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Michael Jackson doctor hid vials and saline bags: Murray trial update

By | Published on Friday 30 September 2011

Conrad Murray

Conrad Murray asked Michael Jackson’s bodyguard to grab vials of medicine and a saline bag, and to place them in another bag, as the late king of pop lay dying. Or so says the bodyguard in question, Alberto Alvarez, who testified on day three of the Murray trial in LA yesterday.

Alvarez told the court how he was in Jackson’s bedroom as Murray, the singer’s personal doctor, tried to resuscitate his patient. According to Reuters, he testified that: “While I was standing at the foot of the bed he [Murray] reached over and grabbed a handful of vials and then he said: ‘Here put them in a bag'”. Murray then took saline bags off an IV stand that contained a “milky white substance”, believed to be propofol, the drug that killed the singer in June 2009.

The prosecution, of course, claim that Murray negligently administered that drug, usually used in a hospital environment as a general anaesthetic, but used by Jackson as a sleeping aid. They also allege that Murray, presumably realising that he had been using surgical drugs in an inappropriate environment, tried to cover his tracks as his patient was dying, and in doing so delayed the call to emergency services.

Alvarez, one of the first people on the scene after Jackson’s “bad reaction” to the concoction of drugs he was using to induce sleep, described what he saw. “[Jackson] was laying on his back, with his hands extended out … his eyes were slightly open and his mouth was open”. The singer’s eldest two children followed Alvarez into the room and witnessed their father dying – a chef who had worked for Jackson, and who testified later in the day, suggested it was a frantic Murray who had asked for eldest son Prince to come to his father’s room. On Wednesday another security guard told the court how he had then removed the children from the bedroom once he realised what was occurring.

Alvarez added that he saw an IV stand, oxygen tubing and a device attacked to Jackson’s penis, apparently used to collect urine while a person is in a deep sleep. But, he said, there was no equipment monitoring the heart, blood pressure or anything else, something which the prosecution presumably reckon Murray should have been using if he was administering a drug like propofol.

Asked why he helped Murray clear away drugs rather than calling the emergency services, Alvarez added: “I believe that Dr Murray had the best intentions for Mr Jackson, so I didn’t question his authority at the time. I thought we were packing to get him ready to go to the hospital”. It was Alvarez who did eventually call for an ambulance, over 20 minutes after Murray had first found Jackson was not breathing. The 911 call was played to the court as the bodyguard gave his testimony.

As previously reported, Murray’s defence will argue that, unbeknownst to the doctor, Jackson fed himself the drugs that caused his untimely demise.

The case continues.