Mr. Saunders made Mark Arneson pay this morning for taking the stand in his own defense. Mr. Saunders repeatedly asked former Sgt. Arneson about a wide variety of criminal history and DMV runs that he's apparently made on behalf of Mr. Pellicano. Mr. Saunders bounced confidently around the courtroom, showing exhibit after exhibit of runs Mr. Arneson had made for Mr. Pellicano involving Anita Busch, Bernard Weinraub, Jude Green, Keith Carradine and just about everyone else we've seen testify in this trial to having been a target of Mr. Pellicano. At one point, Mr. Saunders asked Mr. Arneson, "You didn't ask why Mr. Pellicano wanted that information, did you?" "No," replied Mr. Arneson. "That's because you didn't care," Mr. Saunders said, quickly moving on to his next question as Mr. Arneson mumbled "Yes."
And then Mr. Saunders tried to establish that Mr. Arneson had done all of this illegal use of the LAPD databases for one and one reason only, money. "You told Mr. Hummel [on direct] that you didn't do this work for Mr. Pellicano for the money?" Mr Saunders started out. As Mr. Arneson entrenched himself in that response, Mr. Saunders took fifteen minutes to show just how much financial trouble Mr. Arneson was in when he was busy looking up information for Mr. Pellicano.
And so, there he was, former Sgt. Mark Arneson who couldn't even make the mortgage payment on his track home in Rancho Pales Verdes being absolutely decimated by Prosecutor Saunders. It was a shining example of just how effective our government can be when it really goes after someone--someone who's not rich enough to buy themselves out of trouble. One couldn't help but think about all those witnesses in this case--the ones in the Beverly Hills mansions with 40 plus phone lines--who didn't have to sit up there and endure Mr. Saunders' very effective cross-examination skills. Clearly, Mr. Saunders has the ability to really put someone on the spot--to expose whether they're lying about what they knew and when they knew it. Clearly, Mr. Saunders has the ability to put some of these people who paid Mr. Pellicano millions of dollars to go after their adversaries and then claimed to know nothing about it. But when it's someone like Mr. Ovitz or Mr. Grey or any number of fabulously wealthy citizens, they were treated to Mr. Saunders' polite side or to deals with the government. They just had to tell the truth about how their lawyers hired Mr. Pellicano and then, they would get to avoid the Mr. Saunders that Mr. Arneson is dealing with right now. But even if Mr. Pellicano's seriously wealthy former clients are still out and about, free to hire whoever becomes the next Mr. Pellicano here in town, we can at least rest easy that at least this former LAPD officer, who looked up names for all these rich people, is being made to pay for his crimes. It's all got to make you feel better about our system of justice.
NEXT UP, Bert Fields takes the stand. And, it looks like he brought a good portion of the Greenberg firm with him to watch the him work.
Read all the coverage from inside the Pellicano courtroom.
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