LOS ANGELES – Jurors began deliberations Thursday in the federal racketeering case against Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano and four co-defendants.
Deliberations began after defense lawyers wrapped up their closing arguments and prosecutors delivered rebuttal statements.
During his closing argument, Pellicano said Wednesday that he acted as a "lone ranger" while gathering information for his A-list clients and did not lead a criminal organization, as prosecutors have alleged.
Pellicano insisted he shared no information with colleagues as he conducted investigations and only allowed others to learn what he wanted them to know.
"There was no criminal enterprise or conspiracy. Mr. Pellicano alone is responsible. That is the simple truth," he said, referring to himself in the third person as court rules require for people who act as their own attorney.
He did not elaborate on what he was responsible for.
"Effectively he was a lone ranger," Pellicano said.
The 64-year-old has pleaded not guilty to spearheading a scheme that used wiretaps and ran names through law enforcement databases to dig up dirt on Hollywood's rich and famous and supply it to their rivals. Four co-defendants pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges.
Pellicano, who has remained in custody during the trial, wore his prison-issued green jacket, gray shirt and green pants as he delivered his 15-minute closing argument.
Instead of addressing the evidence, he bragged about his career, showing some of the same swagger that became his calling card while doing investigations for his high-powered clientele.
"Perhaps his business card should read 'I deliver,' because he did it over and over again," Pellicano said about his work.
Earlier in the day, a lawyer for former Los Angeles police Sgt. Mark Arneson argued that federal prosecutors had failed to prove his client was part of the alleged criminal enterprise.
Attorney Chad Hummel said in his closing argument at the two-month trial that Arneson didn't listen to audiotapes or wiretaps, made no threats and had no knowledge about the people Pellicano was investigating.
Arneson is accused of taking bribes in excess of $180,000 to run names through law enforcement databases but has said he received the money for off-duty security and surveillance work.
Other co-defendants in the case are ex-telephone company worker Rayford Earl Turner, software designer Kevin Kachikian and Abner Nicherie, a client of Pellicano.
Kachikian's attorney Adam Braun said Pellicano duped his client into believing a wiretapping program he developed called Telesleuth would be marketed to law enforcement agencies.
"Mr. Kachikian did not know or intend for Telesleuth to be used" for illegal wiretapping, Braun said.