FACTS revealed during pretrial hearings in Murray’s case. Days 1 and 2
Guys, there is no way we can avoid Murray’s pretrial hearings which started on January 4, 2011. Since this news is on everyone’s mind I think we need to put everything aside and make a coverage of it.
I suggest listing the most important information day by day – just as it comes – with the comments made on the most crucial issues (our special guest ER Doc. and Lynette might help on the way). For a start let me state the most prominent facts which have become known by now and the first impressions on the way the media outlets report these facts.
The very first thing I noticed is lack of attention given to the news by some Internet search engines. Our Yandex has had the news about Michael Jackson in the headlines for two days running saying: “Michael Jackson died of a doctor’s injection”.
I naturally expected the situation to be the same for the English-language Yahoo, but to my great surprise found no mention of Michael Jackson in their headlines at all. The biggest news presented there yesterday was “Things babies born in 2011 will do without when they grow up”, “How thieves guess social security numbers” and similar important issues – while Michael Jackson was NOT among them.
This is interesting in and of itself as it clearly shows that the US media wants to downplay the importance of Dr. Murray’s trial and the causes of Michael Jackson’s death and places this news second or third in their list of priorities.
As to the facts below is the way they are reported day by day. The good thing I’ve noticed is that the media at last learned to call Michael Jackson by his full name!
Day 1. January 4, 2011.
The parties involved in the pretrial hearings are L.A. Deputy Attorney David Walgren for the Prosecution, Michael Pastor, the Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge and Ed Chernoff, Murray’s defense attorney.
Below is the gist of the opening statements by David Walgren.
Murray caused Michael Jackson’s death by 1) abandoning his patient, 2) performing ineffective CPR, 3) failing to call 911 in time, 4) hiding from paramedics and emergency room doctors that he had given Jackson propofol.
The reason for Michael Jackson’s death was acute propofol intoxication in combination with other sedatives and Murray showing an “extreme deviation from standard medical care”.
The prosecution emphasizes that Michael Jackson’s final performance was energetic and he was optimistic for the future (thus implying that any idea of suicide would be out of the question).
(As we all know Michael didn’t sleep the whole night until 10:30 of June 25, 2009. It is impossible to imagine the insomnia which lasts until late hours in the morning – same as it is impossible to imagine how anyone can be supposed to rehearse only a couple of hours after that….)
The prosecutor said that sometime between 10:40 and 11 in the morning Murray gave his patient a dose of propofol, an anesthetic normally used only in surgery. He then made a phone call around 11:51 a.m. and about 10 minutes into the call he appeared to first realize there was something wrong with his patient.
Rather than calling 911, Murray’s next move was to call Jackson’s security personnel, most of whom weren’t at Jackson’s home. The first man to arrive was Alberto Alvarez. When he walked over from the security trailer parked next to the home, he saw Murray performing CPR with one hand on Jackson on a soft bed – which is a gross violation of all medical rules.
And again, instead of calling 911 he asked the bodyguard to collect medical stuff into the bag. The prosecutor said the physician waited a minimum of 9 minutes, and possibly as many as 21 minutes, before the 911 call was made.
More details on the above are stated in the article below (you needn’t really read it as you already know the gist):
Los Angeles Times
Michael Jackson hearing: Dr. Conrad Murray withheld information about powerful drug, prosecutor says
January 4, 2011 | 10:41 am
Michael Jackson’s personal physician caused the pop singer’s death by abandoning his patient, performing ineffective CPR, failing to call 911 in time, and hiding from paramedics and emergency room doctors that he had given Jackson a powerful anesthetic used in surgery, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren made the comments in opening statements for the doctor’s preliminary hearing, which will determine whether there is enough evidence for Murray to stand trial.
Dr. Conrad Murray stands accused of involuntary manslaughter in connection with Jackson’s June 25, 2009 death.
Walgren outlined for Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor the time line of events that led up to Jackson’s death. He repeatedly emphasized that Jackson’s final rehearsal at Staples Center had been “energetic” and “fabulous.”
“Michael left the rehearsal very optimistic for the future,” he told the judge.
After the singer returned to his Holmby Hills estate, Walgren said Murray gave Jackson various medications, including benzodiazepines such as lorazepam or Valium, throughout the night.
Sometime between 10:40 and 11 the next morning, Murray gave the singer a dose of propofol, a dangerous anesthetic normally used in surgery. He then made a phone call around 11:51 a.m. and about 10 minutes into the call he appeared to first realize there was something wrong with his patient, the prosecutor said.
Yet rather than calling 911, Murray’s next move was to call Jackson’s security personnel, most of whom weren’t at Jackson’s home, Walgren said.
When a security guard, Alberto Alvarez, walked over from the security trailer parked next to the home, he saw Murray performing CPR with one hand on Jackson on a soft bed, according to the prosecutor. The doctor then instructed Alvarez to help him collect medical paraphernalia and stuff it into a bag, and only then told Alvarez to call 911, he said.
The prosecutor said the physician waited a minimum of nine minutes, and possibly as many as 21 minutes, before the 911 call was made. When paramedics arrived, Murray made no mention of the propofol Jackson was given, Walgren said.
Coroners ruled that Jackson died from acute propofol intoxication. Walgren said prosecutors would call as witnesses medical experts to testify about Murray’s conduct.
“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,” Walgren said.
The producer of Jackson’s planned 2009 tour, Kenneth Ortega, was called as the first witness.
Ed Chernoff, Murray’s defense attorney, declined to make an opening statement. The hearing is expected to last seven to eight days.
The next article says that Carl Douglas, the infamous attorney who represented (or rather misrepresented MJ during the 1993 civil suit) is now retained by MJ’s former employees – Michael Amir, Jackson’s chief of staff; Alberto Alvarez, a security staffer; and Faheem Muhammad, chief of security.
(Why didn’t they ask us? We should have told them that Carl Douglas is definitely not the right man to do the right job for them).
The search-warrant documents released after Jackson’s death say that Murray gave Jackson propofol at 10:40 a.m., then watched him for 10 minutes and went to the restroom briefly. When he returned about 11 a.m., Jackson had stopped breathing.
However before making a call to 911 which came only at 12:22 police said three phone calls totaling 47 minutes had been made from Murray’s phone, beginning at 11:18 a.m.
Michael Amir, Jackson’s chief of staff received a frantic four-second message from Murray at 12:13 p.m. with words to the effect of “come quick.” More details here:
Michael Jackson employees who saw pop star near death to testify at Conrad Murray hearing
January 4, 2011 | 8:01 am
Michael Amir, Jackson’s chief of staff; Alberto Alvarez, a security staffer; and Faheem Muhammad, chief of security, have been subpoenaed to testify for prosecutors seeking to prove they have enough evidence to try Murray for involuntary manslaughter, said the employees’ lawyer, Carl Douglas.
Douglas, perhaps best known for being a member of O.J. Simpson’s defense team, complained in August 2009 that his clients wanted to provide more information to LAPD detectives. Investigators had conducted “informal” interviews with the men about what they saw and heard June 25, 2009, the day Jackson died.
One of the interviews lasted about two minutes, and the other filled a one-page transcript, Douglas said at the time. He maintained that some of their information could shed new light on the time line police had established covering Jackson’s final hours and the actions of his doctor. Police eventually did conduct formal and complete interviews with all three men in late August 2009.
Alvarez was with Jackson and Murray in the pop star’s bedroom in the moments before paramedics arrived and could provide independent insight into what transpired, the attorney said. But he would not elaborate on those details at the time.
