April 4th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Jesus Salas (Direct & Cross Examination), Jason Francia (Direct & Cross Examination), Part 4 of 4
In order to refute the notion that Jackson was some raging alcoholic, Mesereau asked Salas to confirm that the wine cellar was already there when Jackson bought the ranch in 1988, and it was surrounded by other rooms that had a lot of foot traffic, such as Jackson’s memorabilia room.
More importantly, Mesereau questioned Salas about the “Los Olivos” boys, their background, and the fact that they had been caught in other areas of Neverland besides the wine cellar:
16 Q. Okay. Now, the prosecutor asked you about
17 complaints involving kids in the wine cellar, right?
18 A. Right.
19 Q. During the 20 years you worked at Neverland,
20 that area you call the wine cellar was always a wine
21 cellar, was it not?
22 A. That is correct, yes.
23 Q. And this is the area that you said, close
24 by, has an area which has Mr. Jackson’s memorabilia
25 from tours around the world, right?
26 A. Correct, yes.
27 Q. And in that area nearby is where you can see
28 his costumes, his gloves, and things of that sort, 4767
2 A. That is correct, yes.
3 Q. And typically kids and adults want to go
4 there and see all these costumes from his very
5 successful music career, right?
6 A. That is right, yes.
7 Q. And once in a while, somebody will bring
8 people down to that cellar area so they can see all
9 that memorabilia, right?
10 A. Right.
11 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Misstates the
12 evidence that the memorabilia is in the cellar area.
13 MR. MESEREAU: That’s what he testified to,
14 Your Honor.
15 THE COURT: No, it’s not. Rephrase your
17 MR. MESEREAU: Yes, sir.
18 Q. Let’s take the area that we’ve identified as
19 the wine cellar, okay? You got to go down the
20 stairs to get there, right?
21 A. Right, yes.
22 Q. When you get down those stairs, where do you
23 see the wine cellar when you reach the foot of the
25 A. It’s on the wall. Placed on the wall.
26 Q. There are other areas around the wine cellar
27 which have other purposes in the house, right?
28 A. Right. 4768
1 Q. And doesn’t one of those areas have
2 costumes, gloves, and memorabilia from Mr. Jackson’s
4 A. Not specifically in that area.
5 Q. Well, it’s not far away, though, right?
6 A. It’s outside there.
7 Q. But you can certainly — from time to time,
8 he has stored stuff there, hasn’t he?
9 A. Yes. I would say that, yes.
10 Q. And sometimes people have gone down to look
11 at that stuff, right?
12 A. That is correct, yes.
13 Q. And there’s some other areas at Neverland
14 where that stuff is stored as well, right?
15 A. The main part, yes.
16 Q. Because there’s a ton of stuff.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. From a long, successful career.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, during the 20 years you’ve been at
21 Neverland, there have been very few complaints about
22 children being in the wine cellar, right?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. You’re talking about maybe a couple over a
25 20-year period, right?
26 A. That is correct, during my time there, yes.
27 Q. Mr. Jackson’s policy is not to let kids in
28 the wine cellar, right? 4769
1 A. That is correct, yes.
2 Q. The prosecutor talked about young boys from
3 Los Olivos, and you identified their pictures,
5 A. Right.
6 Q. And you’ve seen them there with their
7 parents from time to time, haven’t you?
8 A. No, not with their parents.
9 Q. The parents have visited?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. But they also have come from time to time on
12 their own, correct?
13 A. Themself, yes.
14 Q. And they’ve come from time to time when Mr.
15 Jackson wasn’t even there, right?
16 A. That is correct, yes.
17 Q. And people on the property know them,
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And generally nobody objects to their
21 visiting Neverland, right?
22 A. That is correct, yes.
23 Q. They sometimes come alone and they sometimes
24 come with their parents, right?
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. They’re really neighbors, aren’t they?
27 A. Yes.
28 Q. And once in a while they’ve gotten into some 4770
1 trouble there, correct?
2 A. That is correct, yes.
3 Q. They’ve been known as mischievous kids,
5 A. Right.
6 Q. They’ve been caught in various places around
7 Neverland, haven’t they?
8 A. That is correct, yes.
9 Q. They’ve been caught in rooms, true?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. They were caught playing hide-and-seek in
12 the house, weren’t they?
13 A. Right, yes.
14 Q. Now, if you catch kids playing hide-and-seek
15 in the house or getting into trouble, typically what
16 do you do?
