April 20th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Brian Barron (Direct & Cross Examination), Part 1 of 3
The next prosecution witness was Brian Barron, a former security officer for Neverland. He worked there on and off for 5 ½ years before taking a leave of absence in December 2003, at the advice of his boss at his other full time security job. In this excerpt, he describes his duties at Neverland:
25 DIRECT EXAMINATION
26 BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS:
27 Q. Good morning, Mr. Barron.
28 A. Good morning. 6992
1 Q. Who do you work for, please?
2 A. Currently I work for the City of Guadalupe
3 as a police officer.
4 Q. How long have you been a police officer?
5 A. About six and a half years.
6 Q. And for the City of Guadalupe that entire
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. At some time in your past, were you an
10 employee of Neverland Ranch?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what did you do for Neverland Ranch?
13 A. I was a security officer there.
14 Q. How long were you a security officer at
16 A. For about five, five and a half years.
17 Q. Was that continuous or sporadic?
18 A. It was sporadic. It was over three periods
19 of time.
20 Q. Can you characterize approximately what
21 those three periods were?
22 A. I started in the fall of 1997. Worked for
23 about a year. I was in the police academy at that
24 time. I then got hired by Guadalupe Police
25 Department. Left the ranch for about a year. And
26 then went back again about nine or ten months after
27 that, and was there for about three years, three and
28 a half years. 6993
1 Q. And when did you ultimately leave your
2 employment at Neverland?
3 A. It was about April or May of last year.
4 Q. And whose decision was that to leave?
5 A. Mine.
6 Q. Tell me what your duties were as a security
7 officer at Neverland Ranch.
8 A. Our duties consisted of the ranch itself,
9 securing the ranch itself, the guests on the ranch,
10 the owner of the ranch, and anything that had to do
11 with the ranch as far as first aid, security.
12 Anything that we could do to help, we would do. But
13 mostly it was to secure the ranch, the owner, and
14 the guests that were there, the employees.
15 Q. Did you have set days and hours that you
17 A. Generally, yes. Hours, yes. At times the
18 days weren’t always set, but hours, yes.
19 Q. So during your time working there, did you
20 always work days or nights? Or you tell me.
21 A. Generally I worked nights for the entire
22 time I was there.
23 Q. And tell me what a night shift would consist
25 A. Night shift would consist of 6 p.m. to 6:30
26 a.m. And then we would do rotating shifts at the
27 front gate. And then we would do — which would be
28 about four hours per person at the gate. And then 6994
1 secure the ranch after you’ve done your — before or
2 after you’ve done your gate time.
3 Q. So if you would, if you can, give me a
4 description of an evening of work at Neverland Ranch
5 from the time that you check in to the time that you
6 finish your evening’s work and you go home. And I’m
7 interested in particularly where you go, where you
8 are on the ranch at various times.
9 A. Okay. If I were to get there at 6 p.m. and
10 were to take the first shift at the gate, I would be
11 at the gate from 6 p.m. till about 10:15. And that
12 would be checking in and out people who are coming
13 in and off the property, answering phones, doing
14 whatever was necessary there.
15 Q. So when you’d come to work, there’s a gate
16 that is — approximates the perimeter of the
17 property, is that —
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Or is that inside the property?
20 A. No, that would be the guard house at the
21 front gate. So you’d come in the gate there and
22 there’s a guard.
23 Q. Okay. There’s a house there, a guard house?
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. And when you’d come to work, would you just
26 check in at the gate and stay there, or would you go
27 to the main house first and go back to the gate?
28 A. Sorry. We’d go to the main house first, get 6995
1 any pass-on information that was going to happen
2 that we needed to know that had happened on the
3 prior shift or the things that we needed to know
4 from the oncoming shift. That would be just
5 speaking with the officers who were there at the
6 house office. Security office.
7 Q. And where is that located?
8 A. If you can imagine the entire house
9 property, and if you were looking at it from the
10 front, it would be on the far left. Sorry, it would
11 be on the far left of the building. There’s a main
12 house, a walkway, Mr. Jackson’s office, video
13 library, and the security office.
14 Q. So the security office is contiguous to the
15 main house structure?
16 A. By way of a breezeway.
17 Q. Okay. And access to the security office, is
18 that an exterior door or an interior door?
