Michael Jackson’s Doctor Faces a Thriller of a Trial!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Conrad MurrayTHIS April, in what many predict will be the most watched criminal proceeding since O.J. Simpson’s, Dr. Conrad Murray will be tried for involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop. Meanwhile, the California Medical Board is filing a motion to revoke the cardiologist’s medical license.

Thirty years ago, Dr. George Nichopolous, was tried on the same charges in the death of Jackson’s father-in-law, Elvis Presley. The Tennessee Medical Board also moved to pull his license. Nichopolous was acquitted of manslaughter charges, and the board suspended him for three months.

In spite of the acquittal, Vernon Presley insisted that Dr. Nick had murdered his son. In The Death of Elvis, authors Thompson and Cole assert that the star’s father made an unsuccessful attempt to have the doctor assassinated at the Memphis Liberty Bowl.

The Jackson family has repeatedly stated its belief that Michael was murdered by Murray, in league with “a shadowy entourage.” Father Joe has denounced the manslaughter charge as inadequate, saying that Michael himself had predicted he might be murdered. Should Murray, like Nichopolous, be acquitted, the Jacksons’ only remaining option may be in a Wrongful Death civil action, such as that the Goldmans filed against the acquitted O.J.

Meanwhile, in the next months Dr. Conrad’s defense team will be pouring over “thousands of pages of evidence,” according to litigator, Michael Flanagan. His colleague, Ed Chernoff, has pledged that they will “fight like hell.” A former prosecutor, Chernoff is now a defense specialist who has lost only one felony jury trial out of forty. The third member of Murray’s team, Joseph Low, has never lost a murder case.

In spite of their collective talents comparable to O.J.’s Dream Team, the Murray team faces no easy task in proving to a jury that their client is not guilty of “gross negligence.”

In presenting evidence of this, the Prosecution will claim:

  1. Murray left the room after giving Jackson the anesthetic, propofol.
  2. He failed to intubate Jackson.
  3. He improperly administered CPR.
  4. He failed to immediately call 911.

The Defense will have difficulty disproving the first two allegations. It will challenge the third with Murray’s own sworn statement that he placed a hand under Jackson’s back while administering CPR. Lastly, it will try to make credible Murray’s claim that he had no immediate landline to call 911, and that he couldn’t remember his street address for a cell phone call.

Chernoff will likely assert that his client made diligent efforts to substitute propofol with less potent sedatives. Similarly, Dr. Nicholopous’s lawyers successfully persuaded the jury that he had tried to “wean” Elvis off narcotics by using placebos. Though unable to make the same claim, Chernoff will stress that his client strenuously resisted Michael’s demands for “my milk” – his propofol.

Now Murray’s team will hammer on Jackson’s history of drug abuse and “doctor shopping.” It will remind the jury of the star’s own 1993 admission of painkiller abuse. It will outline the history of the Jackson family’s many unsuccessful drug interventions. It will enter into evidence documentation of the singer’s failed foreign dry-outs (Mexico, ’93; Seoul, ’99).

The Defense may also call to the stand Jackson’s first rehab doctor, Steven Hoefflin. In ’93 he warned the star’s managers: “Either the drugs are going to kill him or he’s going to die by flying out of a window, because he thinks he’s can fly.” Then the Defense may call Michael’s favorite physician, Dr. Arnold Klein, who stated that, during the’96 HIStory tour, the singer had traveled with an anesthesiologist who “took Michael down at night and brought him back up in the morning.”

Countering this evidence, the district attorney might point out that Jackson did not die on this anesthesiologist’s watch, as he did on Murray’s, because he was not grossly negligent. To prove that not all Michael’s doctors were “enablers,” the DA could call to the stand Dr. Eugene Aksenoff who refused him the stimulants he wanted, and his nurse, Cherilyn Lee, who refused to give him propofol.

Presenting evidence from the searches of Murray’s offices, computers, and car, prosecutors may try to prove that he ran a “pill factory.” Enumerating the half a million dollar court judgments against him, as well as his credit card defaults, and child support nonpayments, prosecutors will portray the defendant as a scofflaw and financial desperado.

