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Law
The Michael Jackson Trial

Analyst: Print of accuser's brother found on sex magazines


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Michael Jackson
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California

SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- A forensic analyst testified Thursday that at least one of the prints recovered from sexually explicit magazines seized from Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch belongs to his accuser's younger brother.

Under cross-examination, however, Lisa Hemman, a forensic analyst with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, said the print was originally classified as inconclusive, but that conclusion changed after additional examination.

Hemman also testified that she believes another print recovered from the magazines belongs to Jackson. However, the results are officially considered inconclusive because another examiner who looked at the print disagreed with her conclusion.

The two boys were at Neverland when the pop star allegedly molested his accuser.

In addition to Hemman's testimony, a detective with the sheriff's department, Tim Sutcliffe, said he found 16 separate prints on the magazines, which were found in a briefcase in Jackson's bedroom during a search of Neverland on November 18, 2003.

Sutcliffe did not identify whose prints those were. He will return to the stand Friday when trial resumes.

Earlier in the trial, the defense had suggested that the two brothers' fingerprints may have gotten on the magazines when they identified the material during grand jury testimony that indicted Jackson in April 2004.

Hemman countered that idea, saying that the seven items she removed from the briefcase were sent to a state police lab in Goleta for analysis in January 2004 and were not presented to the grand jury.

The defense has also repeatedly argued that all of the sexually oriented material found at the ranch is legal for an adult to buy and possess.

But when asked whether it would be legal for an adult to show such material to a minor, Hemman told the jury, "It would be illegal," going on to cite by number a chapter of the state criminal code.

Also Thursday, the prosecution informed the judge that comedian George Lopez, who befriended the accuser and his family after the boy became ill with cancer in 2000, has decided not to fight a subpoena to testify. Lopez is expected to be called to the stand Monday.

Monday is also the day when Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville will hear arguments over whether jurors should be allowed to hear evidence of past sexual abuse allegations against Jackson, including a 1993 civil case that resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement.

The pop star arrived in court appearing subdued and was joined by his parents and two brothers, Marlon and Jackie. Marlon's appearance was his first since testimony began February 28. Jackson's parents, all five of his brothers and his sister LaToya have now been in the courtroom to offer their support.

Leaving court for the day, Jackson said he was "very much in pain" because of his back and side. At times earlier in the week, he had leaned on members of his entourage.

Prosecution witness jailed

In another development in the Jackson case, authorities in Las Vegas confirmed that a key prosecution witness has been jailed and indicted on several felony charges, stemming from four armed robberies.

Former Jackson bodyguard Christopher Eric Carter, 25, faces 15 counts, including first-degree kidnapping, burglary, robbery, coercion and possession of a firearm by an ex-felon, according to his indictment. (Full story)

The charges will undoubtedly damage the credibility of Carter, who has testified that he saw Jackson and his teenage accuser drinking alcohol together during an airplane flight.

None of the charges against Carter are related to his employment under Jackson.

The pop star himself faces 10 felony counts for incidents that allegedly occurred in February and March 2003.

He is charged with four counts of committing a lewd act on a child; one count of conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion; one count of attempting to commit a lewd act on a child; and four counts of administering an intoxicating agent to assist in the commission of a felony.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

CNN's Ted Rowlands, Dree De Clamecy and Stan Wilson contributed to this report.


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