19 A. It’s an exterior door.
20 Q. Does it have any interior connection to
21 other parts of that structure?
22 A. No.
23 Q. When you go in the security office, how many
24 rooms are there?
25 A. There’s two.
26 Q. And could you describe them for me?
27 A. First room would be — had a desk in it.
28 Had a computer in it. So it technically had two 6996
1 desks in it, one on each side of the wall. There
2 was a window that faced out towards the front
3 property, the front lawn area of the house. And
4 then as — that would be basically the inside of
5 that room. There was also in that room a grease
6 board that we put pass-on information on, guest
7 information on. And then as you go into the next
8 room, it was basically a break room. There was
9 lockers, refrigerator, and a table to eat on.
10 Q. What was the computer used for in the first
11 room you mentioned?
12 A. Mostly what we used it for was generating
13 our forms that we use on a daily basis, accident
14 forms. It wasn’t really used for much. We would
15 create, like, reports on that computer, security
16 reports, anything that had to do with us. If there
17 was a — you know, we noticed damage to something on
18 the property, we would write it up on the computer
19 there. But that was mostly what that computer was
20 used for.
21 Q. All right. So moving back to our chronology
22 of a day in the life of a security guard. You check
23 with the main office. If you have gate duty, you go
24 out to the gate. What next?
25 A. If you don’t have gate duty, then you would
26 start your regular patrols. First thing you would
27 do when you got on the property was make sure —
28 you know, we would know who was there, if we had 6997
1 guests, if the owner was on the property. And we
2 would check all of the doors around the house first.
3 We’d do a check of the house area, make sure all the
4 doors were locked, everything was in order. If
5 buildings needed to be opened, that those buildings
6 were opened around the house area. And then we
7 would — after completing that check, we would do a
8 similar check to the rest of the properties on the
9 residence, any other buildings on the residence.
10 Q. If you’re on patrol, would you be doing
11 continuous checks?
12 A. Hourly checks.
13 Q. And what would you be doing between those
15 A. Stuff to keep busy. We did a lot of
16 training. The fire department, they’re trained
17 regularly, and we would assist with that. We were
18 all basically part of the same group.
19 Q. How many security guards are on duty during
20 an evening shift?
21 A. When I was working there, it was between
22 three and four.
23 Q. How many on a day shift?
24 A. About the same.
25 Q. And as far as the next thing you’d do in
26 your evening’s work, would you continue to do these
27 security checks throughout the evening?
28 A. That’s correct. 6998
1 Q. How many would you do in an evening?
2 A. If we did one an hour, 12. If we did more,
3 just — it would depend on need.
4 Q. Okay. And where would a security check take
5 you on the property?
6 A. Everywhere.
7 Q. Would different officers check out different
9 A. No. We’d check all — being there would
10 only be two of us at the house. If there was three
11 of us working, there would be one of us at the gate
12 and two of us at the house office. If there were
13 guests or anyone on the property that was in — at
14 the house area, we would — one of us would stay
15 there, and the other one would check all the doors
16 on the residence, all the buildings — on the
17 property, excuse me, everything.
18 Q. As far as checking the doors of the main
19 residence, would you have — did you have a key to
20 the main residence?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And what door did that open?
23 A. The back door.
24 Q. Okay. As far as — did — the main
25 residence has a punch card that can —
26 A. A key pad.
27 Q. — that can give you access?
28 A. Like a telephone pad. 6999
1 Q. Did you have the code to that key pad?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you have the code to the key pad that
4 gave access into Mr. Jackson’s private suite?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did any of the security guards, as far as
7 you know?
8 A. Not that I’m aware.
9 Q. When you’d work in the security guard booth
10 at the entrance to the property, tell me about what
11 your duties would be there.
12 A. Duties there were generally letting people
13 on and off the ranch. We had paperwork that would
14 allow us — that we would know ahead of time who was
15 allowed to come on the ranch, whether that would be
16 guests, or it would be general deliveries,
17 contractors, things of that nature. We would know
18 who was coming and who was supposed to be there for
19 that day, so we would have those people come on and
21 We also checked in all the employees and
22 checked out all the employees, times they were in,
23 times they were out. Every time they came or left
24 the property.
