Juror removed from Pellicano federal trial

Judge says man lied about remarks over the charges

A juror was removed Thursday in the federal wiretapping trial of Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano and a high-profile attorney, forcing deliberations to restart a day after the panel got the case.

U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer said the man was replaced with an alternate after lying about making remarks to other jurors about the severity of the charges against Pellicano and lawyer Terry Christensen.

The man allegedly said, "What's the big deal? Nobody was killed," then denied to the judge that he had made the remark, Fischer told attorneys.

Fischer learned of the comments in notes sent to her by another juror.

Pellicano and Christensen are accused of recording phone conversations of Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, the former wife of billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, in an effort to disprove her claims that the MGM mogul was the father of her young daughter.

They are both charged with conspiracy to commit wiretapping. Pellicano is also charged with wiretapping, and Christensen is charged with aiding and abetting a wiretap.

Christensen's attorney Patricia Glaser has told jurors there was no evidence of any wiretaps of Bonder Kerkorian, and insisted that Pellicano was not hired to do any wiretaps.

Pellicano was convicted of illegal wiretapping and racketeering in a separate case earlier this year.