In search-warrant documents released at the time, police said Murray told them he gave Jackson the powerful anesthetic propofol at 10:40 a.m., watched him for 10 minutes and went to the restroom briefly. When he returned about 11 a.m., Jackson had stopped breathing. Police said three phone calls totaling 47 minutes were made from Murray’s phone, beginning at 11:18 a.m. — all before 911 was called at 12:22 p.m.
Murray’s attorney at the time was critical of the time line as “theory, not fact.”
Douglas, who in 1993 served as an attorney for Jackson, said at the time that Amir received a frantic four-second message from Murray at 12:13 p.m. with words to the effect of “come quick.” Full story here: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/01/trio-of-jackson-employees-expected-to-testify-at-hearing-for-michael-jacksons-doctor.html
The first witness who testified in the preliminary hearing was Kenny Ortega. He says that two days before his death Michael Jackson rehearsed like “the old Michael we all knew and loved”. However prior to that he had been so weak that Ortega sent him home – evidently on several occasions.
However at the joint meeting in Michael’s house Murray insisted Michael was strong enough to perform and scolded Ortega for sending him back home. He told Ortega it was not his responsibility, asked him not to act like a doctor or a psychologist and leave Michael’s health to him.
Ortega was also anxious about Michael’s health earlier in June when during a week Jackson was “sort of missing” from rehearsals without explanation.
The first person Murray called after discovering Michael stopped breathing was Michael first personal assistant Michael Amir Williams. He asked him to come and left a frantic message that “he had had a bad reaction”.
Later, when in the hospital he had to break the news of Michael’s death to his children, though they still hoped their father was alive and started telling him of his allergies, (he didn’t know of them?).
Williams says Murray made a surprise request to take some cream from Michael’s home, asked for a ride back to the mansion and when Williams demurred left the hospital saying he was hungry and needed something to eat (the cream could have been a pretext for going back and taking something else).
More details here:
Los Angeles Times
Choreographer Kenny Ortega: Michael Jackson too weak to perform days before death
January 4, 2011 | 1:07 pm
The first witness to testify in Tuesday’s preliminary hearing for Michael Jackson’s physician described a run-in with Dr. Conrad Murray six days before the pop star’s death on June 25, 2009.
Renowned choreographer Kenny Ortega was the first to take the stand and said the singer showed up at a rehearsal at Staples Center seeming “lost” and too weak to perform.
“It was scary. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew there was something going on,” Ortega recalled.
The next day, he said, he was summoned to a meeting at Jackson’s mansion with the singer, his manager, the concert promoter and Murray.
He said the doctor insisted Jackson was emotionally and physically strong enough to perform and scolded Ortega for sending Jackson home — something he said he hadn’t done.
“Dr. Murray told me that this was not my responsibility and asked me to not act like a doctor or psychologist … and leave Michael’s health to him,” he said.
Ortega said that earlier in June, there was a week during which Jackson was “sort of missing” from rehearsals without explanation, a situation he said “created anxiety for me.”
But in two rehearsals preceding Jackson’s death, the singer appeared to have turned a corner.
“It was like the Michael we all knew and loved,” he said.
The judge also heard from Jackson’s personal assistant, the first person Murray called after discovering Jackson had stopped breathing.
Michael Amir Williams said Murray left a “frantic” message saying Jackson “had a bad reaction” and urging him to come to the house. At the hospital, Murray went with Williams and Jackson’s manager to inform the singer’s children their father was dead.
His voice faltered as he recalled how the children, still thinking their father was alive, began listing his allergies for the doctors.
“It was horrible,” he said.
Shortly thereafter, Murray took him aside with a strange request, Williams said in his testimony.
“He said, ‘Brother Michael, Mr. Jackson has some cream in the house that I knew he wouldn’t want the world to know about,’” Williams said. “It was an odd question, to ask to go to the house to get the cream.”
The doctor asked for a ride back to the mansion, but Williams said he and other security guards demurred.
Subsequently, Murray said he was going to get something to eat and left the hospital. In his cross-examination, Murray’s attorney, Ed Chernoff, questioned Williams about his connection to the Nation of Islam and about other phone calls he made in the minutes after Murray’s call.
He also asked the personal assistant how frequently he went upstairs to Jackson’s bedroom, and whether his fingerprints may be found on vials, intravenous bags or syringes.
“I don’t know how that’s possible, I never touched any of that,” Williams said. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/01/choreographer-kenny-ortega-michael-jackson-too-weak-to-perform-just-before-death-.html
Faheem Muhammad, chief of security entered the room after Alvarez. He saw Murray in a panic state. Two bodyguards were suprised to hear Murrey’s incredible question – he asked them if anyone in the room knew CPR – which gave them a clear impression he didn’t know how to do it!
More details here:
Los Angeles Times
Michael Jackson hearing: Security guard describes frantic efforts to revive dying pop star
January 4, 2011 | 3:21 pm
After the lunch hour, a security guard for Michael Jackson took the stand and described the frantic final moments when he saw Jackson’s physician kneeling over the singer, who was sprawled next to his bed.
Jackson was lying with his eyes and mouth open, appearing not to be alive, testified Faheem Muhammad. “I recall him being in a sort of panic state, and I recall him shortly after asking if anyone in the room knew CPR,” Muhammad testified of Dr. Conrad Murray.
Muhammad said he and another security guard exchanged looks of surprise.
“I knew Dr. Murray was a heart surgeon, so I looked at Alberto [Alvarez] kind of shocked,” he said. Alvarez eventually began helping Murray administer CPR, Muhammad testified. He said he left the room to whisk two of Jackson’s children, Paris and Prince, away from the foyer at the front of the room to keep them from the commotion.
Muhammad testified that less than an hour after the singer had been declared dead, the doctor approached him, saying he was hungry and wanted to get something to eat, and abruptly left the hospital soon afterward.
The prosecutor said that Michael Jackson was already dead when his physician summoned help. Murray also tried to conceal the fact that he had given him propofol by ordering Alvarez to collect items before paramedics were called.
The prosecutor also faulted the doctor for performing chest compressions during his attempt to resuscitate Jackson with one hand on his bed, rather than a hard surface as is generally required.
Mr Walgren said Murray had been giving Jackson propofol six nights a week for roughly two months before his death.
Mr Ortega told the judge that Jackson seemed unwell and not in condition six days before he died [beginning June 19, 2009]. He said Jackson went home early from rehearsals following his advice. However Murray suggested that Jackson should not have been sent home because he was physically and emotionally fine.
Michael Jackson ‘dead’ when doctor called help, court is told
Published Date: 05 January 2011
By Clare Baillie
MICHAEL Jackson was already dead when his physician summoned help, a prosecutor said yesterday.
David Walgren said evidence would show that Murray also tried to conceal his administering the powerful anaesthetic propofol to the pop superstar, ordering a bodyguard to collect items before paramedics were called.
Jackson died in June 2009, and authorities contend Murray gave him a lethal dose of propofol and other sedatives in the bedroom of his rented mansion.
“The evidence will show through the expert testimony, by all accounts, Michael Jackson was dead in the bedroom at 100 North Carrolwood prior to the paramedics arriving,” Mr Walgren said.
He said evidence will show Murray waited at least 21 minutes to call for an ambulance and ordered a bodyguard to help him clean up evidence before summoning help.
In the most favourable interpretation, Mr Walgren said, Murray waited at least nine minutes before calling paramedics. He faulted the doctor in opening statements for performing chest compressions during his attempt to resuscitate Jackson with one hand on his bed, rather than a hard surface as is generally required.