25 Answering phones was a large part of it.
26 The majority of the phone calls that came in,
27 especially in the evening time, they all came
28 basically through us. 7000
1 Q. When you were conducting your duties as a
2 security officer at Neverland, did you have occasion
3 to see the owner of the property?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And that would be Mr. Jackson?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is he seated to my right, the man with the
8 black hair?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And how much would you see Mr. Jackson on
11 the property, assuming — let me strike that
13 How often would you see Mr. Jackson on the
14 property during those times when he was visiting
15 Neverland or staying at Neverland?
16 A. Daily. At least.
17 Q. Okay. And would you be able to see him —
18 would you see him interacting with guests when they
19 were on the property?
20 A. Occasionally.
21 Q. Would you ever talk to Mr. Jackson
23 A. Only if I needed to.
24 Q. Okay. And how often would you have contact
25 with him?
26 A. Not on a regular basis. Only if there was
27 something pressing that he needed to know or we
28 needed to ask him. We tried to let him have his 7001
1 privacy when he was there.
2 Q. You mentioned forms that are prepared on the
3 computer. Are there daily logs that are kept at
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What are the daily logs?
7 A. The daily logs that we kept at the
8 gatehouse, where those logs were kept always, was
9 the employee entry list, the daily activity list,
10 which would include, like I said, anybody other than
11 employees coming on and off the property, which
12 would mean anything — general contractors,
13 deliveries, anything like that, any guests that were
14 on the property.
15 Also our time checks for all of the — we
16 would call in the start of a check of the ranch, a
17 security check, all the doors, and we would call in
18 anything that would happen that we would find out of
19 the ordinary and log that at the gate. And then the
20 end of that check also.
21 Q. Were these logs used during the entire I
22 believe four years that you said you worked there?
23 A. About five years. Yes.
24 Q. Five years you worked there?
25 A. They changed. At times they looked
26 different, but they were basically the same.
27 Q. What about accident reports? You mentioned
28 those. How are they prepared? 7002
1 A. In the same fashion. We would — initially
2 we would let whoever was at the gate know that we
3 found something or something had happened, somebody
4 had wrecked one of the golf carts or fallen down,
5 whatever the case may be. We would let — either
6 the gate would let us know, because they called the
7 gate, or we would let the gate know, because we were
8 notified at the house. And then we would prepare
9 that form after the conclusion of whatever was going
11 Q. How often would you have to prepare accident
13 A. Not often. I didn’t prepare very many. The
14 day shift usually prepared more, because more
15 things — there’s more people, more activity on the
16 ranch, more employees. More guest activity during
17 the daytime generally. But, you know, a couple
18 times a month.
19 Q. You mentioned they’d be prepared if a golf
20 cart was wrecked?
21 A. Uh-huh.
22 Q. Would that be a common occurrence?
23 A. It happened — it seemed to happen a lot
24 more than it needed to, yeah.
25 Q. Why do you say that?
26 MR. SANGER: Objection, calls for
27 speculation, Your Honor.
28 THE COURT: Sustained. 7003
Once again, Auchincloss tried to insinuate that Jackson was a gangster-type Mafioso figure who terrorized the employees at Neverland, and Barron’s answer seemed to fit in with the prosecution’s caricature of Jackson on the surface, but in reality his demanding nature towards his employees was symptomatic of his perfectionist personality:
1 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. Was there —
2 tell me, was there a difference in the attitude and
3 demeanor of employees when Mr. Jackson was on
4 property as opposed to when he was off?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How would you describe that?
7 A. Tense.
8 Q. Can you elaborate on that? Why would
9 employees be tense?
10 A. Well, they would have to get there earlier
11 usually. They’d have more work to do. He was —
12 he’s very — at least the way I feel, is he’s
13 very — like a perfectionist, everything has to be
14 right. His property, his prerogative to be that
15 way. But there was a lot more work to be done.
16 Everybody just seemed to be walking on pins and
17 needles a little bit more just to make sure things
18 were right.
Next, Auchincloss began to question Barron about his observations of the young boys who frequently interacted with Jackson, starting with Frank Cascio. Barron was asked if he ever saw Cascio spend time in Jackson’s bedroom, and he said he had no idea, but Sanger objected to that question, and it was sustained by Judge Melville. Auchincloss later asked Barron to estimate how many nights Cascio spent at Neverland, and he estimated that it was in the hundreds, which is what you would expect of someone who was so close to Jackson:
16 Q. Mr. Barron, you said when you were doing
17 your daily duties, conducting your daily duties as a
18 security guard, you’d have occasion to see Mr.
