SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Jurors who spent seven days deliberating Michael Jackson's (search) fate ultimately decided that his accuser's mother was an untrustworthy opportunist, a key factor that led to the singer's acquittal on all counts.
"The mother was difficult to believe, for one thing. There were just too many things that didn't make sense to the jurors," Ray Hultman (search), who was juror No. 1, told FOX News on Tuesday. "You could pretty easily see there was a pattern of lying, and that emerged as a major factor in deciding this case."
On Monday, Jackson beat all 10 charges brought by Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon (search), including accusations that the pop star molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor in 2003 and conspired to hold the boy and his family captive.
Basking in the jurors' decision, Jackson's lawyer said Tuesday the singer would no longer share his bed with young boys.
"He's not going to do that anymore," attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. told NBC's "Today" show. "He's not going to make himself vulnerable to this anymore."
Mesereau said the singer was still recovering from the ordeal.
"He's going to take it one day at a time. It's been a terrible, terrible process for him," he said.
A raucous welcome greeted Jackson as he returned to his fairy-tale Neverland ranch on Monday afternoon. As a convoy of black SUVs carrying him and his entourage pulled through the gates, his sister LaToya Jackson (search) rolled down a window, smiled widely and waved. The crowd responded with a euphoric cheer.
Once at Neverland, Jackson went straight to bed, according to his family.
The entertainer, who appeared exhausted as he shuffled out of court, is "trying to get back his strength," said his father, Joe Jackson.
"I feel justice was done," Jackson's father said. "We thank the fans for supporting us."
In a press conference Monday, jurors remained guarded about details of their deliberations but offered some insight. One said that right from the outset, they got beyond the fact that Jackson is a celebrity and were determined to treat him like anyone else.
Several jurors said they were irritated by the testimony of the accuser's mother, who stared at the jury and snapped her fingers at them.
"I disliked it intensely when she snapped her fingers at us," said Juror No. 5, an older woman. She said she thought to herself, "Don't snap your fingers at me, lady."
But not all of the jurors were convinced the King of Pop had never molested a child.
"He's just not guilty of the crimes he's been charged with," said Hultman, who told The Associated Press he was one of three people on the 12-person jury who voted to acquit only after the other nine persuaded them there was reasonable doubt about the entertainer's guilt in this particular case.
Prosecutors presented testimony about Jackson's allegedly improper relationships with several boys in the early 1990s, including the son of a maid who testified that Jackson molested him during tickling sessions between 1987 and 1990. Another, Brett Barnes, took the stand to deny that he was molested during sleepovers at Neverland.
But Hultman said he believed it was likely that both boys had been molested. He said he voted to acquit Jackson in the current case because he had doubts about his current accuser's credibility.
"That's not to say he's an innocent man," Hultman, 62, said of Jackson.
Jackson wiped tears from his eyes as the verdict was read. One of his lawyers, Susan Yu (search), burst into tears as the first verdicts were announced. Some of the women in the jury also wept and passed around a box of tissues.
When it was over, Jackson stood and was embraced by his chief lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr. (search), and Yu.
Sneddon sat with his head in his hands as the verdict was read.
"Obviously we're disappointed in the verdict ... but we believe in the system of justice," Sneddon told reporters later. He said he had not yet spoken to the accuser's family about the outcome.
Asked whether this marked the end of his pursuit of Jackson, Sneddon replied: "No comment."
Analysts: Sneddon's Strategy All Wrong
Legal analysts echoed Hultman's comments that the mother's testimony was the reason for the acquittal, and added that Sneddon erred by charging Jackson with conspiracy to commit kidnapping.
"Clearly, the jury didn't like the mother," said Geoffrey Feiger (search), who once represented "suicide doctor" Jack Kevorkian.
Feiger called the prosecutor's decision to call the mother to the stand a "tactical error."
Jeanine Pirro (search), district attorney of New York's Westchester County, said the case could have been clear-cut if not for the boy's mother.
"This case was about the jury hating the mother. It's as simple as that," Pirro said.
While Lis Wiehl, a FOX News legal analyst, agreed that the mother was the key, she worried the jury gave too much weight to their impression of her.
"Even if this is the worst mother in the world — terrible, rotten, that she would sell her son — that's irrelevant to whether he molested this kid," Wiehl said.
Jacko's Side: 'Justice Is Done'
Jackson's legal team and supporters hailed the jury's decision.
"Justice is done. The man's innocent. He always was," Mesereau told reporters on the way out of the courthouse.
"I would never have married a pedophile. And the system works," Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe (search) said in a statement given to "Entertainment Tonight."
The jury, which listened to 14 weeks of testimony and arguments, sent word of a verdict on the 10-count indictment about 3:30 p.m. EDT.
The verdict — reached after about 30 hours of deliberations over seven days — ended a star-studded, four-month trial that offered a global audience a lurid look into Jackson's weird world and presented jurors with vastly different portraits of him: a creepy pervert who preyed on little boys, or the victim of a frame-up by a family of shakedown artists.
During the trial, prosecutors who had been pursuing Jackson for years branded him a deviant who used his playland as the ultimate pervert's lair, plying boys with booze and porn before molesting them.
Defense lawyers described Jackson as a humanitarian who wanted to protect kids and give them the life he never had while growing up as a child star. The accusing boy had asked to meet the star when he thought he was dying of cancer.
The defense said the family exploited the boy's illness to shake down celebrities, then concocted the charges of molestation and kidnapping after realizing Jackson was cutting them off from a jet-set lifestyle that included limo rides and stays at luxurious resorts.
Jackson faced 10 charges in all, including four counts that he molested the boy in early 2003. Jackson also was charged with providing the boy with wine — "Jesus juice," the pop star called it — and conspiring with members of his inner circle to hold the accuser and his family captive to get them to rebut a damaging documentary.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.