Michael Jackson fans vie for public seats at Conrad Murray trial
"We got here way before 7 this morning just to come here," said Shelton, a Fullerton resident.
A security official standing on the other side of the yellow tape told them they had the best vantage point -- and would definitely get an up-close view of the Jackson family as they enter the courthouse.
The court allocates six public seats, with four additional spots as stand-by if there is room. Each morning a lottery is held at the Temple Street entrance to the courthouse.
"We all love Michael," said Shelton's sister, Itaska, pointing to their four kids — Joshua, Etelvina, Antoinette and Nesha — sleepy-eyed and shyly standing behind them.
Mosako and Itaska, from Fullerton, followed the trial closely in the news last week but decided to come to downtown L.A. Monday for the second week.
"Is that all you got?" Itaska asked a younger man carrying a small "Justice for Michael Jackson" sign. She took the sign and playfully slapped him with it. She proudly showed him all three of the more colorful handmade posters in her hand.
The man, from Anaheim, introduced himself as Louie G and said he tried to get into the trial a few times last week. Standing behind the others in line, he said he was confident he would have better luck.
"Every day it's just something new," he said. "Last week it was the paramedics, I can't wait to see who's next. The cupcake baker? The pool guy?"
"It's been crazy meeting fellow Jackson supporters from all over, as well as Conrad Murray supporters," Louie said. And hearing the trial details from both sides, it makes you really think about how fair everything is."
Louie said he has never cried over the death of an artist before, "but Michael Jackson's death was just so shocking. Especially with all the hype about him coming back. I was so excited to see his show."
"You know what it is? It gave a younger generation hope to see him live," he said, motioning to the four kids at the front of the line, "Especially for me, at least."
-- Rosanna Xia at Los Angeles County Superior Court
Photo: The Shelton family waits outside the courthouse where Dr. Conrad Murray is being tried. Credit: Rosanna Xia / Los Angeles County Superior Court