Local Fans Comment on Jackson Verdict

By: Venton Blandin
By: Venton Blandin

June 13, 2005

Interest in the Michael Jackson verdict ran high even here in Charlottesville.

While cameras were not allowed inside the California courtroom, hundreds gathered outside of Wild Wing's Cafe to hear Michael Jackson's fate. In Charlottesville, those following the case listened to an audio feed on television.

Some watching the verdict on television at Wild Wing's Café jumped with joy after hearing the court reporter read the verdict "not guilty," while others didn't seem surprised at all.

After deliberating for more than 32 hours covering seven days, the jury made its decision known. Michael Jackson was acquitted on all 10 charges in his child molestation trial.

"I wasn't surprised. I thought it was just going to end up like the O.J. Simpson trail," said Justin Heibrun-Toft, who watched the verdict on television.

"Everybody was waiting for him to be guilty, but [as it turns out] he was innocent. Me being a Michael fan, I'm happy that he's off," said Isaiah Anderson, another Wild Wing viewer.

The trial which started in January may have ended with a not guilty verdict, but questions still remain for the self-proclaimed "King of Pop"-- what's next?

"A civil trial, [and] I think is going to lose a civil trial," added Felicia Garcia.

Several fans believe a hard road lies ahead for Jackson to resume his musical career, citing the fact his career was in trouble before the trial even started. So for Jackson fans, "you just have to wait and see. This is the 'what-now' phase," explained Anderson.

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