Mr Walgren also plans to call several experts whom he said would testify, “there are a number of actions displayed by Dr Murray that show an extreme deviation from the standard of care”.
Mr Walgren said Murray had been giving Jackson propofol, an anaesthetic normally administered in hospital settings, six nights a week for roughly two months before his death.
Jackson’s mother, Katherine, his sister, LaToya, and brother Jermaine attended the proceedings.
Mr Walgren said that two days before his death, the singer had a “fabulous” rehearsal and was set to go to London in a few days.
Later, Mr Ortega told the judge that Jackson seemed unwell and not in condition six days before he died. He said Jackson went home early from rehearsals at his suggestion. Mr Ortega says Murray suggested that Jackson should not have been sent home because he was physically and emotionally fine.
Full story here: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/news/Michael-Jackson-39dead39-when-doctor.6679505.jp
Here is the account of the hearings from a TRIAL & TRIBULATIONS reporter direct from the court-room – click on Dr. Conrad Murray Prelim Day 1, part 1
For after lunch proceedings click on Dr. Conrad Prelim Day 1, part 2
DAY 2. January 5, 2011
Alberto Alvarez, a logistics director for Jackson testified that as Murray tried in vain to revive him, Jackson’s children Paris and Prince entered his bedroom. When Jackson’s children appeared Murray shouted, “Get them out! Get them out! Don’t let them see their father like this.” Murray was giving chest compressions and attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, Alvarez said. More details here:
Michael Jackson’s Kids Watched Him Die, Witness Says
By Howard Breuer
Wednesday January 05, 2011 07:10 PM EST
As Michael Jackson’s personal physician tried in vain to revive him after a drug overdose, Jackson’s children Paris and Prince entered his bedroom, a former employee testified Wednesday.
“Paris screamed, ‘Daddy,’ and she started crying,” Alberto Alvarez, a logistics director for Jackson, recalled as Janet Jackson, listening in the audience of the Los Angeles courtroom, shook her head and Jackson’s mother, Katherine, dabbed away tears.
Alvarez testified in the second day of a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles on an involuntary manslaughter charge against Dr. Conrad Murray.
According to Alvarez, when Jackson’s children appeared that day in June 2009, Murray shouted, “Get them out! Get them out! Don’t let them see their father like this.”
At the time, Paris was 11 years old and Prince was 12. Jackson was on his back, his eyes and mouth open, as Murray gave chest compressions and attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, Alvarez says. Jackson was later declared dead at the hospital at age 50. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20455259,00.html?xid=rss-topheadlines
The media emphasizes again that one of the most shocking revelations to emerge from the first day of testimony in the pretrial hearing is that as MJ lay dying, cardiologist Conrad Murray asked in a panic, “Does anyone know CPR?”
As they waited for paramedics to arrive, Muhammed said Murray stood next to Jackson’s bed and asked in a panicked voice if anyone else in the room knew how to administer the life-saving technique.
“I looked at Alberto because we knew Dr. Murray was a heart surgeon, so we were shocked,” Muhammed said. When defense attorney Ed Chernoff asked whether Murray was asking for help, Muhammed replied, “The way that he asked it is as if he didn’t know CPR”.
Kenny Ortega described Jackson as “involved, active, participating” at his final rehearsal, which ended 12 hours before his death (which must have ended at around 11 p.m. the previous night).
Jan 5 2011 9:50 AM EST 2,079
Michael Jackson Doctor Conrad Murray Didn’t Seem To Know CPR, Bodyguard Testifies
By Gil Kaufman
One of the most shocking revelations to emerge from the first day of testimony in the pretrial hearing of former Michael Jackson doctor Conrad Murray is that as the pop icon lay dying in his rented Los Angeles mansion, cardiologist Murray asked in a panic, “Does anyone know CPR?”
According to CNN, that’s what bodyguard Faheem Muhammed said on the stand.
The hearing is slated to last around two weeks and feature 20 to 30 witnesses, most of whom will be medical professionals. But it was the shocking testimony of Muhammed on Tuesday that grabbed headlines. He said that he and fellow guard Alberto Alvarez walked in on a scene in which Murray was crouched next to the motionless body of Jackson and it appeared that the heart surgeon did not know how to give CPR.
As they waited for paramedics to arrive, Muhammed said Murray stood next to Jackson’s bed and asked in a panicked voice if anyone else in the room knew how to administer the life-saving technique.
“I looked at Alberto because we knew Dr. Murray was a heart surgeon, so we were shocked,” Muhammed said. When defense attorney Ed Chernoff asked whether Murray was asking for help because he was exhausted after staying up all night administering sleep aids to the chronically insomniac Jackson, Muhammed replied, “The way that he asked it is as if he didn’t know CPR.”
He also said that he never witnessed Murray performing CPR on Jackson before paramedics arrived and that the singer’s two oldest children, Prince Michael and Paris, were in their father’s bedroom as the drama was unfolding. Among the Jackson family members in court on Tuesday to watch the proceedings were family matriarch Katherine, sister LaToya and brothers Randy and Jackie.
Prosecutor David Walgren referred to Murray’s use of “ineffectual” CPR, which included using one hand while Jackson was on a soft bed, which is counter to recommended techniques.
“By all accounts, Michael Jackson was dead in the bedroom at 100 North Carolwood prior to the paramedics’ arrival,” Walgren said. The Los Angeles County coroner later determined that the singer died of “acute propofol intoxication,” saying the overdose of the surgical anesthetic and the combined effects of other sedatives caused his death.
Chernoff has said that Murray administered propofol and other sedatives to Jackson in the hours before the pop star’s death, but not in quantities that “should have” caused his death. CNN reported that Murray’s defense team hinted that it would argue that Jackson was facing intense pressure over his upcoming 50-date This Is It comeback series of shows at London’s O2 Arena and that led to his demands for treatment to help his chronic insomnia.
Also testifying on Tuesday was the director of the shows, Kenny Ortega, who described Jackson as “involved, active, participating” at his final rehearsal, which ended 12 hours before his death. That was very different from the out-of-it singer who could barely make it through rehearsals on June 19, six nights before his death. At a meeting called after Ortega sent Jackson home that night for some rest, the director described a scene in which Murray scolded him for cutting the rehearsal short.
“Dr. Murray told me that this was not my responsibility, and he asked me not to act like a doctor or psychologist,” Ortega said. Murray has pleaded not guilty in the case, and according to a recent report, Walgren believes that the doctor’s lawyers may claim that Jackson self-administered the final, fatal dose of propofol and essentially killed himself after waking up in a panic from a fitful night of sleep. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1655306/michael-jackson-doctor-conrad-murray-didnt-seem-know-cpr-bodyguard-testifies.jhtml
Alberto Alvarez said that at first Murray told him MJ needed an ambulance urgently, but then instructed him to gather up medical vials and an IV bag in larger bags (there were two of them one of which – with the milky substance – was packed away).
Murray grabbed a handful of medical vials from Jackson’s nightstand and told Alvarez to place them in a bag. He repeated the instruction for the IV bag containing the white substance, but did not tell him to remove another IV bag, he said.
Only then, Alvarez testified, did the doctor order him to call for an ambulance. Alvarez said he did not see any heart or blood pressure monitors in the room, but Murray clipped a monitoring device to Jackson’s finger AFTER paramedics were called.
It is amazing:
1) so he had that device!
