Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Jackson medic 'juggled commitments'

Conrad Murray, left, confers with his lawyers during his trial over the death of Michael Jackson (AP)
Conrad Murray, left, confers with his lawyers during his trial over the death of Michael Jackson (AP)
Prosecution witness Nicole Alvarez gestures as she gives evidence in the trial of Dr Conrad Murray over the death of Michael Jackson (AP)

Dr Conrad Murray's complicated love life became entangled with the life and death of his patient Michael Jackson, prosecutors suggested as they called a parade of women witnesses who received phone calls from the doctor as Jackson was near death.

The evidence was designed to show that the doctor was trying to juggle his medical practice, personal life and superstar patient all at the same time and was so distracted he failed to give Jackson proper care.

Murray's phone records from the day Jackson died were displayed in court as a backdrop for the testimony of those at the other end of the phone calls. Three of them were current and former girlfriends and one was the manager of Murray's Houston office.

Nicole Alvarez, who lives with Murray and is the mother of his young son, was a key witness. She said she received a phone call from Murray as he rode in an ambulance beside Jackson's lifeless body on June 25 2009.

"I remember him telling me that he was on the way to the hospital in an ambulance with Mr Jackson and not to be alarmed," Ms Alvarez said. "He was worried I would hear about it."

Three more calls to her were recorded that day but she did not remember the conversations.

Ms Alvarez was depicted as an unwitting conduit for Murray's purchases of the powerful anaesthetic propofol which Jackson craved as a sleep aid.

Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter, accused of giving the star an overdose of the drug and failing to respond properly when he found him not breathing.

Murray has pleaded not guilty, and his attorneys claim Jackson took the fatal dose himself.

Ms Alvarez recounted how she received many shipments of boxes for Murray in April, May and June 2009 but did not open them and had no idea of their contents. The pharmacist who shipped them to her Santa Monica apartment from Las Vegas testified that he thought he was shipping to Murray's medical office.

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