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Judge Orders Arrest of Michael Jackson

March 10, 2005

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) _ An angry judge issued an arrest warrant for Michael Jackson on Thursday after he failed to show up for his child molestation trial on time and his attorney announced the singer was being treated for a serious back problem.

Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville said he would also revoke Jackson’s $3 million bail unless he appeared in court within one hour.

The announcement came after a few minutes after court was to have begun. Jackson’s accuser was expected to begin a second day of testimony against the singer.

The jury was not yet in the courtroom when the judge entered.

Jackson’s lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr., said, ``Mr. Jackson is at Cottage Hospital in Santa Ynez with a serious back problem. He does plan to come in.″

The judge, obviously angry, declared, ``I’m issuing a warrant for his arrest. I’m forfeiting his bail. I will hold the order for one hour.″

Mesereau had been observed talking urgently on his cell phone for about a half-hour before the session was to begin.

Jackson has had health problems that previously interrupted the proceedings. During the first week of jury selection he went to a hospital with flu symptoms. But he has been on time or early since then.

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