17 A. Well, you try to explain to them that — you
18 know, if you caught them doing something they’re not
19 supposed to be doing, you just let them know that,
20 you know, that’s not what they should be — you
21 know, that there’s some certain things that, you
22 know, they’re allowed to do, there’s things that
23 they’re not allowed to do, so we let them know.
24 Q. But like — let’s take these kids from Los
25 Olivos that are neighbors who are allowed on the
26 property, and sometimes their parents aren’t there.
27 Who kind of watches them when they come alone?
28 A. Pretty much nobody. They’re on their own. 4771
1 Q. Do people on the property keep an eye on
2 them, or what happens?
3 A. Well, you know, I would say yes, security,
4 just for safety reasons, yes. Or the staff
5 personnel if they’re at the amusement park, yes.
6 Q. If they go into the main house, which they
7 do from time to time, who would be in the main house
8 typically, who might see them?
9 A. I would say that will be the maids, the
10 cooks, yes. Or myself.
11 Q. And if they start going upstairs into the
12 bedrooms, who are they likely to run into?
13 A. Well, they’ll run into the doors. They
14 can’t go in.
15 Q. Besides the doors, who might they see? Will
16 they see the people who are cleaning?
17 A. Yes, they might run into maids or somebody
18 else from the house staff. Yes.
19 Q. And how many kids are we talking about?
20 A. We’re talking about the —
21 Q. Three?
22 A. Three kids, yes.
23 Q. All right. And how long have they been
24 coming onto the property, to your knowledge? Excuse
25 me, let me rephrase that.
26 When you were working there, for how long a
27 period of time do you remember their coming freely
28 on and off the property? 4772
1 A. They would come in frequently.
2 Q. Regularly?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Would it be in the evening, morning,
5 weekends? What would it be?
6 A. It would be weekends or days, yes.
7 Q. And how would they get on? Would they go
8 through the main gate?
9 A. Yes, they did.
10 Q. And do people in the main gate know them?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And do they typically just let them walk
13 onto the property?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Would somebody drive them anywhere?
16 A. Well, sometimes they drove to the place,
17 so — yes, they drove their own car.
18 Q. And how old were these young boys?
19 A. Young kids; 15, 16.
20 Q. 15, 16?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. And they’re the ones that got in trouble
23 from time to time?
24 A. Right.
25 Q. All right. Would anyone call their parents
26 up typically and say, “Your teenaged kids are in
28 A. Not my knowledge. 4773
1 Q. Okay. Were they ever asked to leave the
2 property, to your knowledge?
3 A. Not to my knowledge.
4 Q. Actually, Mr. Jackson didn’t want them to
5 get in trouble with their parents, did he?
6 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Calls for
7 speculation; no foundation.
8 THE COURT: Sustained.
Here are more questions on the Arvizo boys, and their absentee mother Janet. Unfortunately, Judge Melville ordered a break just as Mesereau was about to ask Salas to give examples of the mischievous behavior that the Arvizos were caught in:
9 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Let me ask you a few more
10 questions about the Arvizos at Neverland.
11 You saw the Arvizo children roaming freely
12 around Neverland when they stayed there, correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. They’d use the amusement rides when they
15 chose, correct?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. They’d go into the theater when they wanted
18 to, right?
19 A. Right.
20 Q. They jumped on the train when they wanted
21 to, right?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And they would visit the zoo when they
24 chose, right?
25 A. That is correct, yes.
26 Q. Did you ever see the mother supervising the
27 children at Neverland?
28 A. No. 4774
1 Q. Did you ever see her keeping an eye on the
2 children at Neverland?
3 A. No.
4 Q. When you saw them at the zoo, do you recall
5 the mother ever being with them?
6 A. No.
7 Q. When you saw the Arvizo children at the
8 amusement park on the rides, did you ever see the
9 mother with them?
10 A. No.
11 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; cumulative.
12 THE COURT: Overruled.
13 THE WITNESS: No.
14 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: When you saw the Arvizo
15 children on the train, did you ever see their mother
16 with them?
17 A. No.
18 Q. When you saw the Arvizo children in the
19 theater, did you see the mother with them?
20 A. No.
21 Q. But you saw the mother eating in the main
22 house, didn’t you?
23 A. That is correct, yes.
24 Q. And you saw her walking around the property,
26 A. Right.
27 Q. Would you describe the Arvizo children as
28 mischievous? 4775
1 A. At some point.
2 Q. Well, they got in trouble at the amusement
3 park, didn’t they?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Tell the jury what happened.
