R. Kelly Trial Forecaster

by

R. Kelly’s Closing Argument: Don’t Call Alleged Victim a Whore!

(The VH1 Blog has solicited Mark Muro of the California law firm Muro & Lampe, Inc. to keep tabs on the R. Kelly child pornography trial.)

Both sides delivered closing arguments in R. Kelly‘s child pornography trial yesterday, and the jury could reach a decision at any moment. The defense told the jury that convicting Kelly would be tantamount to telling the world that the alleged victim is “a whore.” I’m not sure what this has to do with whether he’s innocent or guilty. The defense also claimed that Kelly was not only wrongly accused, but a victim of an extortion attempt. Sam Adam Jr., Kelly’s attorney, said the case was about “money, money, money.” The prosecution used its closing argument to emphasize the tape and the contention that Kelly is the man in it.

Both sides made up excuses for the large void in each of their cases that resulted from their failures to call the alleged victim to the stand, each claiming their decisions were motivated by her well-being. Defense lawyers didn’t want to “mess that girl’s life up anymore” and the prosecution saw no need to “drag that poor child into court.” The fact that the alleged victim is now 23 years old seems to have been completely lost.

Read more…

by

R. Kelly’s Attorneys Score Partial Comeback

rkelly-june-9.jpg(The VH1 Blog has solicited Mark Muro of the California law firm Muro & Lampe, Inc. to keep tabs on the R. Kelly child pornography trial.)

The defense fought back on Friday with a series of witnesses who were friends or family to the alleged victim, and who testified that the girl in the sex tape is not the alleged victim. Although the defense scored some points with this contradictory testimony, I think it’s likely that the identification issue still favors the prosecution. There is an obvious motive to protect the alleged victim by denying her involvement in the tape, but not so clearly a motive for identifying her as a victim against her wishes. Still, the defense may have created a reasonable doubt. (+1 for the defense.)

The defense also called famed celebrity private investigator Jack Palladino, who is perhaps best known for his role in attempting to discredit women with whom Bill Clinton was allegedly intimate. Other famous clients include Courtney Love and Mariah Carey. Palladino testified that he thwarted an extortion attempt by Lisa Van Allen, who last week gave testimony about her threesome with Kelly and the alleged victim. Read more…

by

R. Kelly Screwed By “Threesome Testimony”

(The VH1 Blog has solicited Mark Muro of the California law firm Muro & Lampe, Inc. to keep a running tab on which side has the advantage in the R. Kelly child pornography trial. Check back for updates.)

R. Kelly MugshotIn what can only be described as a bombshell, a witness testified today that she had multiple threesomes with R. Kelly and the alleged victim. Lisa Van Allen, 27, testified that she met Kelly in 1997 or 1998 at a video shoot for “Home Alone” (bonus: lyrics after the jump). She was only 17 years old at that time, and engaged in a sexual encounter with Kelly. After moving from Atlanta to Chicago to be closer to Kelly, Allen said that she met the alleged victim at Kelly’s home, where Kelly taped himself engaging in sex with her and the alleged victim. According to the witness, Kelly directed the video, “basically [telling us] what to do.” She even identified the location of this first threesome as the same log cabin room that the prosecution alleges is depicted on the sex tape, and she testified that the other threesomes took place at the singer’s basketball court in his home (again videotaped) and in Kelly’s trailer at the video shoot for “A Woman’s Threat” in Chicago.

Allen conceded that she had been granted immunity from state and federal prosecution in return for her testimony. But this should have little impact on her credibility, because she did not appear to be in any danger of prosecution before voluntarily coming forward. Instead, the jury might be persuaded that she came forward, because, as she put it, “it was the right thing to do.” The prosecution delivered as promised, scoring 2 big points. – Mark Muro, Attorney

Overall Score: Defense: 0; Prosecution: +6.

Read more…

by

R. Kelly’s Mole Defense Turned Upside Down?

r-kelly-mole-on-head-upside-down.jpg(The VH1 Blog knows very little about the law. So we’ve solicited Mark Muro, a founder of the California law firm Muro & Lampe, Inc. to keep a running tab on which side has the advantage in the R. Kelly child pornography trial. Check back daily for updates.)

