Belfast Telegraph

Jurors hear Jackson tape at trial

Michael Jackson's words have echoed through a Los Angeles court at the start of the trial of the doctor accused of killing him.

The tape was played after prosecutors showed a photo of the dead King of Pop on a hospital trolley, as a worldwide audience watched on TV and Jackson's family looked on from inside the Los Angeles court,

In the recording, a slow and slurred Jackson said: "We have to be phenomenal. 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'."

Prosecutors played the audio for the first time during opening statements as they portrayed Dr Conrad Murray, 58, as an incompetent physician who used a dangerous anaesthetic without adequate safeguards and whose neglect left the 50-year-old superstar abandoned as he lay dying.

Defence lawyers countered that Jackson caused his own death in June 2009 by taking a drug dose, including propofol, after Murray left the room.

Nothing the cardiologist could have done would have saved Jackson, defence lawyer Ed Chernoff told jurors, because Jackson was desperate to regain his fame and needed rest to prepare for a series of crucial comeback concerts.

A number of Jackson's family members were in the court, including his father Joseph, mother Katherine, sisters LaToya and Janet, and brothers Jermaine, Randy and Tito. LaToya Jackson carried a sunflower, her brother's favourite flower.

The family's most emotional moment came when the prosecutor played a video excerpt from Jackson's This Is It London rehearsal in which he sang Earth Song, a plea for better treatment of the environment. Prosecutor David Walgren noted it was Jackson's last performance.

Murray, who arrived at court holding hands with his mother, denies involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, he could face up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical licence.


From Belfast Telegraph