Pellicano declares his intention to testify in his own defense because of some unspecified information he learned last night. Chad Hummel becomes the first one to point out the ridiculous number of admitted wiretappers--both clients and Pellicano employees--not charged in this case.
The day started off with a not-so-surprising announcement from Anthony Pellicano. While the other defense attorneys struggled to keep on their game faces, Mr. Pellicano announced his intention to testify in his own defense. "After some consideration of information that I learned last night, I'm afraid Mr. Pellicano may testify," said the former private eye. While Mr. Pellicano briefly chatted with the judge about how to testify, I'm sure that Mr. Saunders was busy anticipating the prospect of turning Mr. Pellicano into a human pinata on cross-examination.
F.B.I. agent Stan Ornellas was back on the stand this morning, fielding rapid fire questions about his investigation of Mark Arneson, from the former LAPD officer's attorney, Chad Hummel. During his effective cross examination of Mr. Arneson, prosecutor Dan Saunders had made a big deal out of the fact that Mr. Arneson did nothing for his $2500 a month retainer from Mr. Pellicano besides illegally access DMV and criminal history information. This morning, Mr. Hummel tried to show that Mr. Arneson did a multitude of services for his monthly retained, including surveillance, body guarding, security work and subpoena work. Mr. Hummel asked a series of questions attempting to show that the F.B.I. did no investigation to disprove Mr. Arneson's contention that he was paid a monthly retainer to do all sorts of security work for Mr. Pellicano's clients like Farrah Fawcett, Nicholas Cage and even, the elusive Mr. Fields. "Did you attempt to do anything to verify Mr. Arneson's work for Mr. Pellicano's clients Rick Springfield, Mary J. Blige and Bert Fields?" "No," replied Mr. Ornellas, my investigation focused on the criminal aspects of the investigation as it pertained to Mr. Arneson." Apparently, there was no reason to ask Mr. Fields why Mr. Arneson, who Agent Ornellas suspected was allegedly engaged in illegal look-ups for Mr. Pellicano on behalf of Mr. Fields' clients, was busy checking out the security on Mr. Fields' home. It had nothing to do with all those runs that Mr. Arneson's was allegedly doing for Mr. Pellicano--so let's just move on, shall we. Mr. Hummel continued on with his questions, ultimately getting Mr. Ornellas to admit that he'd done nothing to verify Mr. Arneson's claims that he was paid $2500 a month by Mr. Pellicano to do all sorts of work for Mr. Pellicano's clients. "You didn't focus on anything that might exonerate Mr. Arneson?" Mr. Hummel asked before an objection by Mr. Lally was sustained.
Next, Mr. Hummel got Agent Ornellas to admit that he hadn't bothered to investigate how many of the names on the runs done by Mr. Arneson resulted in arrests. Again, Agent Ornellas indicated that type of investigatory work was relevant to this particular case, but Mr. Hummel wasn't having it. "Ever take the time to compare names in Mr. Arneson's arrest log with the names on the audit?" Apparently not relevant.
And then finally, Mr. Hummel had Agent Ornellas give a little overview on the government's case regarding who was charged with wiretapping and RICO in this case and who wasn't. There was a Pellicano source in the District Attorney's office who was alleged involved with Mr. Pellicano, but who was not charged. "Not anybody here, right?" Mr. Hummel said sarcastically. And then there was self-proclaimed wiretapper and transcriber, Tarita Virtue, an ex-Pellicano employee, who was not charged in this case even after lying to the F.B.I. Next, Mr. Hummel brought up Lily LeMasters, an ex-Pellicano love interest and employee, who also lied to the F.B.I., knew about wiretapping and yep, was not charged in this case. There was multi-millionaire hedgefund guy, Adam Sender, who also initially lied to the F.B.I., listened to intercepted calls and was "not charged with any crimes in this case." And, Mr. Hummel's list went on, much to the dismay of the judge who basically told him that he'd made his point. But, Mr. Hummel was not to be deterred, listing off Susan Maguire, ex-wife of Los Angeles tycoon real estate developer Robert Maguire, who also listened to wiretaps and was not charged. There was Sarit Shafrir, a Pellicano client who listened to wiretaps and was not charged while her ex-lover, Abner Nicherie, was not extended the same courtesy by the government. And, just so the jury got the point, Mr. Hummel finished up his list with producer and former actor, Andrew Stevens, music manager Freddie DeMann and Suzan Hughes, ex-wife of Herbalife Founder, Mark Hughes--all admitted wiretappers who were not charged in this case.
In his re-direct, Mr. Lally took pains to try and explain that the failure to charge all of these self-admitted wiretappers may have had something to do with the statute of limitations--a problem that apparently did not extend to the defendants who sit in the stadium seating watching the parade of wealthy law breakers pass on by.
AND JUST IN CASE YOU'RE WONDERING IF ANYONE CARES ABOUT AGENT ORNELLAS' TESTIMONY, the answer is yes. Terry Christensen, who's also accused of wiretapping, was so interested in hearing Mr. Hummel's cross of Mr. Ornellas that he had at least five attorneys in court this morning listening away, including Patricia Glaser, his lawyer and partner in the firm Christensen, Glaser.
MORE TO COME....