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Entries in Michael Jackson (137)

Thursday
Oct272011

More Details Emerge of Michael Jackson's Life

Kevin Mazur/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- The final witness in the manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor is scheduled to take the stand Thursday in the four week long trial that has shed as much light on Jackson's odd and often secretive life as it did on his untimely death.

In the last days of the trial, Jackson was heard complaining about his wandering life that had taken him from his Neverland Ranch to Bahrain, France and back to a series of homes in California.

He told Brandon "Randy" Phillips, CEO of AEG Live and the promoter for Jackson's "This Is It" tour, that he was tired of making his three children live like "vagabonds."

Jackson, who was preparing for a 31-show concert tour, was approached by Phillips about extending the tour to 50 shows, Phillips told the jury.

The king of pop quickly replied that he would consider the expanded schedule under a couple of conditions. One of those conditions was that he be provided with an estate outside of London with 16-plus acres, running streams, and horses, Phillips said.

"The primary reason was that he wanted to finally settle down and get a really, really good home for the kids so they weren't living like vagabonds. He was tired of living like that," Phillips said.

One thing that didn't change about the flamboyant Jackson was his desire to be recognized. His other condition was to have the Guinness Book of Records be present at his 50th concert, "because he knew this was a feat that no performer would ever be able to beat," the AEG executive said.

Earlier in the trial, other revelations emerged ranging from how Jackson slept with a urinary catheter each night to his use of oxygen tanks, skin-bleaching creams, his use of aliases and his refusal to use telephones.

It remains to be seen, however, whether the defense testimony shored up Dr. Conrad Murray's claim that Jackson was responsible for his own death by allegedly giving himself a dose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol while Murray was out of the room on June 25, 2009.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct272011

Conrad Murray's Former Patients Testify He Is a Good Doctor

Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Conrad Murray was emotional at his involuntary manslaughter trial in Los Angeles Wednesday, dabbing his eyes as former patients of his testified that he was a caring doctor.

The patients' statements were part of the defense team's strategy to paint Michael Jackson's doctor as a quality cardiologist unmotivated by money.

One of the patients, Gerry Causey, said Murray treated him for a heart attack 11 years ago and that they are close friends.  He said he was drawn to Murray because of "the way he cares for you and the way he makes you feel, his concern and the love he has for you."

Another patient, Andrew Guest, said he agreed to talk to the media about Murray because he wanted to show his support for the doctor.

Guest said, "I appreciate his kindness, his caring and I'm alive today because of that man."

Murray is accused of giving Jackson a fatal dose of propofol prior to the singer's death.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct262011

Nurse, Concert Promoter Testify at Conrad Murray's Trial

Dr. Conrad Murray pictured on right. David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Michael Jackson's holistic nurse testified Tuesday at Conrad Murray's manslaughter trial in Los Angeles; the caregiver claims the singer asked for the powerful anesthetic propofol two months before he died in June of 2009.

Cherilyn Lee said she warned him that the drug was too dangerous to use at home, but he countered that it would be safe if a doctor monitored him while he slept.

Randy Phillips, an executive with concert promoter AEG, which organized Michael's planned This Is It concerts in London, also took the stand Tuesday.  He said Jackson had requested a London estate where he could stay, with running streams and horses.  Phillips said the King of Pop also asked for the services of Murray, whom Phillips said Jackson had "great trust in."

Phillips said there were concerns over Jackson's health in the weeks before he died, but Murray assured him the entertainer would be fine.

Murray, who's accused of giving Jackson a fatal dose of propofol prior to the singer's death, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct262011

Michael Jackson Tops 'Forbes' List of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities

Kevin Mazur/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Two years after his death, Michael Jackson is still a moneymaker.

The singer ranks first in the latest edition of Forbes magazine's list of the top-earning dead celebrities. The King of Pop's estate raked in $170 million over the past 12 months, in part from music sales.

Jackson also topped the list last year after earning $275 million during a one-year period beginning October 2009.  He died in June of 2009.

Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe rank second and third, respectively, on this year's list.  Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away in March, is tied for fifth with former Beatle John Lennon.

Here is Forbes' list of the top-earning dead celebrities:

1. Michael Jackson, $170 million.
2. Elvis Presley, $55 million.
3. Marilyn Monroe, $27 million.
4. Charles Schulz, Peanuts creator, $25 million.
5T. John Lennon, $12 million.
5T. Elizabeth Taylor, $12 million.
7. Albert Einstein, $10 million.
8. Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, $9 million.
9T. Jimi Hendrix, $7 million.
9T. Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo author, $7 million.
9T. Steve McQueen, $7 million.
9T. Richard Rodgers, songwriter, $7 million.
13T. George Harrison, $6 million.
13T. Bettie Page, $6 million.
13T. Andy Warhol, $6 million.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct242011

Defense Strategy for Michael Jackson Doctor Conrad Murray

Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray will present 16 witnesses and a three-pronged defense of Michael Jackson’s former personal doctor this week, as they begin their defense Monday in Murray’s manslaughter trial.

