Prosecutors drop charges in Hotel California lyrics case

  • Written by Bernd Debusmann Jr
  • BBC News, Washington

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo,

Eagles member Don Henley claimed that a notebook containing the lyrics to the song Hotel California was stolen before it was put up for sale in 2012.

Prosecutors have dropped a case against three men accused of conspiring to sell handwritten lyrics to the hit song “Hotel California.”

Prosecutors said in February that a note containing the song's lyrics was stolen before the trio bought it.

The three men, Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski, pleaded not guilty to the charges against them in a New York court.

But new evidence has called the fairness of the case into doubt.

Former Eagles team member Don Henley claimed that the yellow-lined notebook with Hotel California and other Eagles lyrics was stolen before it was put up for sale in 2012.

The notebook was sold to Horowitz for $50,000 in 2005 by Ed Sanders, a writer who worked on a biography of the Eagles in the late 1970s.

The band reportedly allowed Mr. Sanders access to their archives, which included notebooks filled with song lyrics. Mr. Henley later told the grand jury that he never gave the lyrics to Mr. Sanders.

Mr. Henley's allegations led to an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the three men being charged with conspiracy to possess stolen property and other crimes. None of them were accused of stealing the documents.

On Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Aaron Jenandez told the trial judge that prosecutors would dismiss the case because of newly disclosed emails that defense attorneys said raise concerns about fairness.

The emails were revealed after Mr. Henley apparently waived attorney-client privilege last week after already testifying. In all, more than 6,000 pages of material subsequently emerged.

“These late disclosures revealed relevant information that the defense should have had the opportunity to explore during cross-examination,” Jenandez wrote in court documents.

Judge Curtis Farber accused the witnesses and their attorneys of using attorney-client privilege “to obscure and conceal information they believe will be damaging.”

The dismissal constitutes a blow to the Attorney General's Office, which began investigating the case years ago.

“We are pleased that the district attorney's office finally made the right decision to drop this case,” Horowitz's lawyer, Jonathan Bach, was quoted as saying by CBS, the BBC's US partner. “It should never have been brought.”

Kosinski's attorney, Scott Edelman, said the decision was “too little, too late” and that they would consider possible legal action on their part.

The 1976 album Hotel California sold 26 million copies nationwide, making it among the best-selling albums in US history.

See also  Adin Ross Said Yi thought he was an "enemy" before the planned interview took place

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *