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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Interview With Pam Hayes

Aired November 19, 2003 - 14:44   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

Meanwhile, criminal defense attorney Pam Hayes also following what just went down in the past 43 minutes. She join us live from New York.
Now, Pam, correct me if I'm wrong. Does this D.A. seem a bit overwhelmed to you?

PAM HAYES, DEFENSE ATTY., FRM. PROSECUTOR: Way over his head. It was the most incredible press conference that I've ever seen. A lot of questions that have nothing to do with what was going on.

And as a district attorney, you have certain ethical obligations to only answer certain things regarding the charging document, which, unfortunately, we didn't see, or they don't have.

But I just think it's really incredible, the whole press conference. Before you even have custody of the person, and it really gets out of hand. But it was quite amazing.

PHILLIPS: Well, let's talk about a number of the things that were said.

First of all, I think many journalists, a lot of us here, really didn't expect to hear what we did hear. The last time this happened there were no charges on the last investigation that were filed. There was just a financial settlement and it seems like things were sort of blown over.

But here, an arrest warrant, they're telling Michael Jackson he needs to surrender. Something must have happened, or -- tell me, they must have come across some sort of evidence that they feel pretty confident that they have something here.

HAYES: No, I don't think so. I don't think it's any different than was before. Except that they had a change in their laws. Their legislators out in California said, hey, we're not going to let people just get away with paying people off or settling cases, if you may. What we're assert now is they have a debt to pay, not only for the victim, but to the public in general.

When a case is brought in the name of the people of the state of California, the commonwealth, or whichever way they charge it, you have an obligation to make sure that the rights of the entire citizenry is not avoided.

In the last case, according to what I can figure out, they did not bring the case, because the child's parents decided that they didn't to want go through the criminal justice system and they just went through the civil justice system and they were only able to, you know, have their particular problem solved and they did it in a monetary fashion.

Here, they're saying this behavior is incorrect. We want somebody to be penalized. That someone, being a potential defendant, Michael Jackson, and we're going to take you the route of the criminal justice system.

PHILLIPS: Now, when they say multiple counts, is it possible that there were more victims, or are we talking about multiple counts with this one alleged victim?

HAYES: Well, multiple counts and multiple victims are two different things. When they say multiple counts, you know, when I was a prosecutor, we had indictments that charged 650 counts. Because over a period of time, each unlawful touching, each unlawful activity, is a count. So you can have one kid, one count, and, you know, just have a lot of -- excuse me, one person, and have a lot of counts.

But if you have multiple victims you're talking about different people with different occasions, different counts. So he was very clear to say multiple counts. So what that told me as a lawyer and as a former prosecutor, is that it could be just one person with any number of amounts. Because every time you have an unlawful touching or illegal conduct, that is a count.

So over a three-hour period of time, you can have 400 counts, you know. And it's just according to how they're going to charge it out when they reduce it to writing.

PHILLIPS: All right. Michael Jackson's spokesperson coming forward, saying Michael himself said, "I've seen lawyers who do not represent me and spokespeople who do not know me speaking for me. These characters always seem to surface with a dreadful allegation just as another project, an album, a video is being released."

The D.A. Coming forward saying, We don't even follow his music. OK, we lost -- looks like we lost our signal with Pam Hayes. We'll try to get that connected again.

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