The long sealed autopsy report will be hotly debated. Jackson was “fairly healthy” and had a “strong heart,” it concludes. Also, according to his AEG concert promoter, he had passed his three-hour physical exam “with flying colors.”

Michael Jackson

So, contrary to all the rumors about suffering possibly terminal conditions, Jackson apparently was not on the brink of death at all, the DA will insist. Illustrating this, the jury will surely be shown an animated Jackson rehearsing at the Staples Center the night before he died.

Rebutting, the Defense may remind the jury that the star had collapsed on stage in a previous rehearsal. As for the last, televised, event, the performer arrived three hours late, appearing listless and impaired, then apparently danced and sang energetically.

What perked him up? Chernoff might ask an expert medical witness. Could it have been amphetamines which the star had routinely used in the past?

If Jackson had used uppers to perform, getting to sleep that night would have been all the more difficult for him. Indeed, the sedatives Murray administered were inadequate, so Jackson begged him for surgical anesthesia.

Now the crucial question arises: Did the defendant administer a “safe” dose — a dose within accepted medical guidelines?

Experts will debate the “safe” dose issue based on the patient’s size, other drugs in his system, and his general health. The third variable is especially critical and could become Murray’s trump card. Why?

A doctor can competently and safely treat a patient only if he knows his true physical condition. Jackson had suffered many serious ailments over the years – some documented, others rumored – and kept his medical records closely guarded. Was Murray given access to the complete records? Unlikely. More likely, he was shown Jackson’s clean bill of health from the recent AEG physical. So, he administered a dose of propofol based on the reasonable assumption that Jackson was in good health.

The autopsy report itself confirmed this. But, paradoxically, it added that Jackson had suffered from “chronic lung inflammation, respiratory bronchiolitis… and patchy hemorrhage of right and left lungs.”

So the Defense might ask: How could the AEG physical have missed this, especially for a singer? Or was the lung abnormality redacted from the report, since the producers knew it could cause the delay or cancellation of their lucrative London concerts?

Chernoff might subpoena Jackson’s medical records to see if any of his many doctors had independently diagnosed lung disease. But the records could be altered or missing. If so, Chernoff could call for testimony from insiders who have stated that Jackson suffered from alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and needed a lung transplant.

“Because Mr. Jackson’s severe pre-existing lung condition was not revealed to my client –by Mr. Jackson himself, his other doctors, and/or his producer’s medical examiners –he miscalculated a “safe” dose of propofol, assuming he was treating a ‘healthy’ patient,” Chernoff might tell the jury in closing. “As a result of their own negligent or deliberate failure to disclose a lung condition, Mr. Jackson’s suffered respiratory failure.”

Should the Defense risk taking this argument a step further, it could summon former Jackson employees who in recent years have said the star had threatened suicide and believed he had only a short time to live. In this way, a “suicide by doctor” scenario could be suggested. Murray would be portrayed as neither negligent nor unprofessional, but as an unwitting dupe. “A fall guy,” as Joe Jackson himself has insisted, but without a conspiracy behind him.

Even if conspiracy were a charge in People v. Murray, it would all but impossible to prove. But many Jackson managers and producers will be watching the trial closely since a king’s ransom in life insurance money will be at stake.

Sony, AEG, and untold other giants had multi-million dollar policies on the star. If he had been diagnosed with a terminal lung condition and concealed it, insurance pay-outs can be voided. If his drug abuse is deemed intentionally self-destructive, the pay-outs can also be voided. Weeks after his death, his estate executors – worried about the upcoming toxicology report – settled for $3 million on one $20 million policy.

In sum, this trial will be about far more than the liability of a single doctor in the death of an individual. It will be about enormous sums of money, and about a celebrity subculture of dangerous substance abuse fed by enablers. Above all, it will be about a universally loved pop idol who became a prisoner of that suffocating popularity and, ultimately, its victim.

Whatever in fact happens during this historic trial, and whatever verdict is reached, justice will not be the only issue, but hopefully it will be served.

This article was written by David Comfort, author of My Rock And Roll Book Of The Dead and a forthcoming title about Michael Jackson. You can visit his website at www.rockandrollbookofthedead.com.