6 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; 403.
7 THE COURT: The objection is overruled. But
8 we’re going to take our break, so we’ll start with
9 that question when we come back.
10 (Recess taken.)
11 THE COURT: Counsel? Go ahead.
12 MR. MESEREAU: Thank you, Your Honor.
13 Q. Just a couple more questions.
14 You mentioned that the Arvizo family
15 returned to Neverland a number of times in 2003,
17 A. That is correct, yes.
18 Q. Do you know how they got to Neverland?
19 A. I believe they did on the limo.
20 Q. A limo?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was it your impression that the Arvizos had
23 access to a limousine service when they wanted to?
24 MR AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; foundation.
25 MR. MESEREAU: I think there is a
26 foundation, Your Honor.
27 THE COURT: I’ll sustain the objection.
28 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You indicated that on at 4776
1 least one occasion you called a limousine service so
2 the Arvizos could leave Neverland, right?
3 A. That is correct. Yes.
4 Q. And you said on the other occasion you took
5 Michael’s Rolls Royce and drove them yourself,
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And that was in the middle of the night when
9 Janet wanted to leave, right?
10 A. That is correct, yes.
11 Q. And I believe you said on other occasions
12 when the Arvizos left Neverland, it was your
13 understanding they always had a limousine, correct?
14 A. That is correct, yes.
15 Q. Do you know who would arrange for the
16 limousines to transport the Arvizos?
17 A. I called them personally.
18 Q. You would do it personally?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How many times do you think you personally
21 called a limousine service to transport the Arvizos?
22 A. I think it was around three times.
23 Somewhere around there.
24 Q. Is there a particular limousine service that
25 you would normally call?
26 A. It’s out of Santa Barbara. And it’s
27 called — what is it called? Limo Link, I believe.
28 Q. Okay. Now, you wouldn’t discuss with 4777
1 Michael Jackson the fact that you wanted to call a
2 limousine service, right?
3 A. No.
4 Q. You had enough authority to do that if you
5 thought it was the appropriate thing to do, right?
6 A. That is correct, yes.
7 Q. And was it your understanding that from time
8 to time guests of Mr. Jackson would need a
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And you would get a call from someone asking
12 for you to arrange for a limousine, correct?
13 A. That is correct, yes.
14 Q. Actually, Mr. Jackson was pretty generous
15 with arranging for limousines to take his guests off
16 the property, wasn’t he?
17 A. Correct, yes.
18 Q. Do you recall Janet Arvizo from time to time
19 leaving the premises to go into town?
20 A. I believe there was only one time.
21 Q. And did she talk to you about that?
22 A. Yes, she did.
23 Q. Was it your understanding she was getting a
24 body wax that day?
25 A. That is correct, yes.
26 Q. And was it arranged for a limousine to take
27 her to the body wax place?
28 A. No, it wasn’t. 4778
1 Q. How did she get to the body wax place?
2 A. I sent one of the maids with her.
3 Q. So you arranged for a maid to drive her to
4 the body wax?
5 A. That, yes.
6 Q. That was a salon, right?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. And was that in Los Olivos, if you know?
9 A. Los Olivos or Solvang, somewhere in there.
10 Q. Okay. Okay. She was away for quite a while
11 that day, correct?
12 A. Correct, yes.
13 Q. Do you recall it being three or four hours?
14 A. Somewhere around there, yes.
15 Q. Now, did Janet tell you she wanted to get a
16 body wax at a salon that day?
17 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; hearsay.
18 THE COURT: Sustained.
19 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Why did you arrange for
20 one of the maids to drive Janet Arvizo off the
21 premises to get a body wax?
22 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Foundation;
24 THE COURT: Sustained.
25 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Do you know why one of the
26 maids drove Janet Arvizo off the premises to get a
27 body wax?
28 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Same objection. 4779
1 THE COURT: Sustained.
2 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Were you in charge of the
3 maid who drove Janet Arvizo off the premises to get
4 a body wax?
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 Q. Did you ask the maid to do that?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; hearsay.
9 THE COURT: Overruled.
10 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Why did you ask the maid
11 to do that?
12 A. Well, I figured it was a —
13 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Hearsay;
15 THE COURT: Sustained.
16 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Do you know which car the
17 maid used?
18 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; relevance.
19 THE COURT: Sustained.
After asking Salas to reiterate to the jury the purpose of the beds located inside of the theater, Mesereau ended his cross examination:
20 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Just a couple more
21 questions. Do you recall — do you recall Mr.
