May 23, 2024

From the beginning, the case was extremely uncommon: a felony prosecution centered on the disputed possession of a cache of hand-drafted lyrics to “Resort California” and different Eagles hits.

Its finish was much more sudden.

In the midst of trial, New York prosecutors abruptly dropped their case Wednesday towards three collectibles consultants who had been accused of scheming to hold onto and peddle the pages, which Eagles co-founder Don Henley maintained have been stolen, personal artifacts of the band’s inventive course of.

In explaining the gorgeous turnabout, prosecutors agreed that protection attorneys had basically been blindsided by 6,000 pages of communications involving Henley and his attorneys and associates. Prosecutors and the protection acquired the fabric solely up to now few days, after Henley and his attorneys apparently made a late-in-the-game determination to waive their attorney-client privilege shielding authorized discussions.

“These delayed disclosures revealed related info that the protection ought to have had the chance to discover” when Henley and different prosecution witnesses testified late final month, Manhattan Assistant District Legal professional Aaron Ginandes instructed the courtroom.

With that, uncommon books supplier Glenn Horowitz, former Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame curator Craig Inciardi and rock memorabilia vendor Edward Kosinski have been cleared of all the costs. They’d included conspiracy to criminally possess stolen property.

The case centered on roughly 100 pages of legal-pad pages, many from the creation of a traditional rock colossus. The 1976 album “Resort California” ranks because the third-biggest vendor of all time within the U.S., in no small half on the energy of its evocative, easily unsettling title monitor about a spot the place “you may try any time you want, however you may by no means go away.”

Prosecutors had mentioned the defendants knew the pages’ chain of possession was shaky however sought to maintain and promote them anyway, contriving to manufacture a provenance that may cross muster with public sale homes and stave off Henley’s calls for for the return of the handwritten sheets.

By way of their attorneys, the defendants contended they have been rightful homeowners of pages that weren’t stolen by anybody.

“The subsequent step is constructing again our reputations,” Inciardi mentioned in a written assertion after the dismissal. Kosinski, leaving courtroom, mentioned solely that he felt “excellent” in regards to the case’s finish. Horowitz hugged tearful members of the family, then left courtroom with out commenting.

Henley lawyer Dan Petrocelli, in the meantime, mentioned the musician plans to show to civil courts.

“Because the sufferer on this case, Mr. Henley has as soon as once more been victimized by this unjust consequence,” Petrocelli mentioned in a press release.

One among Kosinski’s attorneys, Scott Edelman, mentioned in addition they have been going to “consider subsequent steps.”

The communications that led to the case dismissal weren’t launched publicly. However in courtroom earlier this week, protection attorneys mentioned the trove had recognized extra potential witnesses and raised questions on some testimony from Henley and others.

Decide Curtis Farber mentioned Wednesday that witnesses and their attorneys used attorney-client privilege “to obfuscate and conceal info that they believed could be damaging” and that prosecutors “have been apparently manipulated.”

As Edelman noticed it, prosecutors “acquired blinded by the celebrity and fortune of a star.”

The protection maintained that Henley gave the lyrics pages many years in the past to a author who labored on a never-published Eagles biography and later bought the handwritten sheets to Horowitz. He, in flip, bought them to Inciardi and Kosinski, who began placing a few of the pages up for public sale in 2012.

“These are three factually harmless males,” mentioned Inciardi’s lawyer, Stacey Richman.

Henley, who realized the pages have been lacking solely once they confirmed up on the market, reported them stolen. He testified on the trial that he let the author pore via the pages for analysis however “by no means gifted them or gave them to anyone to maintain or promote.”

The author, Ed Sanders, wasn’t charged with any crime and wasn’t referred to as to testify. He hasn’t responded to messages in regards to the trial.

Protection attorneys mentioned in courtroom Monday that newly produced emails confirmed that Henley initially suspected another person earlier than being reminded of the decades-old ebook mission.

The protection mentioned emails additionally indicated that some Henley attorneys and a non-public investigator initially characterised the pages’ disappearance as a housebreaking — and did not point out Sanders’ 1979 ebook contract — as a result of they believed that referring to a housebreaking would assist their trigger. The contract, usually talked about through the trial, mentioned the Eagles would furnish Sanders with materials, which might stay the band’s “sole property.”

Messages searching for remark have been despatched to the Henley attorneys concerned within the preliminary 2012 discussions in regards to the lyrics sheets. One other agency that represented Henley in later dealings with the matter, Loeb & Loeb, mentioned in a press release Wednesday that it respects the attorney-client privilege selections and is “assured that its attorneys acted in accordance with their skilled and moral duties.”

Prosecutors mentioned Wednesday that they repeatedly requested numerous witnesses to waive their attorney-client privilege, however they selected to not till the previous few days.

However Horowitz lawyer Jonathan Bach mentioned that whereas the defendants have been accused of not asking sufficient questions in regards to the pages’ possession, “it seems that the failure to do a full investigation lies with the opposite facet.”

Earlier than the case collapsed, the nonjury trial supplied typically gossipy peeks into the peak of the Eagles’ profession and the music enterprise.

The courtroom heard the band’s longtime supervisor lament on a decades-old tape about coping with “a pampered rock star.” Henley held in his arms growing older pages with lyrics-in-the-making for such Eagles songs as “After the Thrill is Gone,” “One among These Nights” and “The Lengthy Run.”

Throughout testimony that stretched throughout three days, the Grammy-winning singer and drummer recounted highlights from the band’s heyday, such because the writing of “Resort California.” And he mentioned private low factors, together with his 1980 arrest after authorities reported discovering a 16-year-old lady who was ailing from drug use at his dwelling. It occurred because the Eagles have been breaking apart, and Henley was reeling.

“The band was every little thing to me, and it is one thing I’d been working in direction of since I used to be 15 years previous. It was my complete world” and “my id,” he mentioned. “We had achieved a lot within the earlier decade.”

In the long term, it wasn’t the tip. The Eagles reunited in 1994 and are nonetheless touring.

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