Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

'Mistakes made' in Jackson probe

Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray is on trial in connection with the superstar's death
Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray is on trial in connection with the superstar's death

A coroner's investigator has acknowledged that she made mistakes while collecting medications and other evidence from Michael Jackson's bedroom after he died, but she minimised the issues by saying no investigation is perfect.

Investigator Elissa Fleak was aggressively cross-examined by defence lawyer Ed Chernoff as he tried to expose flaws in the way medical evidence was handled by authorities in the case against Dr Conrad Murray.

Mr Chernoff pointed to pictures that he said indicated things had been moved in the room. The images showed an IV pole and saline bag in two different locations. A bottle of medicine Ms Fleak said she had found on the floor was photographed on a nightstand.

In addition, Mr Chernoff said Ms Fleak did not note that she had found a bottle of the powerful anaesthetic propofol inside an IV bag until March 2011, nearly two years after the singer's death.

"Would you agree with me that you made a substantial number of mistakes in your investigation?" Mr Chernoff asked. "No," Ms Fleak said.

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren attempted to minimise the missteps.

"Ms Fleak, did you conduct a perfect investigation in this case?" he asked. "No," she said.

"Have you ever conducted a perfect investigation?" Mr Walgren asked. "No," said the witness.

Authorities say Jackson died of acute propofol intoxication combined with other sedatives administered by Murray. Defence attorneys have an alternate theory that the King of Pop gave himself the fatal dose when the cardiologist left the singer's bedroom.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

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