The trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop icon Michael Jackson, began today at a Los Angeles Superior Court with deputy district attorney David Walgren's opening remarks and a photo of the singer's dead body.
"Michael Jackson’s death was a homicide," said Walgren. "The evidence will show that Michael Jackson literally put his life in the hands of Conrad Murray... Michael Jackson trusted his life to the medical skills of Conrad Murray. The evidence will show that misplaced trust had far too high a price to pay... it cost Michael Jackson his life."
Walgren said the evidence will show that the "acts and omissions of Michael Jackson's personal doctor Conrad Murray directly led to his premature death at the age of 50. (Murray) repeatedly acted with gross negilience, repeatedly denied appropriate care to his patient Michael Jackson and that is was Dr. Murray's repeated incompetent and unskilled acts that led to Michael Jackson's death on June 25 2009."
The deputy district attorney also played an audio recording of Jackson apparently under the influence of propofol, one month before his death. Jackson sounds slurred and confused as he mumbled: "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."'
(Below is a picture of Michael Jackson's bed, where he died.)
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Walgren said the audio was evidence that Dr. Murray knew what was happening to Jackson and should have stopped the propofol: "On June 19th 'Michael showed up for his rehearsal and he was not in good shape, he was not in good shape at all. He had chills, he was trembling... he was rambling."
Choereographer Kenny Ortega, the manager of Jackson's proposed 'This Is It' tour, expressed concerns about Jackson, but Dr. Murray allegedly told him and others that Jackson was "physically and emotionally fine" and added "don't let it be your concern, I am the doctor."
The deputy district attorney also accused Dr. Murray of failing to call 911 as soon as he realized there was something wrong with Jackson. He said that an emergency call was not made until 12:20pm, about 24 minutes after Dr. Murray is believed to have discovered Jackson unconscious.
"During a phone call at 11:51am with a cocktail waitress, Dr. Murray became silent and the phone went dead," Walgren said. "This is likely the time Conrad Murray first noticed Michael Jackson's lifeless body."