SEARCH

Entries in Michael Jackson (137)

Monday
Nov072011

Michael Jackson Death: Conrad Murray Found Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter

David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

The prosecution triumphed after six weeks of impassioned arguments and witness testimonies.

Murray did not flinch and showed no emotion as the verdict was read.

The Jackson family arrived at the courthouse an hour before the reading of the verdict, led by parents Joe and Katherine Jackson. Randy, LaToya, Rebbie, Jermaine and Jermaine's wife were all in court. Family friends Rick and Kathy Hilton were also in attendance.

Monday was the second day of deliberations. The jury deliberated for about six hours on Friday and for less than three hours Monday before reaching a decision.

Murray was accused of causing the singer's death by administering the powerful anesthetic propofol and not properly supervising his patient or taking proper steps after Jackson stopped breathing.

Murray contended that Jackson gave himself the fatal dose while the doctor was out of the room.

Jurors listened to 49 witnesses over 22 days of testimony. Murray did not testify.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov072011

Jury to Resume Deliberations in Conrad Murray Trial

David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The jury in Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial will resume deliberations Monday in Los Angeles.  The jurors ended their first day of deliberations on Friday without reaching a verdict.

Two former Michael Jackson bodyguards say the late pop star would not have wanted his personal physician to be on trial.

Javon Beard argues, "There's no way in hell that Dr. Conrad wanted to kill Mr. Jackson -- you know, why would he kill his paycheck?"

Another former Jackson bodyguard, Bill Whitfield, says of the entertainer, "He would never step into another courtroom again -- this trial brought him back into the courtroom -- his character was back into question."

Murray is accused of giving Jackson a fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol in 2009.  He has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov032011

Fate of Dr. Conrad Murray, in the Hands of the Jury

Carlo Allegri/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Attorneys on both sides got their last chances to speak to jurors Thursday in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor. After a day of impassioned closing arguments and juror instructions, they turned over the case to the jury who will begin deliberations Friday morning.

The prosecution spoke first and last, with the defense delivering closing arguments in between.

Earlier Thursday, prosecutor David Walgren argued his case with a PowerPoint presentation in which he denounced Murray as a selfish and reckless physician who put his own needs ahead of Jackson's and Jackson's children's.

"The evidence in this case is overwhelmingly, abundantly clear that Conrad Murray acted with criminal negligence, that Conrad Murray caused the death of Michael Jackson, that Conrad Murray left Prince, Paris and Blanket without a father," Walgren said.

Later, defense attorney Edward Chernoff accused the prosecution's key witness, security guard Alberto Alvarez, of lying in order to tell his story.

"Do you honestly believe when you go home to your families that Alberto isn't going to cash in? Honestly?" Chernoff asked.

Alvarez called 911 and later told police that Murray told him to stash various medicine bottles and a saline bag with a bottle of propofol inside of it. The prosecution alleged it was evidence Murray knew he was in the wrong and tried to cover up his actions -- but the defense had a different take.

"He tells you it's been so hard, and then you learn Alberto has been offered $500,000 for his story. How did Alberto Alvarez go from a story that's worth $9,000 to a story worth half a million dollars?" Chernoff asked. "His story became monumentally more compelling."

Chernoff further tried to discount Alvarez by saying that his fingerprints were never found on the saline bag that he allegedly stashed and that the list of actions he claimed he performed -- including getting Jackson's children out of the room and following Murray's orders to stash the objects -- would have had to been done in about 30 seconds, according to phone records.

"He said, 'I'm efficient.' It's not efficient," Chernoff said. "It's impossible, because he didn't tell the truth."

When prosecutor Walgren got the chance to rebut the defense assertions, he said, "Alberto Alvarez has no position in this case. This has been nothing but a nightmare for him. He told you the truth."

Walgren added that the fact that Alvarez's fingerprints were not on the saline bag does not discount his testimony. He told jurors that fingerprints are not often found -- pointing out that Jackson's fingerprints were not found on the syringe that the defense alleged he used to self-administer the fatal dose of propofol.

Chernoff said Murray was "painted as a villain for everything he does" by the prosecution.

"They want you to convict Dr. Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson," he said. "They just won't tell you that."

"His greatest personality defect is his greatest character strength: He got brought into this situation because he thought he could help," Chernoff said. "He was wrong -- because Dr. Murray had no control over this situation. He was just a little fish in a big, dirty pond."

