Friday, May 20, 2011

James Fayed Penalty Phase: Day 1

6:39 am: The penalty phase in Fayed starts today. Jurors were instructed to report at 10:30 am this morning. Mr. Sprocket is leaving early for an appointment with a client in Silverlake so I am driving into downtown today. The Stephanie Lazarus pretrial hearing IS today at 8:30 am in Judge Robert Perry's courtroom, Dept. 104. That's just a few feet down the hall from Judge Kennedy's courtroom. Hopefully the Lazarus hearing will be short. I will cut out early if I think I might miss the start of Fayed penalty phase.

9:37 am: I'm back in Dept 109. I was in 104 this morning for a hearing in the Stephanie Lazarus case. I'll have a separate hearing on that up later tonight. It looks like there is a firm trial date of August 26th to kick off this case. I also have a tiny bit of information on the Phil Spector civil case that has a trial date set for January, 2012. Sources tell me that Spector's representatives in the Clarkson civil suit have made inquiries about a settlement.

9:46 am: Kelly Soo Park has entered 109. She's sitting in the gallery. She's got several family and friends with her. She's a pretty Asian woman. She's smiling and talking to her supporters. She just got a mint from some one in the gallery sitting in the back row.

Eric Harmon is at the prosecution table. Jackson must be busy with some other issue.

Park is still in the gallery.

JK: Ms. Park please step forward.

Park smiles as she gets up from the gallery and sits at defense table. The attorney’s state their appearance for the record.

State appearance. Harmon for people, Jennifer Keller and Kay Rackauckas for Ms. Park.

JK: Yesterday a motion was faxed from defense counsel to the court seeking to withdrawal as counsel for Miss Park.

Park’s defense filed that motion yesterday; going though the conflicts that Mr. Harmon has raised and would be diligent to withdrawal from the case.

Defense: Ms. Park has been interviewing for counsel but hasn’t secured counsel yet.

Requesting to give Ms. Park a month (to seek new counsel). We can return last week of June.

JK One week in June I'm not here the week of June 19th.

Def.: The 30th your honor?

JK: Does that work (for the people)?

EH: Iill be engaged in trial; I will have someone stand in for me.

EH: Ms. Parks. (You have the right to have your trial in ## days from today's date.) Do you agree to waive time to June 30th?

In the softest voice I can barely hear, Park whispers, “Yes.”

JK: Counsel join?

EH: Yes.

Defense counsel brings up an issue regarding the money they’ve received to defend Park.

Def.: Concerning the 100,000 based is on the conflict, would like court to give us some direction as what to do with the money. Based on our analysis of discovery, asking court what to do with it. Give it back to entity that gave it to us or does the court want us to escrow it?

Def.: If court would like to hear reasons why we could go in camera If reasons not relevant to court... we can..

JK: Mr. Harmon can you shed any light or have an opinion?

EH: Um... I'm just thinking off the top of head, and Im not really sure, I'm not sure, One of the things that Ms. (Koff?) raised would be wisest is an escrow account or receiver of some sort so that money can be sorted out.

(?) It’s a possibility and that it could be some ill-gotten money?

EH: I don't have any evidence of that right now that these companies are under investigation, and it might be proper to move (the money) back to these entities. So out of a abundance of caution in receivership...

Def.: There are no charges, and inviestgaion going on for at least a year. We were going to give it back to (frontline?).

JK: Its unclear to me, um what should happen with this money and I don't have any jurisdiction over this money.

JK: Don’t do anything with it until June 30. Leave it in your trust account. If some investigatory agency or some 3rd party has some claim to it then they should make that clam known by june 30th. If court doesn't hear anything from anyone, then I’m gong to order it be returned to whomever gave it to you.

And that’s it for the Kelly Soo Park case.

Morning session:
(I will have a complete update later; this is just a summary.)

First there were some issues the defense presented for the record. Jackson wanted to present a handwritten letter into evidence that was found with Pamela Fayed's personal things in the storage unit. This letter, dated July 7th, 2006, was confiscated by authorities in the search warrant and the family had never seen it. The defense argued that this letter was hearsay, and no clear evidence it was written by Pamela Fayed. Jackson argued passionately that he wanted to present this letter because it would show clear evidence of the family's loss. Judge Kennedy in no way shape or form, would allow Jackson to present this letter to witnesses in front of the jury. She was very firm about that. Steve Meister read the letter in court and it appeared to be a letter that Pamela prepared beforehand to be read to her daughter in the event of her death.

Pamela Fayed's sister Dawn Opoulos testified.

Afternoon session:
#2 Christina Holland - personal friend of Pamela's
#3 Scott Goudie - brother of Pamela.
#4 Shelbi Hamilton - personal friend of Pamela's
#5 Greta Baught - oldest sister to Pamela

All the above witnesses testified about Pam and how much her murder has affected their lives. I believe every witness testified that not a day goes by that they don't think about Pamela in some way. Pamela's brother Scott expressed regret that he was unable to help his sister when she reached out to him for help. At the time, he downplayed his sister's fears she had expressed to him. Every witness who testified became visibly emotional and cried while testifying about their loss.

5:16 pm:
I just got home from court. I need to get some dinner and unwind a bit. I will work on this days testimony post haste and get a detailed description of what happened much later tonight. It will most likely be posted as Part II. Thank you all for reading T&T! Sprocket

11:59 pm: I am half-way through editing today's testimony. I'm beat. I will continue going through it tomorrow. Sprocket.

Update: May 21st 2011 This entry is continued here....


Anonymous said...

So I take it they did not decide on a penalty at this time?

Sprocket said...

The jury might get to decide on a penalty late Tuesday, or possibly Wednesday. The people have not finished putting on their witnesses for this phase of the trial. When they are finished (they have three more witnesses), then James Fayed puts on his case, his witnesses to show that there might be mitigating circumstances to spare Fayed's life. Then there are closing arguments for both sides, one presentation each.

Then jury instructions. THEN the jurors get the case to decide penalty.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for covering this trial. Pam was our friend. My daughter was there today.