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  • CAF

    Thank you for at least speaking of Michael in a respectful way-for not calling him Jacko, for not calling him wierd and for addressing the issue at hand. As far as I am concerned all of MJ’s enablers are as responsible as Dr. Murray. MJ made some really bad choices in life, but he didn’t deserve to die because of it.

    • Tracy Terry

      Jacko was abused

  • LMT

    It makes me sick that Michael will be put on trial here.
    There is no safe dose of propofol outside a hospital
    setting and without the most basic of monitoring. There
    were no stimulants found in the toxicology reports–only
    the sedatives given by Murray. He died of acute propofol
    intoxication–given to him nightly over a period of 6 weeks or so. As a physician, my firm belief is that
    Murray is guilty of gross, and in this case, criminal
    negligence in the death of his patient. And money is
    at the heart of it.

    • Tracy Terry

      hey, mike paid him, ok?

  • LMT

    I also want to add that “Patchy hemorrhages of right and
    left lungs” can be a result of vigorous resusitation
    efforts. These efforts were prolonged and vigorous
    enough to cause fractured ribs.

    • cleo

      Dont blame doctor murray for Michael’s death he was already sick.Murray is innocent!!!

    • Tracy Terry

      i think he died while working on his trapeze

  • alex moon

    It is my opinion that Michael Jackson was betrayed by humanity, the very thing he cared so much about. While there may have been several good, concerned people in Michael’s life and employ, the bad, greedy ones won out in the end. A lot of people took advantage of Michael Jackson. Sure, he was the one taking the drugs, but but he also surrounded by greedy enablers who cared only about themselves and money.
    Who knows; if he had gotten the love he so wanted and deserved because of who he was as a human being and not solely because of his talents and fame, he might still be with us today. I did not know MJ but I feel his absence keenly. Even if he were not famous for one single thing in this lifetime, he sounds like the kind of person I would have loved to have hung out with.

    • Tracy Terry

      i was with him when he died. he told me that he never liked you

  • katedh

    None of Murray’s arguments are valid. Even if MJ withheld info,a credible , competent MD would 1) never administer this drug outside a hospital, period ! 2) would never do so without monitors and respiratory support 3) never leave patient unattended 4)as a cardiologist should be the most proficient of all providers at CPR which includes calling EMS immediately…not a 12 year old to watch as you pretend to do CPR.First lesson AHA teaches is to call for help. There were others in earshot…he has a mouth. Yell for help. A cardiologist would know that after an hour it’s too late. MJ was dead long before Murray discovered got around to gtting off his cell phone and checking on his patient and he tried to cover it up. Even the dose he reports is garbage. 25 mg is not a valid dose. To keep someone asleep requires a drip infusion. Half life of this drug is mere minutes. He’s lying. 150k should have seen MJ to a counselor or drug rehab not the morgue.

    • Tracy Terry

      i think he ate a bad… did he ever eat?

  • Anna

    that’s a great article….This is a summary of all the ideat I have had since Michael’s death.. it’s clear that AEG’ medical staff lied about this health condition…they didn’t mention he had vitiligo or this problem related to his lungs.. but I think it’s the firt time that this problem is mentioned… he had a problem in 1995 and I’m sure that this problem had to be recorded in his medical reocrds..
    Someone published a personal testimony on Mjcomunity resporting that Michael didn’t attend all the rehearsals, he suffered from back pain and some of the manager of the tour noticed that Michael could be not very ready to complete the 50 shows…and then they hired a doctor…(Murray, probably) and RANDY PHILLIps Had invested a lot of money on this show ( this is another anonymous testimony from this is it tour)
    so, THIS is a really great article.. I’m glad that people has in mind all these possible points on Michael’s death…
    They should ask why he had so much insomnia during the period of reharsals…. Many testimonies from FANS who saw MIhcael after rehearsals, say that Michael told
    them that they had made him rehearse too much… but I DON’T know if this is can be reliable….

