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January 16, 2004 SANTA MARIA, Calif. (Reuters) -- Michael Jackson will plead not guilty to child molestation charges on Friday, his lead attorney said, amid a growing frenzy over the pop star's first court appearance in a case that could leave his remarkable career in ruins and send him to prison for years.  
 
January 16, 2004 (NBC Nightly News) --  With a sea of cameras and fans outside the courthouse, Michael Jackson pleaded innocent Friday to child-molestation charges that could send him to prison - and was scolded by the judge for being 21 minutes late for his first court appearance.  For additional details, please go to MSNBC

Durst Acquitted In Neighbor's Murder

November 11, 2003 GALVESTON, Texas -- A Galveston jury has declared a cross-dressing New York millionaire innocent of murder charges in the shooting death of his elderly neighbor. Prosecutors and the defense agree that Robert Durst cut up the body of Morris Black and dumped the parts in Galveston Bay.

But his lawyers say it wasn't murder. They say Durst had accidentally shot the neighbor in a scuffle after catching the man in his apartment. Durst says he panicked after shooting Black and decided to dispose of the body and leave Galveston.

Durst told jurors he came to Galveston disguised as a mute woman in 2000 to escape media attention in New York after the investigation of his wife's 1982 disappearance was reopened. He was a fugitive for six weeks after the killing. He was eventually caught in Pennsylvania when he tried to shoplift a sandwich.

Jurors deliberated more than five days after nearly six weeks of testimony.
-- KXAN News
 
 
November 11, 2003 GALVESTON, Texas -- As jurors deliberated his fate for a fourth day Tuesday, Robert Durst, who was later found not guilty of murder, sat at the defense table reading a children's book called "Hurry Home, Candy" about a lost dog who has no one to love him. But the pooch hangs on in the face of adversity and, at the end of the book, finds a home.

"He had no name and no one to love him," Amazon.com says in describing the book. "He has only the silent, empty countryside and a few crumbs and bare bones he could pick up. He had only himself, and he was afraid. Along the way, the little dog found a few friends, people who gave him shelter for a while, but always he moved on -- until he found a place he could call home forever."

The story sounds like Durst's life -- or, rather, the way wanted the eight-woman, four-man jury to view it.

On the witness stand, Durst said he'd been driven from New York to Galveston, Texas, by a frenzy of publicity sparked by the disclosure that Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro had reopened the probe into the disappearance of his first wife, Kathy. Seeking solace, he rented a $300-a-month efficiency apartment pretending to be a mute woman named Dorothy Ciner.

After his 71-year-old neighbor, Morris Black, died in a struggle for a gun, Durst says, he panicked, chopped up the body and dumped the parts into Galveston Bay, where they surfaced the next day. Durst went on the lam for six weeks, trying to limit his spending to $200 a day so he could stretch the $37,000 he had. He was busted in Bath, Pa., on Nov. 30, 2001, for shoplifting a $5.99 chicken-salad sandwich.

Durst's story differs with reality, however. When the new probe was revealed, Durst was primarily living in Dallas, not New York. And before that, he spent five years in the northern California town of Eureka. In fact, he testified that after 1994, "I spent little time in New York."
-- FOX News
 
Millionaire Durst Cleared in Texas Death
November 11, 2003 GALVESTON, Texas (AP) -- Durst is the son of the
late Seymour Durst, patriarch of the Durst Organization, a privately
held, billion-dollar real estate company that owns several New York
City skyscrapers. Robert Durst has been estranged from the family
since the early 1990s. The company declined to comment on the verdict.


Durst Found Not Guilty of Murdering 71-Year-Old Neighbor
New York Times -- Robert A. Durst, the millionaire real estate heir who was living like a drifter in South Texas, was acquitted today of charges that he murdered his 71-year-old neighbor. Durst, 60, was charged with killing Morris Black in September 2001, butchering him, putting his body parts in garbage bags and dumping them into Galveston Bay. After the jury returned the not guilty verdict, Mr. Durst looked stunned, his mouth agape, and then he looked upward as if in relief.

Millionaire Durst Cleared in Texas Death
San Jose Mercury News
, CA --
Eccentric New York millionaire Robert Durst, who said he accidentally killed a hot-tempered neighbor in self-defense and then dismembered the body in a panic, was found innocent Tuesday of murder. Durst, 60, who is under suspicion in two other killings and who posed for a time as a mute woman, testified in his own defense for nearly four days. He insisted that Black was shot accidentally during a struggle over a gun, and said he used two saws and an ax to cut up the body. The victim's head has never been found.

Princess Anne to Send Dog to Animal Psychologist

January 4, 2004 -- Princess Anne will send her dog to an animal psychologist to avoid having it euthanized after it attacked a royal maid and fatally mauled one of the Queen beloved corgis. Psychologist Roger Mugford said he expected to begin work with Florence the bull terrier next week. Mugford said that he believed the attacks were related to an underlying medical factor.

Florence attacked a corgi named Pharos at Sandringham, injuring him so badly that he had to be euthanized. The royal maid, 55-year-old Ruby Brooker, was treated for a minor bite following Saturday's attack at the royal Sandringham estate in eastern England, the palace said.

News media reports had widely blamed another of Princess Anne's bull terriers, Dotty, for the corgi incident, but Buckingham Palace cleared her last Tuesday and blamed Florence instead. The British media reported that Florence has no history of violent behavior, unlike Dotty, who bit two children in a park in 2002 and landed Princess Anne with a fine.  -- Edited and excerpted from the full article in the Canadian Press

Bonny Lee Bakely Murder, Robert Blake
Free Screensaver at Webshots
Actor/Husband, Arrested for Shooting Her

Robert Blake/Bonny Bakely Slaying
"Every time you think you got it made, old Mother Nature kicks you in the scrotum." ~ Robert Blake
 
May 4, 2001 --  Bonny Lee Bakley, 44, the wife of actor Robert Blake, was shot dead in her car in Studio City, California, as she waited for her husband outside Vitello's restaurant. Robert Blake was arrested for her murder on April 17, 2002.
"Give me a cigarette," Blake, 69, said to his defense investigator as he stepped out of the downtown jail. He took a drag before briefly commenting to a crush of reporters and photographers.
"I never thought I'd make 11 months in a cement box," Blake said when he was released, adding: "This is God's day. He's never let me down." -- CBS
On March 13, 2003, he was released on $1.5 million bail, restricted by the court to surrender his passport, live in one residence, and submit to electronic monitoring. Earle Caldwell, Blake's bodyguard, was arrested on conspiracy charges and has been free on $1 million bail posted by Blake.
 
They were both arraigned on March 27, 2003, and are both still awaiting trial as of June 2003.

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