19 Jackson on the property?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would you have occasion to see him
22 interacting with his guests?
23 A. Occasionally, yes.
24 Q. Would you have occasion to see guests when
25 they weren’t interacting with Mr. Jackson on the
27 A. Yes.
28 Q. Do you know an individual by the name of 7014
1 Frank Tyson or Cascio?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Who is Frank Tyson or Cascio?
4 A. From what I originally knew, he was a friend
5 of the family — of Mr. Jackson’s family, or a
6 friend of Mr. Jackson. His family, his parents and
7 brothers and sister were friends. At some point I
8 believe he became an employee of Mr. Jackson. What
9 his exact duties were I don’t really know. But he
10 was — at some point, he became an employee.
11 Q. And do you have a time frame for when he was
12 an employee, approximate?
13 A. I would say probably around — maybe around
14 the year 2000, right around in there.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. And whether he still is or is not, I don’t
17 know, but —
18 Q. Did Frank Cascio ever live at Neverland?
19 A. He stayed there a lot. Whether he lived
20 there or not, as far as his primary residence, I
21 don’t know. But he was there quite often.
22 Q. Would he stay there longer than a month?
23 A. Yeah. At times I think he would, yes.
24 Q. Did you have occasion to observe his
25 relationship with Mr. Jackson?
26 A. Not on a real personal level, between the
27 two of them, no.
28 Q. Did you see them together? 7015
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Would Mr. Cascio ever spend time in Mr.
3 Jackson’s bedroom?
4 A. I have no idea.
5 MR. SANGER: Objection; calls for
6 speculation, Your Honor.
7 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’ll withdraw that
8 question. And you can strike the answer, that’s
10 MR. SANGER: So moved.
11 THE COURT: All right. So granted.
12 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Do you feel that you
13 could — you have sufficient information to describe
14 their relationship?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And how would you describe their
18 A. I would describe it —
19 MR. SANGER: I would object as no
20 foundation. I believe he said he didn’t observe
21 their relationship.
22 THE COURT: Sustained.
23 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: When you said you
24 observed them together, where would you observe
26 A. Generally on the ranch, in the movie
27 theater. I’d seen them riding the quads on the
28 ranch before. Just doing general activities. In 7016
1 the park, I’d seen them in the park before, the
2 theme park.
3 Q. How many times do you think you’d seen them
4 before, approximately, if you can estimate?
5 MR. SANGER: I’m going to object as vague as
6 to time.
7 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: During the entire
8 period of time that you were a security guard.
9 A. Maybe 75 to 100 times. I mean, in passing I
10 would see them together.
11 Q. And did you — how many times — if you
12 could estimate, how many nights during that period
13 of time, five-year period of time, did Frank Cascio
14 spend at Neverland?
15 A. Oh —
16 MR. SANGER: Well, I’m going to object as
17 lack of foundation.
18 THE COURT: Sustained.
19 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: You said that you were
20 familiar with the logs in terms of who was staying
21 on the property?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was that part of your daily duties?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When Frank Cascio visited the property,
26 would he be noted in that log as a visitor spending
27 the night?
28 A. Yes. 7017
1 Q. On how many occasions, could you estimate,
2 did Frank Cascio spend the night during that
3 five-year period?
4 MR. SANGER: I’m going to object as lack of
6 THE COURT: Overruled.
7 You may answer.
8 THE WITNESS: Hundreds.
9 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Who is Vinnie? Do you
10 know an individual — let me start with that. Do
11 you know an individual who visited Neverland named
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Who was Vinnie?
15 A. As far as I know, Vinnie was a friend of
17 Q. And do you know the period of time when
18 Vinnie visited Neverland?
19 A. No, not offhand I don’t.
20 Q. Do you know approximately — did Vinnie
21 spend the night at Neverland?
22 A. Yes, I do know that he spent the night
23 occasionally at Neverland Ranch.
24 Q. Do you know how many nights he spent?
25 A. No.
Auchincloss then moved on and asked about Barron’s knowledge of Jackson’s relationship with Marc Schaffel and Dieter Weisner:
26 Q. Do you know an individual by the name of
27 Marc Schaffel?
28 A. Yes. 7018
1 Q. How do you know Mr. Schaffel?
2 A. Just from his coming to the ranch.
3 Q. Do you know how often he would visit the
5 MR. SANGER: Vague as to time.
6 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: During the period of
7 time that you were a security guard.
