Trial Begins for Men Accused of Selling Stolen Eagles Lyrics

The long-awaited trial of three men accused of conspiring to sell stolen handwritten lyrics to Eagles songs without the band’s consent commenced yesterday in New York State Supreme Court. Glenn Horowitz, Edward Kosinski, and Craig Inciardi faced a judge, but no jury, as they were charged with possessing and attempting to sell lyric manuscripts from the iconic album “Hotel California,” allegedly stolen from Eagles founding member Don Henley.

The prosecution, led by Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Nicholas Penfold, argued that the defendants knowingly possessed stolen property and attempted to profit from it. They alleged that the defendants deceived and manipulated to hinder Henley’s efforts to recover his stolen lyrics. The disputed property consists of approximately 100 pages of developmental lyrics from the making of “Hotel California,” which were given to author Ed Sanders for research purposes in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Horowitz purchased five legal pads of the lyrics from Sanders in 2005 for $50,000. Inciardi and Kosinski subsequently acquired them from Horowitz for $65,000. Henley and his representatives claim that the lyrics belonged to the Eagles and that they were unaware of the situation until the lyrics began appearing in auction houses in 2012.

The defense attorneys for Horowitz, Inciardi, and Kosinski argued that their clients were unaware of any contract between the Eagles and Sanders regarding the research material for the book. They claimed that the defendants did not consider the lyric sheets suspicious until their arrest a year and a half ago. All three men pleaded not guilty to the charges.

During opening arguments, the prosecution contended that the defendants concocted various stories about how Sanders obtained the lyrics, suggesting that they were aware of their dubious origins. They alleged that Inciardi fabricated a story for Sanders, claiming that the lyrics were found in a backstage dressing room. Penfold also accused Inciardi of concealing background information on the lyrics from the auction house Christie’s. The prosecution further claimed that Sanders had been coached to say that the lyrics may have been abandoned or given to him by the late Glenn Frey.

The defense attorneys vehemently objected to the trial, expressing their disbelief that it had reached this stage, particularly since Sanders himself had not been charged with a crime. They argued that their clients had no knowledge of any wrongdoing and were acting in good faith. The defense emphasized the defendants’ business backgrounds and maintained that the transaction was conducted openly and honestly.

The first witness called to the stand was longtime Eagles manager Irving Azoff, who explained that Sanders had been hired to write an authorized biography of the band and was granted access to materials for research purposes. Azoff revealed that Sanders received a total of $75,000 for the project but that Henley and Frey were disappointed with the final result, particularly the section about the band’s breakup. Azoff stated that the Eagles allowed Sanders to shop the book to other publishers, with the band retaining control over its contents.

Azoff testified that Henley decided to take legal action after discovering other lyrics from the album appearing on the market, feeling extorted and uncertain about the extent of the stolen property. He described Henley’s lyrics as deeply personal and revealed that they had been stored in a barn on Henley’s property in Malibu. Azoff acknowledged that he was unaware if Henley or his attorneys had informed Sanders about any contractual violations related to the sale of the lyrics.

Author: CrimeDoor

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