By the time Michael Jackson was delivered by ambulance to the UCLA Medical Center’s emergency room, he was already dead. That was the testimony the jury heard Monday (October 3) as the second week of the manslaughter trial of the late pop icon’s physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, got under way.
“Mr. Jackson died long before he became a patient,” said emergency room doctor Richelle Cooper in testimony continued from Friday.
Other highlights of Monday’s testimony:
» Cooper said she actually pronounced Jackson dead twice, once on the phone at 12:57 p.m. on June 25, 2009, when paramedics couldn’t revive the “Thriller” singer at his rented home and again at the hospital at 2:26 p.m. after Murray insisted Jackson be transported to UCLA for further treatment.
» When defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan pressed her on whether Murray’s failure to disclose that he’d given Jackson the powerful anesthetic propofol had an effect on the care she gave, Cooper said yes. Flanagan then suggested Murray had left that fact out because he believed the propofol had worn off earlier in the day and did not cause Jackson’s cardiac arrest.
» Cooper said the amount of propofol Murray told police he’d given Jackson — 25 milligrams — was half of what she would use to sedate patients, saying it would not likely be enough to knock the singer out.
» CNN reported that the defense appears to be trying to establish a timeline that depicts Jackson dead earlier in the day to bolster their claim that he dosed himself with propofol.
» Phone records indicate that Murray was texting and talking on two of his cell phones in the hours and minutes leading up to Jackson’s cardiac arrest, during which he was supposed to be tending to the pop star. In the hour before he discovered Jackson in bed unresponsive, records had Murray making calls totaling 46 minutes, one of which came from Bridgette Morgan, who testified Monday that she called Murray a half-hour before Jackson went into cardiac arrest.
» Another ER doctor who worked on Jackson at UCLA, cardiologist Thao Nguyen, said Murray never mentioned propofol to her either as she was working to revive the singer. She added that when she pressed Murray for what time he last gave Jackson sedatives he claimed he didn’t know and did not have a watch.
» Houston doctor Joanne Bednarz-Prashad later took the stand to testify that when she spoke with Murray about a patient they shared on the morning of Jackson’s death, she was “impressed” that he had no trouble relaying details about that patient’s medical history.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter. He faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.