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Celebrity Criminal Defendants of the Decade

High-Profile Criminal Cases


The first decade of the 21st Century saw a series of high-profile criminal cases in which the defendant was a bone fide celebrity. Although none of them attracted the attention that the first O.J. Simpson trial did in the 1990s, each drew massive media coverage.

Some of them were found guilty, some acquitted and some saw their charges dropped. Some of their cases are still pending.

1. The Trial of Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson
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The media had a field day as the King of Pop Michael Jackson faced charges of conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion, three counts of committing lewd acts upon a child, attempted lewd acts upon a child, and four counts of administering intoxicating agents to assist in the commission of a felony.

2. The Legal Saga of O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
His second trial did not draw the attention that his first one did, but it was covered widely. On Sept. 13, 2007, Simpson and four other men entered a Las Vegas casino hotel room where some of his sports memorabilia was being offered for sale by two collectors. Police arrested O.J. Simpson on kidnapping and armed robbery charges.

3. The Martha Stewart Case

Martha Stewart
© Getty Images
The New York media covered this case furiously from start to finish. In March 2004, a jury found domestic diva Martha Stewart guilty of conspiracy, making false statements and obstruction of agency proceedings stemming from a sale of stock in a biotech company.

4. The Phil Spector Case

Phil Spector
Mug Shot
Legendary rock and roll music producer Phil Spector was charged with the fatal shooting of former actress Lana Clarkston Feb. 3, 2003 at his Los Angeles mansion. His first trial was declared a mistrial. His second trial received very little media attention.

5. The Robert Blake Case

Robert Blake
© Getty Images
Robert Blake faced trial for the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley and soliciting two other men to kill her. Bakley, 44, was shot to death on May 4, 2001, as she sat in Blake's sports car behind a restaurant where the couple had just dined. The public was shocked at the outcome of his criminal trial. The civil trial turned out differently.

6. The Kobe Bryant Case

Kobe Bryant
Mug Shot
Professional basketball star Kobe Bryant, 24, was charged with a single count of felony sexual assault against a 19-year-old woman at an exclusive spa where he was staying when he came to Colorado for knee surgery in the summer of 2003. He never went to trial, but the media coverage was enormous.

7. The Legal Troubles of Joe Francis

Joe Francis
Mug shot
Joe Francis, who has made millions with his 'Girls Gone Wild' videos and magazines, has found himself entangled in legal trouble in civil and criminal courts on the state and federal levels.

8. Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski
© Getty Images
Oscar-winning movie director Roman Polanski has been arrested in Switzerland and is being held for extradition to the United States to face charges of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Polanski pleaded guilty to the charges in 1978 then fled the country before sentencing.

9. C-Murder

Corey Miller (C-Murder)
Mug Shot
A Gretna, Louisiana jury found rapper Corey "C-Murder" Miller guilty of second-degree murder for the 2002 shooting death of a 16-year-old fan at a nightclub. It was the second time Miller had been convicted for the murder of Steve Thomas. The first conviction was overturned.

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