21 could rephrase if the Court wants.
22 THE COURT: All right. Rephrase.
23 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: With the exception of
24 issues of contamination, what safeguards were taken
25 to preserve evidence seized at Neverland on November
26 18th, 2003?
27 A. Well, initially, we videotaped our entry
28 into the residence. We also videotaped and used 4404
1 still photography. We also did that at the
2 conclusion of our search. The people that entered
3 into the residence were logged in, and logged out.
4 Those people entering the residence that were going
5 to conduct searches were wearing gloves on their
7 Q. Anything else you can think of?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Were there any safeguards you put into place
10 to try and preserve any DNA evidence that might
12 A. I — the only — other than collecting the
13 materials, the adult material, the magazines and the
14 bedding from Mr. Jackson’s bedroom, my only
15 involvement was directing my forensic unit — was
16 assisting to get the search warrant for that
17 material and directing them what we were to take.
18 They handled the operation themselves.
19 Q. Did you say you were in charge of obtaining
20 evidence from Mr. Jackson’s bedroom for possible DNA
22 A. I was aware that there was bedding material
23 and a bed in his bedroom that was not part of the
24 original search warrant. I then —
25 Q. Was that material obtained for DNA testing?
26 A. I believe that it was.
27 Q. When, if you know?
28 A. I do not know the exact date. It was 4405
1 submitted to the DOJ lab, I believe.
2 Q. Was it obtained in the search on November
3 18th, to your knowledge?
4 A. The bedding?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Yes. There was other materials too, I
7 believe, that were submitted.
8 Q. And when was this material submitted to DNA
10 A. Again, I can’t give you the exact date.
11 Sometime early part of 2004.
12 Q. You never even asked for Mr. Jackson’s DNA
13 until December 4th, 2004, correct?
14 A. That’s correct.
15 Q. That was over one year after the initial
16 search, correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. To your knowledge, did the FBI do any DNA
19 testing in this case?
20 A. To my knowledge, no.
21 Q. Did you direct the FBI to do any particular
22 kinds of forensic analysis in the case?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. And what were those types of forensic
26 A. They assisted us with some of the computers
27 that we had found, particularly the Macs.
28 Q. Anything else you asked them to do? 4406
1 A. I believe I asked them to do some background
2 information on some of the other people involved in
3 this investigation.
4 Q. How much time did the State Department of
5 Justice spend on forensics testing in this case, if
6 you know?
7 A. I do not know that.
8 Q. You made some statements that the FBI
9 assisted you, right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What does “assistance” mean?
12 A. Well, they provided me some information,
13 again, on backgrounds of persons that became
14 involved in this case. They sent out — I believe
15 that they call it a cart unit. That is their
16 forensic computer examination team that assisted us
17 in forensically examining these Mac computers that
18 we were not able to do ourselves.
19 THE COURT: Counsel, I’d like to stop a
20 couple minutes early, because I’ve been asked to.
21 The attorneys need to talk to me.
23 MR. MESEREAU: Yes, Your Honor.
24 THE COURT: All right. We’re going to stop.
25 (To the jury) Tomorrow, don’t come here.
27 THE COURT: (To the jury) I’ll see you
28 Friday morning, 8:30. 4407
Here is a series of post that was published on the Vindicate MJ blog that debunks the prosecution’s assertions that a pair of bloody underwear with traces of crack cocaine found in the blood belonged to Jackson, and their assertion that the multiple samples of male DNA that were found on Jackson’s mattress belonged to the Arvizos:
In reference to Lt. Klapakis’ testimony about the FBI’s assistance with analyzing Jackson’s computers, here is a link to their now declassified file on Jackson, that was released in December 2009 under the Freedom of Information Act. In it, the FBI declared that there was no child pornography found on any of Jackson’s 18 computers that were analyzed by their forensic investigators (otherwise, Jackson would have been arrested and charged with possession of child porn).
After dismissing court early, Sneddon announced to Judge Melville that he would call his 1108 witnesses 2 weeks earlier than expected:
2 (The following proceedings were held in
3 open court outside the presence and hearing of the
6 THE COURT: All right, Counsel. I was just
7 giving Mr. Oxman some medical advice.
8 MR. SNEDDON: I thought you were giving him
9 his thousand dollars back.
10 MR. MESEREAU: Your Honor, do we go in your
11 chambers? You want to go to chambers?
12 MR. SNEDDON: The matter I’m talking about
13 doesn’t need to go into chambers.
14 THE COURT: Did you want to go into chambers?
15 MR. MESEREAU: If it’s the issue we talked
16 about, I’d like to go in chambers.
17 MR. SNEDDON: Okay, this should be done in
18 open court.
19 Your Honor, I wanted to tell the Court,
20 because I made some representations to the Court a
21 few days ago, and I notified counsel last night, we
22 have had to juggle the way we’re going to put on
23 evidence in this case. And I want the Court to know
24 that we intend to start putting on the 1108 evidence
25 on Monday. Instead of two weeks, like I said
26 originally. And these sort of things are beyond our
28 In any case, that’s what we’re going to do. 4408
1 I wanted the Court to know that, because you asked
2 us about the instructions and stuff.
3 THE COURT: The instructions.
4 MR. SNEDDON: And I wanted to tell the Court
5 that we had — we reviewed that and we already
6 submitted our instructions in that regard, and
7 specifically the CALJICs, and that’s what we —
8 THE COURT: Tell me what ones — I mean, you
9 have submitted —
10 MR. SNEDDON: I will single them out. I
11 don’t — I just talked —
12 THE COURT: Friday you could give me the ones
13 you’re singling out?
14 MR. SNEDDON: I will, Your Honor.
15 THE COURT: And Counsel, you could give me
16 something Friday?
17 MR. MESEREAU: Yes, Your Honor.
18 THE COURT: All right.
19 MR. SNEDDON: That’s what I wanted to do.
20 I wanted to make the Court aware of that.
21 Thank you very much.
22 THE COURT: And you wanted to — is that it?
23 MR. SNEDDON: I — yeah, I guess so.
24 Mr. Mesereau?
25 THE COURT: All right. Court’s in recess.
26 (The proceedings adjourned at 2:30 p.m.)
To be continued: https://michaeljacksonvindication2.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/april-1st-2005-trial-analysis-jeff-klapakis-cross-examination-jack-green-larry-feldman-and-jesus-salas-direct-examination-part-1-of-4/