Jackson died two years ago from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol. Murray has admitted to giving the singer the anesthesia June 25, 2009, and said the singer begged for his “milk,” the nickname he’d given for the creamy drug usually used to sedate patients for surgery.

The doctor could face four years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

The defense is expected to start its own case Monday with two police detective witnesses and the promoter of Jackson’s This Is It tour, Randy Phillips. They are expected to call 16 witnesses in all this week, including an expert in anesthesia, Dr. Paul White, their star witness.

Attorneys say they have to prove three things during their testimony: that propofol can be used safely as a sleep aid, that Murray did not have to immediately call 911 because he was busy tending to Jackson, and that Jackson was such an experienced drug user, he could have administered the propofol by himself.

For the latter point, lawyers will have to disprove prosecution witness testimony and convince jurors that the groggy Michael Jackson could have grabbed and swallowed a fatal dose of sedatives, or released the clamp on the propofol IV to self-administer a fatal dose of propofol. His fingerprints were reportedly nowhere to be found on the drug vials or the related paraphernalia, the prosecution's witnesses have testified.

Defense lawyers will also have to prove that Murray’s time was better spent trying to help Jackson in the moments after the doctor discovered him unconscious rather than calling 911 and waiting for emergency responders.

Testimony for the defense is expected to last all week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct222011

Conrad Murray Defense Attacks Witness' Theory on Michael Jackson's Death

David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Dr. Conrad Murray's defense Friday attacked a key prosecution witness' scenario on how Murray could have been responsible for the death of singer Michael Jackson.

But in a sidebar session, it was a prospective witness for Murray's defense who was under attack. The witness was excoriated by Judge Michael Pastor for apparently denouncing either a prosecution witness or a prosecutor as a "scumbag" within earshot of reporters -- an act that could be in contempt of court.

The prosecution witness, Dr. Steven Shafer, an anesthesiologist affiliated with Columbia University, has testified in recent days that Murray most likely hooked up Jackson to an IV drip containing the anesthetic propofol and then left the singer unattended.

Shafer added Friday that even if Jackson was able to start the IV drip on his own, Murray would still be responsible for the death.

"If Michael Jackson had reached up, seeing the roller clamp, and opened [it] himself, this is a foreseeable consequence of setting up a dangerous way of giving drug [and] is in no way exculpatory for the fact that Dr. Murray was not present and permitted this to happen," Shafer said.

But then the defense took its shots, questioning whether Shafer was using medical knowledge or actually doing investigative work beyond his expertise when he came up with his theory on Jackson's death.

"Everything you said in the last two days was your opinion," defense attorney Ed Chernoff told Shafer at one point. "You do understand that, right? Do you understand that?"

Shafer's theory relied on Murray using a vented IV -- which would let air into the propofol bottle, allowing it to drip.

However, Chernoff noted, there was no such vented IV line found in the bedroom where Jackson was discovered unconscious.

As Shafer demonstrated Thursday how Murray could have administered propofol to Jackson, E! reported, Murray could be heard whispering loudly to the possible witness, Dr. Paul White, "Can you believe that?" At which point, according to E!, White turned to journalists and said, "What a scumbag."

It was unclear whether White was referring to Shafer or prosecutor David Walgren.

On Friday, outside of the presence of jurors, Judge Pastor set a Nov. 16 hearing to determine whether White should be held in contempt of court.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct212011

Does Photo Prove Michael Jackson Could Not Have Injected Himself?

ABC News Exclusive(LOS ANGELES) -- A photo of Michael Jackson obtained exclusively by ABC News may help illustrate that the late pop singer could not have injected himself with that fatal dose of propofol.

Taken by Jackson’s business associates in 2003, the photo vividly demonstrates the reaction Jackson had to multiple needle punctures, making it difficult for doctors to find a suitable vein for medical injections.

“Michael Jackson did not have good veins, in fact they were so poor he had to start this IV in a vein below the left knee,” Dr. Steven Shafer, the prosecution’s star witness, testified Thursday. “So the possibility of direct self injection seems extremely unlikely … You would not want to inject into a vein and miss because that would be extremely painful.”

In court Thursday, the prosecution hammered away at the defense’s contention that Jackson killed himself by self-injecting propofol, pointing to a medical condition they said made self-injection nearly impossible. The relentless attack was apparently designed to prove that Dr. Conrad Murray lied to police about how much propofol he gave the sleep-deprived singer.

A visibly-angry Murray sat and listened to the prosecution’s expert witness for the third straight court day.

