Dr. Conrad Murray Trial Begins; Defense Tells Jury Michael Jackson Killed Himself

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In his opening statement in the the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, attorney Ed Chernoff told the jury Michael Jackson killed himself.

Earlier, prosecutor David Walgren delivered the state's opening argument, using a stark visual of what appears to be Jackson's lifeless body on a gurney.

Below are summaries of the opening arguments laid out by both sides:

Michael Jackson Death Photo

L.A. County D.A.'s office prosecutors argued this morning that ...

  • Michael Jackson fully trusted Dr. Conrad Murray with his life
  • The cause of death was an overdose of Propofol, administered by Murray
  • Murray repeatedly acted with both gross negligence and incompetence
  • Murray bought very large quantities of Propofol on a regular basis
  • Murray knew Michael's state and what he was doing to the singer
  • In the weeks before Michael died, he was cold, shivering and rambling (Kenny Ortega will testify to this) but Murray kept giving him Propofol
  • Murray scolded Ortega for expressing concerns about Jackson's health, saying "Michael is physically and emotionally fine. I am the doctor."
  • Michael died in his bed and was dead when paramedics arrived
  • Murray was texting and making phone calls while he sat by MJ
  • He made eight phone calls on June 25, 2009, the last at 11:51 to a girlfriend, and that's when Murray realized there was an emergency
  • Murray instructed bodyguard Alberto Alvarez to essentially hide evidence in a blue bag - possibly including the fatal dose of Propofol
  • Murray never told EMTs or UCLA doctors he gave MJ Propofol
  • His guilty conscience caused him to stall the investigation
  • Murray committed "medical abandonment" of Michael Jackson by leaving a patient unattended while under anesthetic in this manner
  • Conrad Murray acted with gross negligence and was not acting in Jackson's best interests, but rather his own $150,000/month salary

Then it was time for the defense to lay out its theory. They claim:

  • Michael Jackson swallowed 8, 2 mg pills of Lorazepam, then self-injected a dose of Propofol that created a "perfect storm" that killed him
  • There was no way to save Jackson, who died instantly
  • Jackson "had a problem" that no amount of determination could overcome, even with his talent, and was in a deteriorated state for years
  • Dr. Murray is a good man, a cardiologist who saves lives
  • Murray had no idea at the time he was brought on that MJ had so many severe medical problems, including a total inability to sleep
  • Michael Jackson told Murray that the only way he could sleep was with Propofol and always took Propofol, even before hiring Murray
  • Murray provided Propofol for two months for MJ, and during that time the singer slept, woke up, and lived life as he always did
  • Murray was trying to ween MJ off Propofol and give him other, more traditional sedatives in the days before he died - with some success
  • With execs threatening to "pull the plug" on his "This Is It" tour, MJ made it clear to Murray that he needed to sleep or the tour would fail
  • Murray only gave Jackson 25 milligrams of Propofol before MJ died - not enough to kill him. MJ went to sleep with a normal pulse rate
  • When Murray left the room, "there was zero Propofol in his [Michael's] system" ... implying Michael woke up and shot himself up with the fatal dose when Murray was gone, which he also claims wasn't negligent
  • Dr. Arnold Klein got Jackson hooked on Demerol
  • Murray hid nothing from doctors or police

We're just getting started, but right now ... what do you think? Do you buy the defense theory? Based on this, tell is if you think Murray is ...

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Michael Jackson Biography

Michael Jackson mug shot
Michael Jackson was the King of Pop, with the best-selling album of all-time and more than a dozen massive hits. After years of physical... More »
Gary, Indiana
Full Name
Michael Joseph Jackson