Murray Trial Day 1 - September 27 , 2011
Hearing started approximately 30 minutes late. Judge Pastor explained the reason as traffic and problem with the elevators. Trial started with Judge Pastor explaining jurors the process, breaks , taking notes and what is an opening statement.
Prosecution Opening Statement
DA Walgren started his opening statement. He used a presentation to accompany the points he’s making. In the presentation he showed a picture of Michael lying in a gurney - most probably taken at the hospital after revival attempts.
DA Walgren “Evidence will show that Michael Jackson literally put his life in the hands of Conrad Murray. Michael Jackson trusted his life to medical skills of Conrad Murray. That misplaced trust was a too high of a price to pay.” DA Walgren states that Dr. Murray’s actions led to MJ’s death.
DA Walgren explains what Michael was doing in months before his death. Walgren mentions that Michael was getting ready for his comeback tour TII, mentions rehearsals and that Michael was living in 100 N Carolwood with his children.
Walgren mentions that Michael and Dr. Murray met in 2006 in Vegas and maintained contact. At the time Michael Jackson died, Dr. Conrad Murray was not board-certified in any medical specialty. In March 2009 Michael asked Dr. Murray to accompany him on tour. Murray agreed and requested to be paid $5 Million a year. They offered him $150,000 a month. Murray's duties included to perform general medical care, emergency medical care. He would have received $150,000 , airfare to UK and housing. He would have been hired as an independent contractor. At the time Michael died the contract was not signed by Michael or AEG.
DA Walgren explains Propofol to the jurors. Walgren tells that it's not a sleep agent , it's anesthesia. Walgren goes over good and bad qualities of Propofol and tells the dangers. DA Walgren mentions Murray lied to pharmacists Tim Lopez and told him that he had a clinic and patients in California. Walgren starts listing Murray's Propofol orders and how they were sent to Murray's girlfriend Nicole Alvarez's house.
DA Walgren plays a part of an audio Murray recorded on is iPhone on May 10. Walgren mentions that Murray was recording Michael who was under influence of a unknown drug. Walgren states that this shows that the Murray knew the effect of his treatment on Michael, yet continued to order Propofol.
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The recording said:
“We have to be phenomenal. When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen anything 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. I’m taking that money, a million children, children’s hospital, the biggest in the world, Michael Jackson’s Children’s Hospital.”
Between April 6, 2009, and the time of Michael Jackson's death on June 25, Dr. Conrad Murray ordered enough propofol to give Jackson 1,937 milligrams a day, prosecutor David Walgren told jurors in his opening statement.
June 19, 2009. Michael was not in good shape. He had chills, he was rambling and trembling. Kenny Ortega put a blanket on him, massaged his feet, fed him chicken and then made him go home early.
June 20, 2009. There was a meeting about Michael's health. DA Walgren says that Dr. Murray scolded Kenny Ortega. " I'm the doctor not you. You direct the show leave MJ's health to me."
June 23, June 24, 2009. Michael had good rehearsals. He's fine, strong and optimistic.
June 25, 2009. Michael comes home around 1 AM. DA Walgren shows pictures of the house, layout, inside the rooms.
DA Walgren shows a list of Murray's phone calls and emails. Walgren mentions the 11:51 phone call with Sade Anding and tells that 5 minutes into the phone call that Sade Anding heard a commotion and Murray stopped talking to her. DA Walgren says for 11:56 - 11:57 AM ""This is likely the time Conrad Murray first noticed Michael Jackson's lifeless body".
Walgren says that Dr. Murray called Michael Amir Williams (MAW) at 12:12PM. MAW returned Murray's call at 12:13 PM. Dr. Murray told him to come to house, he didn't ask him to call 911. MAW called Alberto Alvarez and told him to go into the house. When Alberto came into the room Murray told him to collect the vials and saline bag on the IV. 911 was called at 12:20 PM.
