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Micheal Jackson's Death: Accidental Or Deliberate?-00-5205

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By Author: thegarthog
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Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, sailed with flying colors through his week-long preliminary hearing which ended with a favorable decision from the judge to try the singer's personal physician for involuntary manslaughter. This decision favors Dr Murray because not to charge him at all would make him susceptible to future more serious criminal charges regarding Jackson's death.

When Murray was first indicted with the accidental death charge, Jacksons' friends, fans and family cried foul play and called for indictments for First Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Murder charges; with his fans petitioning for broader investigation into Jackson's death. The consensus was Murray should not have been charged without a thorough investigation since Jackson had foretold his own death -- saying, in essence, that the Beatle Catalog was too valuable, everybody wanted it, that he was being pressured to sell, but would never sell the catalog and he knew he'd probably be killed for it .

Dr Murray was brought in by AEG to be Jackson's personal physician in the lead-up to what was to be the singer's farewell world ...
... tour, 'This Is It,' with concerts soon to kick off in London. The preliminary hearing was for Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor to answer the legal question whether there was enough evidence for Murray to stand trial on the involuntary manslaughter charge.

Dr Murray, 57, a cardiologist had pleaded not guilty, and his attorneys maintained that he did not give Jackson anything that should have killed him. Murray also stated that Jackson injected himself and is responsible for his own death. Murray could face up to four years in prison if convicted. But because of his "clean" record, may not serve a day.

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said in his opening statement that Dr Murray was using the surgical anesthetic, propofol, to cure Jackson of insomnia. He had given Jackson a dose of the powerful drug, typically administered in clinical settings, after giving him various sedatives during the previous night. He also said Jackson was already dead when Murray summoned help and tried to conceal his administering of propofol to the pop star.

"The court will learn that in the opinion of these medical experts, there were a number of actions displayed by Dr Murray that showed an extreme deviation from standard medical care," Mr Walgren said.

Murray had been giving Jackson propofol, six nights a week for roughly two months before his death, the prosecutor said.

Murray's attorney declined to give an opening statement.

Paramedic Richard Senneff, who responded to Jackson's home, gave testimony that he arrived and found Jackson motionless. He said that Murray never told him the singer had taken propofol, despite being asked if Jackson was on any medication. (Propofol is immediately absolved by the body's tissues and within minutes no traces of it can be detected.)

The paramedic said other things Murray told him did not seem to add up: that Jackson had no underlying condition and was just being treated for dehydration, and that the only medication he had been given was the sedative lorazepam. Senneff also said his crew detected no pulse, and that based on Jackson's dilated pupils and cold limbs, it appeared his heart had stopped more than 20 minutes before.

Senneff said even when pressed repeatedly about what medication Jackson had been given, Murray never mentioned the powerful anesthetic that was eventually determined to have caused the singer’s death.

Walgren described Murray's actions as "an extreme deviation from the standard of care."

Paramedic Martin Blount testified about being surprised to see drug bottles because defendant Dr. Conrad Murray had told paramedics he hadn't given Jackson any drugs."I saw three small bottles of lidocaine," Blount testified. "He scooped them off the floor and put them into a black bag."

Police Detective Orlando Martinez testified earlier and said Murray told him he found Jackson not breathing just after 11 a.m. on June 25, 2009. But phone records showed 911 was not called until 12:21 p.m.

Phone records also showed Murray had a phone conversation that ended at 11:50 a.m., and made two other calls before calling Jackson's personal assistant, Michael Williams, at 12:12 p.m. The men spoke for three minutes. Then at 12:21 p.m., the frantic 911 call was made summoning paramedics.

Michael Williams testified that as the singer's body lay in bed, Jackson manager Frank Dileo told his children: "Daddy had a heart attack and died." Mr Williams said that Dr Murray then said: "Don't say that, we don't know."

Williams also said Dr Murray had asked him before calling paramedics to clear "cream" from the singer's bedroom "that he wouldn't want the world to know about." Mr Williams said he did not follow through on the request.

Choreographer Kenny Ortega told the court that Jackson had appeared unwell and out of shape in the days leading up to his death. He testified about when Jackson went home early from rehearsals. He said Jackson appeared lost. "It was scary. I couldn't put my finger on it," Ortega said. "I said 'Michael, is this the best place for you to be or do you want to go home and be with your family?' He said, 'Would you be OK with that?' I said, 'OK,' and he left."

The next morning, Ortega said, he was called to Jackson's home where he was confronted by Murray, Jackson, DiLeo, and Randy Phillips, head of AEG, the company producing Jackson's "This is It" comeback tour.

"It quickly became clear that the meeting was about me," Ortega said. "Dr. Murray was upset that I had sent Michael home the night before and didn't allow him to rehearse."

Dr. Conrad Murray and others suggested Jackson should not have been sent home because he was physically and emotionally fine, Ortega testified, adding he was told not to try to be Jackson's doctor or psychiatrist.

Prosecutors concluded their case with testimony from two doctors who said Murray acted outside the standard of medical care when he administered the anesthetic propofol and failed to provide proper care.

Dr. Richard Ruffalo, an anesthesiologist and clinical pharmacologist, gave the judge an exhaustive rundown on the sophisticated medical equipment that should have been present when Murray had administered the drug. "Even if you're using propofol for a short time, it can do a lot of unfortunate things, especially if mixed with other drugs."

Dr. Christopher Rogers, chief of forensic medicine for the Los Angeles County coroner, testified that Murray was improperly using propofol to treat the musician for insomnia, and that Murray was wrong to leave Jackson's side while he was under anesthesia before he died. Rogers also said Jackson had a strong heart and was mostly healthy.

Both expert witnesses said that even if Jackson had self-administered the final dose of the drug, his death would be a homicide because of Murray's actions.

After hearing testimony that Dr Murray administered a lethal dose of a powerful anesthetic and other sedatives then left the pop star alone to die, Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor resolved the legal inquiry before his court by charging Conrad Murray with Involuntary Manslaughter.

Although the evidence showed Dr Murray's actions to be deliberate, and Jackson's death not in the least "accidental," many questions of interest to his fans remain unanswered and are unlikely to be addressed at the doctor's criminal trial -- particularly the MOTIVE for Dr Murray's reckless "deviation from standard medical care."

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