2) he knew the blood pressure was to be monitored,
3) but he didn’t use it though he knew he should have
4) and he tried to produce the impression that he had been doing it!
Alvarez said the 911 operator told them to move Jackson to the floor to administer CPR. There, Alvarez said, he did chest compressions while Murray gave the singer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
“After the second time he gave a breath, he came up and said, ‘You know, this is the first time I give mouth to mouth” Alvarez said.
Under cross-examination, Alvarez acknowledged he had not told police in two initial interviews that Murray had ordered him to remove potential evidence. He didn’t think it suspicious as he thought Murray was packing up to go to the hospital.
Alvarez acknowledged that in a police interview he had said he might sell his story to the media at a later date (this could mean ‘after the trial’ which might be perfectly okay). It is noteworthy that TMZ is reporting the same without the word “later”. More details here:
Michael Jackson hearing: Family members weep as more details emerge on pop star’s death
January 5, 2011 | 12:55 pm
With Michael Jackson lying lifeless in a bed, his doctor ordered a security guard to remove an IV bag of medication resembling the anesthetic blamed in the pop star’s death before calling for an ambulance, the guard testified Wednesday.
Alberto Alvarez told a Superior Court judge that the physician first told him the singer needed an ambulance urgently, but then instructed him to gather up medical vials and an IV bag in larger bags.
“I noticed that inside (the IV bag), there was like a bottle … and then I noticed that at the bottom of the bag there was a milk-like substance,” Alvarez testified. The surgical anesthetic propofol –- which the coroner said caused Jackson’s death — is a white liquid administered intravenously.
Murray, 57, acknowledged giving the singer propofol as a sleep aid in an interview with police, authorities have said.
Testifying on the second day of the preliminary hearing, Alvarez offered the closest view yet of Murray’s behavior after Jackson stopped breathing in a bedroom of his rented Holmby Hills mansion.
The first security guard on the scene, Alvarez said that when he arrived in the bedroom, Murray was doing chest compressions on Jackson in the bed with one hand.
“He said, ‘We need to get him a hospital. We need to get an ambulance,’” Alvarez quoted Murray as telling him.
He said that when he asked Murray what had happened, the doctor said Jackson “had a bad reaction.”
But soon after that, Murray grabbed a handful of medical vials from Jackson’s nightstand and told Alvarez to place them in a bag, the guard testified. He repeated the instruction for the IV bag containing the white substance, but did not tell him to remove another IV bag, he said.
Only then, Alvarez testified, did the doctor order him to call for an ambulance.
Paramedics and emergency room doctors are expected to testify later in the hearing that Murray concealed his use of propofol from them as they worked to save Jackson’s life.
Prosecutors have said other medical experts will testify that Murray did not have proper monitoring equipment for administering propofol, a drug that can suppress the respiratory system.
Alvarez said he did not see any heart or blood pressure monitors in the room, but Murray clipped a monitoring device to Jackson’s finger after paramedics were called.
Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren played the 911 call for Judge Michael Pastor.
When Alvarez told the emergency operator that the stricken man’s personal physician was there, the operator expressed surprise.
“Oh, you have a doctor there?” the operator said, adding the doctor would be the “higher authority.”
Alvarez said before they arrived, Murray asked him and another security guard if they knew how to perform CPR. Prosecutors have said Murray was doing it incorrectly by using one hand and on a soft mattress.
Alvarez said the 911 operator told them to move Jackson to the floor to administer CPR. There, Alvarez said, he did chest compressions while Murray gave the singer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
“After the second time he gave a breath, he came up and said, ‘You know, this is the first time I give mouth to mouth, but I have to do it, he’s my friend,'” Alvarez said.
In the spectator’s gallery, Janet Jackson, the singer’s sister, shook her head and held the bridge of her nose with her fingers. Jackson family members and friends filled an entire row in the courtroom for the dramatic testimony.
His mother, Katherine, dabbed away tears as Alvarez recalled Jackson’s daughter, Paris, rushing into the bedroom where her father lay stricken and screaming, “Daddy!”
Alvarez, his own voice choking with emotion, recalled Murray shouting, “Get them out! Get them out! Don’t let them see their father like this.”
The cardiologist, who was tending to Jackson during a comeback attempt, has pleaded not guilty and said through his lawyers that he did nothing that should have caused Jackson’s death.
Under cross-examination, Alvarez acknowledged he had not told police in two initial interviews that Murray had ordered him to remove potential evidence.
“You didn’t think it was suspicious?” asked defense lawyer Ed Chernoff.
“Apparently not, sir,” Alvarez said.
“You thought he was packing up to go to the hospital, right?” the lawyer asked.
“Yes, sir,” Alvarez replied.
Chernoff also questioned Alvarez about his relationship with the Jackson family, which briefly employed him as a guard for the late singer’s children, and his discussions with other Jackson staffers, with whom he shares an attorney.
Alvarez acknowledged that he had refused to speak to a defense investigator who had sought to interview him, but that in a police interview he had said he might sell his story to the media at a later date.
Alvarez noticed that Murray had been using a catheter on MJ (which might mean he was attempting to drain the urine to conceal the level of propofol there).
He told the court that he held open the bag as the doctor dropped the bottles of medicine inside and then put it in a brown canvas bag on the floor, per Murray’s instructions.
Murray also told Alvarez to grab one of the two bags hanging on an IV stand next to Jackson’s bed and put it in another bag. Alvarez said he noticed a “milk-like substance” in the bottom of the IV bag.
(In the bottom? So the IV bag had been used up?)
TMZ is making its own news of course and says that “during cross-examination, defense attorney Ed Chernoff got Alvarez to admit that he never told police about Murray ordering him to remove the bottles and Alvarez later admitted that he may try to sell his story”.
(Please note that TMZ is NOT saying Alvarez was planning to do it “later”. In fact they are using the word but place it into a different context thus conveying a different meaning).
I find Alvarez’s explanation why he didn’t mention the fact during the first informal interviews with the police quite credible – in a mess of it all they could initially overlook the importance of some details:
“You didn’t think it was suspicious?” asked defense lawyer Ed Chernoff.
“Apparently not, sir,” Alvarez said.
“You thought he was packing up to go to the hospital, right?” the lawyer asked.
“Yes, sir,” Alvarez replied
Let me emphasize again that Alavarez said he could sell his story to the media at a later date:
“Alvarez acknowledged that he had refused to speak to a defense investigator who had sought to interview him, but that in a police interview he had said he might sell his story to the media at a later date.”
Paramedic Richard Senniff testified that he arrived at the Jackson home, just four minutes after the 911 call was placed [at 12.26].
According to TMZ, Senniff said that, based on the condition of Jackson’s body, it appeared that Murray waited at least 20 minutes to call 911. Senniff also stated that when he asked Murray what meds Jackson had been administered, he listed only lorazepam. More details here:
Jan 5 2011 7:52 PM EST 4,379
Michael Jackson Doctor Conrad Murray Hid Evidence, Guard Testifies
By Gil Kaufman, with additional reporting by Kara Warner
The second day of testimony in the preliminary hearing of Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, featured damning testimony from one of the late King of Pop’s bodyguards about Murray’s actions in the critical minutes after the singer was found unresponsive.
After a former Jackson staffer testified Tuesday that Murray appeared to not know how to perform CPR properly, security guard Alberto Alvarez said on Wednesday (January 5) that the cardiologist frantically grabbed medical evidence from the star’s bedroom before instructing Alvarez to call 911.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Alvarez said he was the first person to walk into Jackson’s bedroom after Murray realized his patient was not breathing, where he found the cardiologist administering chest compressions with one hand while Jackson lay on his bed, which goes against the recommended procedure for the life-saving method.