8 A. Not very often, but he would come probably
9 three or four times a year maybe.
10 Q. Do you know an individual by the name of
11 Ronald Konitzer?
12 A. I know the name.
13 Q. Okay. Did you ever meet him?
14 A. Not that I’m aware of.
15 Q. How about Dieter Weizner?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you meet Mr. Weizner?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Where did you meet him?
20 A. At the ranch.
21 Q. And if you can characterize, again I’m
22 asking for your best estimation, if you can provide
23 it, how many times did Mr. — did Dieter visit the
25 A. Several times. He was there — he would
26 stay sometimes for a couple of days, and then he’d
27 be gone for a while and come back. It wasn’t a
28 regular thing that he was there. For a short period 7019
1 of time it was, maybe two or three months I believe
2 he was there on a somewhat regular basis, but
3 generally it was off and on.
4 Q. Can you characterize the period of time that
5 you observed Dieter on the ranch in terms of the
6 five years you were there?
7 A. It would have been —
8 Q. Beginning time to when you left.
9 A. Probably sometime in 2002 to 2003.
10 Q. Okay. Now, did you have occasion to see
11 children visit the ranch?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. How were children treated at the ranch?
14 A. Well.
15 Q. What do you mean by that?
16 A. It was a fun place to go. They got to do
17 pretty much whatever they wanted, for the most part.
18 Not all of them. But they were treated quite well.
Next, in another attempt to prejudice the jury, Auchincloss asked about “the Los Olivos boys”, who were 3 teenaged boys lived near Neverland and interacted with Jackson often. Barron described them as “destructive” due to they’re misbehavior.
19 Q. Are you familiar with some visitors to the
20 ranch who were local residents of Los Olivos?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know their names?
23 A. Um, I can’t remember right now.
24 Q. How many were there?
25 A. Three.
26 Q. Were they boys or girls?
27 A. Boys.
28 Q. What ages? 7020
1 A. Teenage.
2 Q. Were any of them related?
3 A. Two of them were.
4 Q. And how often would they visit the ranch?
5 A. For a short period of time quite regularly.
6 MR. SANGER: Do you have numbers on those?
7 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: 45, 46, and 47.
8 Q. Mr. Barron, I show you People’s 45. Does
9 that look — can you recognize that?
10 A. Yes, I recognize that.
11 Q. And who would that be?
12 A. His name — their names are completely —
13 Q. Is that one of the people you’re talking
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How about 46?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is that one of the boys you’re talking
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. 47?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. Did you have occasion to see how
24 those young men conduct themselves at the Neverland
26 A. Yes.
27 Q. How would you describe their conduct?
28 A. Destructive. 7021
1 Q. And why do you say that?
2 A. Whenever they were there, we had broken
3 carts. Damaged carts. They at some point egged —
4 threw eggs at my security chief’s car, inside,
5 outside, we’re talking dozens of eggs. There just
6 always seemed to be something broken or some problem
7 when they were there.
8 Q. Do you know if they ever got in trouble for
9 this type of conduct?
10 MR. SANGER: Objection; lack of foundation.
11 THE COURT: Sustained.
During the time period that the Arvizos were at Neverland, the security officers there wrote a directive order on a chalkboard that stated “Gavin is not allowed off property” in Feb. 2003 for one week, and the prosecution tried to use this as evidence of the “conspiracy”, and it was the apex of their line of questioning towards Barron. He stated that the Arvizos were not allowed to leave the property without permission from Jesus Salas, the ranch manager. But this rule applied to all guests at the ranch! Auchincloss had no further questions after Barron explained what the directive meant:
12 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: You mentioned a grease
13 board at the security office.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And what specifically was that grease board
16 used for?
17 A. Specifically it was for guest information,
18 names of people who were in which guest unit or
19 where they were staying on the ranch. And then a
20 pass-on board, just write notes on the board for the
21 oncoming shift or something that happened, just so
22 that it was remembered. Anything that we needed to
23 remember on a daily basis could have been put up on
24 that board.
