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And so it ends: The long local nightmare that was the Anthony Pellicano trial has ended with essentially the same whimpering inertia that marked its duration. Those early reports of Pellicano's convictions have fleshed out in the hours since: guilty as charged on 76 of 77 counts of racketeering, conspiracy, wiretapping, wire fraud and identity theft, yet acquitted of "a single count of unauthorized computer access," according to The New York Times. (His four co-defendants were convicted of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy.) Pellicano will be sentenced Sept. 24.

The LA Times's Carla Hall, meanwhile, has courtroom sketches:

Before the verdicts were read, Pellicano seemed at ease, grinning and scanning the room. But when he realized the jury had found him guilty, he crossed his arms, took his glasses off and looked around with a blank expression. A woman on the jury dabbed her eyes with a tissue.

We cried a little, too, for all the potential laid waste in this clusterfuck of justice: The potential for Anita Busch's comeback after Pellicano's dead-fish threat and wiretaps ended her career. The potential for Busch-destroyer Michael Ovitz to get a shovel in the back of the neck after slithering off the witness stand. The potential for the bottomless filth of Scary Hollywood Lawyer Bert Fields' testimony, which never came. The potential for "Mr. Pellicano," as he was forced to refer to himself as his own counsel, to just say, "Yeah, fuck it. Put me away; let's all go home." Or the potential for us to give half a shit this was even happening, day after drawn-out day, even under the threat of mistrial.

Pellicano is indeed going home — like "federal prison" home, up to 10 years' worth, we hear. He'd be 74 when he got out, with a few years left to enjoy the fruits of keeping his mouth shut: A couple well-scrubbed dollars trickling in now and then from grateful clients to whom he's anything but the footnote the rest of us will know. At the end of the day — especially today — we struggle to care but somehow wish there was more, as if it was all just about to get good.

Alas, the end is as good as it gets, when we can at last peel away the "alleged" and say yeah, the fucker did it. Finally. And good riddance.

[Photo Credit: LAT]