Jackson doctor 'gave danger drug'
Superstar Michael Jackson was killed by the actions of his personal physician, who used a dangerous anaesthetic without adequate safeguards and botched recovery efforts when he found the singer unconscious, a court has been told.
Bur defence lawyers countered that Jackson caused his own death by taking the drug propofol after his doctor left the room in a desperate attempt to overcome his chronic inability to sleep.
Nothing Dr Conrad Murray could have done would have saved the King of Pop, defence lawyer Ed Chernoff told the Los Angeles jury, because Jackson was desperate to regain his fame and needed rest to prepare for a series of crucial comeback concerts.
The competing versions of Jackson's death and Murray's role in it were laid out in opening statements at the physician's involuntary manslaughter trial.
Speaking for more than an hour, prosecutor David Walgren relied heavily on photos and audio recordings to make his case that Murray was an inept and reckless caretaker of Jackson.
He showed a photo of a lifeless Jackson on a hospital stretcher, and played a recording of Jackson speaking to Murray while the prosecutor said he was under the influence of an unknown substance roughly six weeks before his death.
The singer's speech was heavily slurred but recognisable as the international superstar. He spoke of his hopes for the upcoming concerts.
"We have to be phenomenal," Jackson is heard telling Murray. "When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, 'I've never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go. I've never seen nothing like this. Go. It's amazing. He's the greatest entertainer in the world."
Murray is accused of giving Jackson a lethal dose of propofol in the bedroom of the singer's rented mansion, but Mr Chernoff said Jackson gave himself the fatal dose.
He claimed the singer swallowed several pills of the sedative lorazepam on the morning of his death and that was enough to put six people to sleep. He also said Jackson self-ingested propofol, and it killed him instantly.