Paramedics arrived at 12:26 PM, they tried their best but Michael was gone. Paramedics asked Murray what he gave to Michael. Murray said Lorazepam and he didn't mention Propofol. Paramedics was on call with UCLA and UCLA wanted to announce Michael death on the scene. Murray wanted Michael to be transferred to UCLA. When they arrived UCLA doctors asked Murray what Michael was taking and what he gave to Michael. Murray told the doctors that Michael was taking Valium and Flomax and he gave Michael Lorazepam. Again Murray does not mention Propofol to the doctors. Michael is announced dead at 2:26 PM at UCLA.
2 days after Michael's death LAPD interviews Murray. At that time the tox results wasn't back and there was no visible trauma so the detectives did not know the reason of Michael's death. This is the first time that Murray mentions Propofol and tells his version of the events.
According to Murray all the drugs he gave to Michael did not work. At 10 AM Michael tells Murray that he would cancel the rehearsal and he wouldn't need to get up at 12:00PM. After that Murray decided to give Michael Propofol. Murray claims he gave Michael 25 mg of Propofol. When Michael was lying in bed with all the drugs in his system Murray emails the insurance broker saying that Michael is fine.
Walgreen discusses issue of standard of care. DA Walgren explains gross negligence to the jurors and gives examples of Murray's actions that account to gross negligence. These are
- No written standard of care / risks / consent form
- Not calling 911 (especially when calling 911 is basic common sense)
- Employee / employer relationship and Murray not working for the best interest of Michael but working for $150,000. He did not use sound medical judgement.
- Deceived paramedics by not disclosing Propofol
- Deceived emergency room doctors by not disclosing Propofol
Murray had legal duty of care to do no harm to Michael Jackson. Murray with his eyes on $150K agreed to provide him massive aounts of propofol with complete disregard to all medical standards. Murray abandoned Michael on June 25. Filled with drugs, no monitoring equipment, no resuscitation equipment, left him all alone. It's clear that Murray abandoned Michael when he needed help.
Pictures shown during the Prosecution Opening Statement
Saline Bag and Propofol bottle that Murray asked Alvarez to collect
Murray Defense Opening Statement
- Chernoff argues that Michael was frustrated and desperate to sleep and took 8 2 mg Lorazepam pills without Murray’s knowledge. It was an act that caused his own death.
- Chernoff believes that scientific evidence will show that Michael administered Propofol when Murray left the room and with the Lorazepam in his body it created the perfect storm and killed him instantly. He couldn’t even close his eyes.
- When Murray found Michael, there was no way to bring him back.
- 2 questions
o How did Michael get to this (desperate) point?
o What happened when Dr. Murray was out of the room?
- TII would be creating history. It would be a world tour and movies. Michael would earn a lot of money. It was dependent on Michael doing TII shows but he was never able to do this shows. He had a problem that would not be resolved by any determination or talent. He knew he needed help and he went looking for help in Spring 2009.
- Summer 08 initial negotiations of TII. October 08 meeting. Michael cried at that meeting said he was tired of being a vagabond. January 09 signing the contract. Michael was afraid he wouldn't sell the tickets. It sold quickly. Increase the shows to 50 on 2 conditions: 1 - house for him and his children and 2- Guinness world book of records would be there to record. 50 year old man 50 shows in one arena over 1 million people. This was it for him. He named the tour himself.
- Murray is not a celebrity doctor. He has 2 practices, he performs angioplasty surgeries. Those require anesthesia. He saves lives. They will bring patients of Murray to testify. Chernoff states that Murray is not greedy and provides service for free.
- One of MJ's bodyguards knew Murray; he was called to the hotels to look after his children were sick. They would become friends first. Michael would tell him about his childhood, dreams etc. From 2006 to 2008 Murray treated Michael for things like toe fungus, broken foot, checked his heart, his liver. Michael told Murray twice he had anxiety and problems with sleeping. Murray prescribed him sleep medicine but it wasn't effective for Michael.
