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Tempers flare in Bubba vs. MJ trial; body language from lawyers shows anger, frustration

10:14 AM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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Video: MJ vs. Bubba trial enters third week

 

TAMPA, Florida - It was an emotional day in court for both sides in the MJ vs. Bubba trial as it entered week three. In fact, this is the first day the jury was brought back into the courtroom since last Wednesday.

WATCH: Live courtroom video of the M.J. vs. Bubba trial

The day began with Bubba's team asking for a mistrial, saying that the intense media coverage would not allow their client to get a fair shot. In addition, there was the soap opera saga from last week, where MJ's attorney, Phil Campbell, was arrested for DUI after drinking at Malio's with a pretty legal assistant from the same law firm representing Bubba. He then reportedly left his all-important briefcase behind, with legal documents inside.

Was that flirty encounter a setup? Could it be grounds for a mistrial?

Tempers flared from attorneys on both sides today. The tension was visible by legal counsel from each team. 

Greg Hearing, an attorney for Bubba, pointed out that the bizarre, bombshell, headline-making story not only dominated local news, but also went national. "It is a firestorm," he said. 

MJ's lawyer, Jonathan Ellis, countered by saying that making accusations about Bubba's team trying to influence any public image was ridiculous. "That is the pot calling the kettle black," he told the judge. Ellis and his team set out to get a mistrial Friday after the bizarre turn of events.

In the end, Judge Arnold denied the motion for mistrial for Bubba's team. He said the jury was not "compromised" or influenced since they are not supposed to be watching news or reading local papers. Meanwhile, the judge still reserved his right to make the ruling on the request by MJ's team for a mistrial.

Follow 10 News Reporter Melanie Michael on twitter @WTSPMelanie

MJ's team rested its case, and Bubba's team began calling witnesses. Most of the day centered around testimony from former Clear Channel CEO Randy Michaels, who talked at length about the Tampa radio wars between Bubba and MJ.

Michaels testified he thought MJ was "talented." He also called Schnitt "brilliant." Michaels called Bubba "bigger than life," but he added that the two men, who both worked for him, began fighting too much.

"I told them to tone it down," said Michaels.

As for Bubba's personality, Michaels told jurors the longtime radio host created "theater of the mind" on the show. "It was hyperbole, like a funhouse mirror."

Michaels added that what Bubba performed on his show was schtick. He said Bubba's routine never included any real threats of harm or violence toward MJ.

In fact, audio was played from an on-air show where Bubba said, "I won't be happy unless there is an MJ funeral in the streets.  Seek and destroy." Michaels testified that Bubba was using this as "hyperbole."

Then, there was testimony from a producer who now works for Bubba, but used to work for MJ. The producer testified, "They called me 'Boner' on the show." He testified that MJ talked on-air about his wife's "tramp stamp" tattoo on her back. Attorneys for Bubba questioned him that if MJ called his own wife a "tramp" in jest, then how could Schnitt be offended that Bubba called her a "whore" during an on-air skit?

Trial testimony resumes tomorrow where Bubba's longtime executive producer, Brent Hatley, is expected to take the stand.

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