    I think Murray is guilty from involuntary manslaughter.. and AEG is also guilty , they should have controlled what Murray was doing on Mihcael.. and if they saw thaT mICHAEL WAS NOT FINE and then they hired Murray… so AEG IS GUILTY completly!!!! Maybe they though that hiring a doctor, Michael’s weakness would disappear and he would be able to rehearse and do the tour.. but then wHY DID aeg not wonder why Michael was so weal if he had passed the physical test some time ago???

    I would like to know why michael accepted to do a tour if he knew himself that he was not enough strong to face such tour.he did it due to his financial problems as the media reported many times????

    • Tracy Terry

      you people.. Michael paid this sonuvagun to give him propofol.. let’s not be so hard on old Murray. if Michael paid me a million dollars a month to pour arsenic down his throat, i couldn’t shove it in his mouth fast enough

    • xhriz_mjj23

      ..and you dont need to be a Doctor “or to do it if u give him medicine that you’ll know will harm and cause of death of patient!!!you have to Hired killer!!!!”

  • dan

    The anesthesiology report makes absolutely clear that this was not a case of involuntary manslaughter but of PREMEDITATED MURDER!!! So, not only Murray should rot himself in jail but also he should confess WHO hired him to kill Michael. Because these criminals have stolen the life of the world’s most beloved artist in the history of mankind and thus they cannot get away with this crime. Not only do the Jackson family demand JUSTICE FOR MICHAEL but also THE WHOLE PLANET does, for having been deprived of the most talented artist and the most lovable human being of all times.

    • cleo

      People die everyday,so why should it be an issue just because its MICHAEL!YES he did a great job for the world so please let him REST IN PEACE!!!

    • Tracy Terry

      that’s cool that you know how to spell ‘anesthesiology’

  • Anna

    I don’t think it was a PREMEDITATED MURDER… I think Murray should explain why a high dose of propofol was found on Michael’s body anD Why did Murray give to Michael so many drugs that night??? the more drugs you take, it doesn’t mean you will heal sooner..
    mAYBE I don’t want to believe in the idea of killing Michael jackson… I don’t thinks so… But Murray is guilty of involuntary manslaughter.. that’s for sure!! I DON’T KNOW why the judge said was not guilty..
    and AEG are very involved in the last health condition of Michael… wHY DID HE need to take so dangerous drug????
    wHY DID he have to do 50 when he had signed to do 10????
    This problably made increased his stress and insomnia…
    but anyway, PROPOFOL should not have been in Michael’s house.. and Dr, Murray SHOULD not have purchased it with any reason… but he did it.. so HE’S GUILTY!! HE didn’t mention propofol to the medical staff, why???? if he had say it, the doctors had been able to treat him better…

    • Tracy Terry

      Murray is innocent. he didn’t mean for this bald-headed pygmy to expire on his watch. i say, let Murray go!

    • xhriz_mjj23

      Hey you tracy stop commenting you asshole,if you can’t do anything in life,why dont you just kill ur self and suicide,you dump bastard!!!!!

  • bell

    The same criminal organization that plotted the 2005 conspiracy against Michael and had him unjustly prosecuted, is the criminal organization that, this time, hired Murray to kill Michael for several reasons: racial, political and financial. This time they knew that if Michael went back on stage, they would not be able to destroy his image again. That’s why they killed him 2 weeks before the concerts. But before killing Michael, this criminal organization, which, among others, includes the music industry and the media, arranged everything so “conveniently” that now they are getting huge profit from the massive selling of MJ’s products, and IT IS PRECISELY WITH THIS MONEY that they are paying Murray’s lawyers and his “white-collar” treatment. (How would Murray manage to afford all this otherwise?).

    Thus, all the people involved with Michael Jackson just before his death should be investigated: Frank Di leo, Dr. Thome Thome (Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42kvlwc0rlA), AEG. Also Sony (watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx4NwrMtgw8&feature=related)
    Branca and McClain (MJ’s estate administrators) and the DUBIOUS will of 2003 should be investigated as well. All these people are now making huge profit at the expense of Michael’s death.

    So Michael’s father and La Toya are right: Murray is guilty of having murdered Michael and should be charged accordingly. But also Murray should be interrogated in order to get to know the names of the people who hired him to kill Michael and who are now making huge financial profit off of his death. For THEY SHOULD ALSO BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. All the legions of fans throughout the world stand by the Jackson family and will not rest until JUSTICE FOR MICHAEL BE DONE.