Though hardly as intriguing as the heavily anticipated “threesome” testimony, the prosecution made headway towards undermining the mole defense with video forensics expert Grant Fredericks. Fredericks showed the jury several frozen frames where a dark spot was visible on the man’s back — in the same location as R. Kelly’s mole. Defense attorneys sparred with Fredericks over whether the mole was in fact in the same spot. We’re betting the jurors can figure that one out for themselves.

In even drier, yet effective, testimony, FBI forensic expert George Skaluba explained to jurors that the sex tape was not computer generated or altered, but instead depicted “real people in a real environment.” I anticipate that the defense will have its own forensic experts. But it’s possible that R. Kelly’s mole could turn out to be cancerous to his case.

Prosecution gets another point. Overall score: Defense: 0; Prosecution: +4.

by

R. Kelly Trial Forecaster: Threesome Testimony Delayed

R. Kelly at court in Chicago.(The VH1 Blog knows very little about the law. So we’ve solicited Mark Muro, a founder of the California law firm Muro & Lampe, Inc. to keep a running tab on which side has the advantage in the R. Kelly child pornography trial. Check back daily for updates.)

In a Hollywood-style cliffhanger, the much-anticipated testimony of one of the prosecution’s key witnesses was postponed today. The witness, a mother from Atlanta, was expected to testify that she had a threesome with R. Kelly and the alleged victim and identify both as the individuals in the sex tape. But Judge Gaughan cut proceedings short after learning of a surprise witness for the defense. Apparently, the witness contacted the defense just this morning. Expected to discredit the testimony of the Atlanta mom, the witness will arrive some time tonight in Chicago for what will surely be a long night of interviews and preparation with R. Kelly’s attorneys. Whatever information surfaces, expect the prosecution to try to bar new evidence from being admitted. If the prosecution fails, the defense may have an opportunity to break its low-scoring slump.

Read more…

by

Trial Forecaster: R. Kelly’s Former Assistant Drops Bomb

r-kelly-courthouse-512x.jpg

(The VH1 Blog knows very little about the law. So we’ve solicited Mark Muro, a founder of the California law firm Muro & Lampe, Inc., to keep a running tab on which side has the advantage in the R. Kelly child pornography trial. Check back daily for updates.)

Week two started off with a bang for the prosecution as Lindsey Perryman, a former assistant to R. Kelly, testified that the alleged victim once showed up at Kelly?s studio with a “pillow and overnight bag.” (What? He didn’t have a spare pillow?) According to Perryman, this was not an isolated incident, but the alleged victim would come by the studio a couple of time’s a week. On one occasion, Perryman even claims to have driven the girl to Kelly’s home. Perryman identified both the alleged victim and Kelly as the ones in the tape. This eye witness is particularly damaging to the defense because she has no apparent ax to grind with Kelly.
+1 for the prosecution. Read more…

by

R. Kelly: Mole or No Mole?

r-kelly-mole-on-head.jpg

(The VH1 Blog knows very little about the law. So we’ve solicited Ross Lampe and Mark Muro, founders of the California law firm Muro & Lampe, Inc., to keep a running tab on which side has the advantage in the R. Kelly child pornography trial. Check back for updates.)

Yesterday, R. Kelly’s attorney Sam Adam Jr. suggested that the sex tape is fake by asking a key witness for the prosecution (Simha Jamison) whether she’d seen the Wayans Brothers‘ movie Little Man. “They took the head of Marlon Wayans and put it on a midget, and it looked real,” said Adam. “Didn’t it?”

Well, human bodies can also be manipulated. Has the prosecutor considered the possibility that R. Kelly?s current mole is a cosmetic surgery prop? (Note the photoshoped mole on R. Kelly’s forehead above.) If I were the prosecutor, I would want to examine the mole immediately. If the Michael Jackson prosecution team was allowed to examine his penis for evidence of distinctive marks after being accused by a boy of sexual impropriety, then surely a back exam to determine the legitimacy of a mole is fair game. With tax-payer money no object, the prosecution may want to consider hiring a top notch cosmetic surgery expert to examine the mole. Such an examination is risky, though. If the mole is found to be legit, then the prosecution’s case could be doomed (insert your own catchy rhyme here).