Shafer also emphasized one of the prosecution themes: even if the jury believes the defense’s claim that it was Jackson who desperately grabbed and injected propofol into his own body, Murray is still at fault.

“He is a physician who has brought propofol into the room, started an intravenous, and provided access to propofol to a patient who may, in fact, be developing a dependency on sedatives,” Shafer said. “And, he has been entrusted by Michael Jackson to look after his safety every night. He is responsible for every drop of propofol in that room.”

The defense cross examined Shafer Friday and is expected to begin its case Monday.


ABC News Exclusive
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct202011

Conrad Murray Trial: Propofol Not Fatal When Taken Orally, Expert Says

Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- An expert on the anesthetic that killed Michael Jackson testified Thursday that ingesting propofol orally is not fatal.

The prosecution’s final witness, Dr. Steven Shafer from Columbia University, testified that he personally conducted a clinical study that demonstrated that propofol is not absorbed through the stomach and that it is ineffective as an anesthetic when taken orally.

Shafer said it is not fatal when ingested through the mouth as the liver and stomach lining filters the potency from the drug.

The prosecution hammered away at the defense’s contention that Jackson killed himself by self-injecting propofol.

Assistant District Attorney David Walgren asked Shafer, “There was zero possibility this was the cause of Michael Jackson’s death?”

“Correct” answered Shafer.

Shafer said the only workable scenario he can work out that explains how Jackson died is that he was on an IV drip of propofol and did not separately inject himself with the drug.

Earlier, Shafer testified that given the condition of Michael Jackson’s veins and that he was already sedated by Murray, it would be highly be unlikely the singer could wake up and Murray could somehow find a useable vein.

“It is very clearly explained in Dr. Murray’s interview that Michael Jackson did not have good veins, in fact they were so poor he had to start this IV in a vein below the left knee.” Shafer said. “So the possibility of direct self-injection seems extremely unlikely...you would not want to inject into a vein and miss because that would be extremely painful.”

Intense cross-examination of Shafer by the defense could last well into Friday and the defense is expected to present its case.

The defense’s plan includes presenting 15 witnesses to testify on Murray’s character and his side of the medical case.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Wednesday
Oct192011

Michael Jackson Trial: Doctor ‘Not Equipped to Revive Him,’ Expert Says

David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A nationally known anesthesiologist testified Wednesday that singer Michael Jackson died because he stopped breathing and his doctor was not equipped to revive him.

“The single most important thing in anesthesia is moving air and oxygen into the lungs,” said Dr. Stephen Shafer of Columbia University in New York.

Shafer was the last witness for the prosecution in the Conrad Murray involuntary manslaughter case in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Shafer testified without charging his normal fee because he said the public needed to know that propofol is only deadly if misused in an improper setting.

“Everyday in the operating room, I get the question, 'Am I going to get the drug that killed Michael Jackson?' This is not a fear they need to have,” said Shafer. ”When these drugs are given by people who know what they’re doing, they have nothing to fear.”

The jury was shown a video entitled ”An Overview of Safe Administration of Propofol,” which demonstrated the elaborate equipment and personnel used when the anesthetic propofol is administered for surgery.

The demonstration showed how a propofol injection pump is set up and used safely in an operating room setting.

Shafer highlighted how a proper anesthesiologist prepares for propofol use: by having many emergency medical devices on hand, an extensive informed consent process, and copious medical note-taking.

The video featured examples of what happens when things go wrong in surgery -- and how those emergencies are dealt with.

If a patient stops breathing, the anesthesiologist tilts the head to open the airway.

If the cessation of breathing is prolonged, then a mask is put on the patient’s face and air is forced into the lungs.

If the patient goes into cardiac arrest, Shafer said the first thing that an anesthesiologist does is “call for help!” “You’re gonna need it,” Dr. Shafer explained, “and you’re gonna need it now.”

Conrad Murray has been described by prosecutors as criminally, grossly negligent because he administered the dangerous anesthetic without proper equipment and backup personnel and did not immediately call 911.

Instead Murray launched into what prosecutors say was inappropriate and ineffective CPR.

Shafer testified that the amount of propofol Murray ordered to treat his one and only patient at the patient’s home was “an extraordinary amount” -- 15.5 liters, or 4.09 gallons.

If convicted, Murray could face four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the singer’s death.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct192011

Conrad Murray Trial Resumes Wednesday with Final Prosecution Witness

Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- After a delay of a couple of days, Conrad Murray's trial resumes Wednesday in Los Angeles with testimony from propofol expert Dr. Steven Shafer.

Shafer is the prosecution's final witness, and he will wrap up his testimony either Wednesday or Thursday.

The defense will begin its case Friday, saying it will call a total of 15 witnesses before resting its case next Wednesday.

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

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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