22 Jackson traveling to Florida during 2003?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you recall Mr. Jackson traveling to Las
25 Vegas during 2003?
26 A. Yes.
27 Q. Do you recall him traveling anywhere else,
28 if you can recall? 4780
1 A. Pretty much, that I can remember was just
2 Florida and Vegas.
3 Q. Okay. Finally, the prosecutor asked you
4 questions about some beds in the theater. Remember
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Aren’t those hospital beds for handicapped
9 A. Yes, they are.
10 MR. MESEREAU: No further questions.
Under redirect examination, Auchincloss tried to remind the jury of the time when Salas observed Gavin to be under the influence of alcohol, so he asked Salas to further elaborate on that incident. Salas testified that he did not see Gavin actually drinking, and that was the only time when Gavin appeared to be drunk:
13 Q. All right. You talked a little bit about a
14 time at the dinner table when you suspected that
15 Gavin had been drinking. Do you remember —
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. — testifying about that?
18 Was Michael Jackson present at the dinner
19 table that night?
20 A. No, he was not.
21 Q. Was Frank present at the dinner table that
23 A. Yes, he was.
24 Q. And did you ultimately determine whether
25 Gavin had been drinking that night?
26 A. Didn’t really specify that, but I — just by
27 the way he was acting, I knew that he was drinking.
28 Q. Was there another time when you saw Gavin 4782
1 when he appeared to be drinking?
2 A. That was the only time.
3 Q. And that only time that you saw him
4 drinking, that he appeared to be intoxicated, what
5 was he doing that made you think that?
6 A. The way he was acting, just not normal.
7 Just his reactions.
8 Q. Had you had occasion to see Gavin a number
9 of times before that or after that when he was
10 acting normal, in your opinion?
11 A. Ask the question again.
12 Q. I guess my question is, did you have a good
13 frame of reference for judging whether Gavin was
14 acting normal or not?
15 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Vague;
17 THE COURT: Overruled.
18 You may answer.
19 THE WITNESS: That was the only time I saw
20 that I noticed that.
21 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. So my question
22 was, did you spend enough time around Gavin to feel
23 as if you could make a call as to whether or not he
24 was acting drunk or not? Do you understand that
26 A. Yes, I do.
27 I would say yes, I —
28 Q. Okay. And how was he acting that made you 4783
1 think he was — how was he acting differently on
2 that evening that made you think he was drunk?
3 A. Pretty simple. Just when somebody’s drunk,
4 I mean, you can tell by the way they look, their
5 reaction, of the way they look, the way they talk.
6 Just verbal, the way he was talking.
7 Q. Was it obvious to you he’d been drinking?
8 A. I would say yes.
9 Q. And you said Frank was at the table. Who
10 else was at the table that night?
11 A. I believe it was Vinnie and some of Frank’s
12 guests, I believe it was. A couple girls, something
13 like that.
14 Q. Was Gavin’s mother around?
15 A. No, she was not.
16 Q. Now, as far as where the kids slept — and
17 maybe I’ll back up, because I don’t think I asked
18 this question.
19 What time of day was it that you saw Gavin
20 where you thought he’d been drinking?
21 A. I would say it was about around nine
22 o’clock, nighttime.
23 Q. Nighttime?
24 A. Uh-huh.
25 Q. Was Mr. Jackson on the property at that
27 A. Yes, he was.
Next, Salas testified that he didn’t know exactly where the kids slept when they did sleep in Jackson’s bedroom, and Auchincloss was sure to once again ask Salas to confirm that it was mostly young boys that slept in Jackson’s bedroom, as it fit their prosecution strategy to paint Jackson as a gay pedophile.
28 Q. When children slept in Mr. Jackson’s 4784
1 bedroom, do you know, personally know, where they
2 slept in the bedroom, as far as where they slept,
3 upstairs or downstairs? Did you see it?
4 A. I didn’t see exactly who slept on Mr.
5 Jackson’s bed, but I know there was kids there
6 and — yes.
7 Q. So you never spent the night in Mr.
8 Jackson’s bedroom, I take it?
9 A. No.
10 Q. So you don’t know where the kids slept after
11 you left the room?
12 A. No.
13 Q. But you were in the room at times when kids
14 were there?
15 A. Right. Yes.
16 Q. And in terms of these kids, were they all
17 boys that slept in Mr. Jackson’s room?