25 Q. Who was your supervisor?
26 A. I had — Violet Silva was the security
27 chief, and then Curtis Gordon was a supervisor and
28 Julio Magana was a supervisor. 7022
1 Q. Did you have any supervisorial capacity as
2 security guard?
3 A. Yeah, I had a shift supervisor. Curtis and
4 Julio would work generally day shift. And then when
5 I was there in the evening, I would be the shift
6 supervisor. They were supervisors to me, but I
7 would be in charge of the shift at night.
8 Q. Okay. At some point — and let me just
9 make — be clear. What do you mean when you say
10 “grease board”?
11 A. A white — a white board that you use the
12 wipeable ink markers on.
13 Q. Okay. So like a chalkboard or similar but
14 you can —
15 A. Similar, yes.
16 Q. — but you can wipe the ink off?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. At some point during your employment at
19 Neverland, did you see a directive on that board
20 concerning Gavin Arvizo?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know who Gavin Arvizo is?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. First of all, tell us how you know Gavin
26 A. Because he was a guest at the ranch.
27 Q. Okay. So you knew him by sight?
28 A. Yes. 7023
1 Q. And tell us what that directive was.
2 A. It simply stated, “Gavin is not allowed off
4 Q. Can you tell me the approximate time that —
5 your best recollection as to when that — when that
6 directive appeared on the grease board?
7 A. It was early part of 2003, January,
9 Q. Do you know the exact date?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Do you know how long it was on the grease
13 A. I remember it being approximately a week.
14 Q. Okay. If Gavin Arvizo appeared at the front
15 gate during this period of — well, let me back up,
16 first of all. What did that directive mean to you
17 in terms of a security officer?
18 A. That we weren’t to allow him off property
19 without some sort of permission from a supervisor.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. That would be — I would check first.
22 Q. Okay. So if Gavin Arvizo appeared at the
23 gate, walking out of the ranch, would you let him
25 A. No.
26 Q. If Gavin Arvizo appeared at the gate being
27 driven out by Jesus Salas, would you let him pass?
28 A. I would check first with the ranch manager. 7024
1 Q. So would you say you wouldn’t let him pass
2 before getting authorization?
3 A. No.
4 MR. SANGER: Well — I’ll withdraw it.
5 THE COURT: All right.
6 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Thank you. I have no
7 further questions.
Under cross examination by Robert Sanger, Barron was asked about his taking a leave of absence from Neverland at the advice of the chief of police at Guadalupe; he was advised to resign after the Neverland raid. The chief of police felt that since Barron was a peace officer, it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to work there during a criminal investigation. Sanger also made sure to have Barron confirm that he never saw any criminal conduct at Neverland during his entire tenure there:
10 BY MR. SANGER:
11 Q. Mr. Barron, how are you?
12 A. Good.
13 Q. You’re a sworn peace officer; is that
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. And you went to the Allan Hancock Police
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you have been a police officer, an
20 active duty police officer with the Guadalupe Police
21 Department for how long?
22 A. Six and a half years.
23 Q. And during the entire time that — I’m
24 sorry, during the entire past six and a half years
25 consecutively, you have been a police officer,
27 A. That’s correct.
28 Q. So at no time during the last six and a half 7025
1 years have you not been a sworn peace officer?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. You worked at Neverland while you were going
4 to the academy, correct?
5 A. That’s correct.
6 Q. And then after you finished the academy, you
7 got a job with Guadalupe as a sworn peace officer,
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And when was that?
11 A. The day I started with Guadalupe?
12 Q. Sure.
13 A. September 28th of 1998.
14 Q. Okay. So since September of 1998 to the
15 present, you’ve been a sworn peace officer?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And sometimes you worked at Neverland Ranch
18 as a security person as well; is that correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. So you were moonlighting, as it were?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And at some point you were aware that there
23 was a raid on Neverland; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Were you there that day?
26 A. No.
27 Q. After you learned there was a raid at
28 Neverland, did you have a discussion with your chief 7026
1 of police at Guadalupe?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. As a result of that discussion with the
4 chief of police, did you determine that you should
5 resign your position as a security guard?
6 A. Yes. It was more like step away from it for
7 a while.
8 Q. Okay. In other words, between you and your
9 chief, you decided there’s an ongoing criminal
10 investigation, as a peace officer, you probably
11 should not also be working at the ranch; is that
13 A. At that time that’s what I decided, yes.
14 Q. And when was that, approximately? Was that
15 right after the raid?