The prosecution should at least hire a team of investigators to scour archive photos and video of Mr. Kelly, sans shirt, to look for the present blemish. If anyone has a photo showing R. Kelly?s bare back, with or without moles, taken prior to 1998 (the earliest the tape is believed to have been made), e-mail it here. Court is not in session today. The score remains +1 for the defense and +2 for the prosecution. — Ross Lampe, Attorney.

by

Maybe R. Kelly Really Can Fly

(The VH1 Blog knows very little about the law. So we’ve solicited Mark Muro, a founder of the California law firm Muro & Lampe, Inc., to keep a running tab on which side has the advantage in the R. Kelly child pornography trial. Check back daily for updates.)

R. Kelly Believes He Can Fly

Today, the prosecution continued its attempts to unravel the defense claims of mistaken identities. Yet another former friend and classmate of the alleged victim identified her as the girl in the sex tape. Aubrey Hampton, now 23, testified that she not only recognized the alleged victim?s face, but also her mannerisms, including “the way she licked her bottom lip.” She also fingered the man in the tape as R. Kelly and testified that she met him through the alleged victim.

But a strategy for undermining the prosecution’s witnesses is taking shape as the defense attempts to call into question the very authenticity of the tape itself. If successful, all testimony identifying Kelly and the alleged victim would become meaningless. Previews of this conspiracy theory surfaced during cross examination. The defense apparently contends that one of the alleged victim’s relatives is Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards and that she released the tape (and possibly doctored it!) as part of a personal vendetta against Kelly over a music biz deal gone wrong.

Read more…

by

R. Kelly Trial Forecaster: Prosecution Scores Points

r-kelly-3.jpg

(The VH1 Blog knows very little about the law. So we’ve solicited Mark Muro, a founder of the California law firm Muro & Lampe, Inc., to keep a running tab on which side has the advantage in the R. Kelly child pornography trial. Check back daily for updates.)

The prosecution wasted no time to fill the void left from an alleged victim who refuses to cooperate. This alleged victim, it’s important to note, is not just a minor character in the trial, but the woman who is alleged to have been in the sex tape with R. Kelly at approximately 14 years old. In an attempt to link both R. Kelly and the alleged victim to the sex tape, the prosecution called witnesses today to combat the defense claim of mistaken identities. The most important witness called was a former friend of the alleged victim, Simha Jamison. Jamison testified that she and the alleged victim were best friends from childhood, and that the two socialized with R. Kelly multiple times, including a visit to the home where the prosecution claims the sex tape was filmed.

After viewing the sex tape today, Simha Jamison identified R. Kelly as the man in the video. She also identified the alleged victim as the girl in the sex tape, recognizing not just her distinctive hair style (a mullet) but also her face. “I kind of know her like the back of my hand,” Jamison said. Jamison has not yet been cross-examined, but her testimony so far was probably strong enough to score some points for the prosecution with the jury. — Mark Muro, Attorney
[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Score:
Defense = -1
Prosecution = +2

by

R. Kelly Trial Forecaster: Defense Starts Off Whack

r-kelly-1.jpg
(The VH1 Blog knows very little about the law. So we’ve solicited Mark Muro, a founder of the California law firm Muro & Lampe, Inc., to keep a running tab on which side has the advantage in the R. Kelly child pornography trial. Check back daily for updates.)

The pied piper of R&B, R. Kelly, finally had his child pornography trial open in Chicago six years after he was initially indicted. His defense? A case of mistaken identity. “Robert Kelly is not on that tape,” Kelly?s attorney, Sam Adam Jr., told the jury. “I stand before you on May 20, 2008, to tell you [R. Kelly] is not on that tape.” Adam claims that a mole on Kelly’s back will prove the singer’s innocence. Adam also claims that the alleged victim (whom he referred to as a “wonderful person”) is not in the tape; but instead, a paid prostitute. The defense appears to involve a claim of two layers of mistaken identity.

The tape was played for the jury this afternoon over Adam?s objection. In light of the contention that the tape provides visual evidence that Kelly is not depicted in the tape, I’m confused as to the attempts to keep the tape out of evidence. Seeing as the video is widely known as “The R. Kelly Sex Tape,” the defense better hope that the jurors have been living under a rock for the last six years. I anticipate the making of yet another closing argument culminating in a rhyme ala O.J. Simpson’s lawyer. (“If the glove don’t fit you must acquit.”) Here’s a couple of suggestions: “With no mole on the back, the prosecution’s case must crack” or “No mole on the back, the case is whack.” — Mark Muro

Score:
Defense = -1
Prosecution = 0