Pellicano Trial Update: Closing Arguments

So the trial that would not end is finally ending with closing arguments. Not much of a Hollywood angle to report, except for the lawyer for LAPD Sgt Mark Arneson, who is accused of doing all those illegal law enforcement database investigations.  I’ve been reading the coverage – anxiously awaiting the verdict on this end! “It makes no sense that Mr. Ovitz a pillar of the Hollywood community would hire Mr. Pellicano to put a fish on a car of a reporter. If he had a problem with The New York Times, he would just call the editor.”

Meanwhile, jailed Hollywood P.I. Anthony Pellicano, who is defending himself, spoke for a mere 16 minutes — and mostly rambled.

About Pellicano’s closing argument, DHD/LA Weekly trial correspondent Steven Mikulan wrote: “Pellicano had told Judge Dale Fischer that he needed somewhere between an hour to an hour and a half to complete his speech to the jury, but he gave himself the hook after only 16 minutes. Appearing relaxed, affable and confident, Pellicano nevertheless gave a rambling dissertation on the roles of the jury and prosecutor. Jurors stared at him alertly but with opaque expressions.

“Pellicano has made much of how he detests snitches and ‘rats’, and certainly the government’s dance card was packed with witnesses who were either cooperating with prosecutors for lesser sentences in cases related to Pellicano’s, or who had completely dodged indictments in exchange for their testimony about Pellicano’s alleged wiretapping activities.

“‘ ‘I could stand up here and take up more of your time and try to sway you,” Pellicano instead told jurors. ‘But Mr. Pellicano has instructed me not to do so.’ ”

The jury is expected to get the case tomorrow.

In the government’s closing argument in the RICO trial of Pellicano and four co-defendants (including Arneson) who are facing nearly 80 counts involving wire fraud, conspiracy, identity theft and bribery, Mikulan praises prosecutor Daniel Saunders for getting to the point:

“The problem facing Saunders was that he had to remind the jurors of each and every count – not only matching the alleged crimes to the names of victims, but also to whom, exactly, among the defendants, the counts pertained. Saunders also had to give a brief summary of the charges, which ran his argument to almost an hour past the trial’s normal 2 p.m. closing time.  Still, the jurors remained attentive throughout the long day and Saunders landed some jabs, describing Pellicano’s investigation business as “a thoroughly corrupt organization . . . operated by a very well-connected and highly paid thug.”

“As an orator Saunders maintained an even keel – appearing neither ingratiating nor demanding toward the jurors. He would not be rushed, yet he seemed mindful, in the afternoon, of just how long he was running. More important, Saunders displayed a formidable command of his material, speaking for long stretches of time without referring to notes. Yet the sheer Alexandrian inventory of charges precluded him from engaging in the kind of narrative-tweaking storytelling that might have brought the eight-week proceedings to more vivid life.”

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