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Doctor called PA before paramedics: Murray trial update

By | Published on Thursday 29 September 2011

Conrad Murray

The trial of Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of causing the death of Michael Jackson, continued yesterday as the prosecution attempted to present their version of what happened on the day the late king of pop died in 2009.

The prosecution, of course, claim that Murray caused Jackson’s untimely demise by negligently administering the drug propofol. They were also keen to show that the doctor failed to respond quickly enough when it became apparent that something very bad had happened to his patient.

A former Jackson PA and security guard, and an AEG Live lawyer who worked on Conrad Murray’s contract, all testified on day two of the trial. The PA, Michael Williams, confirmed that Murray called him at 12.12pm on 25 Jun 2009, sixteen minutes after the doctor had found Jackson unresponsive. Williams didn’t pick up, and Murray left an anxious sounding voicemail saying, simply, “call me right away”.

When Williams called back three minutes later Murray told him that Jackson has suffered “a bad reaction”, and that he should come to the mansion where the singer was living straight away, and send a security guard up to the singer’s quarters immediately. The PA added that while something was clearly wrong, Murray’s use of the words “a bad reaction” did not indicate that the emergency services should be called. So he contacted a security guard at the property, and then made his way to Jackson’s home.

That security guard was Faheem Muhammed, who also testified yesterday. He told the court that when he got to Jackson’s room he saw Murray seemingly trying to resuscitate the singer. Jackson’s two older children were there – “Paris was on the ground, balled up, crying … Prince had a shocked look” – so his first move was to take them out of the room. He then returned to the bedroom where, he says, Murray asked him if he knew CPR. It was at this point the emergency services were called.

By the time Williams got to Jackson’s home the ambulance had already arrived. “It was real frantic”, he told the court in his testimony. “I got there when the gurney [carrying Jackson] was coming down”. Williams accompanied Murray to the hospital where, he said, the doctor became anxious to return to the singer’s house once Jackson had been confirmed dead. Williams: “He said, ‘There’s some cream in Michael’s room that he wouldn’t want the world to know about’, and asked that I or someone else give him a ride back to the house, so that he could get the cream”. The implication on the prosecution’s part is that Murray was keen to hide the drugs he had administered to Jackson prior to his death.

Aside from painting a picture of what happened in the minutes immediately after Jackson’s cardiac arrest, the prosecution also focused on the singer’s health prior to that day. The defence are expected to claim the singer was ill, and fearful he would not be able to complete the 50 night O2 residency he had signed up to in a bid to pay off some of his mounting debts. But Williams confirmed Jackson seemed on good form in the days before his demise, performing well at the ‘This Is It’ rehearsals, and talking to fans outside the rehearsal venue in LA.

Meanwhile Kathy Jorrie, a lawyer working for ‘This Is It’ promoters AEG Live, told the court that Murray had told her himself, a number of times, in the days before Jackson’s death how healthy the singer was. Jorrie had been drawing up Murray’s contract for his continued work as Jackson’s personal medic once the singer relocated to the UK for the London residency. She told the court: “Dr Murray told me repeatedly that Michael Jackson was perfectly healthy, in excellent condition”.

The case continues.