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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Michael Jackson stirs anticipation, hope at prison

Posted by a4g @ 3/01/2005 06:57:00 AM

Randy Bachner, Entertainment Tonight Correspondant
Santa Barbara, California

Star power reaches into even the dimmest corners of our penal system. Inmates in the California Men's Colony expressed myriad emotions at the opening of Michael Jackson's trial for child molestation Monday in a Santa Barbara Courtroom. For the inmates of this hardboiled prison in the bucolic hills north of Jackson's Neverland Ranch, thoughts of soon greeting the King of Pop created a sense of excitement in their otherwise drab gray concrete world.

"He's got a real purty mouf," says James Blackwell, a swarthy, barrel-chested inmate doing hard time for armed robbery and drug possession, "Real purty."

When asked about the thrill of meeting a star of Jackson's caliber, Jamal Ali Olatungi, in for 15 years for second-degree murder, says, "He looks so tiny and frail, kind of like a woman. A lot like a woman. I bet his hands are soft."

The prisoners didn't seem to mind the possibility of Hollywood-style glamour invading their correctional facility should Jackson be found guilty. "He don't look too strong, not too strong at all," says Blackwell. "I bet a person could hold him down real easy."

Michael Jackson tries to shield photographers from capturing his "real purty mouf"

And the thought that dinner in the communal mess hall might be accompanied by a table-top Jackson serenading the prisoners with a capella versions of hits such as "Billy Jean" or "Thriller"? Larry Billis, doing 25 to life for the gruesome torture killing of a rival gang member, sums it up best, "It makes you wonder if all his skin is that color, or just the parts that usually show."


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