Verdict in Jackson case surprises some, pleases others

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Like much of the nation, Southeast Missouri had mixed feelings about the Michael Jackson case, and nearly everyone had some sort of opinion.

Some were appalled at the not-guilty verdict, while others were happy for Jackson. Others were indifferent to the outcome or were just glad that the trial and its media frenzy are over.

Mary Savoy, of Cape Girardeau, said she felt sorry for Jackson more than anything.

"I think he lives a very sad lifestyle, and maybe he was an easy target for somebody," she said. "If he's not guilty, then I'm glad for him."

Lyriq Soto, 21, said he thought Jackson was innocent but naive.

"He shouldn't have put himself in that situation, but I don't think he did anything bad with those little kids," Soto said.

Some were happy with the outcome because they thought the accuser's family was trying to take advantage of the pop star.

"I'm glad. They should put down the parents who put him there," said Nora Rollins, of Charleston, Mo. "They were just after money."

Terry Haupt, of Perryville, Mo., agreed, although she placed some blame on Jackson.

'Wasn't legit'

"I don't think he was without guilt, but the mother, there's something about her that wasn't legit," Haupt said.

Others were more upset with the not-guilty verdict and thought that Jackson's fame and fortune played a big role in the trial's outcome.

"He's a perv. The only reason he got off was because he's a male and because he's famous," said Jenny Tarrence, 16, of Van Buren, Mo. "I just feel bad for the little boys."

Susie Gosche, of Cape Girardeau, agreed.

"Personally, I thought he was guilty, because why would they accuse him of something like that if he didn't do it?" she said. "He's got money, and sometimes you can buy off the system."

Jim Stranaham, of Cape Girardeau, said he didn't really keep up with the case, but he thought the trial was overplayed.

"I'm really indifferent to the problem, so I didn't follow it very closely," he said. "It's not the kind of story that should receive so much national attention, especially with the economy the way it is."

wmcferron@semissourian.com

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