Michael Jackson death, doctor had wanted $5 million (photos, video)
LOS ANGELES– It was the cardiologist Conrad Murray’s “incompetence and unskilled acts” that lead to the death of Michael Jackson said the prosecutor in opening statements on Tuesday. This story is making top news here in San Francisco. (See the original breaking news article here Breaking: Michael Jackson doctor, Conrad Murray, trial begins)
Michael Jackson died from a drug overdose back in June 2009. Now his cardiologist is on trial and is accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of the music idol.
“He died too young, it was very sad,” says San Francisco resident Jamie Elder.
By contrast, Murray’s defense lawyer told the jury that Jackson killed himself trying desperately to get to sleep. He was already loaded with drugs when he did so.
Attorney, Ed Chernoff, said Jackson’s body was like “a perfect storm” when he took the strong anesthetic, Propofol, along with Lorazepam.
Jackson hired Murray, age 58, at a rate of $150,000/month so he would be with him for the upcoming London concert tour entitled “This Is It.”
Michael Jackson’s family was present at the hearing. The trial could last around five weeks, said the Superior Court Judge, Michael Pastor. The jurors faces were hidden as three television cameras captured the proceedings live.
Conrad Murray had been giving Michael Jackson nightly injections of propofol to help the singer sleep, said the prosecution, but Murray was not an anesthesiologist and neither was he a board-certified cardiologist. Propofol is normally used in operations to put people to sleep, says USA Today.
Prosecutor David Walgren accused Murray of acting out of greed, having once asked Jackson for $5 million-a-year to be his personal physician. Walgren played a tape for the jury in which Jackson slurred his words and said he wanted people to consider him “the greatest entertainer in the world.” He also proposed to build a Michael Jackson children’s hospital.
Walgren said that Murray should not have been using propofol for insomnia, should not have used it outside of an operating room and should not have left the room to make phone calls for 45 minutes after he had given it to Jackson.
According to Walgren, Murray then lied to paramedics and emergency personnel when he did not tell them that he had given propofol to Jackson and that it was in his system. Propofol can cause a person’s airway to become blocked, but the presence of a trained doctor can prevent that from happening.
By contrast, the defense lawyer, Houston attorney Ed Chernoff, said they would show no propofol was in Jackson’s body when he died and the defense would prove that Jackson “caused his own death.” He told jurors that patients would later talk about Murray’s unselfish, generous nature.
Kenny Ortega, the first witness for the prosecution, told the court that Jackson seemed ill on June 19 during the rehearsal for the “This Is It” concert, for which Orega was the co-director. Murray, however, told Ortega there was nothing wrong with Jackson. Dr. Murray told Ortega to leave Jackson’s health to him as the doctor.
Murray told Ortega: “Don’t act like a doctor or an amateur psychologist. Direct the show and leave Michael’s health to me,” reports USA Today.
According to USA Today: “The next two days of rehearsal, June 23 and 24, Jackson was enthusiastic and energetic, Ortega said.
Jackson was looking to the future, Ortega said. He told Ortega he wanted to take the London show to the USA and around the world. He then planned to make several movies, including a full-length film version of his Thriller album. He said Jackson was “very happy” that last night.”
Michael Jackson passed away on June 25.
Elizabeth Taylor had stood up for Michael Jackson during the days when he was accused of child pornography. (See that article in the blue link)
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See this breaking news article:
Breaking: Michael Jackson doctor, Conrad Murray, trial begins
See photos and video on the left-hand side of this article for more on this story. The video is an interview with Mark Geragos on how things look for Conrad Murray.