“I said, ‘Dr. Murray, what happened?’ ” Alvarez told the court. ” ‘He had a bad reaction, he had a bad reaction,’ that’s all he said.” Alvarez choked up as he described how Jackson’s daughter, Paris, followed him into the room and screamed when she saw her father sprawled out and unresponsive on the bed.
He said Murray then instructed him to get the children out of the room, noticing as he left that Jackson’s penis was out of his underwear and that medical tubing was attached to it. When Deputy District Attorney David Walgren asked Alvarez if he knew what a condom catheter was, the security guard said he did not.
Alvarez said he then witnessed Murray grabbing a handful of bottles, which he instructed the security guard to put in a bag. He told the court that he held open the bag as the doctor dropped the bottles of medicine inside and then put it in a brown canvas bag on the floor, per Murray’s instructions. Murray also allegedly told Alvarez to grab one of the two bags hanging on an IV stand next to Jackson’s bed and put it in another bag. Alvarez said he noticed a “milk-like substance” in the bottom of the IV bag.
“After you had collected the bottles per Dr. Murray’s instructions, and after you had collected the bags per Dr. Murray’s instructions, did Dr. Murray instruct you to call 911?” Walgren asked. “Yes, sir,” Alvarez responded.
TMZ reported that during cross-examination, defense attorney Ed Chernoff got Alvarez to admit that he never told police about Murray ordering him to remove the bottles and Alvarez later admitted that he may try to sell his story.
Later in the day, EMT Richard Senniff testified that he arrived at the Jackson home, just four minutes after the 911 call was placed. According to TMZ, Senniff said that, based on the condition of Jackson’s body, it appeared that Murray waited at least 20 minutes to call 911. Senniff also stated that when he asked Murray what meds Jackson had been administered, he only listed lorazepam (Ativan).
Jackson cook Kai Chase also testified, revealing the food she prepared for Jackson prior to his death (seared ahi tuna and salad, white bean Tuscan soup) and that she knew something was wrong when Murray came downstairs in a panic and summoned Jackson’s son, Prince. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1655367/michael-jackson-doctor-conrad-murray-hid-evidence-guard-testifies.jhtml
Paramedic Richard Senneff testified that Murray’s responses to his questions didn’t add up, and he noticed one IV stand in the room (initially there were two of them and the one that was attached to the leg had already been removed). Here are the details:
Michael Jackson’s bodyguard testifies he was ordered to bag up drugs
First published Jan 05 2011 05:14PM. The Associated Press
… Alberto Alvarez said he was the first security guard to reach Jackson’s room after word came that something was wrong.
The King of Pop was on his bed connected to an IV tube and a urinary catheter. His eyes and mouth were open, and physician Conrad Murray was leaning over him doing one-handed chest compressions to try to revive him.
Alvarez said he was “frozen” at the sight. “I said, ‘Dr. Murray, what happened?’ And he said, ‘He had a reaction. He had a bad reaction,’ ” Alvarez recalled.
…Later in the day, a paramedic who responded to Jackson’s mansion said Murray never mentioned he had given the singer propofol.
Richard Senneff testified that Murray’s responses to his questions didn’t add up, and the paramedic noticed an IV stand in the room.
Murray told him to get the children out of the room, saying, “‘Don’t let them see their father like this,'” Alvarez said. “I turned to the children and I told them, ‘Don’t worry children, we’ll take care of him, please go outside,’” he said.
The paramedic says that Murray claimed that Michael was still alive when they arrived. The TMZ makes a nasty hint that MJ’s frailness and bluish hands and feet were signs of him being an addict rather than the signs of him being already dead (this is a nasty and crazy statement and I hope our medical consultants will clarify this point).
Here are the details of the TMZ story:
1/5/2011 4:35 PM PST by TMZ Staff
EMT: Murray Wouldn’t Accept That Michael Was Dead
An EMT continued testifying after a recess, stating all of the emergency workers at Michael Jackson’s house knew the singer was dead, but Dr. Murray wouldn’t “call it. ”
Richard Senneff testified about facts that TMZ has been reporting for more than a year — that when paramedics arrived at MJ’s house, there was no sign of life and no chance of revival. Nevertheless, Senneff testified Dr. Murray claimed to feel a pulse and, as the senior medical person on scene, refused to pronounce MJ dead.
Murray ordered the EMTs to take MJ to the hospital. Senneff said the ride was “unbelievable … like the Rose Parade. People running down the street, taking pictures, random cars passing the ambulance. It was insane.”
Once at UCLA, Senneff said Murray was “spinning … moving around, nervous, sweating, multitasking.”
On cross examination, Ed Chernoff got Senneff to admit … Jackson’s skeletal, frail frame, along with his black/bluish feet, were signs of a drug addict. http://www.tmz.com/2011/01/04/michael-jackson-doctor-conrad-murray-preliminary-hearing-trial-witness-propofol-death/
When the operator said to transfer the singer to the floor, Mr Alvarez grabbed Mr Jackson’s legs and Dr Murray grabbed his upper body.
He said at that point he noticed the IV in Mr Jackson’s leg that had been removed. The guard also saw that Mr Jackson had the urinary catheter.
Mr Alvarez said Dr Murray then asked him to give the man chest compression, while he did mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
Giving evidence on 6th January 2011, Alvarez spoke of how he frantically obeyed Murray’s orders to bag up medical equipment including syringes before ringing for an ambulance for Jackson. http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/story/michael-jackson-bodyguard-says-he-froze-at-sight-of-body_1193800
According to the paramedic things didn’t add up:
Witness in Jackson case: Things didn’t add up
By ANTHONY McCARTNEY, AP Entertainment Writer Anthony Mccartney, Ap Entertainment Writer
The career paramedicdashed into Michael Jackson’s bedroom, looked around and listened to a doctor’s explanation for why the singer was ostensibly lifeless and came to the conclusion that things didn’t add up.
Richard Senneff said the gaunt patient, an IV stand and bag next to the bed and the presence of Dr. Conrad Murray pointed more to a hospice patient, not an international pop superstar about to embark a series of London concerts.
Although the doctor said he was treating Jackson for dehydration and exhaustion and he had just passed out, Senneff recalled how the singer’s legs were cold and limp, his open eyes dried out, and his hands and feet turning blue. The doctor never mentioned that he had given Jackson propofol, a powerful anesthetic that authorities say killed the musician, Senneff said.
He said that he saw no signs of the propofol or the other sedatives ultimately found in Jackson’s body, and Murray made no mention of the anesthetic as paramedics rushed to try to find some way to save the singer. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110106/ap_on_en_mu/us_michael_jackson_doctor_73
* * *
From all the above morbid details it seems that besides the gross negligence Conrad Murray showed in every possible way, he also manifested total non-professionalism as a doctor. This leads us to an obviously crucial question in the whole matter – who recommended this man to Michael Jackson?
Even if Michael Jackson was the one who made the final decision I hope you will agree that he was in no position to judge the doctor professionally – generally people learn about a doctor’s reputation from what other patients say about him and are unable to check his qualification themselves.
Also from the way Conrad Murray insisted that Michael was fit for performing while he was clearly not – at least for some 10 days or so in June (as even Kenny Ortega saw him too weak to perform and sent him away), it looks that Murray was following someone else’s instructions and was pushing Michael to perform even at the cost of completely wearing himself out.