    • Tracy Terry

      you know, there’s a whole world going on out there.. birds are singing.. you know? the clock is ticking… go have an ice cream cone

  • Chantel

    u son of a bitch u killed Michael!!!!!fuck u i hope they give u lethal injection so u get a taste of ur own medicine hahaha

    • Tracy Terry

      wow! and good day to you… lemme outta here!!!

  • Chris

    I hope you MJ fans have better luck in the trial of MJ doctor than with Elvis doctor, Dr Nick was found not guilty. How could he be not guilty when he prescribed Elvis 1000`s of pills which contributed to his death. If MJ doctor is found guilty, which he should be then the case against Elvis doctor should be re opened. GOOD LUCK.

    • Tracy Terry

      i just saw Elvis. he works at Sears in the vacuum cleaner department. he drives the delivery truck

  • esh.jackson

    YOU,DR.DEATH MURRAY,DISGUST ME.YOU TOOK AWAY OUR BELOVED ANGEL FROM US!

    • Tracy Terry

      c’mon… get a life

  • esh.jackson

    I DONT CARE ABOUT HOW MUCH DRUGS MICHAEL TOOK.THIS IS ALL BECAUSE OF THE LIES TOLD BY THE BLOODY EVIL MEDIA!YOU CANNOT DESTROY MICHAEL’S IMAGE,YOU RACIST BLOODY MEDIA,HIS IMAGE IS GROWING GREATER AND GREATER BY THE SECONDS!I LOVE YOU MICHAEL,SO MUCH!AND I PROMISE THAT I’LL KEEP YOUR MEMORY ALIVE AND SPREAD YOUR LEGACY!

    • Tracy Terry

      he hears you NOT! newsflash: HE CROAKED!

  • Monique

    I am hoping this Dr is found guillty…not just for MJ’s sake but for Elvis’, Heath’s, Anna Nicole and countless others who have “problems” and their doctors forget that a medical oath was taken and see only $$$$.

    By law if a doctor knows a client has a drug problem, he cannot write control substance prescriptions for him. He has to seek help for his client (ie rehab, hospital). HE must refuse to give the patient meds.

    The Propofol (spelling?, sorry) is only suppossed to be administered in a hospital or hospital like setting.

    It is obvious, and already proven, that Murray committed a crime KNOWINGLY. He knows that and is looking for loopholes and his lawyers may find them.

    I hope the judge and jury that Murray goes in front of decide to make an example of him. That they decide to send a message to those doctors who have pledged to help humanity but then hurt people because they care more about MONEY.

    Rest in peace sweet King of Pop- your are with the angels and no one can ever harm you (physically, emotionally or psychologically) again….

    • Tracy Terry

      yes, he was THE KING OF POOP

  • jake

    this did’nt have to happen, more than this doctor r
    guilty of m,j’s death, including family members &
    friends. who did little, not enough, or nothing at
    all

    maybe these people should have held michael in higher
    regard, than his money

    guess now they’ll all have to go to work for a living
    damm leeches

    • Tracy Terry

      maybe they could start a leech farm

  • Karmen

    Chris, thank you so much for your kind words. It would be great if MJ and Elvis fans were together in this. We can do it!
    Murray is guilty and I hope Brian Oxman can make justice. What if Michael took drugs in 93? That’s 16 years, for god’s sake! We’re all human beings, we make mistakes and Michael was under big pressure. (I’m not justifying his addiction)
    Justice was made in 2005, let’s hope it’s made again.

    • Tracy Terry

      yeah, we can do it! let’s all pull together. i don’t have a goshdarn thing to do in the next 20 years. Hail Michael!

    • Tracy Terry

      yeah, lets band together and get together the band

  • Leigh

    If this Doctor does not get 2nd Degree Murder all of Michael’s fans worldwide should find a way to make Dr. Murray pay for this once and for all. Someone should try to Murder Dr. Murray for justice!!!

