Prosecutors in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, called one of the cardiologist’s girlfriends to the stand Tuesday (October 4) in an attempt to nail down what Murray was doing as his famous client was dying of cardiac arrest.
Houston, Texas, steakhouse waitress Sade Anding told the jury that six minutes into a phone call with Murray on June 25, 2009, Murray suddenly disappeared as she was telling him about her day. “I realized he was no longer on the phone,” she said of the call that took place less than a half-hour before Murray placed a frantic call to Jackson’s assistant asking for help. At one point, she described hearing coughing, mumbling and other voices on Murray’s end, as if his phone was in his pocket. The call was one of a half-dozen that phone records show Murray made during a crucial time when prosecutors say he should have been monitoring Jackson’s vital signs closely.
Other testimony on Tuesday:
» Another woman, Michelle Bella, said she got a text message from Murray that morning, and an employee of the doctor said she exchanged eight minutes’ worth of calls with him during the final hours of Jackson’s life.
» Murray’s current girlfriend and the mother of one of his seven children, Nicole Alvarez, 29, at first denied knowing that the doctor was pulling down $150,000 a month for treating Jackson. She said she met Jackson in 2008 and that she spent time with the pop star and Murray several more times after their son was born in 2009. Alvarez also testified that by June 2009, Murray was leaving their apartment at 9 p.m. almost every night and returning in the morning and that she signed for packages in April, May and June of 2009 but didn’t know they contained the powerful anesthetic propofol. She told prosecutors that she planned to travel with Murray to England for Jackson’s planned string of 50 This Is It shows.
» Alvarez said she spoke to Murray as the doctor rode in the ambulance to the hospital with Jackson’s body, one of four calls the two exchanged on the afternoon of the singer’s death.
» ABC News reported that none of the propofol bottles recovered from Jackson’s room had the pop star’s fingerprints on them, a detail that may deal a blow to the emerging defense theory that Jackson dosed himself with the surgical anesthetic while Murray was out of the room and caused his own death
» Pharmacist Tim Lopez told prosecutors he sent Murray 225 vials of propofol in total, as well as 20 vials of lorazepam and 60 of midazolam in April 2009, with some sent to a Santa Monica address that was likely the apartment the doctor shared with Alvarez.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter. He faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.