Friday, September 7, 2007

Guest Entry: "Cocobaby" attends Closing Arguments

This is a guest entry today, and our guest writer is Court TV poster, Cocobaby. Cocobaby went to see a majority of the Closing Arguments. Cocobaby agreed to write about her impressions for the blog. Thank you, Cocobaby!
Wednesday, September 5th.

After several weeks of reading and writing posts on the Court TV threads and reading Sprocket’s great blog, I have decided that I have to check this circus called the Phil Spector trial out for myself. What better day to watch the trial then the day when Alan Jackson will be giving his closing argument?

I leave home at 7:00 a.m. and rush downtown. I know the courthouse is on 1st Street between Temple and Spring, but for some reason I find myself circling around the block over and over like a nutcase. I finally end up parking my car; it is already after 8:oo a.m, and I am now a little bit panicked. I’ve heard that I will have to go through two security checks and ride up a very slow elevator to get to my destination. Luckily, the line at the first security check is small and I end up getting the first elevator up to the 9th floor.

As I make my way to the second security check and am ready to put my purse down to be searched, who but Roger Rosen, or RR as everyone calls him, rushes past me, throws his briefcase on the conveyor belt and walks through the metal detector. Somehow this doesn’t surprise me. Ever heard of ladies first Roger? Apparently not. RR is considerably shorter,smaller and skinnier than I imagined. I could easily beat him up and I am not kidding. Also, his skin was a weird looking color to me-it seemed unnatural. Could Roger Rosen be wearing makeup? Hmmmmmmmmmm.

I get to the large group of people waiting to get into the courtroom and am handed a ticket for the “lottery”. They will call eight lucky numbers for two seats in the courtroom. Each winner gets to stay in the courtroom for a two-hour session.

I feel lucky. I have on my lucky penny necklace that I just bought a couple of weeks earlier. Note to self: Do not go jewelry shopping after consuming cocktails. Not only did I feel obligated to buy this lucky penny necklace (out of fear that after carrying it around the store and putting it back would make me unlucky), I also ended up with an $80.00 “poppy” ring that is really just a bunch of beads piled on top of one another in the shape of what is supposed to be a poppy.
Long story short, my number was not called. I did get to see Alan Jackson wheeling a large basket on wheels filled with all sorts of books, binders, etc., so all was not lost. I went to work and listened to a phenomenal closing argument on my computer.

I find out later that night from the “lucky” ticket holders that if I’d have stayed a little longer, I might have been able to get in the courtroom. I wish I never heard that. I am more determined to get in and will try again tomorrow.

Thursday, September 6th.
Day two of my quest to watch the trial of Phil Spector began almost exactly like the first: rushed. I arrive at the courthouse after 8:00 a.m. again and arrive on the 9th floor just as the court's liaison staff are handing out that day’s lottery tickets. Same drill as the day before. My number is 93 and the numbers being called went something like this: 92, 91, 94, 95, 97, 98, 90, 93. My number was the last to be called, but hey, I am in! By the way, I do have my lucky penny necklace on again (I don’t think I even took it off from the day before, to be honest). It guess it does work.

Anyway, I was sitting next to a really nice lady and she points out Linda K.Baden to me and a few minutes later here comes Chris Plourd and Bradley Brunon walking together down the hall. What on earth is Chris carrying as a briefcase? Isn’t this guy making a ton of money on this case? This was a royal blue fabric bag with some company’s name and logo on the front-meaning it was a FREE BAG. He got it at a luncheon, golf tournament, who knows? All I know is that he looks foolish wearing a suit and carrying that bag. I do have to say that Bradley Brunon looks way better than I expected. He's wearing a nice suit, very well groomed, and at least he has the sense not to carry a royal blue bag.

As I am talking with the “winners” of the lottery, the lady I talked with asked me if I had been to the trial the day before for Alan Jackson’s closing. I told her I tried, but couldn’t get in and all of the sudden she says to me, “Are you Cocopuff??” It was too funny! She had read my posts about not getting in the day before on the Court TV thread and figured out who I was.

