Today's testimony started slow in the R. Kelly trial, but things spiced up this afternoon when the jury was shown a video of a headless couple having sex.
Defense expert Charles Palm made the clip from a section of the sex tape at the center of the case, using special effects to illustrate how easy it is to digitally manipulate video. The defense hopes Palm can successfully refute the evidence of prosecution expert Grant Fredericks, who said that the tape could not have been digitally altered. Parts of the media have dubbed this the "Little Man Defense" or the "Wayans Defense."
The clip showed the couple on the tape having sex in what the state says is the hot tub room at Kelly's former home. Their bodies slowly become transparent, then slowly reappear. Then their heads slowly disappear until their two headless bodies are romping. At one point, the man on the tape - his head intact - appears to be having sex with a headless woman.
The heads come and go "like ghosts" on the manipulated tape Palm said.
Palm also showed a clip of the tape which the state says showed a mole. Though a spot that corresponds with a mole on Kelly's back was clearly visible in 17 frames of video Fredericks played for the jury last week, no such mole was visible in the frames Palm showed.
The spots which appeared on the man in the tape's back were "video noise," not moles, Grant said.
He added, "There were marks in the image that came and went and basically they were artifacts that were propagated through the image."
Moving on to the tape of the headless couple that he'd prepared, Palm said that there are many commercially available computer software packages that allow people to manipulate video. It is easy to overlay moving images over a stationary background, he said.
"You've got the ability to make people come and go at your will," he said.
It took him only two hours to manipulate a section of the video to show a headless couple having sex, he said. The computer "tools do a lot of the work for you," he said. Fredericks claimed it would take 44 years to digitally manipulate every frame of the 27 minute tape.
Palm said he wasn't a special effects professional, suggesting that an "artist" could do a better job of manipulating the video.
He's now being cross-examined by the state.