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Law
The Michael Jackson Trial

Jackson prosecutors present phone, bank records

Detective acknowledges singer did not participate in calls


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Michael Jackson arrives at the courthouse Monday.
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Prosecutors try to show there was a Jackson conspiracy to hold accuser's family.

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SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- Prosecutors used telephone records Monday in hopes of bolstering their contention that Michael Jackson's associates tried to intimidate and control the family of his accuser, but a detective said the pop star did not take part in those calls.

The introduction of telephone and banking records Monday came as prosecutors neared the end of their case in the trial, more than two months old.

Sgt. Craig Bonner, a Santa Barbara County sheriff's investigator, used a chart in court to outline a series of more than 40 calls among several of Jackson's business associates, some of whom have been named as unindicted co-conspirators in the case.

The calls were placed from hotel rooms in Florida and California and a chartered jet in the days surrounding the broadcast of a February 2003 documentary by British filmmaker Martin Bashir.

The mother of Jackson's accuser testified last month that Jackson and his entourage detained her family in Miami by telling them they were in danger after the documentary was aired. She detailed what she said was an elaborate damage-control scheme by Jackson's associates after her son appeared holding hands with the pop star in that film.

None of the calls Bonner outlined were made from a phone that expressly belonged to Jackson.

"Was Michael Jackson ever on a single call?" defense attorney Robert Sanger asked Bonner.

"No," Bonner said.

Bonner said the calls were made to:

  • The accuser's grandparents in California;
  • The accuser's father;
  • Several members of Jackson's entourage;
  • Jackson videographer Hamid Moslehi, who shot a rebuttal video after the Bashir documentary aired;
  • Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, whose testimony for the prosecution last week was a source of unexpected good fortune for the defense. (Full story)
  • A grand jury indicted Jackson, 46, last year on charges of molesting the then-13-year-old boy, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold him and his family captive in 2003. Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    Large sums withdrawn from bank

    Another witness Monday was Beverly Wagner, the manager of a Los Angeles-area bank, who testified that Jackson associate Marc Schaffel withdrew $1.5 million from her branch about two months after the Bashir documentary aired.

    Wagner, the branch manager for the US Bank in Santa Monica, California, said Schaffel cashed one check for $1 million on April 2, 2003, and another for $500,000 a few days later. The checks were written to cash on the account of Neverland Valley Entertainment, and Schaffel and Jackson were joint signatories on the account, Wagner testified.

    Schaffel held other accounts at her branch as well, she said.

    Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon said last week that he expected to rest the prosecution's case no later than Tuesday. Jackson's defense team will then get its chance to present evidence.

    Prosecutors managed to end a shaky week with a key victory Friday, when Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville allowed them to introduce into evidence two books found in a locked filing cabinet in Jackson's bedroom at Neverland Ranch during a search in 1993. (Full story)

    CNN's Dree De Clamecy contributed to this report.


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