After being jailed for seven days for failing to show up in court, a key witness in the McMartin Pre-School molestation trial was released Thursday when he promised the judge that he will return to continue testifying Tuesday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Pounders turned over the witness, jail house informant George Freeman, to the "protection and custody" of the district attorney's office. Prosecutors said he will be housed in a local hotel.
Freeman, 45, testified that, while they were cell mates briefly in 1984, defendant Raymond Buckey admitted molesting children. Freeman's cross-examination was delayed several times, first because he refused to continue without a grant of immunity from prosecution from past perjuries, and most recently because he went to a bar instead of court after allegedly receiving a threatening phone call.
Pounders said that to hold Freeman longer would be "oppressive."