18 A. Pretty much, yes.
Here’s another important point that Salas stated that truly cut at the heart of the prosecution’s phony perception of Jackson that they tried to peddle to the jury: the busloads of children who would visit Neverland NEVER spent the night at Neverland, nor were they given access to the main house! They stayed in the amusement park, theater, petting zoo, etc.
And there were many times when Jackson didn’t even meet with the busloads of children who would arrive at Neverland! So the notion that Jackson would selectively choose a young boy who fit his “tastes” and invite him to spend the night is utterly preposterous!
5 Q. Were the busloads of children allowed to
6 spend the night in Michael Jackson’s room?
7 A. None of those kids spent the night in his
9 Q. Okay. Were they given the access code to
10 the house?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Okay. Were they allowed to — were these
13 children, did they bring their own supervision with
14 them, adult supervision?
15 A. Yes, they did.
16 Q. Was it organized? Were they organized as to
17 where they would go and how they would spend their
18 time at Neverland?
19 A. Absolutely, yes.
20 Q. Was Mr. Jackson even there when those
21 busloads of kids would arrive or be there?
22 A. Many times he was there. Many times he
23 wasn’t there.
24 Q. Okay. When he was there, would he always
25 come out or sometimes come out?
26 A. Sometimes come out.
27 Q. So there were times busloads of kids would
28 arrive and Mr. Jackson wouldn’t even come out to say 4787
2 A. Yes. There was times that he —
3 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading;
4 misstates the evidence.
5 THE COURT: Overruled. The answer is, “Yes.”
6 Next question.
Auchincloss tried to impeach Salas with his previous statements about the Arvizo family being held against their will and needing permission to leave the ranch. Salas doubled down and repeated his earlier testimony of nobody forcibly keeping the Arvizos at Neverland:
7 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: As far as Janet, when
8 she was — when she left Neverland the first time
9 with her family, in the interview with the sheriff’s
10 department, didn’t you say that, “The whole family,
11 they were not allowed to go nowhere”?
12 A. Yes. That’s what I said, yes.
13 Q. And that, “They had them there always, and
14 they were with supervision”?
15 A. According to what she told me, yes.
16 Q. Didn’t you say Frank Tyson was one of the
17 individuals involved in the handling of the Arvizo
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And did you say that Salas — did you say
21 that ranch employees were required to go through
22 Frank Tyson with questions or problems regarding the
23 Arvizo family?
24 A. That is correct, yes.
25 Q. Did you also say that Tyson — that you
26 believed Tyson would then, in turn, go through Mr.
28 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading. 4788
1 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: This is impeachment.
2 MR. MESEREAU: No foundation.
3 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.
4 You may answer.
5 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you say that Tyson
6 would then, in turn, go through Mr. Jackson?
7 A. Correct, yes.
8 Q. Did you say that the Arvizo family was not
9 being allowed to leave the Neverland Ranch even
10 though the mother wished to leave with her children?
11 A. That’s correct, yes.
12 Q. In the grand jury, when you testified, you
13 were asked this question: You were asked whether or
14 not you believed Janet Arvizo and her family was
15 being kept against their will. You said, “Yes”; is
16 that true?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Foundation;
20 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Offered as impeachment.
21 THE COURT: Overruled. He said, “Yes.”
22 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: And is that a true
24 THE COURT: He said, “Yes.”
25 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay.
26 Q. You said — I believe when Mr. Mesereau was
27 up here, you said that Mrs. Arvizo was never
28 forcibly kept at Neverland; is that true? 4789
1 A. That is correct, yes.
2 Q. So no one ever used physical force on her?
3 A. No.
4 Q. You said that when you took her home, that
5 she told you that she was — you told Mr. Mesereau
6 that she was upset with the people at Neverland
8 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; misstates the
10 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Upset with Ronald — I
11 believe it was Dieter.
12 THE COURT: Do you want to rephrase the
14 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Yeah.
15 Q. You told Mr. Mesereau that when you were
16 taking Janet and the children home that first time,
17 that she was upset with Dieter; is that correct?
18 A. That is correct, yes.
19 Q. Didn’t you also previously state that she
20 said she was upset with Frank as well, or no? You
21 tell me.
22 A. No.
23 Q. Now, you also told Mr. Mesereau that the —
24 at that time, when she left Neverland Ranch the
25 first time, she was not angry at Michael Jackson?
