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Jackson Jury Begins New Week

Pop star Michael Jackson goes through security as he arrives for closing arguments in his child molestation trial at Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria, Calif., Friday, June 3, 2005.
AP
Jurors in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial resumed deliberations Monday, their seventh day of talks on the 10-count indictment against the pop star.

The jurors had already spent more than 28 hours behind closed doors since getting the case June 3. The panel has deliberated on week days from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with several brief breaks daily and two shortened days.

"So far they've done the equivalent of three days worth of deliberations, which is not long at all for a case that lasted as long as this one did," says CBSNews.com Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen.

Jackson, 46, is charged with molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor in 2003, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy and his family against their will to get them to rebut a damaging television documentary about the pop star.

There is no indication how close or how far away the jurors might be to reaching a verdict, reports CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman, and no indication if they are making progress or are deadlocked. The court is saying very little. There has been no official word of any requests to have testimony reread, although there have been several broadcast reports that the jury has in fact asked to have the testimony of Jackson's 15-year-old accuser read back to them.

With 10 charges, courtroom observer Jim Moret isn't surprised at the lack of a verdict.

"You can imagine it could take a day or so for each of the allegations," he said.

One casualty of the verdict watch seems to be Jackson spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain, fired Friday after repeatedly ignoring lead attorney Thomas Mesereau's order not to do interviews or press conferences, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales. Before one interview, not realizing that cameras were rolling, she even complained about his order.

"Don't ask me about that stupid Tom Mesereau statement," Bain said.

A statement on the Jackson Web site www.mjjsource.com attributed to MJJ Productions said Bain and her firm were terminated. "We thank you for your services," the statement said.

But Bain told The Associated Press on Friday that she works directly for Jackson and that only he, and not MJJ Productions, can fire her. Bain did not return calls seeking comment Sunday. An employee at the hotel where she had been staying said she checked out early Sunday.

Michael Jackson's fans haven't given up on the pop star.

Dozens of Jackson's fans rallied outside his Neverland ranch Sunday, decorating an outside fence with paper hearts and banners proclaiming their support. "All of us here and millions around the world love and support you," said one of the banners.

The mood among the growing crowds outside the courthouse, though, has turned angry, prompting the police chief to say he fears fan violence when the verdict is handed down, reports Gonzales. The police presence was beefed up there after officers confiscated stones and pinecones from fans.

As a seventh day of jury deliberations begins, those convinced of his guilt of the child molestation charges get into arguments with those like Anika Kotecha, a 20-year-old law student from Britain, who sees a different motive.

"It's because Michael's a rich black man and owns this very valuable wine land," Kotecha told CBS News Correspondent Lou Miliano Monday.

Others say it's to get at Jackson's ownership of the music of the Beatles and Elvis Presley.

Few will argue, though, that a conviction will end life as he knows it for Michael Jackson.