HOLLYWOOD, CA - Adding a new twist to the trial of actor Robert Beltran, a photo has surfaced (see above) which casts severe doubt on his case.
Mr. Beltran, best known for his role as Commander Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager, is currently being prosecuted for illegal experiments involving the genetic manipulation of plant DNA. The trial is closed to the public, but prosecuting attorney Franklin Murdock has made the following statement: "For reasons we have yet to fathom, Beltran decided to play God by splicing plant DNA with his own. It happened gradually, over the course of years; many people mistook it for a sense of apathy, or simply lack of talent. But Beltran was deliberately becoming a human plant. He's more tree than man now, however he looks on the outside. We don't know how and we don't know why -- but we know it was wrong."
Defense attorney Jeice O. Garricker has countered these allegations. "You've had slow days before, right? Days where you seem too tired or too lazy to get anything done? There's nothing illegal about that -- it happens to everybody. My client is guilty of nothing more than having a slow...er...decade, and I think we can find it in our hearts to understand." Mr. Garricker then proceeded to wash his mouth out with soap.
For weeks, this trial has seemed at an impasse. Today, however, a new piece of evidence has been discovered, one that threatens the defendant's case severely. The evidence is a photographic proof that Mr. Beltran stood in precisely the same pose in two different Voyager episodes, despite the wide difference in contexts.
"A human being may stand in the same position often," states Murdock, "but not without slight differences. The differences may lie in facial expression, posture, balance, or some combination of these. But there is no such difference in the two pictures of Robert Beltran. Our scientists have studied the photos at the microscopic level without finding even one discrepancy. No human could do what the accused has done."
Mr. Beltran has submitted a one-sentence statement on the controversy: "Shut up, you pathetic fools." This marks the fifty-third time he has made this statement since the beginning of the trial; reports indicate that he has made no other comments of any kind.
Photography by Thinkey (click for details)
Mr. Beltran's attorney has not yet made a statement, but he was seen entering the courthouse today with an extra-large package of Ivory soap.
Various members of the community have offered their own opinions.
"Give it up, Rob," said Mr. Beltran's former coworker Roxann Dawson. "We all knew about the tree thing. I mean, really, what other explanation was there? When the show started out, you were the most energetic and animated one of us, but over the years you just stopped moving. It wasn't hard to tell that you'd been doing a little experimentation on the side."
Harry Kim actor Garrett Wang agreed. "Seriously, did Rob move during the finale? Even one single time? You didn't hear this from me, but a few of us glanced at the floor during production and saw these suspiciously root-like things all around his shoes...."
"Frankly, you humans can keep him," commented the Lorax, who speaks for the trees.
"Let's not be too hard on the man," countered fanfic writer Jemima. "He may not have moved much, but at least he showed up. He deserves our gratitude for seven years of bringing Chakotay to...er...life. And let's not forget that C/7 was his idea."
"Who mentioned C/7? WHO WAS IT? KILL! KILL!" ranted writer Clare009.
VVS8 head producer Thinkey was responsible for bringing this evidence to light, but has firmly denied that she accepted any large monetary offers from the prosecution. After making this announcement, she slammed the door of her gilded limousine and returned to her mansion.