The suspense of waiting for the verdict in his molestation trial is apparently becoming too much for Michael Jackson. On Sunday, the Associated Press reports, he spent nearly six hours receiving treatment for back trouble in the emergency room at Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital in Solvang, Calif. It’s his second visit there in four days; on Thursday, he spent a few hours there being treated for what NBC News reported was dehydration. Jackson’s visits coincide with the closing arguments in his trial, presented Thursday and Friday, and the placing of his fate in the hands of the jury on Friday afternoon.
”Mr. Jackson’s back has spurred up on him again,” his spokeswoman, Raymone Bain, said Sunday at a news conference outside the hospital. ”It was serious enough for him to come over here.” She linked the 46-year-old’s aching back to the stress of the trial. (Earlier in the trial, back pain flare-ups led to two other emergency room visits that nearly caused him to miss required appearances at the Santa Barbara County courthouse.) ”He’s under a tremendous amount of stress right now,” Bain said. ”Other than his back, he is doing fine.”
After two hours of deliberation late Friday, jurors adjourned for the weekend. They are to resume deliberations on Monday. According to USA Today, the jurors, who are not being sequestered, will be given six hours each day to debate the evidence until they reach a verdict. Jackson, who has pleaded not guilty to the 10 charges against him, is being permitted to await the verdict at home at Neverland, but he must be ready to return to the courthouse on an hour’s notice once the jury reaches a conclusion. Though the trial has not been televised, Judge Rodney Melville will allow the broadcasting of a live audio feed of the reading of the verdict.