Dr. Conrad Murray: Preliminary Hearings to Lay Out Defense Theory That Michael Jackson Medicated Himself to Death with Propofol

Well, after months and months, this trial is getting underway. And why not blame the dead for creating the situation that brought the perpetrator to the court of law, right?

I have a real problem with the so-called good doctor Conrad Murray, but his defense is so confident of winning on this supposition (and any reasonable doubt thrown in) that Michael Jackson injected himself into the Next World that lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff decided not to give an opening statement. He really doesn’t have to in a prelim to an involuntary manslaughter trial, but it doesn’t look promising. Chernoff is there to see and hear everything the prosecution is up to, not to tip his hand. If he has a hand at all.

Both Nevada and California should have lifted Murray’s license, because so far, according to prosecution testimony, Murray isn’t showing himself as competent enough as a physician to even know the basics of CPR. To add insult to injury, in performing what he thought was CPR on a bed, he only used one hand in his attempt to resuscitate Michael. One hand? CPR is something every physician worth his salt, no matter what his/her specialty, ought to know. From Fox News in Los Angeles:

The defense team representing Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s personal physician and the man accused of killing the pop star, is expected to argue that Jackson killed himself accidentally with an overdose of the drug propofol, Fox News Channel reported Tuesday.

The preliminary hearing got underway Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. Jackson’s mother Catherine (sic), sister LaToya and brother Jackie arrived shortly before 9:00am. Murray arrived moments later in a black Mercedes with dark windows.

Murray was treating Jackson for chronic insomnia when Jackson died. Murray admits he gave Jackson a cocktail of powerful sedatives, but Murray’s attorney claimed in court documents that when Murray was out of the room, Jackson woke up and gave himself more.

Attorney Michael Flanagan said Murray gave Jackson 25 milligrams of propofol, but it would have taken 150 milligrams to kill him.

To support that defense, Flanagan claimed a second syringe was found broken on the bedroom floor in addition to the syringe used to administer the drugs intravenously. Flanagan has asked the court to allow the coroner to find out how much propofol may have been in the broken syringe as well as the IV bag.

Plus, the reason why I think that Murray didn’t take a chill pill and panicked, and did all the wrong things is that there was so much evidence against him and his activities in Jackson’s bedroom. Meaning, of course, that he is not a qualified or licensed anesthesiologist, especially to use something like propofol in the home. Propofol was made to be used strictly in a hospital setting. He is a quack that made himself into something that he was not, just for the money.  That’s one reason why I believe that he is a rolling incompetent.

Now, I’m only an amateur, but my feeling is this: that Murray had given Michael Jackson so many other drugs throughout the evening and the early morning that the combination with propofol caused his death. That’s another reason why I feel that he is incompetent to be a physician. I think that Murray did not allow a significant amount of time to elapse for those drugs to leave Jackson’s system, and that the singer was on overload with propofol. An argument could be made that Jackson was awake throughout all of these ministrations to help him sleep and that surreptitiously, he could have indeed injected himself out of impatience with getting his “milk” while Murray was gone from the room.

However, this argument isn’t making much sense. When Murray said he left the room, Jackson may not have been lucid; he would have been groggy from both lack of sleep and with the propofol and drugs already in his system that would not give him relief.  My questions are these: how could Jackson have injected himself under these circumstances?  He’s got a drip going already.   And from what I understand, isn’t propofol pretty quick? Murray was only gone to the bathroom, he says, for two minutes, and when he returned, Michael was already in trouble.

Murray’s got to make up his mind: was Michael awake or sleeping or in between? And one arm was already engaged; how could he have injected himself with only one free hand?  Did Murray leave another filled syringe or propofol bottle in Jackson’s vicinity? Why would Murray leave with “the works”–a syringe and the bottle–in plain view, knowing the singer’s desperation, and especially since Murray was trying, as he has claimed, to wean him off propofol? Moreover, as Deepak Chopra, a celebrity doctor and a friend of Jackson’s has said, why didn’t Murray immediately administer naloxone, a drug commonly used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose? Did Murray even have it with him? This is yet more evidence of incompetence.

Anderson Cooper’s show brought an addendum in support of this theory from Murray’s defense:

The judge in the involuntary manslaughter case against Dr. Conrad Murray on Wednesday approved a plan to allow defense lawyers to test residue from syringes and an intravenous drip found in pop star Michael Jackson’s home after his June 25, 2009, death.

During the court hearing, one of Murray’s attorneys, J. Michael Flanagan, alleged that coroner’s officials should have done “quantitative” analysis of the items to help determine “the means of who injected Jackson” with the powerful drugs that killed him.