Chernoff argued that Murray truly cared about his patients, as shown by former patients who served as character witnesses, and painted Murray as a caring, devoted doctor.

When prosecutor Walgren took the stage once more for his rebuttal and the final word in the trial, he voiced scorn for the defense's accusations.

"Poor Conrad Murray. Everyone is just working against him," Walgren said.

He accused the defense of trying to place blame for Jackson's death on everyone and anyone except for Murray.

"If allowed more time, I'm sure they would find a way to blame it on Michael's son, Prince," Walgren said. "Everyone is to blame but Conrad Murray."

Walgren ended his rebuttal by saying to the jurors, "I trust and I ask that you return with the only right verdict in this case, and the only just verdict in this case. I ask that you return with a verdict of guilty for involuntary manslaughter based on Conrad Murray's actions and his actions alone."

Earlier Thursday, Walgren delivered a passionate argument and told the court that Jackson's children were left crying in despair and will grow up without their father because of Murray's "gross criminal negligence."

"For them, this case doesn't end today or tomorrow or the next day," he said. "For Michael's children, this case will go on forever because they do not have a father. They do not have a father because of the actions of Conrad Murray."

Throughout the presentation, Murray fixed his gaze on the presentation projected on a wall opposite the jury and rarely looked away.

Jackson's children were in the house on June 25, 2009, when Jackson died from a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol. As Murray sought help from house staff in Jackson's bedroom, his panicked children were ushered out by a nanny so as not to witness what was happening.

Walgren argued Jackson put great trust in his doctor and said Murray betrayed the relationship of doctor and patient by allowing it to become a relationship between employee and employer.

Walgren argued that Jackson was dedicated to the preparations for his "This Is It" tour, which was slated to occur in London and consisted of 50 shows with a hope for more.

Murray was hired to be Jackson's personal physician for the tour with the main objective of putting Jackson to sleep. He expected to be paid $150,000 a month for at least 10 months, according to a contract Walgren showed in his presentation.

Murray claimed he was trying to wean Jackson off propofol as a sleep aid, and that Jackson's insomnia was exacerbated by an alleged addiction to the painkiller Demerol.

Prosecutors argued that Murray acted recklessly by giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid at Jackson's home without back-up equipment, then botched CPR efforts, did not immediately call 911 and did not keep proper medical records.

Judge Michael Pastor told the five women and seven men on the jury Thursday that in order to acquit Murray of involuntary manslaughter, they must find that Jackson's death was caused by an accident and not reckless behavior.

For the jurors to find Murray guilty, they must unanimously determine that he committed a lawful act with criminal negligence or failed to perform a legal duty with criminal negligence.

If convicted, Murray faces as much as four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.

Over the six weeks of the trial, jurors listened to 49 witnesses over 22 days of testimony. Murray did not testify. Back in the jury room, jurors will have more than 300 exhibits to look over.

The pop star's famous family made regular appearances in court and sat in the gallery, including parents Joe and Katherine Jackson and siblings Janet, Randy, LaToya, Jermaine and Rebbie.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov032011

Prosecutor: Conrad Murray's Selfishness Killed Michael Jackson

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Michael Jackson's children were left crying in despair and will grow up without their father because of the "gross criminal negligence" of his doctor, a prosecutor charged Thursday in his closing argument in Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial.

Prosecutor David Walgren argued his case with a PowerPoint presentation in which he denounced Murray as a selfish and reckless physician who put his own needs ahead of Jackson's and Jackson's children.

"The evidence in this case is overwhelmingly, abundantly clear that Conrad Murray acted with criminal negligence, that Conrad Murray caused the death of Michael Jackson, that Conrad Murray left Prince, Paris and Blanket without a father," Walgren said.

"For them, this case doesn't end today or tomorrow or the next day," he said. "For Michael's children, this case will go on forever because they do not have a father. They do not have a father because of the actions of Conrad Murray."

"Michael Jackson trusted Conrad Murray. He trusted him with his life," Walgren said. "He trusted him with his own individual life and the future lives of his children, trusting that Conrad Murray, as he slept, would care for him so that in the morning he would awake to share a meal with his children."

"But Conrad Murray corrupted that relationship, and for that Michael Jackson paid with his life," he said.

Jackson's children were in the house on June 25, 2009 when Jackson died from a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol.

Walgren described Jackson's great trust in his doctor and said that Murray betrayed the relationship of doctor and patient by allowing it to become a relationship between employee and employer.

