|Defense Not Happy With Jackson Footage|
(22-7-2011) After practically begging the judge to allow them to look at hundreds of hours of footage of Michael Jackson's final rehearsals for the "This Is It" concert series in London, attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray now say it is "a waste of time."
On Friday, Sony studios asked the judge in the case against Murray to throw out a subpoena for the footage following the defense's remarks.
Attorneys for Sony Pictures Entertainment, which owns the footage from the concert film, argued in a motion that neither the prosecutors nor defense attorneys should be able to use the footage during the trial.
Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor is scheduled to consider the request on Monday, but he canceled his plans to review the footage over the weekend. He stated that he had already viewed around 16 hours of film that attorneys were considering presenting to jurors as evidence, but he would not travel to Sony studios for additional viewings on Saturday and Sunday.
Sony based its motion on statements made by defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan after a hearing on Wednesday in which he said the footage does not show Jackson was already in poor health before he died.
Flanagan is representing Conrad Murray, who has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.
Murray's defense team had been hoping the unseen footage from "This Is It" would support their contention that Jackson was frail and in poor health in the days before he died.
"We believe his [Jackson's] health is somewhat compromised, but he's not displaying it," Flanagan told reporters, adding that he believed the footage was irrelevant to the trial. "I really think it's a big waste of time," he said.
Sony, who was reluctant to release the footage at all, jumped on Flanagan's comment in its motion stating, "If the enterprise is a waste of time, the court has stated that it has little time to be wasted."
Prosecutors however, found the footage very helpful to their case, and asked Judge Pastor to allow them to use up to 12 hours of raw footage.
Jury selection in the trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 8.
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