Prosecutors told jurors Tuesday that Michael Jackson was killed by the actions of his personal physician, who used a dangerous anesthetic without adequate safeguards and botched recovery efforts when he found the singer unconscious.
Nothing Dr. Conrad Murray could have done would have saved the King of Pop, defence attorney Ed Chernoff told the panel, because Jackson was desperate to regain his fame and needed rest to prepare for a series of crucial comeback concerts.
He showed a photo of a lifeless Jackson on a hospital gurney, and played a recording of Jackson speaking to Murray while the prosecutor said he was under the influence of an unknown substance roughly six weeks before his death.
“We have to be phenomenal,” Jackson is heard telling Murray. “When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, ‘I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go. I’ve never seen nothing like this. Go. It’s amazing. He’s the greatest entertainer in the world.”
He claimed the singer swallowed several pills of the sedative lorazepam on the morning of his death and that was enough to put six people to sleep. He also said Jackson self-ingested propofol, and it killed him instantly.
In his opening remarks, Walgren said Murray was grossly negligent by providing Jackson propofol. The prosecutor said while working for Jackson, the doctor was shipped more than four gallons of the anesthetic, which is normally given in hospital settings.
The doctor had initially requested $5 million to work for the singer for a year, but accepted the lower rate of $150,000 U.S. a month, Walgren said. His contract to be Jackson’s personal physician was never signed and he was never paid.
He told jurors that Murray deceived paramedics and emergency room doctors by not telling them he had been giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid. He also called the doctor inept and said he repeatedly deviated from the standard of care by leaving the singer alone while under sedation and not immediately calling 911 when he found the singer was unconscious.
Chernoff told jurors it was not their job to determine whether Murray was a good doctor. He said Murray and Jackson were actually friends, and Murray was trying to wean Jackson off of propofol. Jackson, however, took a lethal dose before he died, the lawyer said.