Judge Keeps Jackson Bail at $3 Million
Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville ruled in favor of the prosecution, saying that Jackson, 45, could easily afford the bail figure.
Jackson's lead attorney, Thomas Mesereau, had called the amount "grossly excessive" and sought a reduction to $70,000. The battle to reduce the bail figure goes back to a May 28 hearing.
Prosecutors, however, said that Jackson, whom they deemed a potential flight risk, could easily spend $70,000 "in a weekend in Las Vegas."
In his two-page ruling on Monday, the jurist agreed that Jackson's bail exceeded the guidelines for Santa Barbara County, reports Reuters. But, Judge Melville went on to write: "No evidence has been presented and no argument made to suggest that the bail amount represents a financial hardship for defendant."
Melville also noted that Jackson had twice posted the $3 million bail "without objection or apparent difficulty" – once after his arrest last November and again after he was indicted in April. Jackson has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
The next hearing in the case is set for June 25 (Jackson is not expected to attend, with Judge Melville's blessing to skip it), while the trial is due to begin Sept. 13, though Melville is reportedly expressing doubt that a jury can be selected so quickly.