We get into the courtroom and all the major players are there –with the exception of Phil Spector and his wife. I see all of the people I have been watching on my tiny Ktla screen at work live and in person. I see Sudi, very pretty girl with very beautiful deep-set eyes. I see Dominick Dunne in front of me to the left, along with that British guy Dini has a crush on. I agree, he IS very cute! I see Linda Deutsch and Steven (don’t know his last name) sitting to my right. The family and friends of Lana Clarkson are in the front row and in the middle of the second row right in front of me. They are all nicely dressed and are a very classy group.

Now, the guy next to me can’t wait to point out the “hot” girls on the defense side to me. First off he points out Roger Rosen’s girlfriend. I haven’t seen that much makeup since the Tammy Faye days. I could say more, but better not. Next he points out Tawny Tindell to me. Who would purposely dye their hair that color? There are a few other blonds on that side that this man didn’t know. Now I’m no beauty queen, but in my opinion, having spray-tanned skin, bleach blond hair extensions, fake boob jobs ~and let’s not forget nose jobs~ and a really skinny frame does NOT make you a beautiful girl. Lana Clarkson was a naturally stunning beautiful girl, not these girls. Nuff said.

Court begins and Judge Fiddler begins listening to all of Riordan’s objections from the day before. He wants a mistrial (again) and was denied again. Yada, yada, yada –everyone knows the drill, so I won’t bore you with details. Phil Spector decided to show up after all! He is back to wearing those long suit coats –he looks ridiculous. His wife Chelle has a large, fake, curly ponytail on today and is extremely skinny. I want to give her a cookie.

The jury is called in and they begin to take their seats. For some reason, they do not look at all as I had envisioned. I instantly knew who the Dateline producer was just by his appearance. Why in the world would the Defense put this guy on the jury? I bet he will be the leader during deliberations. The note taker is also easy to pick out even before he takes one note. He looks like a note taker.

Linda Kenney Baden begins her closing argument and right away I can’t stand it. Her voice, the pounding on the podium, the repeating of every sentence, she is annoying as hell. I spend the next hour studying the jury as LKB droned on and on. I would occasionally try to figure out what she was saying, but couldn’t. I had no clue what she was talking about. None. Is she talking about the same trial I had been watching for four months? I find out I have something in common with the jury. I am bored to death.

This jury CRACKS ME UP!! Juror #5, a nice looking black woman literally has a pen in her hand ready to write down anything important, but from what I observed, didn’t write more than one or two words. Juror #7 is stone-faced. He is staring straight ahead with no expression on his face. Juror #4 looked bored out of his mind. He was fidgeting, leaning against the back wall and to the side, again, taking no notes. Juror #10-the note taker didn’t seem to be taking many notes to me.

My favorite juror to watch, however, was juror #12. This guy had a pen and a pad of paper, however, he wasn’t writing anything down, he was flipping the pages of his book back and reading things he wrote previously from what? The DAY BEFORE??? Maybe. LKB would put some BS graphic on the screen and I never saw him look at it once. He would yawn, tap his pen on his head, yawn, and at one point was staring into space, deep in thought. It was pretty obvious to me he wasn’t pondering what LKB had just said in his mind; he was daydreaming of a being somewhere, anywhere else.

At break time, the guy next to me told me that the day before the court was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Not today. He, too was bored, as well as the older lady sitting on the other side of me. I see Phil standing up by himself staring. Weird. I also see LKB in the women’s restroom but I don’t say a word to her. It was kind of awkward.

Dominick Dunne was walking back into the courtroom when this same older lady said to him, “Boring huh?” He just laughed and sat down.

As you know, LKB’s rambling went on for another hour before the lunch break. People were moving around more, whispering more, etc. Oh, by the way, Judge Fidler was busy doing all sorts of other work, barely looking up. I glanced over at the defense side of the audience and those people were mesmerized by LKB’s presentation. Not me. I can hardly wait till the lunch break and when it finally does come, I rush to the elevator to leave. The older lady next to me is leaving too. I tell her I can’t take it and am not coming back after break and she said she wasn’t either. Too boring. I end up going to work for the rest of the day. Anything was better than going back to the courthouse for more LKB. So much for the lucky penny necklace.