26 A. That is correct, yes.
27 Q. Okay. After she left Neverland that first
28 time, did you ever talk to her about whether she was 4790
1 still angry at Michael Jackson?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you have much contact with her after
4 that first time?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you have any idea whether she is angry at
7 Michael Jackson today?
8 A. I have no idea.
Next, Auchincloss tried to prejudice the jury by asking Salas a series of loaded questions, including whether or not he would allow his daughter to sleep with Jackson, to which Mesereau immediately objected on the grounds that it was leading and called for speculation, and of course Judge Melville rightfully sustained it:
9 Q. You mentioned that you allowed your daughter
10 Sandra to visit Mr. Jackson at Neverland.
11 A. That is correct, yes.
12 Q. When was that?
13 A. ‘91, ‘92, somewhere around there maybe.
14 Maybe later than that. I’m not quite sure.
15 Q. So early ‘90s?
16 A. I would say so, yes.
17 Q. Was it one occasion?
18 A. I believe it was about three times.
19 Q. Three times that she personally spent time
20 with Mr. Jackson?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were all three of those occasions in ‘90,
23 ‘91, in that early — early 1990s?
24 A. It was during the same time, yes.
25 Q. Did you ever allow your daughter to sleep
26 with Mr. Jackson?
27 A. She never slept over there.
28 Q. Okay. Would you ever allow your daughter to 4791
1 sleep with Mr. Jackson?
2 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Calls for
3 speculation; leading; foundation.
4 THE COURT: It’s argumentative; sustained.
5 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Knowing what you know
6 today, based upon all your time at Neverland, do you
7 believe this place is a healthy place, would be a
8 healthy place for your daughter to visit?
9 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Opinion;
10 foundation; relevance.
11 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: This was offered as an
12 opinion as to —
13 THE COURT: The objection is sustained.
14 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Is it true to say that
15 the kids do get hurt at Neverland?
16 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Relevance; beyond
17 the scope; leading.
18 THE COURT: Sustained.
19 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Do kids ever get hurt
20 at Neverland?
21 MR. MESEREAU: Same objection.
22 THE COURT: Sustained.
23 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Counsel asked the
25 MR. MESEREAU: I never asked that question.
26 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Talked about safety.
27 THE COURT: All right. Quit talking to each
28 other. 4792
1 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Yes, sir.
In another blow to the prosecution, Salas stated that Janet did indeed complain that Dieter Weisner and Ronald Konitzer were keeping her away from Jackson, and NOT that Jackson was keeping her away from her children!
22 Q. You also said that Janet complained about
23 being separated from Michael, that Dieter was
24 separating her from Michael. Yes?
25 A. Yes. That was her expression, yes.
26 Q. Didn’t she say that she was — didn’t she
27 complain that Dieter was separating her from Michael
28 Jackson and her children? 4793
1 A. Not exactly what she said. She said that
2 she was being separated from Michael.
3 Q. Okay. But didn’t she reference her children
4 when she was talking about that?
5 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; asked and
7 THE COURT: Sustained.
8 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: You say “not exactly.”
9 What do you mean?
10 A. She never mentioned the kids.
11 Q. Did she ever complain about being separated
12 from her kids?
13 A. No, sir.
14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.
15 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: When Janet was at
16 Neverland —
17 THE COURT: Wait. There was an objection.
18 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’m sorry.
19 MR. MESEREAU: I’ll withdraw the objection.
20 THE COURT: Go ahead, Counsel.
22 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: When Janet was at
23 Neverland, did she — well, let me strike that.
24 Do you know where Janet would spend most of
25 her time while she was at Neverland?
26 A. She spent most of her time in the
28 Q. Do you know where she would take her meals? 4794
1 A. Many times she — most of the time she took
2 it in the room. There was times that she went in
3 the kitchen.
In this excerpt, Salas offered some more troubling testimony for the prosecution: he stated that he truly didn’t know the difference between someone showing signs of being drunk and being medicated:
8 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: You also said that Mr.
9 Jackson was — you answered some questions about him
10 taking prescriptions, prescription medication.
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Do you know the difference between somebody
13 who is drunk and somebody who is taking some
15 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; vague.
16 THE COURT: Overruled.
17 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Go ahead.
18 A. No, I guess I don’t have a way of describing
20 Q. Well, were there times when you were serving
21 Mr. Jackson alcohol when he appeared to be drunk?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And do you know how often Mr. Jackson would
24 have alcohol?
25 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; vague as to time.
26 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’ll be specific.