This is suggestive of another conclusion – those who were instructing the doctor didn’t give a damn for Michael’s real condition. Whether it was intentional or involuntary we don’t know but the result is the same whatever case it is.
It seems to me that Michael’s fate was already decided when this non-professional and obedient ‘doctor’ who was not really taking care of his patient was hired for Michael Jackson and it was just a matter of time when the tragedy would reach its final stage.
By whom was he hired I wonder?
Go to the TRIAL & TRIBULATIONS site for the transcript of the hearings – click on Dr. Conrad Murray Prelim, Day 2 part 1
For additional information click on Dr. Conrad Murray Prelim Day 2, part 1-b.
Updated by Co-Ed on January 10, 2011
Dr. Conrad Murray Preliminary Trial: Day 1 ~ January 4, 2011:
As part of his opening statement: Deputy District Attorney David Walgren ( who is the co-prosecutor along with Deborah Brazil) said:
“Dr Murray was treating Michael Jcakson at his home, 100 North Carolwood. He would go to Jackson’s house in the evening. He would stay overnight at the location and provide care to Michael Jackson. According to Condrad Murray himself, these visits were six nights a week for two straight months. He was giving Michael Jackson propofol to asisst him in going to sleep. This was going on every might for two months. “
Walgren went on later in his opening statement to describe propofol as a:
“powerful anesthetic used for surgery. There is no indication for it to be used for insomnia. It’s specifically used for surgery. On Tuesday ( June 23, 2009) Jackson followed his same routine and arrived at The Staple Center for rehearsals. The rehearsals went fabulous and Michael Jackson was optimistic. Everyone was impressed with the energy and optimism Michael Jackson portrayed. The following day, ( June 24, 2009) Jackson followed his same routine and arrived at The Staple Center and begins his rehearsal. By all accounts it was a fabulous, energetic rehearsal and Michael Jackson left optimistic for the future.
On June 24th, he returns home around 1am, actually , it’s June 25th. Dr Murray’s car was parked in the driveway. Security dropped Michael off and the security detail departed for the evening. Documents will show the emails placed by Dr Murray and the telephone calls that were given Dr Murray began his treatment by giving Michael a valium pill that was followed by and IV at 2am with midazolam ( a benzodiazepine). At 3am, that was followed by another sedative given through the IV. At 5am, another treatement of diazepam. According to Dr Murray between 1 ad 10 am in the morninh he slwosly infused Michael with propofol.
At some point Michael Jackson ceases to breathe and dies. The evidence will show through the paramedics, that by all accounts Jackson was dead in the bedroom at 100 N. Carolwood prior to the paramedics arriving at the location. Piecing together what happened, there were only two people in that room. ”
Later in his statement Walgren says:
” At 11.50 am, a phone call Dr Murray made to an assistant lasted 11 minutes. At some point the phone conversation stopped. The assistant got off the phone and tried to call Dr Murray back. There was a commotion in the bedroom that the person heard. ( The People ) believe that Michael Jackson might have stopped breathing, and it was at this time that Dr Murray became aware of the serious condition of his patient. Dr Murray did not call 911: he called one of Michael Jackson’s security personnel. He told security to call for help right away. He needs help. 12:12 phone call to Michael Amir Williams – Michael Jackson’s personal assistant. ” ( VMJr note: Williams was not at the house at this time.)
” Michael Amir Williams was not at the location. Michael Amir calls Faheem Mohammed ( head of Jackson’s security – H.O.S) who was not at the location either. They both drive back towards the house. Learning that Faheem was not at the house Michael Amir calls someone else. At 12.17 pm Alberto Alvarez recieves a phone call from Michael Amir. Security was stationed outside the house. They had their own trailer ( on the property). The security detail was finally allowed upstairs where Dr Murray was. Alberto Alvarez ( a security guard in Faheem’s team) sees Dr Murray trying to do CPR on the bed, one handed. Dr Murray repeats that Michael Jackson has had a bad reaction.
Dr Murray begins to distract Alvarez to collect evidence. 911 has not been called or ordered to be called by Dr Murray. Dr Murray is having Alvarez help him collect various bottles of medicine, medical paraphenalia, medical bottles, wrappings, and dropping them in his [bag.] Dr Murray tells Alvarez to grab the bag on the IV that was hanging. Alberto Alvarez grabs that bag and plaves it in with the other items. It is only then he is told to call 911. The 911 call was placed at 12:21 pm.
Michael Amir was called by Dr Murray at 12:12 pm. The shortest time Dr Murray waited to call was 9 minutes. That’s assuming that 12:12 is the first time that Dr Murray knows of Michael Jackson’s demise. Circumstantially it was at 12 noon that Dr Murray may have paid enough attention to Michael Jackson [to notice his distress.]
Paramedics were on site within 4 minutes. [Paramedics found] Michael Jackson’s eyes were fixed and dilated. Wide open. He was cool to the touch. Systole. Completely flat-lined. Cold to the touch.”
Walgren is seeking to establish that Dr Murray is guilty of “extreme deviation” from the standard of medical care by, among other things, administering the surgical anesthetic propofol without proper medical monitoring equipment being used, and in a home setting instead of a surgical room.
While the above facts alone are alarming in themselves, several more are now known. The combination of drugs being given to Michael were without a doubt an accident waiting to happen. In addition, the fact that Dr Murray would later attempt CPR with one hand, and on a bed, as well as later failures to adequately debrief the attending paramedics on the scene or treating medical doctors at UCLA of the exact nature of the medications given to Michael — are clear deviations from the standard duty of care expected of physicians attending an emergency.
There are no witnesses to the treatment Murray provided Michael with because no employees were allowed upstairs in his mansion, but Walgren would also go on to say in his opening statement that the phone records are circumstantial evidence that Murray was fatally “distracted”and not “paying attention” to Michael — certainly enough to give the care that should have been expected from anyone let alone someone being paid $ 150, 000 per month.
The subsequent autopsy would reveal that there was a much larger amount of propofol found in Michael’s system than Dr. Murray (eventually) admitted he administered. The prosecution will argue that all the drugs were administered by Dr. Murray.
The apparent lapses in a medically accepted standard of medical care in an emergency scenario and anomalies in the timeline of events on the morning of June 25, 2009, as well as the discrepancies in the amounts of propofol given and found, are the primafacie reasons why Dr Murray was initially charged and is now (in all likelihood) facing a criminal trial.
This, in a nutshell, is what these prelims are all about — the establishment of guilt by Dr Murray as the primary causal factor in Michael Jackson ‘s death.
Dr. Conrad Murray Prelim: Day 1 ~ Tuesday, January 4, 2011:
Testimony by first witnesss Kenny Ortega, Director and co-producer (along with Michael) of the ‘This Is It’ tour and stage production, in which he said that Michael was involved and energized about the forthcoming tour and that he seemed vital apart from one day on June 19, 2009 when he thought Michael looked ” lost” and not ” in the kind of condition to be at a rehearsal” and had advised Michael to go home to rest.
After brief verbal pressing by counsel for the defense, Ed Chernoff, asked Ortega whether he had ever seen anyone in a withdrawal state from drugs. Ortega replied that he had not. Chernoff did not pursue this point further.
After Ortega’s testimony, Michael Amir Williams, Michael’s personal assistant and liaison between domestic and security staff gave his testimony.
