After bringing a succession of Dr. Conrad Murray’s girlfriends to the witness stand, on Wednesday (October 5), prosecutors in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s personal physician focused on the kinds and amounts of drugs Murray ordered in the months leading up to the pop star’s death at age 50 on June 25, 2009.
The most anticipated moment of the day was the promise of the full recording of a slurred-sounding Jackson recorded on Murray’s phone in the weeks before the “Thriller” singer’s death. Bits of the tape were played during the prosecution’s opening statements.
Among the testimony Wednesday:
» In the much-hyped phone recording, Jackson talks to Murray about his grand plans for the This Is It shows, including raising enough money to start the Michael Jackson Children’s Hospital. “I love them because I didn’t have a childhood,” he says of why kids are his primary cause. “I had no childhood. I feel their pain. I feel their hurt.” When Jackson goes silent for 13 seconds, Murray asks, “Are you OK?” Jackson’s response: “I am asleep.”
» Medical-supply rep Sally Hirschberg testified that Murray put in drug orders that were a bit unusual for a cardiology clinic, including ones for Lidocaine and IV bags. The former is typically used as a local anesthetic to relieve skin irritation from the injection of anesthetics such as propofol, the surgical anesthetic Murray administered to Jackson on the night of his death.
» Hirschberg also said she refused to send supplies to a private address Murray provided in California because of company policy, sending them instead to the doctor’s Las Vegas office. The day after Jackson’s death, Hirschberg said she got a call from Murray’s office asking her to cancel an order for medical supplies.
» DEA computer forensics examiner Stephen Marx discussed emails on Murray’s phone containing medical information about a patient named “Omar Arnold,” which is reportedly one of the aliases Jackson used to obtain prescription medicine.
» Investigator Elissa Fleak from the L.A. County Coroner’s office testified that when she inspected Jackson’s bedroom the day he died, she found a variety of prescription pills at his bedside, including heavy sedatives Diazepam, Lorazepam and Temazepam, as well as a blue bag full of propofol vials, the same bag security guard Alberto Alvarez mentioned during his testimony.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter. He faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.