Michael Jackson | Janet Arvizo | Brian Oxman
District Attorney's Jacko Timeline Doesn't Jibe
Michael Jackson was not at his Neverland Ranch on March 6, 7 and 8 in 2003, and possibly not on March 9 either.
That was the news that the prosecution inadvertently admitted into evidence yesterday in the Jackson child molestation trial, while it was busy analyzing the phone records of all the case's main players.
And those three days, and also possibly Feb. 20, 2003, continue to narrow the time frame in which the prosecution asserts Jackson committed his crimes.
Thanks to the rather boring review of phone records, we did learn a couple of small things that may have great significance later.
While Jackson was away from Neverland, his teen accuser was at the ranch with his family. The boy, now 15, has said in his grand jury testimony and in court that his molestation took place "toward the end" of his stay at Neverland — on March 12, 2003.
Jackson, as we accidentally learned in court, was staying at the Beverly Hilton for several days at that time under the name "Kenneth Morgan." Phone records introduced by the prosecution show that he was there, calling his assistant Evvy Tavasci night and day.
The phone records from the hotel were entered as evidence by the prosecution. So were the room bills, which show that Jackson was in an $850-a-night suite.
Phone records also indicate Jackson may have been away from Neverland on Feb. 20, 2003. That's the day the district attorney said in his indictment that Jackson began his molestation and conspiracy.
The phone records show that Jackson may have been in Miami on that date, staying at Turnberry Isle Inn, the same place where he stayed earlier that month for $3,700 a night. And you wonder why he has no money.
Since the district attorney placed all of Jackson's indictable actions between Feb. 20 and March 10, 2003, it would seem that his alleged window of opportunity to have molested the boy is getting smaller and smaller.
It's already been established that the family was away from Neverland between Feb. 25 and March 2, 2003. Scratch that week off the schedule. Now cross off those three or four days in late March, plus Feb. 20 and possibly Feb. 21 and 22.
Other items in yesterday's testimony didn't jibe with what the jury has already heard.
For one thing, the accuser's mother, Janet Arvizo, was vehement during her own testimony that she'd missed celebrating Valentine's Day with her then-boyfriend because of Jackson and his associates.
But phone records show that she made seven calls on Feb. 14 to her friend, Azja Pryor, the fiancée of comedian Chris Tucker. She also had several phone conversations with Jackson associate Frank Tyson that day.
The last call of the day, placed by Arvizo to Pryor, was at 11:40 p.m. The defense could say that if she missed Valentine's Day, it was Arvizo's own fault.
Santa Barbara police detective Sgt. Craig Bonner — a nice enough fellow who'd worked on getting all the phone records together for all the parties to this case — conceded during cross-examination by Robert Sanger that he had omitted calls for Feb. 4, 2003, during his presentation under direct questioning.
He also said that the phone records hadn't been finalized until late Sunday night — after a run-up to the trial that lasted more than a year.
The Arvizos' records also included two calls to Tucker's home on Feb. 4 within minutes of each other.
Under cross-examination during what seemed like a brutally dull day in court, the defense began to set the stage for a story we reported in this column exclusively last Friday.
That's the story that the Arvizos asked to be sent to Miami to see Jackson on Feb. 6, 2003. I told you that sources say Tucker will relate how the Miami trip was his idea, not Jackson's.
The calls to Tucker, the defense will argue if its case ever begins, are important. They will show that after the family was made an offer by British tabloid reporters for its story, the Arvizos picked up the phone and called Tucker for access to Jackson.
Tucker then flew the family to Miami on a plane he had rented, on his way to Orlando, Atlanta and the NBA All-Star Game.
Mother Made Friends at Neverland
The last time anyone heard the name Angel Vivanco in court was when Janet Arvizo said she didn't know him.
That was on a day of cross-examination when lead defense lawyer Thomas Mesereau craftily ran off a list of Neverland workers and asked Arvizo to identify them.
"I don't know anybody except Jesus Salas and Evvy," she said, referring to Jackson's assistant.
She also said she had never heard of Violet Silva, the longtime head of security at Neverland.
But now it seems that Arvizo does in fact know Vivanco, and may yet again be confronting her own lies.
Phone records show that she called Vivanco at home often, especially after she "escaped" from the Neverland ranch for the third and final time.
Vivanco received a call from Arvizo at home in Guadalupe, Calif., on March 12, another one on March 13, three calls on March 19, two on March 20 and another on March 21.
Vivanco's number was on phone bills subpoenaed by the prosecution, but the district attorney's office didn't bother to see whose number it was. Defense attorney Sanger revealed during cross-examination that his team had supplied the prosecution with this information.
It's still not clear why the district attorney wouldn't have been interested in whom Arvizo might have been calling in Guadalupe, a town near Neverland but far from her own home.
Similarly, Arvizo made lots of other calls to Neverland employees after her third "escape."
She made several calls to another Neverland staffer, Maria Aceves, and to Jorgen and Adele Staal, owners of a local self-storage company in nearby Santa Ynez.
Aceves was on the prosecution's list of potential witnesses, but was never called. The Staals are not on any lists from either side. Vivanco and his brother Jorge are on the defense list.
Oxman Lives and Dies by the Sword
Believe it or not, attorney Brian Oxman is still representing Michael Jackson — just not in criminal court.
Oxman was spotted last week defending Jackson against the $4 million lawsuit filed by Marc Schaffel.
You may recall Oxman was shouted off the child molestation case by lead defense counsel Tom Mesereau, who had had enough of his dozing in court.
Some other reports claimed that Oxman got the ax because he met with private investigator Paul Barresi to hear tapes this column reported on concerning supermarket tabloids' payments to sources, etc., in the 1993 case.
Alas, I can tell you this was not the case.
Oxman and Barresi did meet, and Barresi taped the whole craziness with Oxman's permission.
But Barresi merely wanted to elaborate on how the tabs' practice of doling out dough to unsavory types created a lot of false stories back in the 1990s. That's not why Oxman was fired.
I am told that Mesereau was ticked off when he discovered that papers Oxman filed in the Schaffel case may have contradicted papers and arguments in the child molestation case.
That is what broke the camel's back, a source said — that and the snoozing.