06/14/05 — Local reaction to Jackson verdict mixes

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Local reaction to Jackson verdict mixes

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on June 14, 2005 1:46 PM

Goldsboro residents said today that they weren't surprised by the verdict in the Michael Jackson case, even though some did not agree with it.

"If he was found not guilty, then I believe he's not guilty," said Frank Koonce as he ate breakfast at Central Lunch. "They're the jurors, and I trust that they did the job they were supposed to do."

A few tables away, Linda Hargrove said, "If you want to know what I really thought, I thought he was guilty, but with all his money, he would be found not guilty," she said. "He was guilty of something, but I'm not sure exactly what."

Another diner, Michele Moore, disagreed. "He might be weird, but I didn't think he had done those things," she said.

She sporadically followed the trial, she said. "To be honest, I got tired of hearing about it. ... But when the verdict came down yesterday, I made a point of watching."

A few blocks away, at Royall Classic Barber Shop, opinions were also divided.

Joe Moore said the district attorney made too many errors. "Michael Jackson should have been charged with what the district attorney could get an conviction on."

But Moore went on to say that he wasn't convinced that Jackson had done anything. "I wasn't there," he said.

Cecil Teachey said he thought Jackson was guilty and would have been proven that way, had the prosecutors not put the mother of Jackson's alleged victim on the stand.

"That was a mistake. All those past fraud charges came out," Teachey said.

Percy Royall said, "I can't say if Michael Jackson is guilty or not guilty. But there were things that he did that he should not have done. Michael Jackson should not have boys sleeping with him. That shouldn't be."

Royall also said he was concerned that Jackson might have given alcohol to children.

Royall expects to see Jackson rebound. "I believe he'll make a lot of money with new records, movie deals, whatever," he said. "Some people believe in Michael Jackson more than they believe in God, and that's not right."