"This relationship of trust that is so important between a doctor and a patient was grossly corrupted by the actions of Conrad Murray," Walgren said. "Conrad Murray marched forward, putting Conrad Murray first, not Michael Jackson first."

Earlier Thursday, court began with Judge Michael Pastor telling the five women and seven men on the jury that in order to acquit Murray of involuntary manslaughter, they must find that Jackson's death was due to an accident and not due to reckless behavior.

For the jurors to find Murray guilty, they must determine that he committed a lawful act with criminal negligence or failed to perform a legal duty with criminal negligence.

Criminal negligence involved acting in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or serious injury or acting in a way that a reasonable person would not.

"You may not find him guilty of involuntary manslaughter unless you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, he failed to perform a legal duty," Pastor said.

Murray claims he was trying to wean Jackson off propofol as a sleep aid, and that his insomnia was exacerbated by Jackson's alleged addiction to the painkiller Demerol.

At the time of his death, Jackson was preparing for his "This is It" world tour, and exhaustion from that preparation also allegedly contributed to his insomnia.

Prosecutors argue that Murray acted recklessly by giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid at Jackson's home without back-up equipment, then botched CPR efforts, did not immediately call 911 and did not keep proper medical records.

The defense team contends that Jackson was responsible for his own death and gave himself the fatal dose of propofol when Murray left his bedroom.

If convicted, Murray faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov022011

Report: Conrad Murray Filming and Shopping Documentary

David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Conrad Murray is still in the midst of an involuntary manslaughter trial in the death of Michael Jackson, but that reportedly hasn’t stopped the doctor from quietly filming a documentary that’s being offered to major TV networks, the New York Post reports.

Sources tell the newspaper Murray has sold the rights “to his story” to an unidentified production company that has been filming him as the trial progresses.  The source says the company is now shopping the documentary around to various TV networks for $1 million as part of a package deal that would also include a video diary and a sit-down interview with Murray.  It’s not known how much money Murray would get from any deal.

The source tells the Post, “A news division that pays for the documentary will end up with a side deal of getting the sit-down with Conrad.  It’s crafted in such a way for a news division that doesn’t pay for interviews.”

The report says the production company has already filmed a long interview with Murray in case he is found guilty and taken immediately into custody.

The Post says a CNN rep confirmed they were pitched the Murray package but passed on it.  Other sources tell the newspaper NBC is close to making a deal.  A spokesman for Murray's legal team declined to comment on the story.

Murray faces up to four years in prison if found guilty of giving Jackson a fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol prior to the singer's death in 2009.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov012011

Conrad Murray Will Not Testify in Michael Jackson Case; Defense Rests

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's personal physician at the time of his death, will not testify at his manslaughter trial, ABC News has confirmed.

Initially, it was unknown if Murray would take the stand, but the decision has just been made and the defense has rested.  The prosecutors will now examine the case and decide if they'll call rebuttal witnesses.

Murray is accused of giving Jackson a fatal dose of propofol.  He's pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov012011

Will Dr. Conrad Murray Take the Stand at Michael Jackson Death Trial?

Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- With the end of his involuntary manslaughter trial almost at hand, Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, may yet take the stand in his own defense.

After Murray’s lawyers told the court they expect to conclude the evidence phase of the trial Tuesday, Judge Michael Pastor again advised Murray of his right to testify.

He responded, “I understand,” and affirmed he realized that should he testify, he would be subject to cross examination by the prosecutors.

“I have not yet made this decision,” Murray said.

When asked why not, Murray said he was still “waiting to see how the case goes.”

Pastor said he will give Murray until Tuesday to decide.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct312011

Star Witness for Michael Jackson's Doctor Fined for Contempt of Court

Paul Buck-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The key defense witness in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor was held in contempt of court Monday during a tense cross-examination.

Propofol expert and anesthesiologist Dr. Paul White was fined $1,000 for violating the judge's order that he respond directly to questions during the prosecution's cross-examination.

White was fined for referring to information he learned from Dr. Conrad Murray outside of the evidence presented in court. This is not allowed because it is seen as providing Murray a way to testify without being cross-examined.

In a combative exchange, the defense's star witness evaded questions, but was continually pressed by prosecutor David Walgren.

White, who is being paid by Murray's defense team, was forced to admit that Murray should have called 911 sooner, should never have left Jackson alone while treating him with the powerful drug, and that he would never give a patient an inappropriate drug no matter how much he or she wanted it.

