Michael Jackson, Conrad Murray trial begins – opening statements, jury facts — The trial for against Dr. Conrad Murray begins today in Los Angeles. Dr. Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of entertainer, Michael Jackson. Today, opening statements by both sides in the case are expected to take place in the courtroom. Some facts about the jury that has been seated to hear the case have already been released.
Opening statements by the defense and the prosecution are expected to be the main focus in the case on Tuesday. In opening statements, each side lays out the main points of its arguments and tries to influence the jury’s thinking by setting a tone in the courtroom.
The prosecution will begin its case first. It has released that the first witness it will call is producer and choreographer, Kenny Ortega. Mr. Ortega was one of the choreographers of This Is It, the concert Mr. Jackson was preparing for when he died. Mr. Ortega is also known in the entertainment world for his work on other projects such as the High School Musical series of films.
Kenny Ortega is expected to testify in favor of the prosecution’s claim that the singer was healthy enough to do the shows that were planned as well as to his experience with the singer in the days before he died.
HLN reported on-air Monday several facts about the jury:
- 5 women, 7 men
- 6 admit to being fans of Michael Jackson, or were fans at one time
- 1 actually met Michael Jackson
- 2 saw This Is It (the documentary about Mr. Jackson’s rehearsals for his latest concerts)
- 2 watch crime shows on TV like Law & Order and CSI.
- 3 followed the Casey Anthony trial
- Jurors identify themselves ethnically as: 6 white; 5 Mexican or Hispanic; 1 African-American
Although on Friday 12 jurors and six alternates were chosen from the pool of potential candidates, one alternate was dismissed Friday afternoon.
CNN reported that the man who met Michael Jackson is a retired cartoon animator from Disney. The Los Angeles Times reported last week that the man met Mr. Jackson in the early 1980s while they were both working on the Disney lot.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge, Michael Pastor has allowed cameras in the courtroom, so television coverage will take place live in the trial. He has not sequestered the jury, citing cost factors and the absence of sequestering juries in the county since the O.J. Simpson trial.
HLN will begin live coverage from the courtroom of the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray at 11 a.m. Eastern.