16 A. I was on vacation at that time, at the time
17 of the search warrant. And then so shortly after I
18 came home from vacation.
19 Q. All right. So sometime maybe end of
21 A. What day was the raid?
22 Q. November 18th, 2003.
23 A. Yeah. Correct. I think I came home from
24 vacation the last couple days of November, so
25 shortly after that. Maybe the first week of
27 Q. All right. And you did not cease your
28 employment — I was going to say quit, but you 7027
1 actually stepped away for a while, you took a leave?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You did not do that because you had seen
4 anything unlawful at the ranch; is that correct?
5 A. That’s correct.
6 Q. And in fact, had you seen anything unlawful
7 at the ranch from 1998 to the time that you stepped
8 away from the job, you would have been duty-bound to
9 report that, correct?
10 A. Absolutely.
11 Q. And in fact, as a sworn peace officer, you
12 probably — if you saw a criminal activity, you
13 probably would have been duty-bound to either
14 investigate or even make an arrest; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. To a point.
16 Q. Okay. At the very least report it?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. All right. And you had no — you found no
19 need whatsoever to do that the entire time that you
20 were there; is that correct?
21 A. That’s correct.
22 Q. The people at Neverland Ranch that you
23 worked with were made aware that you were a police
24 officer; is that correct?
25 A. They all knew.
26 Q. All right. There was no secret?
27 A. No secret.
28 Q. And you were given access to every part of 7028
1 the ranch that any other security officer was given
2 access to; is that correct?
3 A. That’s correct.
4 Q. You reported, you said, to Mr. Magana and
5 Mr. Gordon?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And then Violet Silva was the chief of
8 security at the time; is that correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Did you have a good relationship with Violet
12 A. Very good.
13 Q. And was she a professional chief of
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. Now, I know that a lot of times
17 law enforcement might look at security guards as —
18 somewhat cynically, is that true?
19 A. Absolutely.
Sanger then asked Barron about the professionalism of the security department at Neverland, and this was an obvious attempt to offset any negative perceptions that the jurors could have received from Auchincloss’ line of questions under direct examination. Barron testified that everything was run in a professional manner:
20 Q. Did you feel that this security department
21 was run in a professional fashion?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. To a certain extent, the security department
24 included the use of various police procedures; is
25 that correct?
26 A. To a small extent, yes.
27 Q. General radio etiquette, for instance?
28 A. Yes. 7029
1 Q. Making sure that you logged things in
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Did Violet Silva, for instance — let’s take
5 her. Did Violet Silva insist that the people under
6 her command, as it were, keep accurate records?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. Did Violet Silva insist that the
9 people under her make sure that the various places
10 on the ranch were secure?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And there was a regular detail, or a
13 regular — let me withdraw that. There was a
14 regular procedure to go through and check the
15 various locations during the evening and the night
16 to make sure that the ranch was secure; is that
18 A. That’s correct.
During his time at Neverland, Barron had to deal with intruders and trespassers who made it past security and into the main house! This is why Jackson installed the alarms outside of his bedroom.
19 Q. Now, during the time you were there, was
20 there a risk that intruders would get onto the
22 A. Absolutely.
23 Q. Did any intruders get onto the ranch during
24 the time that you were there?
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. Were there ever occasions that you were
27 aware of that intruders actually got to the house?
28 A. Yes. 7030
1 Q. Did any intruders actually get into the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were law enforcement officers called
5 eventually to deal with those intruders?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In fact, that was the protocol, if you found
8 somebody trespassing, to call for law enforcement?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Now, I understand you were law enforcement,
11 but you would call the sheriff’s department at that
12 point, correct?
13 A. Yes.
In this excerpt, Sanger asked Barron to explain the phone system at Neverland:
14 Q. And I may be going a little fast and then
15 you’re kind of stepping on the end of my questions,
16 and I may be asking too quickly. It makes it hard
17 for the court reporter.
18 A. I apologize.
19 Q. That’s all right. I apologize. We’ll just
20 slow down a little bit, both of us.
21 All right. Now, you explained the situation
22 out there and I just want to go over it in a little
23 more detail. There are basically two main security
24 posts, stationary posts at the ranch; is that right?
