Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The back finally gives out

I had some errands I needed to get done so I did not go to court today. While picking up a heavy box off my patio slated for The Goodwill, I lifted with my back instead of using my legs. I heard (and felt) a noticeable "pop." Fearing I had totally ruined my low back for weeks to come, I tried to stretch it out. Yep. Seriously strained; no more court for me this week. I've made an appointment with my chiropractor and hopefully he can get me back in shape by next Monday or Tuesday. It's not easy sitting, and I'll probably take something for the pain before I got to bed, but I will try to put up some more notes tomorrow afternoon.

Posters on Court TV have been talking about Bruce Cutler, every since Peter Y. Hong's article in the LA Times came out this morning. (I don't know how long that link to the story will be good.)

Especially troubling to some people was this comment:

"He's my soul mate," Cutler says of the music producer. "We get one another."

That comment raises some very interesting questions about Cutler, and the individuals he finds a personal connection with.

There's no question that Bruce Cutler is a very theatrical person, and he is a large (although muzzled) presence in the courtroom. I'm reminded of a pit bull, with his huge barrel chest and nonexistent neck. I sometimes think he's about to explode, but the only thing confining him are his perfectly tailored suits.

Dominick Dunne, who actually likes Cutler, caught a ride from him when his limo failed to pick him up one day after court. Sitting in the back of the limousine with Cutler, with their heads resting against the back of the seat, Mr. Dunne said he felt like he was going to see the Don himself.

Yesterday, I had a discussion with another trial watcher about the DNA found on the bullets in the murder weapon. If you remember, Linda Kenney Baden in her opening statement, specifically said that Lana's DNA was found on the bottom of the cartridges. Yet, the criminalist, Steve Renteria, specifically testified he only swabbed the bullet's themselves, and not the cartridges. The trial watcher felt that Linda Kenney Baden would not make such a claim in her OS, if it wasn't true, and felt that the defense must have performed their own DNA testing on the bullets. I feel the defense did not test the bullets, but to know for sure, we'll have to wait until the defense puts on it's case in chief.

Jurors #7, 8, & 9 are all on their second notebook. Yesterday, at times I observed juror #5, a well dressed black woman, turn her head to look at Plourd while he asked a question, then turn her head back to the witness when they answered. Back and forth it went like that for some time. It's very hard to read this jury. (It's not like I'm any sort of jury expert anyway. This is only the second trial I've had the opportunity to attend.) I rarely see any facial expressions among the group. There are a few of the male jurors who often sit with their arms folded across their chests, and a few of the group who occasionally take a glance out at the gallery, as the gallery looks back at them.

UPDATE: 6-13-07 10:40 am
I was pretty tired last night, and forgot to mention a little gallery drama. There is this one trial watcher who has been there off and on. I’ll call this person W. W is part of the public and is not part of the regular press. Monday, during the morning break, Ciaran McEvoy and Dominick left their seats to step outside the courtroom. During that time, W moved from their seat in the third row and moved up to the second row to sit where Ciaran was sitting. W was then overheard to have said when they sat down, “You snooze, you lose.”

When I heard (later in the day) that W said this, I was flabbergasted. There is a hierarchy in the courtroom. The accredited press gets to sit exactly where they want, and they usually have their favorite spots. The general public is usually told by the court’s public liaison where to sit. I am lucky that Steven saves a spot for me in the second row. When Ciaran and Dominick came back from break, Steven and myself had to scoot down a bit to make room for them. No way in the world would I have done something like this. I give the reporters in the room the respect they deserve, and can’t imagine trying to overtake someone else’s spot.

In the afternoon session, W’s cell phone went off. The bailiff came over, and W was quickly ejected from the courtroom. At the end of court as I exited the courtroom, there was W waiting outside, hopping mad. W was talking to someone else, saying something about giving the bailiff (and I paraphrase), ”...a piece of their mind...” As I was walking away I was thinking, Leave your cell phone on, you lose.