Wednesday 24 May 2017

Jackson doctor's story heard for the first time

Dr Conrad Murray sits in court during his involuntary manslaughter trial at the Los Angeles Superior Court in
California
Dr Conrad Murray sits in court during his involuntary manslaughter trial at the Los Angeles Superior Court in California

Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles

Jurors hearing the involuntary manslaughter case against Michael Jackson's doctor yesterday heard the first account yet of the doctor's evidence on tape.

The more than two-hour recording had never been played in public before.

The jurors who have sat facing Dr Conrad Murray for two weeks finally heard his voice on a recorded interview he had with detectives two days after his patient died under his care.

It gave police their first hint that Jackson's death was not from natural causes and that he had been given the powerful anaesthetic propofol in an effort to cure his extreme insomnia.

"He's not able to sleep naturally," Dr Murray told the detectives early in the interview.

Dr Murray told the detectives how he met Jackson and walked them through the treatments he gave the singer on the day he died, including doses of the sedatives lorazepam and Versed.

Jackson remained awake for hours after returning home at around 1am on June 25, 2009 after rehearsals for a series of comeback concerts.

"It was 4 o'clock in the morning, and then he complained," Dr Murray is heard saying. "'I've got to sleep Dr Conrad. I have these rehearsals to perform.'"

Jackson threatened to cancel that day's rehearsal, so Dr Murray gave him some more lorazepam. In a calm, slightly accented voice, Dr Murray told detectives that the singer remained awake and continued to complain.

Dr Murray told detectives he relented to Jackson's demand for his "milk" -- a nickname the doctor said the singer used for propofol.

Over the course of the interview, Dr Murray told police that other doctors had given the anaesthetic before.

Defence attorney Ed Chernoff told the detectives that Jackson was familiar with how the drug was administered through an IV.

Reckless

Dr Murray told the detectives he took all possible precautions -- keeping oxygen and a pulse monitoring machine nearby -- and constantly warned Jackson that using propofol was an artificial way to sleep.

Prosecutors contend that Dr Murray was reckless by giving Jackson propofol outside a hospital setting.

The physician said Jackson told him that he expected to sleep for 15 to 18 hours at a time.

He said Jackson told him, "'You don't quite know or understand that these hours are long.'"

"I think on you it will be too much," Dr Murray said. "What Mr Jackson knew is this is something he did every day."

Authorities claim Dr Murray gave Jackson a lethal dose of propofol and other sedatives while trying to help the singer. Defence attorneys say Jackson gave himself the lethal dose after Dr Murray left the room.

Dr Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Irish Independent

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