Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Court told of Jackson 'dependency'

Dr Conrad Murray listens to proceedings during his involuntary manslaughter trial over the death of Michael Jackson (AP)
Dr Conrad Murray listens to proceedings during his involuntary manslaughter trial over the death of Michael Jackson (AP)

Conrad Murray has described how he spent months trying to help Michael Jackson through a raging case of insomnia, giving him nightly infusions of an anaesthetic until realising the singer was becoming addicted.

The medic's account, in an interview with police that was played publicly for the first time during his trial, was so detailed and graphic that Jackson's sister Rebbie ran from the courtroom during the description of the singer's death scene.

The interview took place two days after Jackson's death, and in it Murray is heard describing his relationship with the star, the medications he gave him and the efforts to save his life.

Murray sounded calm, speaking in a lightly accented voice. As he neared the end of his story, emotion crept in.

"I loved Mr Jackson," he told the detectives. "He was my friend. He opened up to me in different ways. I wanted to help him... I cared for him. I had no intention of hurting him. I did not want him to fail."

But he added: "I realised Michael Jackson had a dependency and I was trying to wean him off it."

The June 27 2009 interview outside a noisy hotel ballroom gave police their first hint that Jackson's death was not from natural causes and that he had been given the powerful anaesthetic propofol in an effort to cure his extreme insomnia.

"He's not able to sleep naturally," Murray told the detectives early in the interview.

Prosecutors contend that Murray was reckless by giving Jackson propofol outside of a hospital setting and without the proper monitoring equipment. They claim he gave the singer a lethal dose of the drug and other sedatives on the day Jackson died.

But defence lawyers say Jackson gave himself the lethal dose after Murray left the room. Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

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