Friday, September 7th.
I take every Friday off from work without pay. I cherish my Fridays. Friday’s are always spent doing nice things: puttering around the house, going to the beach, Santa Barbara, shopping, etc., But this Friday, I was contemplating whether I should go back to court to see Pat Dixon’s Closing Argument. Sure I would love to see Pat Dixon in action; I love Pat Dixon. I love his easy-going, ah shucks style, as one poster on Court TV describes it. Plus, I wanted to see for myself if the jury would react differently to him as opposed to Linda Kinney Baden.
There was a problem though. I read on the Court TV thread the night before that LKB had not finished her God awful closing. After I left court at noon, I couldn’t bear watching any more-I just read the reactions from other pained viewers. Did I feel sorry for them? No. They didn’t suffer as I did, sitting in one spot without yawning, moving or able to do others things for three hours. They had it good. Apparently Linda had about one hour to go. Could I sit through one more hour of LKB??? It would be hard-I knew what was in store for me, but Pat Dixon won out. He was worth one little hour of misery. I threw on my clothes, forgoing my less penny necklace this time and drove to the courthouse.

This time there was no lottery. I’m guessing those in the audience from the day before said “hell no, you couldn’t pay me enough money to go back!” I walked right in.

One very interesting observation happened soon after I sat down. The jury needed to walk through the courtroom to get to the jury room. Alan Jackson was standing with papers at the podium facing exactly where the jurors would be walking through. The jurors walked past the defense and I did not see any juror talk to any of the defense team. I don’t recall the defense standing in the exact location they would be walking through, however, I could be wrong. Alan was very busy reading his papers. What I DID see though, were several jurors either saying “Hello, good morning”, or smiling at Alan as he ever so casually would look up from his “important notes”. I wonder how many days this same scenario took place over the course of four months. That Alan Jackson is one slick cat.

Every time I think of what took place next I get angry. LKB’s one hour of closing became three. The jurors actually began the day writing down more and seemed to be paying better attention than the day before. They probably psyched themselves up knowing there would only be one hour left. As one hour became two, I found myself getting angrier and angrier-she is doing this intentionally, plus, she keeps acting like she is ending and then keeps going and going. I now hate LKB. I do. The worst part was toward the end of her presentation where she begins speaking in a very low, quiet voice.
Judge Fiddler is looking at her like “What are you doing?” I could barely hear her, the court reporter could barely hear her, and I must have looked at my watch 20 times. How many more pages were in that stupid book of hers? Please Pat Dixon save me, but he doesn't. LKB finishes at noon. Judge Fiddler has tons of stuff to do, so instead of meeting back at 1:30, it is now 1:45 at the earliest. Two hours until Pat Dixon’s turn. Should I leave and go home? What if I wait for two hours and can’t get back in? I decide to wait it out and stay downtown.

As I am walking in the downtwon heat, wearing all black, I decide that LBK owes me 6 hours of pay, no 12 hours of pay and Pat Dixon owes me too. I know, it’s not rational, but that’s what I believe. Going back to the courthouse I see who I think is Brad Brunon sitting by himself in the cafeteria doing a crossword puzzle.

Pat Dixon’s Closing
Court is back, jury is back and Pat Dixon FINALLY begins his closing argument. It is after 2:00 p.m. First, Dixon is wearing a bitching black suit that looks really nice. Court TV poster Becky from Texas would be interested that he was not wearing a wedding ring on his hand and his hands look manicured to me. As he begins, I look at the jury. Juror #7 actually has an expression on his face. This guy loves Pat Dixon, I can tell. Jurors #8 and #9 do too. In fact, during the course of his closing, it seemed that all the jurors loved Pat Dixon, except Juror #6 who at one point seemed to be napping. How could one not, unless of course, you are Phil Spector?

Court TV poster Katydid described Dixon's style as “Columbo, but with a better suit.” That is a perfect description. I personally believe this closing is better than AJ’s. I’m not sure all the jurors would like his style. Pat Dixon is playing to the juror’s common sense. To me, it looks like most are average, everyday Angelenos who don’t know squat about Forensic Pathology etc.

