Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 5 March 2015

Jackson medic 'distracted on phone'

Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson arrives at a court hearing for the King of Pop's doctor Conrad Murray (AP)
Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson arrives at a court hearing for the King of Pop's doctor Conrad Murray (AP)

A former girlfriend of the doctor charged over Michael Jackson's death has testified that he was distracted when he called her on the morning of the singer's death and she heard commotion in the background.

Sade Anding said she realised at one point that Dr Conrad Murray wasn't paying attention to her. She heard coughing and mumbling but didn't recognise the voice as Murray, she said. "I heard commotion as if the phone was in a pocket or something," Anding told a hearing in Los Angeles.

The testimony added details to a timeline being developed by prosecutors at a preliminary hearing where a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for Murray to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities contend the King of Pop died after Murray gave him a lethal dose of propofol and other sedatives in the bedroom of his rented mansion then delayed calling emergency services while he collected and bagged medications.

Phone records show Murray called Anding at 11.51am local time. She said she stayed on the line for five to six minutes, but Murray never got back on the phone. The records indicate 911 was dialled at 12.21pm.

Emergency room doctor Dr Richelle Cooper testified on Thursday that she believed Jackson died in his bedroom. Still, he was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre, where more than an hour of resuscitation efforts didn't change her opinion.

Dr Cooper said Murray never told her he had given propofol to Jackson nor mentioned several other sedatives that tests later showed were administered.

Murray's defence attorney, J Michael Flanagan, asked Dr Cooper if propofol use would be relevant information, since the drug wears off quickly. Dr Cooper said it wouldn't have changed her efforts to revive Jackson, but knowing the singer had been given several sedatives and propofol would have added to her understanding of why the singer died.

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