The Jackson family presence was bound to be noted; they were in the second row: Katherine, LaToya and Jackie. The Jacksons still believe that there was a conspiracy by Michael’s handlers to medically murder Michael for his money and recordings, and that Dr. Murray is the weakest link to this conspiracy. Not that the Jacksons don’t want the money; they do. They feel that they are the logical inheritors of Michael’s money and legacy. Well, I think that they are going to find out that this is less about conspiracy and more about rank incompetence and irresponsibility by this weakest link.

Back to Fox:

The first witness called to testify Tuesday was Kenny Ortega, producer and director of the Jackson concert film “This Is It,” TMZ reported. He said Murray was upset that Ortega sent a physically exhausted Jackson home from rehearsals on June 19, and believed that only he should be making decisions about Jackson’s ability to perform.

Prosecutors said the June 20 meeting between Ortega and Murray about sending Jackson home was relevant because it demonstrated that Murray did not care about Jackson’s health and well-being.

This does not help the Jacksons’ case about conspiracy, too. They claim that AEG Live–Michael’s promoting firm for the This Is It concerts–drove Michael to exhaustion. On the contrary, Kenny Ortega, Jackson’s longtime choreographer, sent Michael home because he was concerned about the state of his health.  (He also denied that he had “read the riot act” at Michael regarding his flagging performance, energy or interest in the show.)

Ortega also testified that Jackson was happy and healthy during rehearsals on June 23 and 24. Jackson died on June 25.

Michael Amir Williams, one of Jackson’s assistants, corroborated [Los Angeles County Prosecutor David] Walgren’s opening statement by testifying that Murray called him before calling 911. Williams said he heard Alberto Alvarez, one of Jackson’s bodyguards, in the room with Murray over the phone, according to TMZ.

Faheen Muhammad, another Jackson bodyguard, testified that Murray asked another bodyguard, “Does anyone in the room know CPR?” while performing chest compressions on Jackson after he had stopped breathing, TMZ said.

Muhammad also said that after Jackson had been pronounced dead at UCLA Medical Center, Murray told him he was hungry and left to get something to eat. Under cross-examination, Muhammad said Murray spoke with Jackson’s family and police before leaving the hospital.

Today, however, one of Michael’s bodyguards, Alberto Alvarez, is expected to testify that Murray ordered him to sanitize Michael’s bedroom by removing or concealing evidence of syringes and drugs.

Alberto Alvarez will testify today at a preliminary hearing against Dr Conrad Murray about his attempts to revive Jackson on 25 June 2009, his attorney said.

The bodyguard’s testimony could provide key corroboration to the prosecutors’ argument that Murray’s actions demonstrated “an extreme deviation from the standard of care” by administering the powerful anaesthetic propofol without the proper equipment, and also concealing it and botching efforts to resuscitate the singer.

A postmortem report found Jackson died from an overdose of propofol.

Deputy district attorney David Walgren said yesterday that Murray forced Alvarez, 34, to gather and conceal items before calling 911 to try to help Jackson. Walgren told a judge that he would present evidence that Murray waited as much as 21 minutes before calling for paramedics.

These were vital minutes that were wasted. Vital minutes that could have brought Michael Jackson back from death’s door.

Since this is only a preliminary hearing, prosecutors must only show there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.  Prosecutors are expected to call up to 35 witnesses over the next two or three weeks to bolster their case against Murray. They are likely to be servants and hangers-on to Michael Jackson, including security guards, nurses, cooks, and personal assistants. They could also include other medical professionals whose expertise would clash with that of the cardiologist. All will not only offer evidence towards a timeline to Michael’s death, but give vital information about the singer’s state of mind.

There was speculation that 13-year-old Prince Michael Jackson I would be called to the stand as a witness, but this was quashed by TMZ, thank goodness. There are some things that are just too cruel:

The prosecutor in the Michael Jackson manslaughter preliminary hearing — which begins tomorrow — will not call Michael’s eldest son, Prince Michael, to testify about what he saw the day his dad died … sources tell TMZ.

[…]

In fact, we’re told no one from MJ’s family will be called to the stand during the prelim.

As TMZ first reported, prosecutors plan to call 30 witnesses during the 2-week prelim … many of whom will be medical professionals offering opinions about the standard of care administered by Dr. Murray.

There will be no “star witness” in the prelim. Sources tell us the various witnesses will form building blocks, making the case that Dr. Murray acted recklessly by administering Propofol and other drugs to Jackson the day he died.

Some court experts are predicting that the evidence stacked against Murray could be so overwhelming he may agree to a plea deal and some prison time less than five years. This I’ve got to see for myself. However, the only thing I am worried about is what Ed Chernoff has up his sleeve, since he’s been able to get some doctors off for this kind of serious medical malpractice. I’d sure like to see the L.A. County D.A.’s Office come up with a victory this time where it counts, instead of just another boob-up job.

Stay tuned.

~ by blksista on January 5, 2011.

 
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