In that testimony ( given to Walgren,) we learned that Williams recalled that Murray left a frantic sounding voicemail on his phone from Dr. Murray at approx 12:11 pm, in which [according to Williams] Murray implored him to, ” call me right away, hurry call me [back] right away.”
This, Williams, immediately did.
After Dr Murray asked [Williams] where he was and was told by Williams that he was not at the house with Michael, Murray told him that Michael had had ” a bad reaction” and that he needed Williams to ” get here right away!”
Dr. Murray did not instruct Williams to call 911.
After Williams got off the phone with Dr. Murray he immediately called Faheem Mohammed, Michael’s Head of Security. That call was recorded as occurring at 12:12 pm. When Williams was told by Mohammed that he was also not at the main house, Williams then called Alberto Alvarez at 12:17 pm. Alvarez was, at that time, employed as one of Michael’s security guards.
Williams later described the chaotic scene at the mansion and UCLA hospital and recalled the moment when Frank Dileo (Michael’s past and present manager) had to tell Michael’s children that their father was dead. Williams also added that he, Dr. Murray, and everyone else there at the hospital were crying when it became clear that Michael was actually dead.
When cross-examined by Defense attorney Ed Chernoff , in our opinion [abnormal emphasis was paid to whether or not members of Michael’s security and domestic staff were members of the Nation of Islam (N.O.I). This reflected some of the coverage slant in the 2005 trial as no information gleaned from this line of questioning can possibly have any relevance on whether or not Murray observed an adequate level of care towards his patient.
The next person to testify was Faheem Mohammed (Head of Security). This testimony revealed something that many fans have been speculating about with some incredulity. The subject of CPR came up during the hearing as a bodyguard recounted how Dr Murray while crouched next to [Michael’s] bed asked:
” in a panicked state, does anyone know CPR?”
Fans and many others have interpreted this as meaning that Murray either did not know CPR or was even unwilling to give CPR for his own. It is at this point that VMJ now hands over to the ER Doc for an analysis of this issue.
ER Doc says:
In 2010, the American Heart Association released their new and updated protocols for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, CPR.
CPR can be performed by a trained or lay person on an adult or child in cardiac and/or respiratory arrest. This simply means the person has stopped breathing and the heart may have stopped beating. CPR is performed with the goal of moving as much blood around the body as possible before help arrives bringing more advanced life saving equipment.
The current recommendations are:
1) To begin chest compressions as quickly as possible once a person is found unconscious;
2) 911 should be called immediately; 30 fast compressions are recommended and then 2 breaths. This is to be repeated at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute.
With this in mind, we’ll address Mr. Muhammed’s testimony in the State’s case against Dr Conrad Murray:
Muhammed states that he and Mr. Alvarez, after being summoned to Michael’s bedroom by Murray, found Murray bent over the bed, performing CPR with one hand.
It may be that his other hand was under Michael’s back which would give a measure of support for functional CPR to occur. Muhammed states that Murray appeared “in a panicked state” asking, ‘Does anyone know CPR?”
It should be noted that this is a normal verbal part of CPR—if there is a lone rescuer and someone arrives on scene, it is customary and common to ask this question.
In Murray’s case, he may or may not be practiced in CPR. He was and is an office based cardiologist who may or may not have very minimal exposure to the use of CPR or more advanced life saving measures such as those routinely performed by paramedics or ER personnel. 2011 Guidelines do stress the importance of contacting 911 as soon as possible:
See link. http://www.cardiacscience.com/assets/020/7415.pdf ~ER Doc 1/5/2010 for further information.
Dr. Conrad Murray Prelim: Day 2 ~ Wednesday, January 5, 2011:
On the second day of the prelims, Alberto Alvarez — a security guard — testified that when he entered Michael’s bedroom after being instructed to go there by Michael Amir Williams, that he found Dr Murray performing a one-handed version of CPR on Michael, and further, that Michael was lying on his bed while Dr Murray did this.
When Alvarez asked Dr. Murray what had happened, Dr Murray again said that Michael had “a bad reaction.”
Alvarez said that when he walked into the second-floor bedroom of Jackson’s home that that Michael was sprawled out on the bed with his eyes and mouth open, and Murray was administering chest compressions with one hand.
Alvarez: “ I said, ‘Dr. Murray, what happened?’” Alvarez said. ”
Dr Murray: ” He had a bad reaction, he had a bad reaction,’ that’s all he said.”
Alvarez testified that two of Michael’s children followed him into the bedroom, with Paris, screaming “Daddy” and crying on her hands and knees just outside the bedroom, and Prince standing just inside the bedroom witnessing this horrific scene. Alvarez was visibly emotional before the court as he described these events.
Dr Murray told Alvarez to get the children out of the room, saying, “‘Don’t let them see their father like this,'” Alvarez then testified that, “I turned to the children and I told them, ‘Don’t worry children, we’ll take care of him. Go outside please.”
After he escorted the children out of the room, Alvarez noticed Michael’s genitalia were exposed out of his underwear and tubing was attached to his intimate area. DDA David Walgren at this point in the testimony asked Alvarez if he knew what a condom catheter was. Alvarez replied that he did not.
Alvarez then testifed that Dr Murray then began grabbing a handful of medicine bottles and instructed Alvarez to put them in a bag. In his testimony Alvarez said,
“He [ Murray] grabbed a handful of bottles or vials. He instructed me to out them in a bag.”
Alvarez said he grabbed a plastic bag from a chair and held it out as the doctor dropped the bottles inside, then put them in a brown canvas bag on the floor as Murray asked him to do. Alvarez testified that Murray also instructed him to grab one of two bags from an IV stand next to Jackson’s bed and put it into another bag.
Alvarez said he noticed a “milk-like substance” at the bottom of the IV bag. We, of course, now know this was the propofol anesthetic.
DDA Walgren then put this question to Alvarez:
“After you had collected the bottles per Dr. Murray’s instructions, and after you had collected the bags per Dr. Murray’s instructions, did Dr. Murray instruct you to call 911?” Walgren asked.
Alvarez replied yes.
At this point in the proceedings, Walgren played the 911 call. When Alvarez told the emergency operator that a “50-year-old man was on a bed, unconscious and not breathing,” the operator instructed him to move the man to the floor to perform CPR. Alvarez testifed that when he told the operator that the [Michael’s] doctor was there, the operator expressed surprise.
“Oh, you have a doctor there?” the operator said, adding that the doctor would be the “higher authority.”
When the operator said to transfer [Michael] to the floor, Alvarez testified that he grabbed Michael’s legs and Dr Murray grabbed his upper body. Alvarez said at that point that he noticed the IV in Jackson’s leg and that this was removed. Alvarez testified that Murray then asked him to give Jackson chest compression, while Murray did mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Recalling Murray as saying, “‘You know this is the first time I’ve given mouth-to-mouth but I have to do it because he’s my friend,” Walgren then asked Alvarez this question:
“Did it appear he [Michael] was breathing,”
Alvarez replied “No sir.”
Walgren then asked if [ Michael’s] ” ..eyes and mouth were open?” Again Alvarez replied “Yes,”
Walgren obviously wanting to establish clearly that Michael had in fact died in Dr Murray’s care then asked:”Did he [Michael] seem to be alive or dead?”
Alvarez replied “Dead, sir.”
It is obviously highly suspicious that — and this is borne out by the phone records discussed in the court on day 3/4? — it was only when Dr Murray was satisfied that certain medicinal items were out of sight that he then told Alvarez to call 911.
That call was received, according to UCLA records, at 12:22 pm. It was actually made at 12:21 pm.