    • Tracy Terry

      yeah! lets be vigilantes! Mike would have loved for us to kill in his name, right? right!! Leigh, YOU lead the way. we shall follow.. DEATH TO ALL

  • CAF

    Calling for someone to murder Dr. Murray is beyond the pale- that is not what Michael would have wanted. We have to hope that justice will prevail for MJ- wanting
    Dr. Murray murdered is just wrong. Please don’t be preaching that stuff to people- some fool might just take you seriously.

    • Tracy Terry

      don’t call me a fool, just because i have violent tendencies. you know, i really do try to be good, but sometimes its hard. take the other night when i killed those 6 people… they were asking for it…

  • myra

    This doctor admitted of giving these drugs to Michael. The phone records prove that he was on the phone. They have prove of that on a voice mail. Also the toxicology report prove to me that if Michael was such a drug addicted wouldn’t there be more pills missing from the bottles found from his home and found in his system? They weren’t the only drugs found were the ones that the doctor gave him. CPR wasn’t done right and he’s a heart doctor joke. Then he claims he didn’t know the address and he had been there for the last 6weeks or he couldn’t call for someone in the home to get the address? None of this adds up He is quilty of murder and I believe that I have from the very beginning I will till the day I go. This man knows what he did and he needs to admit it. I agree with Michael family its MURDER you don’t give your patient propofol and leave the room. They don’t do that in a hospital. As a doctor he should know that. In conclusion I believe this man was didn’t care for Michael he was just in for the money only. May you rest in peace Michael and may you get the justice you deserve. You were an angel on this earth and he took you away. YOU ARE LOVED MISSED BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN. LOVE YOU MICHAEL

    • Tracy Terry

      i hated him. he looked like a puppet

  • Joyce

    Murray’s team will probably attempt to use MJs past drug use as a defense. Remember though in regards to Murray that he agreed to pay child support and didn’t. This shows that Murray is a proven LIAR even when it comes to his own children. He is not a kind, Christian, generous man who helps others as he and his team want to pretend or that he is. He is an animal without a care for anyone except himself, his own greed and his lies. I would say he is a “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.”

    • Tracy Terry

      i’m an animal. you should see what i do to horses.. heh-heh

  • http://www.google.ro mjj fan romania

    The MJJ fans from Romania want justice for Michael! Murray is a murderer and he must pay for his crime! He and the accomplices who paid him to murder Michael. “They” must know that we, the fans all around the world, are united and our love for Mike is bigger than their desire to kill the love on the earth. Mike lives in each one of us! Forever! We are strong and we are millions. Mike is immortal!

    • ben

      I totally agree with you!!!

    • Tracy Terry

      right! let’s stone Murray! yeah, then we’ll tar him and let ants eat him.. yeah

  • StrangerInMoscow

    Murray is as guilty as sin and he knows it.
    Regardless of how he spins things the truth of what he did in pursuit of money can not be denied.
    The fact of the matter is Michael hired him to do a job,…instead of doing that job he went to the bathroom and played on his cell phone while Michael died in the next room.
    Murray knew beyond any doubt what the deal was and exactly what service he was hired to perform,…he did not care then and the only reason he cares now is because his greed has caused him to find himself jammed up with the law.
    Like Michael said,…you’ll do anything for money.
    There will never be peace of mind for Conrad Murray regardless of what the outcome of the trial is or is not,…he sold his peace of mind for a dollar and a brush with fame,…that is sick.
    No rest for the wicked Conrad,…your long and weary trek is only beginning,…enjoy.
    You will carry what you did to Michael for the rest of your days,…because of your direct action or should I say lack of it a beloved soul is missing from our lives,…you will reap as you have sewn,…karma has a way of finding us all.
    R.I.P. Michael,..We love you.

    • Tracy Terry

      you know, you’re just filled with hate. Michael’s life didn’t touch any of you jerks who are being vengeful… that’s not what he was about. you really ought to decide if you really respect who he was and if you want to be like him… in short, “to forgive is devine”, you know?

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    • Tracy Terry

      nobody cares… go ahead

  • Tracy Terry

    i have to go now, losers! but one more thing… GET A LIFE!!! you’re all nuts! bye-bye, dildoes :P

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  • Robin 15

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