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R. Kelly closing arguments set for Thursday

June 10, 2008 4:22:53 PM PDT
As the child pornography trial of singer R. Kelly winds down, a prosecution witness was re-called to the stand Tuesday to counter testimony from a defense witness. Both are video tape experts who testified about the sex tape that is at the center of the trial.Prosecutors brought back videotape expert Grant Fredericks. He addressed the mole and morphing issues.

Also Tuesday, we heard from R. Kelly. For the first time the R&B superstar spoke in court. Without the presence of the jury, Judge Vincent Gaughan alerted Kelly about his right to testify or not. Kelly told the judge, "I decided not to testify." With that, the state put on two rebuttal witnesses, including re-calling video expert Grant Fredericks. He testified once again Tuesday that in his expert opinion there is no way the videotape that is the heart of this case could have been morphed or doctored in any way.

Kelly is charged with 14 counts of child pornography stemming from a videotape that prosecutors say show Kelly and a 13 or 14-year-old girl having sex. While the defense suggested the tape may have been doctored, the center of their case is about a mole Kelly has on his lower back. Defense video expert Dr. Charles Palm previously testified that in his expert opinion the man on the tape does not have a mole.

But, Tuesday, Fredericks testified that Palm analyzed the tape using a television production player, not a forensic player. Fredericks says a production player changes the image on the tape. Fredericks testified that it is forensic video 101 never to use a production player while analyzing tape.

Palm was supposed to be called as a rebuttal witness by the defense Tuesday but was seen leaving the courthouse after the defense released him. The judge summoned Palm back to the courthouse after there was some confusion over what evidence Palm had access to when analyzing the tape. In the end, though, Palm never did testify.

Confusion over the videotape as well as a misrepresentation of a stipulation that was entered into Monday was discussed for a great deal of time Tuesday, but all those issues were resolved between both attorneys behind closed doors.

Wednesday will be an off day. On Thursday morning, closing arguments are scheduled.


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