Internet InfoMedia eagles co founder don henley victimized by hotel california trial dismissal lawyer

The trial over the alleged stolen handwritten drafts of Eagles hits like “Hotel California” has come to an abrupt end.

Prosecutors have dropped their criminal case mid-trial, according to the Associated Press.

Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Aaron Ginandes informed the judge at 10 a.m. that prosecutors would no longer proceed with the case, citing newly available emails that defense lawyers said raised questions about the trial’s fairness. The trial had been underway since late February.

The emails emerged when Eagles co-founder Don Henley apparently decided last week to waive attorney-client privilege, after he and other prosecution witnesses had already testified. 

EAGLES’ ‘HOTEL CALIFORNIA’ CRIMINAL TRIAL OVER STOLEN LYRIC PAGES IS ‘ABOUT THE NAMES INVOLVED’: ‘A GOLD MINE’

Close up of Don Henley in court hallway

Don Henley, seen here in court on February 26, 2024, saw the case over the alleged stolen handwritten drafts of Eagles hits like “Hotel California” abruptly dismissed.  ( David Delgado 146187/Getty Images)

Prosecutors agreed that defense lawyers had essentially been blindsided in recent days by getting 6,000 pages of communications involving Henley and his attorneys and associates. The material was provided to both sides only in the last few days, after Henley and his lawyers apparently made a late-in-the-game decision to waive their attorney-client privilege to keep legal discussions confidential.

“These delayed disclosures revealed relevant information that the defense should have had the opportunity to explore” Ginandes told the court, per the AP.

In dismissing the case, Judge Curtis Farber said, that “witnesses and their lawyers” used attorney-client privilege “to obfuscate and hide information that they believed would be damaging.”

Dan Petrocelli, Henley’s newly hired attorney, told Fox News Digital in a statement via Henley’s representatives, “The attorney-client privilege is a foundational guardrail in our justice system, and rarely, if ever, should you have to forsake it to prosecute or defend a case. As the victim in this case, Mr. Henley has once again been victimized by this unjust outcome. He will pursue all his rights in the civil courts.”

Don Henley getting out of a car outside of the courtroom

Henley’s new attorney, Dan Petrocelli, told Fox News Digital in a statement, “Mr. Henley has once again been victimized by this unjust outcome. He will pursue all his rights in the civil courts.” (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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Rare book experts Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski were charged with scheming to sell around 100 pages of “developmental lyrics to the Eagles song ‘Hotel California,'” according to the original indictment filed by the New York District Attorney’s office in 2022.

The manuscripts are collectively valued at over $1 million, according to the district attorney.

Prosecutors alleged the three men circulated fake stories about the manuscripts’ ownership in order to sell them. 

Defense lawyers argued that the men obtained the drafts legally from a writer who worked on an Eagles biography with Henley decades ago that was never published after Henley gave them to him. Kosinski, Inciardi and Horowitz pleaded not guilty. 

Craig Inciardi, Edward Kosinski and Glenn Horowitz wear suits in Manhattan court

The three men charged (L-R) Craig Inciardi, Edward Kosinski, and Glenn Horowitz during an earlier court session.  (Mary Atlaffer)

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According to the indictment, the defendants acquired the pages through Ed Sanders, a nonfiction writer who was working on a biography of the band that was never published. Sanders reportedly kept the handwritten work and later sold the pages to Horowitz, a rare-book dealer, for $50,000.

Per the AP, Scott Edelman, a lawyer for Kosinski, said they were going to “evaluate next steps,” and added, “The district attorney in this case got blinded by the fame and fortune of a celebrity, and that blinded them to the information that they weren’t being given.”

Following the dismissal of the trial, the AP reported that Incardi said in a written statement that, “The next step is building back our reputations.”

Last week, Henley testified that the handwritten pages were always his property.

Timothy Schmitt, Vince Gill, Don Henley, Joe Walsh

The Eagles current lineup, including Timothy Schmitt, Vince Gill, Don Henley, and Joe Walsh. Henley testified last week that the handwritten pages were always his property. (eagles.com)

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“I always knew those lyrics were my property. I never gifted them or gave them to anybody to keep or sell,” Henley said in court.

Irving Azoff, the Eagles’ longtime manager, also recently testified that the handwritten “Hotel California” lyrics pages were initially “stolen” by Sanders.

“All these lyrics are very personal to him, they’re a part of musical history, and it was simply unacceptable to him that they be stolen by anyone else,” Azoff testified. He admitted that he had never known Henley to give away any of his work, including most of the lyrics he created with fellow Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey.

Fox News Digital’s Brie Stimson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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