Conrad Murray trial: Case goes to jurors
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The prosecution and defense in the Conrad Murray trial concluded closing arguments on Thursday, and the case is now in the hands of the jury.
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said the death of Michael Jackson was a loss beyond measure. With his freedom on the line, Murray could only sit and listen as the prosecution explained why he was criminally responsible for Jackson's death.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence is overwhelming, the evidence in this case is abundantly clear, that Conrad Murray acted with criminal negligence," Walgren said.
Walgren spoke for more than two hours, recapping six weeks of testimony in an attempt to convince the jury that Murray should be convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
"For Michael's children, this case will go on forever because they do not have a father," Walgren said. "They do not have a father because of the actions of Conrad Murray."
Walgren reminded jurors of the reaction of Jackson's daughter Paris, who walked in on Murray trying to revive her father and screamed, "Daddy!"
Walgren said the case was about trust, but that trust was grossly corrupted. Murray signed a deal that Jackson would pay him $150,000 a month. But instead of acting as Jackson's doctor, Murray he says became an employee.
"Conrad Murray sought payment for services rendered, services rendered being the provision of propofol to Michael Jackson in his bedroom on an almost nightly basis for over two months, according to Conrad Murray's own words," Walgren said.
Walgren played the slurred audio recording of the pop singer that was first heard in opening statements. Walgren told jurors that Murray recorded Jackson on his iPhone, but instead of being concerned, he ordered more drugs for the singer.
"After hearing Michael Jackson in this condition, what does Conrad Murray do just 12 days later? May 12, 2009, he orders the largest shipment of propofol - 40 of the 100-milliliter vials, 25 of the 20-milliliter vials and 20 more vials of the benzodiazepine midazolam vials," Walgren said.
Murray's only words to explain what happened were recorded by investigators when there wasn't a clue yet about Murray's extreme treatments with the sedative propofol. Time and again, Walgren told jurors that Murray's statements were lies and deceptions.
Murray told investigators he stepped out of the room for two minutes, but Walgren showed that Murray was not tending to his patient for far longer, with lists of phone calls and text messages in the 40 minutes before the doctor found that his patient was not breathing.
"With Michael Jackson laying there in whatever condition he may have been at the moment, what was so important to Conrad Murray that he had to call Sade Anding at that time?" Walgren said. "What was so pressing that he just couldn't care for Michael Jackson?"
Walgren called the defense's explanation of Jackson's death "junk science," with no calculations to support their theory that Jackson took propofol or the sedative lorazepam on his own.
"Conrad Murray, in multiple instances, deceived, lied, obscured, but more importantly, Conrad Jurray acted with criminal negligence," Walgren said. "Justice demands a guilty verdict."
"He's done a very fine job in organizing six weeks of evidence and presenting it to the jurors in a manner in which they can easily understand and follow his arguments, start to finish, starting with the reference to Michael Jackson's children all the way through ordering more propofol," said legal analyst George Bird.
The defense, in its closing argument, told jurors, "They want you to convict Dr. Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson." Lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff said the prosecution is making Murray a fall guy when Jackson should be held responsible for his own decisions."Michael Jackson is an adult. He makes his own decisions, he had plans for the future, and he knew exactly what he was doing," Chernoff said. "There was no chance of harm to Michael Jackson based on what Dr. Murray knew he gave Michael Jackson. That is indisputable."
And Chernoff argued that Murray was swept into a media circus built into Jackson's celebrity.
"If it were anybody else but Michael Jackson, anybody else, would this doctor be here today?" Chernoff said.The jury begins deliberations on Friday at 8:30 a.m. Murray, 58, has pleaded not guilty and has denied any wrongdoing. If convicted, he could face up to four years in prison and lose his medical license.
celebrity, court case, michael jackson, entertainment
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