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The Michael Jackson Trial

Michael Jackson jury to reconvene

Jesse Jackson: Accused singer is in great pain


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SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- Jurors in Michael Jackson's child molestation have ended deliberations and will reconvene Tuesday morning.

About an hour into deliberations Monday, the jury informed the judge that they had a question. Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville notified the attorneys in the case of the jury's query, but the nature of the question was not made public.

As jurors debated his fate, Jackson -- who went to a hospital Sunday for treatment of what his spokeswoman said was recurring back pain -- remained at his Neverland Ranch, about an hour away.

However, Jackson's father, Joseph, turned up at the courthouse, agitated and demanding to know where his son was. Surrounded by a gaggle of cameras, he walked up to a sheriff's deputy and asked, "I want to know where my son is at."

The elder Jackson eventually left, after a deputy explained his son was at home.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who said he has been meeting and praying with the pop star, told CNN on Monday that the singer is suffering from "excruciating" pain but remains resolute and strong in his conviction of his innocence.

The entertainer is dealing with both "physical pain on the one hand and anxiety about the outcome of this trial," Jesse Jackson said in an interview on CNN's "American Morning."

"In many ways, his destiny, at least for a season, is in the jaws of the jury," the civil rights and religious leader said.

Michael Jackson has complained of back problems before, and it was the second time in four days he visited a hospital. (Full story)

The eight women and four men of the jury got the case Friday afternoon and deliberated about two hours before breaking for the weekend.

They will have to wade through 14 weeks of testimony by more than 140 witnesses to determine whether the pop star is a sexual predator of young boys or a victim of a con.

Jacksons stand behind brother

Jermaine Jackson said in an off-camera CNN interview during the weekend that his brother is "One thousand percent innocent."

Asked how his parents, Joseph and Katherine Jackson, have handled the courtroom drama, Jermaine said, "They are our rock."

Katherine Jackson attended every day of the trial, and all eight of Jackson's siblings showed the family flag at some point.

Various sisters, including Janet and LaToya, were on hand Friday, as were brothers Jermaine and Randy.

Friday's closing arguments

A grand jury indicted Jackson in April last year on charges of child molestation and other crimes stemming from alleged incidents involving his accuser, then 13, and his family in February and March 2003.

Jackson pleaded not guilty to the charges and did not take the stand during the trial.

During closing arguments Friday, Jackson's lead defense attorney attacked the credibility of the teenage accuser and his family, saying their allegations against the pop star are "the biggest con of their careers."

Projecting transcript excerpts of their testimony onto a large screen, Thomas Mesereau Jr. pointed to "flip flops" in the accuser's various statements to show that "he's not truthful."

And he called the teen's mother "a complete liar and fabricator, a con artist," saying the family wanted to cash in on allegations with a civil suit, as they did four years ago with a lawsuit against J.C. Penney.

Prosecutor Ron Zonen, in his rebuttal, said the consistency of the family's testimony was "remarkable," given they were on the stand for a collective 12 days.

He also lampooned the idea that the mother, who "frankly can't string two consecutive sentences together that make sense," would be able to mastermind "such a vast fraud." (Closing arguments)

The charges Jackson faces include: 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.

Earlier this week, Melville decided to allow the jury to consider the final four charges of furnishing alcohol to a minor as misdemeanors instead of felonies.

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


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