- Michael didn't have insomnia. Michael Jackson had an absolute and through inability to sleep, not for minutes, hours. It was for days.
- June 27 meeting with the police. Defense only selected the location. 9 of the other witnesses also had lawyers. Detective Smith had already spoken to everyone before he spoke to Murray. There was no limitations in regards to questions or time. He answered every question. In that interview Murray said he said to the detectives he didn't know what killed Michael Jackson and he wanted to know as well.
- In this interview Dr. Murray told detectives about Michael's sleep problems. Michael Jackson told Murray he had inability to sleep and he could only sleep on Propofol and he always slept on Propofol when he was touring. Michael Jackson explained how to give Propofol. Murray told detectives he agreed to give Michael propofol to help him sleep. He said that he was concerned that Michael would use Propofol without him.
- Murray provided Michael Propofol for 2 months. For 2 months Michael slept, woke up and went to work. Chernoff states that Michael Jacksondies when Murray stopped giving Michael Propofol.
- Murray told detectives his goal was to find a way for Michael to sleep normally. He says that he said to Michael he can't continue using Propofol, what would happen once his tour over and let him try other sedatives - something else to sleep.
- Midazolam and Lorazepam was ordered as well as Murray hoped to switch Michael to those sedatives.
- The day Michael died was 3rd day of wean process from Propofol. On that day the goal was not to give Michael any Propofol, Murray refused to give Propofol and gave Michael Midazolam and Lorazepam.
- 10 AM Michael started to begging for Propofol. Murray was confused and couldn't understand why Michael wasn't able to sleep as he slept last night. Murray checked under the covers to make sure the medicine he was giving was reaching to Michael's system.
- Michael compartmentalized his life. Different people in his life didn't know much about other parts of his life. Murray didn't know what Michael did during the day.
- Klein dermatologist. Michael would visit Klein 3-4 times a week. From medical records he would get Botox etc, and he would receive a shot of Demerol ranging from 100 mg to 300 mg. Sometimes 1000 mg of a week.
- They would present a witness about addiction. This witness will say that Klein addicted Michael to Demerol and one effect of Demerol addiction or withdrawal is inability to sleep.
- Murray didn't know about Demerol.
- Michael received a shot of Demerol on 16th june, attended a rehearsal same day. Attended a rehearsal on June 17th. Missed the June 18th rehearsal and was sick on June 19. Defense expert will explain that he believes this to be Demerol withdrawal.
- Michael told the result for his insomnia was he was always thinking, creating.
- Murray told investigators that he knew Michael had to be up at 12 PM and that's why he only gave 25 mg Propofol to Michael around 10 AM. He knew that Michael had Midazolam and Lorazepam in his system. Michael told Murray he needed sleep and he need to do his rehearsal or they would cancel his show. There had been 3 meetings so Murray knew he needed to sleep.
- Chernoff states that scientific information will show that by the time Murray left the room, there was no Propofol in Michael Jackson's system.
- Chernoff mentions defense witness Paul White , "father of Propofol". Explains Propofol. Chernoff says that their witness will tell that there was no risk with the amount of Propofol that Murray gave to Michael. White would tell that what Murray gave to Michael could not kill him.
- Chernoff says that there was no drip so the question becomes how did Michael Jackson get more Propofol. Defense says that they believe Michael gave himself that Propofol.
- Chernoff says the defense tested Lorazepam levels in Michael's stomach and it was 4 times higher than the levels in his blood. Chernoff say that he believes this could only happen if Michael was swallowing Lorazepam.
- Defense believes that Michael wanted to sleep and frustrated that he couldn't sleep and his doctor refusing to give him Propofol he swallowed Lorazepam (up to 8 pills) while Murray was outside the room. Murray geva him Propofol unknowingly and then when he's out of the room Michael gave himself another dose of Porpofol.
- Chernoff states that the events are tragic, but Murray is not guilty and they would ask for an acquittal.
Kenny Ortega testimony
- Ortega states he has been a director since the 1980s, a choreographer since the 1970s. He first met MJ in 1990, MJ called him to work on the Dangerous tour. He was a co-creator and director of production, as well as the History tour. For History tour, he supervised choreography, MJ did most of it. Ortega stated he was also responsible for costuming and lighting and the same for the This Is It tour. MJ and Ortega had been in touch for the last few years before MJ died. AEG told Ortega that MJ wanted Ortega for the This Is It tour, then MJ told Ortega himself. Ortega stressed that MJ was excited for This Is It, and that MJ said this is the time to do it.
- Ortega started working in the middle of April '09 on This Is It. MJ was heavily involved.
-Ortega states that Michael had several reasons for wanting to tour now. First, Michael's children had taken in interest in his music and his performances, Michael felt the kids would now appreciate live performances. Second, he wanted to do a tour for his fans. Michael was allowing his fans to choose the songs which would be performed on This Is It. Third, Michael felt that his environmental songs, such as Heal the World and Earth Song, were just as important or more important now that when they were written and performed.
- Preparation for This is It started as Center Stages In Burbank. Ortega, MJ and Travis Payne were conceptualizing the tour. Ortega states at this point, he was meeting with MJ 3 to 4 times a week.
- Rehearsals began at the Forum in LA in the beginning of June, '09. Michael's children did not attend rehearsals because he wanted them to focus on school. The rehearsals lasted 5-7 hours, from late afternoon until evening. There was stating, tech work, lighting and musical rehearsals done by MJ.
-Ortega states he met Murray in April or May of '09. MJ introduced Ortega to Murray at his home on Carolwood Drive. Murray came to rehearsal rarely; never at Center Stages, once at the Forum and never at Staples.
-MJ was not showing up for rehearsals in the middle of June, the last week at the Forum. Ortega was told it was a scheduling problem, and that there was a "continued absence".
- Friday, June 19, while still at the Forum, Ortega says MJ "wasn't right, wasn't well". He was chilled, appeared "lost and a little incoherent". Ortega states he gave MJ some food, wrapped him in blankets and gave him a heater. Michael, according to Ortega, asked him if he could sit and watch the performance, with Travis Payne filling in for MJ. Ortega agreed. Ortega emphasizes that he'd never seen MJ like that, and that he suggested Michael go home.
-Ortega is asked about an email that was sent to Randy Phillips at AEG Live on June 21, 09. In the email, Ortega reiterates that Michael was ill, chilled and was sent home. Ortega also states that MJ will need psychological help and lots of nurturing.
Text of the email
I will do whatever I can to be of help with this situation. If you need me to come to the house, just give me a call in the morning. My concern is now that we've brought the doctor into the fold and have played the tough love, now or never card is that the artist may be unable to rise to the occasion due to real emotional stuff. He appeared quite weak and fatigued this evening. He had a terrible case of the chills, was trembling, rambling and obsessing. Everything in me says he should be psychologically evaluated. If we have any chance at all to get him back in the light. It's going to take a strong therapist to help him through this as well as immediate physical nurturing. I was told by our chereographer that during the artists costume fitting with his designer tonight they noticed he's lost more weight. As far as i can tell there is no one taking care responsibility (caring for) for him on a daily basis. Where was his assistant tonight? Tonight I was feeding him, wrapping him in blankets to warm his chills, massaging his feet to calm him and calling his doctor. There were four security guards outside his door, but no one offering him a cup of hot tea. Finally it's important for everyone to know , I believe that he really wants this. I twould shatter him, Break his heart if we pulled the plug. He's terribly frightened it's all going to go away. He asked me repeatedly tonight if i was going to leave him. H e was practically begging for my confidence. It broke my heart. H e was like a lost boy. There still may be a chance he can rise to the occasion if we get him the help he needs
- Ortega states that there was a meeting on 6/19, with the heads of AEG, Randy Phillips and Gongaware. Ortega heard that Phillips and Gongaware told MJ that if he didn't start showing up to rehearsals, the This Is It tour would be cancelled.
-On 6/20/09, Ortega is asked to go to MJ's house for a meeting with Randy Phillips, Frank Dileo, Conrad Murray and MJ. The topic is that Murray is upset that Ortega home. Murray tells Ortega that he should stop being an amateur doctor, and leave that to Murray. Ortega clarifies that he did not make the decision to send Michael home on the rehearsal date 6/19, it was a mutual decision between Ortega and MJ. Ortega states that Murray's demeanor is stern.
-Ortega states there were no rehearsals on 6/21 or 6/22. On 6/23, This Is It performance is shown, The Way You Make Me Feel, MJ wearing a red and a blue shirt. On 6/24, MJ is fully involved, a full participant. Earth Song on This Is It was done on 6/24, the very last rehearsal that Michael did before he died. MJ is wearing a black jacket and black sweats. Ortega states that the last time he saw MJ, he told him he loved him, and MJ said I love you more.
-Ortega tells the prosecutor that MJ had plans for This Is It beyond the London tour. He planned on touring to the US. He also planned on making movies; a full length Thriller and the Legs Diamond story, which Smooth Criminal is based on.
-Ortega states on 6/25 that the illusion part of This is It was supposed to happen that day. MJ was supposed to stand on a bed, flames were supposed to shoot up and MJ was disappear. He would reappear on a cherry picker above the crowd.
-On cross examination, Ortega denies that he told Karen Faye that he "read Michael the riot act" or "don't placate him".
Paul Gongaware Testimony
- Gongaware is the co-CEO of AEG. AEG was the producer and promoter of TII.
- Gongaware states that he was also involved with Michael’s Dangerous and History tours.
- They contracted 31 shows because Michael wanted to do 10 more shows than Prince.
- They put 10 show tickets on sale just to engage how strong the sales are going to be. It was sold out instantly. Then they put the rest of the shows on sale and increased the concert number to 50.
- Michael said that he would do 50 shows.
- All 50 shows were sold out and even after that there were 250,000 people still in que for tickets. They could have sold out another 50 shows.
- DA Brazil asks Paul Gongaware to go over Michael’s performance schedule for the upcoming weeks. July 5 rehearsals / 8 shows, August 10 shows / no rehearsal, September 9 shows/no rehearsal, October / November/ December no show / no rehearsal, January 3 rehearsals/10 shows, February 10 shows/no rehearsals, March 3 shows/no rehearsals.\
- DA Brazil asks Gongaware about a production meeting at Carolwood house. Gongaware says Michael came a little late because he was at Dr. Klein. He seemed little off and little slow than usual. His speech was slurred. Yet he participated to the meeting.
- Gongaware said that in May Michael told him to hire a personal physician, Dr. Murray, in May. Gongaware called Murray. Murray told him that he had 4 practices that he needed to close and lay off people and asked $5 Million a year to do it. Gongaware told him it would never happen and ended the negotiations. Gongaware believed they could get a more reasonable priced doctor in London. Michael said they needed to look after "the machine" (his body) and wanted Murray.
- Gongaware received a call from Michael Amir Williams who said that Michael wanted him to hire Dr. Murray. Gongaware heard on the background Michael saying “offer him 150”. He called Dr. Murray again and said that he was authorized to offer him $150,000 a month. Murray accepted.
- Gongaware asked Murray how will this work as he wasn’t licensed in UK. Murray told him not to worry and he’ll take care of the license. Employment contract was being drafted.
- Another early June meeting in Carolwood with Ortega, Dileo, Phillips, Gongaware, Murray and Michael. The meeting happened because Kenny Ortega believed that Michael wasn’t at the stage he needed to be and they might not be ready for the show.
- Gongaware said that the tone in the meeting was great and that Michael wasn’t defensive on the contrary he was engaged. They discussed what they can do to give Michael everything he needs to get to where he needs to be such as health and eating habits.
Testimony will continue