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Analyst: Jackson, accuser's prints on porn magazine

Judge clears way for jailed witness to testify for prosecution


SPECIAL REPORT

SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- Fingerprints from both Michael Jackson and his accuser were recovered from the same sexually explicit magazine found at the pop star's Neverland ranch, a fingerprint analyst testified Friday in the pop star's child molestation trial.

Sgt. Robert Spinner of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department said the prints were found on a magazine titled "Hustler Barely Legal Hardcore." However, Jackson's prints and those of his accuser were found on different pages of the magazine, he said.

In all, 12 prints from Jackson were found on eight different magazines; five prints from his accuser were found on three magazines; and two prints from the accuser's younger brother were found on a single magazine, Spinner said.

Spinner also testified in the Santa Maria, California, courtroom on the reliability of the print comparisons, saying that for the prints that were matched, at least 12 common points were found, and most had nearly 20 common points.

The magazines were seized from Jackson's Neverland ranch in a raid on November 18, 2003. Prosecutors are trying to use fingerprint evidence to buttress the boys' testimony earlier in the trial that Jackson showed them adult material while they were overnight guests in his bedroom.

Order for jailed witness to appear

Also Friday, a court official confirmed that the judge has cleared the way for a prosecution witness jailed in Las Vegas for a string of armed robberies to come to California to testify.

Chris Carter, who was a security guard for Jackson during the time his accuser says the molestation incidents occurred two years ago, was indicted Wednesday in Nevada on 15 felony charges, including first-degree kidnapping, burglary, coercion and possession of a firearm by an ex-felon.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville signed an order to bring Carter from Las Vegas to Santa Maria for testimony on April 4, a court official said Friday. Carter will be returned to Nevada after testifying.

Prosecutors want to use Carter to establish that Jackson drank alcohol with his accuser, but the charges he faces in Las Vegas are likely to become ammunition for the defense to challenge his credibility.

In addition to the armed robberies, Las Vegas police and FBI officials are also investigating Carter as a suspect in eight bank robberies, said Jose Montoya, a Las Vegas Police Department spokesman.

FBI spokesman David Schrom declined to comment about the case, but he acknowledged FBI agents were involved in searches and the recovery of evidence related to Carter.

Carter's attorney, Lloyd Baker, declined to comment, at Carter's request.

Grand jury testimony

When he testified before grand jury that indicted Jackson, Carter said he saw both Jackson and the boy drinking alcohol from soda cans while on a flight from Miami to California in February 2003. He also said he saw the boy "stumbling" drunk one afternoon at Neverland, and the boy indicated to him that Jackson condoned his drinking.

Carter also said that after the trip from Miami, the accuser's mother asked him to take her off the ranch in the middle of the night, without her children. She was upset and prayed throughout the drive to Los Angeles, he said.

The prosecution contends that the accuser and his family were held against their will at Neverland by Jackson's associates after the Miami trip, and that the mother was fearful for their safety.

According to transcripts of his grand jury testimony, Carter also said Jackson had the ability to monitor phone conversations at Neverland and once showed him a tape he had made of a phone conversation he had recorded.

Jackson attended court Friday with his parents, wearing auburn pants and a black jacket over a gold vest, as well as sunglasses and a gold armband.

.Jackson, 46, was indicted last April by a state grand jury on 10 felony counts for incidents that allegedly occurred in February and March 2003: Four counts of committing a lewd act on a child; one count of conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion; one count of attempting to commit a lewd act on a child; and four counts of administering an intoxicating agent to assist in the commission of a felony.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Monday could be a pivotal day in the trial. Outside the presence of the jury, Melville will hear arguments over whether to let jurors hear evidence about previous child molestation allegations lodged against Jackson, including a 1993 case that resulted in a multimillion dollar settlement.

Comedian George Lopez, who befriended the accuser and his family in 2000 when the boy was suffering from cancer, is also expected to testify Monday. Other witnesses have said Lopez distanced himself from the family after a dispute with the accuser's father.

CNN producer Stan Wilson and CNN correspondent Ted Rowlands contributed to this report.


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