White had previously testified that he believes Jackson gave himself a fatal injection of the drug while Murray was out of the room.

The questioning began with a tense back-and-forth during which White admitted it was not normal practice to administer propofol to a patient in a bedroom, like Murray was doing for Jackson to allegedly help him with his insomnia.

When Murray discovered something was wrong with Jackson on June 25, 2009, the day of his death, he made two calls to cellphones before calling 911. When asked if he could justify Murray's "inability to call 911," White said he could not.

"I think he should have called 911 earlier, but I do not think that would have made any difference in the outcome of this case," White said.

White conceded to Walgren, "I would have done things differently. I would have called for help, initiated cardio-pulmonary resuscitation immediately."

When confronted with questions about why Murray did not immediately tell EMS responders that Jackson had been given propofol, White said that in a moment of stress, Murray may have forgotten.

Walgren pointed out that even if Murray had initially forgotten, he had an ambulance ride to the hospital to "ponder" what was happening. At the hospital, however, Murray did not tell emergency room doctors that Jackson had been given propofol.

Walgren said that while it is a possibility that Murray "overlooked" the fact, he asked White if it could also be a possiblity that he lied.

"It's an option, yes," White conceded.

White said that he has so far received a check for $11,000 for his time in court. He said that his usual rate for every day spent in court is about $3,500. He has been in court around 12 days, as both a spectator and as a witness, but said he would not be charging the defense this amount for the days he has been in court.

White is the last witness for Murray, who the prosecution blames for Jackson's death by giving him too much propofol and not properly monitoring Jackson while administering propofol.

The defense team contends that Murray was trying to wean Jackson off of propofol. They allege Jackson wanted propofol because he was suffering from insomnia brought on by withdrawal from the painkiller Demerol.

At the time of his death, Jackson was preparing for his This is It world tour, and exhaustion from that preparation also allegedly contributed to his insomnia.

Though it was originally believed that the case would be handed over to the jury for deliberations this week, ABC News has learned from sources close to the case that the trial may not go to the jury until next week.

Following White's cross-examination, there will likely be two days of rebuttal witnesses and then the judge has agreed to send the jury home to let prosecutors and defense prepare for closing arguments, which could push closing arguments to Monday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct282011

Propofol Expert Claims Michael Jackson Gave Himself Fatal Injection

David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The final defense witness in the manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor was an expert in the anesthetic propofol who told the court Friday that he believes the pop star gave himself a fatal injection of the drug.

Dr. Paul White also said he saw no evidence of the prosecution's theory that Jackson died from an overdose of propofol administered through an IV drip that was set up by Dr. Conrad Murray.

But he also said that Murray should not have left the room with Jackson under the influence of propofol.

White was the last witness for Murray, who the prosecution blames for Jackson's death by giving him too much propofol and not properly monitoring Jackson while administering propofol.

The defense team contends that Murray was trying to wean Jackson off of propofol. They allege Jackson wanted propofol because he was suffering from insomnia brought on by withdrawal from the painkiller Demerol.

At the time of his death, Jackson was preparing for his "This is It" world tour, and exhaustion from that preparation also allegedly contributed to his insomnia.

White is not through testifying, though. He is expected to be called back to the stand and aggressively cross examined by prosecutors when the trial resumes Monday morning.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating on Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct282011

Addiction Expert Testifies at Conrad Murray Trial 

Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Thursday at Conrad Murray's trial in Los Angeles, an addiction expert who said he studied the records of Michael Jackson's dermatologist testified that the singer appeared to be hooked on the painkiller Demerol.

Speaking in general terms about patients who've sought treatment from him, Dr. Robert Waldman said, "Most persons who have addiction and are not in denial about it have tried themselves to discontinue and...have met failure." But during a contentious cross-examination by the prosecution, he acknowledged that he would not likely diagnose a patient like Michael based solely on the medical records he examined in this case.

Later in the day, the defense team's final witness, propofol expert Dr. Paul White, said he could not justify Murray hooking Michael up to an IV drip of the powerful anesthetic and leaving the room -- an accusation that Murray is facing. White said if Murray accurately described to police the amount of propofol he gave Michael, White would not have expected the singer to have died.

The prosecution is not expected to cross-examine White until Monday because it needs time to study a computer program White used to review the case.

Murray is accused of giving Michael a fatal dose of propofol prior to the singer's death. He's pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio