Today saw the opening statements in the Dr. Conrad Murray manslaughter trial from both the prosecution and defense. As part of the opening arguments, the prosecution showed both a photo of Michael Jackson’s dead body on a hospital gurney and a sound recording of him sedated and slurring his words.
Dr Conrad Murray is accused of the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson in June 2009.
An autopsy showed that the singer was killed by an overdose of the surgical anaesthetic Propofol and sedatives. Conrad Murray’s manslaughter trial hinges on whether he administered the fatal drugs overdose or whether Michael Jackson did that himself.
The trial began properly today and the court was shown a presentation by the prosecution featuring a photo of the singer’s body on a hospital bed. Members of the Jackson family sobbed as the images were shown.
Kenny Ortega, who was working with Jackson on his “This Is It” tour at the time of his death was also called to testify.
The prosecution alleged Dr Murray was negligent in his treatment of the star and the court heard a recording of the “Thriller” singer slurring his speech while under the influence of sedatives in the month prior to his death, while he was rehearsing for his “This Is It” tour.
In the recording, Jackson is heard to be barely coherent, mumbling that he wants these London comeback shows to convince people say he is “the greatest entertainer in the world.” He also mentions wanting to “build the Michael Jackson Children’s Hospital.”
The prosecution also described the benefits and risks of the sedative Propofol, the drug that contributed to the star’s death and stressed that this is not normally used outside of surgery. They also allege that Dr. Conrad Murray lied to get his Propofol supply, by saying he was working in a clinic.
The prosecution also alleged that Murray demanded $5m for a year’s work as Michael Jackson’s doctor but that this was rejected and instead he signed on for a wage of $150,000 per month.
The jury was also played clips of Dr. Murray’s interview with police, where he spoke of the circumstances surrounding Michael Jackson’s death.
The defense alleges that Michael Jackson was frustrated by his insomnia and gave himself another dose of Propofol while the doctor was out of the room.