LIVE: Michael Jackson Trial

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m.: Jackson security guard Faheem Muhammad took the stand to testify about the scene at the house when his boss was found unconscious. Murray asked if anyone knew CPR and called upon Jackson’s bodyguard, Alberto Alvarez, to assist him in life-saving efforts. Before their nanny came to usher them away from the room, Jackson’s daughter Paris was “balled up crying” on the floor, while his son Prince Michael was also crying.

UPDATE: 11:55 a.m.: On cross-examination, Williams defended why, after speaking with Murray, he did not take it upon himself to call the paramedics immediately. “When I hear somebody had ‘a bad reaction,’ I don’t think fatal. And I wasn’t asked to call 911.” Today’s proceedings have recessed until 1:30 p.m.

UPDATE 11:10 a.m.: Jackson’s former personal assistant, Michael Amir Williams, took the stand, and a video was soon played of a voicemail message left on his iPhone by Murray. The message, left on June 25, 2009 at 12:13 p.m., was played for everyone in the courtroom: “Call me right away, call me right away.” When he phoned Murray back, he was informed by the doctor that Jackson had “a bad reaction” to something, and asked that he “get somebody here immediately.”

UPDATE 10:05 a.m.: Attorney Kathy Jorrie, the lawyer hired by AEG to draft Murray’s contract—which was ultimately never signed—said that he originally requested a CPR machine. When pressed as to why, he cited Michael’s age and condition and said he didn’t want to take any chances. Jorrie also testified that she spoke with Michael on June 24, 2009, just one day before his death and that he seemed to be in “perfect health.” Court has recessed for a 15-minute morning break.

28 Sept: UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: AEG executive Paul Gongaware returned to the stand and testified that Murray originally requested $5 million to sign on as Michael’s doctor. The company determined that figure was too high, but as it was Michael’s request that Murray treat him, they offered him $150,000 per month, which Murray accepted.


UPDATE 4:16 p.m.: Court is adjourned for the day, with the judge asking the jury to return tomorrow at 8:45 a.m.

UPDATE 2:56 p.m.: This Is It tour cocreator Kenny Ortega, who also worked with Jackson on Dangerous and HIStory, testified that he had been seeing the singer at least four times a week and that Jackson was primed to get back onstage, not only for his fans, but for his kids. They didn’t attend the rehearsals in Burbank, he said, because their dad didn’t want them to miss school. Not long after he met Murray, Ortega said, Jackson started missing rehearsals. “My friend wasn’t right,” he said. “There was something going on. It was deeply troubling me.” In the wee hours of June 20, Ortega sent an email to AEG Live president Randy Phillips:

“My concern is now that we have brought the doctor into the fold and have played the tough love now or never card, that the artist may be unable to rise to the occasion due to real emotional stuff,” he wrote, the letter projected onto a screen for the jury to see. “He appeared quite weak and fatigued this evening. He had a case of the chills, was trembling, rambling and obsessing.”

The following day, Ortega said, he called the house and Murray warned him to stop trying to be Michael’s doctor. Jackson also asked his friend to believe in him. On June 23  and the following day, Ortega said, Jackson was “fully involved” at rehearsal.

Then, on June 25, he received word that Jackson had been taken to the hospital. The next call informed him that Jackson had died, after which Ortega broke the news to the This Is It tour company.

UPDATE 1:41 p.m.: Court is back in session. Chernoff resumes his opening statement.

He says, “There was no doctor, no paramedic, no machine that was going to revive Michael Jackson. He died so rapidly, so instantly, he didn’t even have time to close his eyes.”

UPDATE 12:03 p.m.: Trial has recessed for lunch.

UPDATE 12:02 p.m.: In his opening statement, defense attorney Ed Chernoff says he plans to show that “Michael Jackson swallowed 8 milligrams of Lorazepam” when Dr. Conrad Murray was not in the room, adding that “Michael Jackson self-administered a dose of propofol” and, along with the Lorazepam, created a “perfect storm, killing him instantly.”

UPDATE 11:24 a.m.: During defense arguments, Dr. Murray  cried as his attorney spoke of his client’s background of helping people.

UPDATE 10:36 a.m.: 15-minute recess. Opening statements are expected to conclude today. The prosecution is also expected to call its first witness, This Is It director Kenny Ortega.

UPDATE 9:48 a.m.: Prosecution presented a 2009 voice recording from Murray’s iPhone of a groggy (allegedly drug-induced) Michael Jackson mumbling about the tour.

UPDATE 9:35 a.m.: Prosecutor David Walgren has begun opening statements. Within the first five minutes, the deputy district attorney showed a slide of Michael Jackson’s dead body on a gurney in the hospital. It is the first picture of Jackson’s dead body seen publicly.

[CAUTION: Some readers might find the following

photo disturbing]






Michael Jackson

UPDATE: 8:36 a.m.: Michael Jackson’s sister Janet, wearing sunglasses, and brother Randy have walked into the courtroom.

UPDATE: 8:30 a.m.: Dr. Conrad Murray was almost accosted by a Jackson fan as he walked down the hall to the courtroom. Two deputies restrained the woman before letting her go. Members of the late singer’s family have begun to arrive. His parents, Katherine and Joe, along with sister La Toya and brother Jermaine were seen on the ninth floor of the courthouse.

The circus has come to town once again—and we’re livestreaming the madness!

Media outlets from all over the world are clustered in front of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, where opening statements in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray are scheduled to kick off today.

Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the June 25, 2009, death of Michael Jackson, who was found to have died of an overdose of a potent anesthetic called propofol, which his doctor had been mixing with other sedatives to help him sleep.

The trial is expected to last roughly five weeks. Jackson’s immediate family is expected to be a regular presence in the courtroom. The late singer’s mother, Katherine, dad, Joe, and his brothers and sisters are all on a list of prospective witnesses, as well.