In his opening statement on Tuesday January 4, Deputy District Attorney Walgren said that Dr. Murray had waited as long as 21 minutes before paramedics were called and that Jackson had died before help was summoned.
Indeed Dr Murray was the “higher authority” here, but the Alvarez testimony would seem to indicate that on the morning of june 25, 2009 (and further in the weeks beforehand) Dr. Murray was not acting in the best interests of his patient but — in his own.
The chef’s testimony ~ Kai Chase:
Kai Chase testified that Dr. Murray did not ask her to call 911 when around 12:05 pm, when he came downstairs and called for her to “Get Prince!” Her description of Murray’s demeanour was one of panic.
“His eyes were enlarged,” Chase testified. ” He was screaming. ”
This reaction by Dr Murray will be seized on by the defense as one that shores up the ‘accident’ component of this event. However, since the charge is ” Involuntary Manslaughter ” it does not obviate culpability.
Again, these are crucial minutes when two key decisions should have been made if the patient was not already asystole.
1) Effective CPR should have been taking place
2) A 911 call should have been made.
Had a 911 call been made, an emergency team would have already been on their way to North Carolwood. Chase also testified that the normal routine of Dr. Murray getting juice already prepared for Michael from the kitchen was not observed. Chase also testified that the dinner she prepared the night before and left in the refrigerator for when Michael returned from rehearsals at the Staple Center was untouched when she arrived around 8:30 am on June 25.
We know that Alvarez was called by Michael Amir Williams at 12:17 pm and that it took the paramedics approximately 4 minutes to get on site at Michael’s residence after Alvarez called 911 at 12:21 pm — thus placing the paramedics at the scene at 12:26 pm.
In their testimony Goodwin, Senneff and Blunt testifed that Michael’s eyes were “fixed and dilated. “They also testifed that they did not observe in evidence the standard medical equipment one would typically expect to see in an emergency scenario, and that they intially thought the patient they found lying on the bed was a long term hospice patient as he was so “pale” and ” frail” looking — to the extent that they did not recognize the man they saw as bearing any resemblance to Michael Jackson.
The paramedics would later testify that they also thought this because of the IV drip by the bed and the presence of a Doctor at the scene.
The first paramedic on the scene after the 911 call – Richard Senneff – also testfied on Day 2:Wednesday, January 5, 2011:
We now hand over to the ER DOC for some thoughts on the Senneff testimony.
ER Doc says:
Paramedics notice telling signs about Michael Jackson’s condition.
A 25 year veteran LA Firefighter/paramedic, Richard Senneff, testified that when he arrived on scene at Michael Jackson’s rented home on June 25, 2009, he witnessed a patient lying on a bed with an IV line in place and a physician at bedside. He further stated that his first impression was of a possible hospice patient because the man was very thin and pale with said physician in attendance.
Mr. Senneff described Michael Jackson as cool/cold to touch, with pupils fixed and dilated, open and dry. He also described his peripheral extremites as blue tinged. This physical description is indicative of a person who has been dead for an extended period of time, and certainly not for a brief few minutes. Once the heart has stopped and there is no spontaneous breathing, blood does not circulate and begins to ‘pool’ in the body; the skin cools and hypoxia or lack of oxygen causes the bluish tinge that was noted by Mr. Senneff.
The condition of the eyes is very informative. A person’s eyes will maintain a sheen or impression of life for a period of time after cardiopulmonary arrest occurs. Slowly, the sheen is replaced by a haze or dryness that is unmistakeable to the experienced rescuer. The pupils are typically fixed, non-responsive to light, and dilated. Sometimes, depending on medication given or personal history, one roth will not be dilated on exam.
Paramedics will obtain as much pertinent history about the patient as possible from those on scene. This is important as it may affect emergency treatment and because the paramedics will give this information to the Emergency personnel at the planned receiving hospital.
Testimony and Cross-Examination of Paramedics:
ER Doc says:
Paramedics are trained in what is referred to as ACLS or Advanced Cardiac Life Support, which are a set of procedures set forth by the American Heart Association and utilized when attempting to rescue someone in a medical emergency.
ACLS procedures include intubation, which is placing a breathing tube in a person’s windpipe and then breathing for them by hand/valve mask or placing the patient on a ventilator. Typically, a paramedic will place the correct size tube in the trachea and listen to the chest for breath sounds. Then the tube is taped across the patient’s mouth to avoid displacement.
ACLS also entails CPR, monitoring the heart rhythm, checking and re-assessing vital signs, including blood pressure and respirations if they exist. Advanced cardiac drugs such as Epinephrine and Atropine are given to the patient via an IV line. Most IV lines are placed in a peripheral vein as in the arm, hand and wrist area. Sometimes a IV is placed in a large vessel and that is referred to as a Central Line. Paramedics are not trained to place CL’s and do not carry equipment for that purpose. Central Lines are typically placed in a hospital setting by an Emergency physician, Cardiologist or Radiologist.
There is a rhythm and pace to performing ACLS rescue and there are many things occuring at the same time. Defibrillation, or ‘shocking’ the heart, is a
common and important aspect of ACLS as it is often responsible for re-starting a fibrillating heart which is a heart with no recognizable beat or rhythm.
Typically, 2-3 rounds of medication, defibrillation with accompanying CPR are performed, and if there is no response, the patient is pronounced deceased. Sometimes, heroic attempts are made such as opening the patient’s chest after trauma or inserting special heart lines for direct delivery of medications; these efforts are primarily done in Trauma Centers.
The paramedics are an extension of hospital personnel in the field; they communicate with the receiving hospital before arrival and are an integral part of emergency rescue systems.
They save lives.
Paramedic Senneff testified to DDA Walgren that when he asked Dr Murray what was wrong with his patient. Dr. Murray replied he was treating Michael for ” dehydration.” The only thing Dr. Murray revealed to the paramedics that he was treating [Michael] with was the sedative Lorazepam.
* Murray omitted to tell the paramedics that he had given Michael the drug Propofol. *
This omission from VMJ’s standpoint is a vital part of the circumstantial evidence that will go towards establishing culpability on the part of Dr Murray. Despite later testimony by Dr Cooper to the contrary that disclosure of propofol usage would not have made any difference to the outcome of June 25, it is clearly not usual or accepted practice for a Doctor or anyone attending an emergency to withold information.
This non-disclosure will become a key point in the trial. If the paramedics had the full information they may have left for UCLA quicker, and they would have been able to give that information to the medical staff at UCLA who were still holding on the line after being called by Alvarez. The importance of full and accurate disclosure will be addressed by the ER Doc below.
Senneff had previously testifed to the court when questioned by David Walgren that when he arrived at the scene he asked Murray if he was treating his patient with anything, Murray told him he was treating [Michael] with Lorazepam to help him sleep and that the IV was used to treat [Michael] for dehydration.
Seneff said Dr Murray’s to him that [Michael] “.. was practising all night. I was treating him for dehydration….It all seemed to simple. ”
This information given by Dr. Murray was not only incomplete, it was also incorrect. Furthermore Senneff testified that when he was asked Dr Murray ” how long the patient was down,” that Dr Murray said ” It just happened. ”
Senneff also stated that [Michael] legs when he picked him up to move him to the floor ” were quite cool” and that [Michael’s] “eyes were dry. ”
Both these physicalites are known indications that the patient may have been asystole for some time. In Senneff’s opinion, Dr Murray’s stated evaluation of how long his patient had been in trouble “didn’t add up. ”