of Florida v. Jesse Prince
trial was held in Courtroom 15 of the Pinellas
County Court House. The audio
of the trial was recorded from the P.A. system
controlled by Judge Michael F. Andrews who
graciously granted us permission to record
attempts were made to record the entirety of
the trial, we were unable to record the opening
statement of Lydia Wardell from the State's
Attorney Office. The state's opening remarks
are available in transcript
One - May 23, 2001
deVlaming's Opening Statement
explains to the jury that the arrest of Jesse Prince
began with an extensive Scientology operation that
started months before Jesse's arrest.
first part of Denis' remarks are missing from
the tape but are available in transcript
Crosby from the Largo Police Department was contacted
by Scientology's Private Investigator, Brian Raftery.
Crosby went undercover into Jesse's home alongside
Scientology's PI, Barry Gaston.
Michael Bruno's Testimony
Bruno was the arresting officer who removed the
single marijuana plant from Jesse's pool area.
Mace analyzed leaves from the plant taken from Jesse's
for Judgment of Acquittal
the close of the State's case, Denis deVlaming asked
for a judgment of acquittal.
Johnson Appears on Behalf of the PIs
Johnson appears before the judge to address issues
raised by Barry Gaston's plan to plead the Fifth
Amendment in his upcoming testimony.
Andrews allows Barry Gaston to plead the Fifth.
Gaston was one of the Private Investigators hired
by Scientology's attorneys. He assumed
the name "Rinzi Trinidad" and befriended
Jesse and Dee. Gaston became a confidential
informant for the Largo Police, then disappeared
after Jesse's arrest. DeVlaming's Private
Investigator, Ray Emmons, tracked down Gaston.
This started to reveal the Scientology connection.
repeatedly took the Fifth Amendment on the stand.
He would be signaled by the raising of a hand from
his attorneys, Paul Johnson and Helena Kobrin.
is one of Moxon and Kobrin's key Private Investigators
in the Clearwater area, earning over $180,000 a
year for investigating Scientology's critics.
is another of Scientology's Private Investigators.
Gaston wrote reports to Fabrizio nightly concerning
his ongoing operation against Jesse.
Two - May 24, 2001
Over Allowing Frank Oliver's Testimony
of the planned defense for Jesse involved the operation
of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs and the
Fair Game Policy. Frank Oliver had been a
member of OSA and was prepared to testify about
the tactics Scientology uses against it's perceived
enemies. The State sought to limit Oliver's
Oliver was allowed to take the stand and testify
with some restrictions.
About Allowing Rebuttal Witness
State sought to bring Jesse's fiancÚ to the stand
as a rebuttal witness. DeVlaming argued that
she should have been used in the State's main case
and not as rebuttal.
Phillips Testifies in Proffer
judge allows Dee to testify outside of the presence
of the jury in order to see the relevance of her
of Jury Instructions
Andrews takes a moment to discuss which instructions
the jury would be receiving.
to Allow Dee Phillips Testimony
State explains why Dee Phillips should be allowed
as a rebuttal witness.
Allows Dee Phillips' Testimony
Andrews decides Dee can testify with a few limitations.
Phillips tells how she and Jesse met "Rinzi
Trinidad" and allowed him into their lives.
Jesse, Dee and her two sons felt "Rinzi"
was a close friend until they discovered he was
a Scientology agent.
State's Closing Arguments
Wardell tells the jury to focus on the law and not
be sidetracked by other issues.
deVlaming's Closing Arguments
explains why Scientology is such a major part of
this trial and can't be ignored.
State has the final word.
Jury Has Questions
jury deliberated for several hours. Around
8:30 p.m. they had some questions for the judge.
Judge Andrews shared these questions with the attorneys.
Judge Allows Readback of Testimony
Andrews had the court reporter read back the entire
testimony of Detective Crosby. The readback
took over an hour but is condensed here to about
Jury is Restless
this short clip, the judge announces that the jury
is having a hard time with deliberations.
After Judge Andrews shut off the audio feed, they
discussed the fact that jurors were unsettled and
even getting physically ill. He gave
the jury a 20 minute break to go outside the building
Judge Reads the Jury Instructions on Deadlocks
after the jury returned from their break, they announced
that they were deadlocked. Judge Andrews brings
them in to tell them to give it another try.
Judge Declares a Mistrial
before 10 p.m. the jury returned to the courtroom.
Many were visibly distraught, some had seemingly
been in tears. They announced that they could
not reach a verdict.
Andrews thanked them for their service and declared