The jury and the audience seem to really love Adriano DeSouza. I laugh every time I hear the tape of him with the 911 operator, especially the part where they are messing up his name, and when he goes, “Oh my God,” when the new operator asks him to start over. Smart move spending so much time on Adriano, because I noticed another thing. When Pat Dixon said, “I know you have seen this before, but I just thought it was really important,” all jurors were then paying very close attention. This is when Pat plays the tape where Adriano Desouza says, “The words that I heard were clear.” They had the words on the screen and I saw SEVERAL jurors #9, #5, and others write down that statement. Hmmmmmm.

I love how Pat Dixon was guiding the jury through his closing with his “faulty” memory. “You might want to check this out for yourself, but that is how I remember it,” or “I could be wrong,” or “I think that is what she said, but you’ll have check your notes to be sure.” Brilliant.
The audience and jurors were also laughing at so many points, like when he suggests that the defense wants you to believe that Lana came across the gun and said, “This is what I’ve been looking for,” when he was talking about how if the power point assistant was holding a gun at him, he wouldn’t dare grab it. Or when he referred to the Defense’s “science.” Another thing I noticed was that he mentioned twice that Lana thought Phil was a woman at first. Juror #9 made a face like “damn-that’s crazy.”

At one point during Pat’s closing a picture of Lana’s bloody face came on the screen. The family saw it and were immediately shaken and there were a few small gasps. No one from the prosecution saw it or even looked up at the screen and it stayed there for awhile. Lana’s sister was crying and her mother had her head turned to the side. It was definitely an accident. It just came out of nowhere, and it was sad.

After the break, the animation came on and there is no doubt that the audience and the jury were very interested and all were paying close attention. All of a sudden, a loud booming objection came and a sidebar was called. On the screen was the last close-up shot of an animated Lana Clarkson and Phil Spector with a gun in her face. This was up on the screen the entire time the lawyers were at sidebar and all the jurors were looking at it. Now the jury seemed to be even more interested I believe, because of the sidebar. Pat got to show it again. This was such a great idea.

The ending came fast and out of the blue. I was not expecting it to end when it did. I had noticed that Pat Dixon was watching the clock and I believe he wanted to end his closing at the normal time court was over. His voice was cracking at first and it sounded like he was going to cry, but then it became louder. When Pat said, “Phil Spector did not just kill somebody, he killed Lana Clarkson,” it was so powerful. I got goose bumps and the family began sobbing. The courtroom was still and quiet.

Shortly thereafter the jury left and had to pass by the crying family. Most were visibly upset, especially juror #1 and #3. I wanted to leave before I broke out in tears and as I was leaving I put my hand on Lana’s sister’s shoulder and she thanked me. It was so sad. I was actually one of the first people to leave the courtroom and on the way to my car I couldn’t hold back my tears. Those last few words in Pat Dixon’s closing argument and the way they were spoken, have stuck with me all weekend. I hope they stay with the jurors as well.

I am glad I decided to go to the trial on the last day and got to see Pat Dixon's great closing argument in person. I changed my mind. Pat Dixon does not owe me anything, in fact, I might even send him and Alan Jackson two nice bottles of wine for bringing Lana Clarkson to life and giving her family the justice they deserve. Now LBK-that's a different story....Cocobaby
Thank you so much for taking the time to write all of that out for the blog Cocobaby! Very much appreciated! Sprocket


donchais said...

Thanks Cocobaby, great report!

Joy said...

Thanks, Cocobaby, for your outstanding report. I had read alot of this on the MB as you would post, but reading it all in one place here on the blog, it's even more riveting.

I was in tears after Pat Dixon's closing on Friday, as I'm sure almost everyone else was. Lana and her family have been on my mind all weekend - just cannot quit thinking of them.

Unbidden, the tears have started again. Thanks again, Cocobaby, for sharing your experiences in court.

Again, thanks Sprocket, Dini, CCA for always being here for us.


Unknown said...

You make it so clear. Feel likie I was there and am greatly relieved. Justice for Lana