27 Q. During this period in early 2003.
28 A. He was having a regular basis. 4798
1 Q. Daily?
2 A. I said regular basis.
3 Q. Could you smell alcohol on him when you saw
4 him during these periods he appeared to be drunk?
5 A. No, I never got so close to him to be able
6 to smell.
7 Q. You said that Mr. Jackson’s policy was not
8 to let kids in the wine cellar. Was this a —
9 A. That is correct, yes.
10 Q. Was that a written policy?
11 A. That was a policy, yes.
12 Q. Was that — was it okay for kids to be in
13 the wine cellar if he was there?
14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.
15 THE COURT: Overruled.
16 You may answer.
17 THE WITNESS: I believe when he was there, I
18 guess it was okay for the kids, yes.
19 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. And did you
20 testify that there were times when he was in the
21 wine cellar with children?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; misstates the
25 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’ll rephrase it.
26 Q. Were there times when he was in the wine
27 cellar with children?
28 A. Yes. 4799
1 Q. You have spoken to myself and various
2 members of law enforcement in preparation for this
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Has anyone ever told you to tell anything
6 but the truth?
7 A. That is correct, nobody did.
8 Q. I’m sorry?
9 A. No.
10 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. Thank you. No
11 further questions.
Mesereau’s recross-examination was short and sweet; he had Salas confirm once again that the Arvizos did not call police during their trip away from Neverland where he drove them to their grandparent’s home, and that children generally weren’t allowed in the wine cellar without adult supervision:
14 BY MR. MESEREAU:
15 Q. Just briefly. During the 20 years you
16 worked at Neverland for Mr. Jackson, it was always
17 his policy that children are not to be in the wine
18 cellar, true?
19 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; foundation.
20 THE COURT: Overruled.
21 You may answer.
22 THE WITNESS: That is correct, yes.
23 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: And Mr. Jackson sometimes
24 would give people tours of his own home, correct?
25 A. That is correct.
26 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; beyond the
28 THE COURT: Overruled. 4800
1 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: And obviously, as the
2 owner of the home, he can take people anywhere he
3 wants in his home, right?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Now, when you were driving Janet to Los
6 Angeles, she never asked you to call the police, did
8 A. No.
9 Q. When you arranged for the limousine to take
10 the Arvizos to Los Angeles, they never asked you to
11 call the police, did they?
12 A. No.
13 Q. In fact, she never asked you to call the
14 police at any time, did she?
15 A. No, she didn’t.
16 MR. MESEREAU: No further questions.
17 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Nothing further.
18 THE COURT: All right. Thank you. You may
19 step down.
20 MR. ZONEN: Your Honor, we’ll call Jason
21 Francia to the stand, please.
Summary of the testimony of Jesus Salas
1. Jesus Salas, who worked at Neverland for 20 years (starting before Jackson bought the ranch in 1987), and resigned in June 2003. His respsoniblties included stocking the kitchen and wine cellar, and just generally keeping things running smoothly and orderly at Neverland.
2. Under direct examination, Jesus Salas was asked about the protocols at Neverland concerning the treatment of guests, primarily children. Auchincloss tried to trap Salas into saying that Jackson demanded special treatment for the children who visited the Neverland, but Salas stated that everyone was treated like royalty.
3. Salas drove the Arvizos back to Janet’s parent’s apartment on February 12th , 2003, after Janet requested that she be brought home. She stayed there (and at Jay Jackson’s apartment) until February 17th, 2003, and during this time period there were over 40 phone calls between her and Frank Cascio, who wanted her to return to Neverland in order to shoot the rebuttal video. The day after bringing the Arvizos back to their grandparent’s apartment, Frank Cascio told Salas that the Arvizos were not to leave the property without first notifying him, and told him not to do it again. When Janet asked Salas a second time to leave the property, he refused per Frank’s instructions. (The prosecution used this as “proof” that there was a conspiracy to hold them captive at Neverland, and Cascio was part of it.)
4. When asked about Jackson’s whereabouts during the several weeks that the Arvizos were at Neverland in February and March 2003, Salas testified that Jackson was there “pretty much all the time”.
5. Much to the chagrin of the prosecution, Salas testified that Star and Gavin were trying to sleep with Jackson! Auchincloss wanted to prejudice the jury into thining that Jackson was pressuring Gavin and Star to sleep in his bed, but that was the antithesis of what truly happened. Salas also denied that Jackson tried to form any “special bonds” with any of the young children who visited his ranch, that there were girls who also spent the night in Jackson’s bedroom, and he never thought it was unusual for children to sleep in Jackson’s bedroom.
