Thomas Mesereau explaining Frank Cascio (@fdcascio) testifying at 2005 trial issue at @posmike podcast.
First of all this was a very complex, confusing, terrifying situation. What Sneddon did , the DA who was after Michael as everyone knows, What he did was he brought these conspiracy charges for many different reasons. One of them was to terrify away witnesses that can help Michael Jackson.
And what he did was and it was very strange, he had the grand jury indict Michael on various counts the first one being conspiracy. But the only one in the alleged conspiracy charged was Michael. He called everyone else an unindicted co-conspirator which is a give away right away that he had a nefarious purpose for bringing a conspiracy charge.
So Michael was charged with conspiracy. Remember a conspiracy is an agreement among various individuals to commit a crime. the agreement can be in writing or it can be not in writing. It can also be an understanding. But nevertheless conspiracy involves more than one person and it requires a form of agreement to commit a crime. But the only one charged was Michael Jackson. So that ought to tell you something right there something is wrong.
Everyone else was called an unidicted co-conspirator. Frank Cascio, Vinnie Amen, Dieter, Konitzer, Marc Shaffel. What I think he did was he wanted to scare the daylights away from these potential witnesses for Michael Jackson because they were there when Arvizo's was around. And to do that he sort of hang the possibility of charging them over their heads, he forced them all to get lawyers and he terrified them. Let's face it.
As I said in other discussions there were other technical reasons he brought that charge. It would allow the Arvizo's to testify about Cascio, Shaffer, Amen, Dieter and Konitzer and at the same time scare them away so Michael couldn't bring them in to contradict or refute what Arvizo's said. It was very very sinister in my opinion.
So Frank Cascio and the rest all got lawyers, you would expect them to. They were looking at the possibility of felony charges of conspiracy and years in prison. We were sort of preparing our defense and trying to figure out who everyone was and what they can contribute to our defense and what they had to say and what they said to other people, have they talked to Sneddon and company. You know this is what criminal defense is. This was a huge case, everything was magnified a million times.
So Frank Cascio got a lawyer and I did not want Michael talking to him or him talking to Michael because this would open up the door to types of examination by the DAs in the trial. Although I believe they were talking anyway because they were friends for many years.
And Cascio's lawyer Joe Tacopina from NY started calling me and asking me what was going on and what I thought. I would tell him what I could and I would ask him what Frank was up to. My impression was Frank was listening to his lawyer. His lawyer was going very carefully, very professionally, very delicately through the evidence and trying to find out how to protect his client. That was what his job was. So his lawyer wasn't right away saying "he'll do whatever you want", he was being careful about it and I think Frank was listening to his lawyer. I don't know what he said to Michael or what Michael said to him. I know his family members were talking to Michael , I wasn't privy to those conversations. You know they are all very close friends.
At some point a perception that Frank was not being cooperative had developed. I'm not so sure why it might have developed. It might have been just his lawyer being cautious and careful. But I can say this in the end he was willing to testify. His lawyer told me he was willing to testify , he had a lot of conversations. What I think happened was he was scared, he was listening to his lawyer , his lawyer was being cautious that may have been construed as him not being cooperative but I will say this in the end he was willing to come in and testify. That's what I think really happened with Frank Cascio.
Now you know I can't blame him for being terrified. He does say in his book that I have to point out that Sneddon offered him immunity from prosecution. What that meant was if he came forward and cooperated with Sneddon and the DA's office he could not be prosecuted. He also had to be willing to testify against Michael and he refused it. Even though that would have been a very safe way to go to make sure that you aren't charged. You gotta give him credit for that. Gotta give him credit for that, gotta understand how terrified they were about being charged with felony conspiracy going to prison. You gotta appreciate he was listening to his lawyer who was going on cautiously and carefully to figure out how to best protect his client. So I don't think anyone should blame Frank. Really don't.
Now other people weren't as terrified as he was. For example Chris Tucker and Maculay Culkin were not unidicted co-conspirators. They were never facing charges. So they came right out and told their lawyers and agents and managers and advisers "we are testifying for Michael whenever he needs us. You know there's no doubt about it". And they did that. I sat with Maculay Culkin and his entertainment lawyer and his entertainment lawyer was scared to death. Where as Maculay was cool as can be said "when Michael needs me I am there". I met with Chris Tucker and his lawyer at his lawyers home and his attitude was exactly the same "When Michael wants me I don't care what I'm doing I'm there". But they weren't also facing the possibility of a conspiracy charge. So I'm not hard on Frank, I understand the whole situation, in the end he was willing to testify.
And as he correctly said in his book , and I read it and I enjoyed the book, I decided that I didn't need to call him. I wanted to get this case to the jury , I actually shortened our witness list, we initially expected the trial to last a few more months. But I wanted this to get to the jury, I thought we really rocked their world so to speak and I thought this case was ready for an acquittal. That's what happened fortunately.
Source: Positively Michael Podcast December 4 , 2011