Michael Jackson's attorneys asked the judge today (May 5) to acquit the pop star of molestation and conspiracy charges, saying the prosecution's witnesses had demonstrated "a tendency to self-destruct

Michael Jackson's attorneys asked the judge today (May 5) to acquit the pop star of molestation and conspiracy charges, saying the prosecution's witnesses had demonstrated "a tendency to self-destruct" on the stand.

Judge Rodney S. Melville heard arguments on the defense request a day after prosecutors rested their case. Such requests are common when the prosecution rests and are rarely successful.

Defense attorney Robert Sanger said witnesses such as flight attendant Cynthia Bell, former Jackson employee Jesus Salas and Jackson's ex-wife Deborah Rowe were called by the prosecution but gave testimony favorable to Jackson.

"The smoking gun evidence that these witnesses were supposed to present just didn't come through," he said.

Jackson's attorneys also said that the accuser, his brother and his mother were not reliable witnesses, and that the judge had a duty to find the witnesses unreliable to make sure the jury did not convict Jackson unfairly.

The judge said he was reluctant to make a decision about the credibility of the witnesses, suggesting that was the jury's job.


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