6. As a house manager, Salas was responsible for stocking the alcohol, so he was well aware of the security protocols concerning the handling and storage of it. Salas testified that, although he never saw Jackson drinking alcohol, he did see Jackson exhibiting what appeared to him to be the effects of alcohol, what he perceived as drunken behavior. He also didn’t personally see the Arvizos in the wine cellar, either (although they were most certainly there!)
7. However, Salas was asked to describe the first few times that he recalled serving alcohol to Jackson in the presence of children. The importance of this particular incident will be revealed later on in this trial when Jackson’s young cousin Rijo testified that Jackson went to the bathroom right before Salas delivered the alcohol, and Star and Gavin (who were in Jackson’s bedroom with him) took the alcohol, ran to the upstairs suite, and drank some of it.
8. Salas’ cross examination by Mesereau began with the details of his interview with Jesus Castillo (who was one of Mesereau’s investigators) on January 9th, 2005. During this interview, Salas stated that Gavin and Star only slept in the lower portion of Jackson’s bedroom, not upstairs, and that all guests (not just children) get first class service at Neverland. Mesereau made him confirm that he stated that at no time did anyone forcibly keep the Arvizos at Neverland ranch, at no time was she locked in her room, and she never made any complaints about her treatment during her first trip home with Salas.
9. Salas testified that the combinations to the locks to Jackson’s room were so well known by so many kids that they had to be routinely changed. This information was very crucial for the defense because it showed what the Arvizo boys were not the only children to gain access to Jackson’s room.
10. Just to show the jury how comfortable Salas was at Neverland, Mesereau asked him if he had ever brought his daughter to visit, and he confirmed that not only had she visited Neverland, but she played with Jackson on several occasions during various “Family Days” throughout the years. This was a powerful rebuttal to the prosecution’s caricature of Jackson.
11. In order to show the jury that there were legitimate security concerns at Neverland, Mesereau questioned Salas about the security procedures manual, and he answered that “many times” people were caught sneaking into Neverland to try to meet Jackson (this further confirms why Jackson installed the security alarms outside of his bedroom suite.)
12. When questioned about statements that were said to him by Janet Arvizo, Salas testified that she told him that Dieter Weisner and Roland Konitzer were “separating” her from Jackson, which is antithetical to the prosecution’s claims that Janet was forced to stay at Neverland.
13. Mesereau questioned Salas about Jackson’s whereabouts during the time that the Arvizo family was at the ranch; this was an obvious response to Salas’ earlier assertion that Jackson was at Neverland “pretty much all the time”. Salas admitted that Jackson wasn’t there every day, and when he was there he was often preoccupied with other activities.
14. When Mesereau questioned Salas about his statements of seeing Jackson intoxicated around children, despite the fact that he never saw Jackson actually drinking, Salas conceded that the symptoms he noticed could have been caused by Jackson’s prescription drugs, which he was taking to deal with his scalp and back injuries, as well as his lupus ailments. Later on in his testimony, Salas stated that he truly didn’t know the difference between someone showing signs of being drunk and being medicated.
15. Under redirect examination, Auchincloss tried to remind the jury of the time when Salas observed Gavin to be under the influence of alcohol, so he asked Salas to further elaborate on that aforementioned incident. Salas testified that he did not see Gavin actually drinking, and that was the only time when Gavin appeared to be drunk.
16. Auchincloss tried to impeach Salas with his previous statements about the Arvizo family being held against their will and needing permission to leave the ranch. Salas doubled down and repeated his earlier testimony of nobody forcibly keeping the Arvizos at Neverland.
17. Auchincloss tried to prejudice the jury by asking Salas a series of loaded questions, including whether or not he would allow his daughter to sleep with Jackson, to which Mesereau immediately objected on the grounds that it was leading and called for speculation, and of course Judge Melville rightfully sustained it.
18. In another blow to the prosecution, Salas stated that Janet did indeed complain that Dieter Weisner and Ronald Konitzer were keeping her away from Jackson, and NOT that Jackson was keeping her away from her children!
The next prosecution witness was Jason Francia, and his testimony was so terrible that some of the jurors literally laughed at him during a court break after he was finished! You can read my summary and analysis of Jason’s testimony in this post, and for recent photos and updates on his whereabouts, you can read this post.
Here’s a video that I collaborated on that mixes one of Jason’s personal “acting” movies, with some excerpts from his testimony!