25 A. That’s right.
26 Q. There’s the gate, which is the little house
27 right by the big front gates, correct?
28 A. Correct. 7031
1 Q. Now, at that little house, and the big front
2 gates, there’s — or in the — in the little house
3 there’s a computer and a desk; is that correct?
4 A. That’s correct.
5 Q. Telephone?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is the phone often answered by — at that
9 A. Yeah. A lot.
10 Q. All right. So people calling into the
11 ranch, particularly at night, the phone will ring
12 there, and the security guard at that phone will
13 answer it; is that correct?
14 A. That’s correct.
15 Q. All right. And then the phone — the phone
16 can be — or the call can be forwarded from that
17 phone to other phones?
18 A. Any — basically any phone on the ranch.
19 Q. And the phone that’s at the gate is a
20 regular telephone within that — let me back up.
21 There’s a system and the phones are pretty —
22 A. It’s a multiline phone.
23 Q. They’re pretty much identical phones
24 throughout the ranch?
25 A. Yes. I believe they’re all the same.
26 Q. So this is — this is not a big phone with a
27 lot of buttons on it. It’s a smaller phone; is that
28 correct? 7032
1 A. That’s correct.
2 Q. So you get an incoming call and then you
3 would forward it by using a code to forward it; is
4 that correct?
5 A. Transfer it to whatever extension it needed
6 to go to.
Next, Barron was asked to describe the ease at which someone could jump over the fence that surrounds Neverland; this was to blow a hole clean through the prosecution’s claims that the Arvzos had no way of escaping Neverland. He stated that there was very little fencing protection around the perimeter of the property, and anyone could merely hop over it to enter or escape:
7 Q. All right. The gates at the guard house
8 there are big iron gates, is that correct, the front
10 A. Well, maybe on the inside. They’re wood.
11 Q. Or wood gates. I’m sorry, I think you are
12 right. They’re big wooden gates, in any event?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And they’re anchored by, I think, stone
15 walls on either side; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. If you stand at the gates looking out to
18 Figueroa Mountain Road, to the road there, and you
19 were to go to the left of the guard house —
20 A. Okay.
21 Q. — as you’re looking out to the left of the
22 guard house, how far does the stone work extend,
24 A. Maybe 20, 25 feet. 30 feet maybe at the
26 Q. Okay. And after that 30 feet, what kind of
27 fencing protection do you have?
28 A. Very little. Two-plank ranch fencing. 7033
1 It’s nice. It looks like — but it’s maybe about
2 four feet tall.
3 Q. And two rails?
4 A. Two rails and then posts however many feet.
5 Q. And there’s no wire on that or anything
6 else, correct?
7 A. No.
8 Q. So people can pretty much hop over that if
9 they want to?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. All right. As you go around the rest of the
12 ranch there’s — as you get farther away from the
13 gate, at some point there’s some fencing,
14 cattle-type fencing; is that correct?
15 A. Cattle, barbed wire fencing.
16 Q. All right. Now, you mention that there was
17 another location which was up by the house, I think,
18 for — another stationary location for the guards;
19 is that correct?
20 A. The house security office, correct.
21 Q. And that’s not in the house itself?
22 A. No.
23 Q. It’s at the end of the building that’s
24 adjacent to the house; is that correct?
25 A. Correct.
26 Q. And in there, you have a — an initial room
27 that includes a desk and the computer and so on; is
28 that correct? 7034
1 A. That’s correct.
2 Q. And there’s a rack of battery chargers for
3 the portable radios?
4 A. It may be in that room, now. It was in the
5 other room before when I was there.
6 Q. Okay. In any event, there’s the initial
7 room that you walk into, and then behind it is sort
8 of a break room; is that correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. It’s got a few lockers; is that right?
11 A. That’s right.
12 Q. The break table and some chairs, right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is that where that board is that you were
15 telling us about?
16 A. No. It was in the first room.
17 Q. In the first room. All right.
18 Now, let me ask you something: The gate
19 logs that you told us about that are among the
20 documents that you authenticated from Exhibit 300 to
21 335 — I realize there’s some other documents that
22 aren’t gate logs in there —
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. — but the gate logs that are in those
25 documents, those gate logs are used to communicate
26 information to the various guards who are on duty or
27 who come on duty; is that correct?
28 A. Yes. 7035