Jurors have R. Kelly case
The jury deciding the fate of R. Kelly has recessed for the night after deliberating for about 3½ hours Thursday. Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan, who is presiding over the trial, said jurors would be sequestered at a motel. Deliberations are scheduled to resume at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

June 12, 2008 4:53 PM: Judge denies jury request for trial transcript; Van Allen testimony was sought

About an hour and a half after they began deliberations, the jury in the R. Kelly child pornography trial sent a note to Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan asking for the entire trial transcript for review. Specifically, jurors wanted to take a look at the testimony of the state's star witness, Lisa Van Allen.

Van Allen testified that she had a three-way sexual encounter with Kelly and the alleged victim. The defense tried to discredit her by saying she was one of the masterminds of a vast conspiracy against the singer.

Attorneys for both sides said the request for the entire transcript was not practical because it would take several hours to print the full document and delete the sidebar dialogue, which is not meant for the jury to hear.

Defense attorney Edward Genson said he would prefer that the jury be allowed to get Van Allen's testimony, but the state objected saying the jury should get the whole transcript or nothing at all.

Gaughan sent a note to the jury informing them that the transcripts are not available at this time and that they were to continue with their deliberations.

Kayce T. Ataiyero

June 12, 2008 3:35 PM: Prosecutor told jury to liken singer's child-porn case to 1st-degree murder case

In what was the final argument in the R. Kelly trial, before the jury began to deliberate R. Kelly's fate at about 2:30 p.m., Cook County Assistant State's Atty. Shauna Boliker told jurors to think of the case as a first-degree murder case.

Victims don't testify in first degree murder trials, she said, and neither did the alleged victim in this case.

Instead jurors rely on witness testimony to make their decisions, Boliker said during her rebuttal to the defense's closing statements. And this jury, she said, saw 14 witnesses who identified the alleged victim and 12 who identified Kelly as the man on the tape.

"They came before you, and they told the truth," she said.

Boliker ridiculed Kelly's defense, calling it "ever-changing" and an attempt to taint the entire legal process by branding everyone involved as conspirators in a vast plot to take down Kelly.

"Conjecture and speculation, and ... maybe this happened and maybe that happened," said Boliker, describing the defense strategy. "It's just innuendo, ladies and gentleman, and you cannot consider that as evidence."

Besides, she said, the defense was trying to play a sleight of hand trick, drawing the focus away from the most critical piece of evidence, the videotape.

"That videotape, no matter what they say, contains [Kelly's] face," she said.

Boliker also attacked the defense forensic videotape witness, Charles Palm, who said that he could have modified the sex tape in a matter of months.

Palm, who admittedly taught himself how to analyze videotapes, has reviewed only 11 tapes in his time as an expert, she said, compared with the thousands reviewed by one state witness.