The involuntary manslaughter trial of former Michael Jackson doctor Conrad Murray got under way again Tuesday (October 11), when the jury viewed photos from Jackson’s autopsy for the first time and heard more testimony from the lead police investigator in the case, the rest of a taped interview Murray gave to investigators two days after the singer’s death, and potentially damaging testimony from L.A. County medical examiner Dr. Christopher Rogers who pronounced Jackson’s death a homicide.
Among the highlights of Tuesday’s testimony:
» The jurors heard the rest of a taped conversation between Murray and police, during which the Texas cardiologist said he had no idea what medications Jackson was getting from his other physicians and that the pop icon did not inform him that he was even seeing other caregivers. Murray also repeatedly referred to Jackson’s dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, as the one physician he knew of who regularly prescribed drugs to Jackson behind his back.
» One segment of tape had Murray telling police, “When [Jackson] came back [from Klein’s office], he was basically wasted and required 24 hours for recovery,” adding that the production team on MJ’s This Is It shows regularly complained about Jackson’s visits to Klein’s office.
» The pathologist who performed the autopsy on Jackson, Christopher Rogers, told the jury that the singer was healthier than most 50-year-olds, with no heart disease or abnormalities, and that he found no fluid substances in MJ’s stomach, mouth or esophagus, seemingly dealing a blow to the line of reasoning Murray’s team is reportedly pursuing: that Jackson swallowed a fatal dose of the surgical anesthetic propofol without Murray’s knowledge . Rogers emphasized the fact that, based on his findings, “The circumstances do not support [Jackson’s] self administration of propofol. We don’t know what Murray did when he went to the bathroom,” Rogers said. “He had control [of the dosage] and might have accidentally given too much.”
» In one of the most shocking moments to date, prosecutors showed an image of Jackson’s deceased, naked body on a gurney in the hospital, an image taken just moments after MJ was pronounced dead.
» The Los Angeles Times reported that Defense Attorney Ed Chernoff hammered the LAPD’s lead detective in the case, Scott Smith, about what Murray said in that taped interview on June 27, 2009. In one exchange, he asked Smith if there was anything Murray refused to talk about or if there was any question he would not answer, to which Smith replied, “No.”
» Though Chernoff said Smith took very detailed notes of the exchange, he never once mentioned in them the state of a key piece of prosecution evidence: a bottle of propofol found inside an IV bag. Earlier in the case, a coroner’s investigator admitted that she found the bottle but never photographed or documented it in her notes.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter. He faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.