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Entries in Conrad Murray (43)

Monday
Sep262011

Michael Jackson Manslaughter Trial: Press Conference Video Banned

David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Jurors in the manslaughter trial of Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor, will not be allowed to watch video of the King of Pop announcing his comeback tour three months before he died, a judge ruled Monday.

Opening statements in the case will begin Tuesday. Attorneys for the prosecution and defense met Monday with Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor to discuss pending motions before the trial gets underway.

Murray's lawyers unsuccessfully lobbied to use video of a news conference given by Jackson in March 2009 to announce his This Is It comeback tour as evidence in the case. Attorney Nareg Gourjian argued that the video showed Jackson under a lot of pressure and hung over. The defense claimed that the news conference had to be delayed by 90 minutes because Jackson could not pull himself off a couch.

The defense had hoped to use the video to argue that Jackson wasn't physically fit and that he'd agreed to 10 shows, not 50. Judge Pastor said the tape wasn't relevant to Jackson's death. Jackson was found in cardiac arrest June 25, 2009, after overdosing on the powerful anesthetic propofol.

Pastor also denied a motion by the prosecution to enter evidence that law enforcement tried four times to set up a follow-up interview with Murray. The prosecution will likely argue that Murray was uncooperative with investigators.

More than two years after Jackson died, Murray's trial will give jurors and legions of Jackson fans the first chance to hear Murray's account of how the King of Pop died at 50.

Legal experts believe the trial will hinge on testimony about the potent drug, propofol, typically administered intravenously in a hospital setting during surgery but administered by Murray to Jackson.

"The defense is going to say there were a lot of doctors that were giving him propofol. This is a doctor who was helping him wean off [the drug]," said Dan Abrams, ABC News' legal analyst.

Defense lawyers are also expected to argue that Jackson gave himself an extra dose of the drug when Murray left the room after administering a dose on the day he died. A trace amount of propofol, 0.13 milligrams, was found in Jackson's stomach. Jackson was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, but was declared dead.

"The prosecution is basically going to say that this was entirely reckless conduct, that he should never have been giving Michael Jackson propofol, never should have walked out of the room for as long as he did," Abrams said.

Legal experts also think that prosecutors will attack Murray for having waited to report to police about Jackson's use of propofol.

The jury that will hear the case is a diverse group of seven men and five women. The eldest juror is a 57-year-old Hispanic woman who has never bought a Michael Jackson CD. The jurors also include a mailman, a television director and a British-born marketing executive.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep232011

Lawyers to Question Prospective Jurors in Michael Jackson Doctor Trial

David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The prosecution and defense in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor on Friday will have their first opportunity to question prospective jurors.

About 150 men and women are in the pool of prospective jurors.

ABC News legal analyst Royal Oakes says the prosecution would like to see Michael Jackson fans on the jury who "might be very eager to see someone pay for Jackson's death."

The ideal juror for the defense, on the other hand, would be someone who didn't care much for the King of Pop as a musician or as a person, says Oakes.  Either way, Oakes says, it will be difficult to find jurors who are unfamiliar with the case.

Dr. Conrad Murray, who’s accused of giving Jackson a lethal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol prior to the pop icon's death in June of 2009, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep082011

Jury Selection Begins in Michael Jackson Doctor Manslaughter Case

David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It's been two years since Michael Jackson died, and on Thursday, the manslaughter trial of his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, got underway beginning with jury selection.  The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor opened trial proceedings by polling the 160 potential jurors about their awareness of Murray, Jackson and their feelings about law enforcement.  Jurors were also asked to confirm their availability to serve through Oct. 28.  Opening statements are slated to start Sept. 27, according to a court press release.

The Times also reported that jurors were advised to avoid all outside media about the trial and refrain reading about or posting about the case online at the risk of jail time or fines for contempt of court.  Though jurors will not be sequestered, Pastor determined that they would be transported daily to and from the court from a secret location and not allowed to leave the court during the day.

Prosecutors allege that Murray is criminally responsible for Jackson's death because he administered the surgical anesthetic, propofol, to the singer -- which prosecutors say is inappropriate for use outside of a surgical setting -- and then left the singer unattended.  Murray has pleaded not guilty.  If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Murray could be sentenced to up to four years in prison, according to the Times.

According to People magazine, Murray's attorneys allege that Jackson drank propofol "like milk" and may have self-administered the fatal dose.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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