D.A.'s Witnesses Aid Jackson Team

CAROUSEL - Kurt Rieder, in white hat, with his 9 year old daughter Lily watch the smoke plume from a wildland fire burning in the Four Mile Canyon area just west of Boulder Colo. on Monday, Sept. 6, 2010. High winds pushed the smoke and ash eastward over the Colorado plains. (AP Photo/Peter M. Fredin) AP Photo

A flight attendant who has undercut a prosecution claim that Michael Jackson served alcohol to his accuser during a flight testified in the pop star's child molestation trial Wednesday that the boy was unruly, rude and started a food fight, but she didn't see Jackson touch the boy inappropriately.

After the flight attendant, the prosecution called psychologist Stan J. Katz, a pivotal witness because he was the first to report the boy's claim of sexual abuse to authorities. He was on the stand only briefly, but testified that he and a private lawyer for the accuser's family discussed the case Tuesday, which witnesses are not supposed to do.

CBSNews.com Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen calls Wednesday "a tough day for prosecutors," even though it's prosecution witnesses on the stand.

"This is a lesson for lawyers that you have to know what your witnesses are going to say, and certainly that you have to make sure your lawyers are not discussing the case before they testify," Cohen said. "Even if this problem is not a violation of the court's gag order, it certainly gives jurors the impression that witnesses who are supposed to have independent recollection and judgment are 'ganging up' on the defendant and that perception greatly hurts the prosecution's case."

Flight attendant Cynthia Bell returned to the witness stand for a second day to testify about flying with Jackson, his accuser and members of the boy's family from Miami to Santa Barbara in February 2003.

She repeated her testimony from Tuesday that she served Jackson wine in a Diet Coke can and did not see his accuser drink from it, as prosecutors contend.

Bell also said Jackson appeared noticeably relaxed from the wine but did not appear drunk.

She said that at one point Jackson's accuser threw mashed potatoes at a sleeping doctor who was traveling with Jackson and it resulted in a food fight among many of the passengers.

"The initial flinging of mashed potatoes was not playful. Throwing mashed potatoes at a sleeping man?" Bell said.

Bell was called by the prosecution, but her answers to questions by Deputy District Attorney Gordon Auchincloss and cross-examination by defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. favored Jackson.

The defendant arrived at court earlier amid screams from a few fans on the street. He waved and blew a kiss to them and patted one of his aides on the top of the head. He showed no outward sign of the limited movements that have sometimes followed what he has said was a fall in the shower earlier this month.

  • David Hancock

    David Hancock is a home page editor for CBSNews.com.

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