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Prosecutors Drop Charges Mid-Trial in Eagles Lyrics Case as Don Henley's Lawyer Says He's Been 'Victimized'

"He will pursue all his rights in the civil courts," Henley's attorney said

<p>YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty</p> Don Henley in the courtroom in February 2024 in New York City

YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty

Don Henley in the courtroom in February 2024 in New York City

Weeks after Eagles rocker Don Henley took the stand in court, the criminal case centered on roughly 100 pages of his handwritten song lyrics — which he claimed had been stolen from him — has been dropped by prosecutors.

The case was abruptly dropped in the middle of trial in New York on Wednesday, thereby clearing rare books dealer Glenn Horowitz, former Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi and rock memorabilia seller Edward Kosnski of charges, according to the Associated Press.

The outlet reported that Judge Curtis Farber told the court that the case’s witnesses and their lawyers had “manipulated” prosecutors by using attorney-client privilege to purposefully hide information they thought would be damaging to their case. Those specific communications have not been publicly released.

"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,” Dan Petrocelli, Henley’s attorney, tells PEOPLE in a statement. “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."

The case dates back to the late 1970s, when Henley and the Eagles began work with writer Ed Sanders on a band biography that never saw the light of day.

Related: Don Henley Says 1980 Arrest Was 'Poor Decision' He Regrets 'to This Day' as He Testifies at Eagles Lyrics Trial

<p>YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty</p> Don Henley on Feb. 26, 2024 in court in New York City

YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty

Don Henley on Feb. 26, 2024 in court in New York City

Henley reportedly testified last month that while he may have given Sanders, who is not charged in the case, access to the lyric papers in order to help with the writing of the book, he “never gave” him permission to keep the pages, which contain handwritten words to classics like “Hotel California.”

Sanders sold the lyric pages to Horowitz in 2005, and he later sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski, who all pleaded not guilty to charges including criminally possessing stolen property, per the AP. Henley has said he was shocked to see the pages surface at auctions in 2012; that year, he bought back four pages for $8,500.

“It just wasn’t something that was for public viewing. It was our process,” he said while on the stand last month, according to the AP. “It was something very personal, very private. I still wouldn’t show that to anybody.”

RB/Redferns The Eagles (Don Felder, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner) ca. 1977.
RB/Redferns The Eagles (Don Felder, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey, Randy Meisner) ca. 1977.

Prosecutors reportedly agreed that defense lawyers had been “blindsided” by 6,000 pages of communications that involved Henley and his attorneys and associates over the last few days.

“These delayed disclosures revealed relevant information that the defense should have had the opportunity to explore,” Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Aaron Ginandes told the court, according to the AP.

Meanwhile, the outlet reported that Kosinski said he felt “very good” as he left court, while Inciardi said in a written statement that “the next step is building back our reputations.”

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