COURT – DAY 1 Murray Prelim
Green comments are mine
Kenny Ortega (Producer/Director – This Is It)
Michael Amir( Michael’s Bodyguards)
Faheen Muhammed (Michael’s Bodyguard)
Court convened at 9am.
Reports have Murray as usual been ‘shepharded’ in through the back door and arriving in court looking remarkably relaxed – as he continued to be throughout the whole proceedings.
Fans remained outside behaved in a respectful and dignified manner as the family filed in.
Deputy District Attorney, David Walgren said he will rely on Murray’s statements to police, as well as text messages, phone records and expert testimony to show the doctor should stand trial.
He said evidence will show Murray waited at least 21 minutes to call 911 and ordered a bodyguard to help him clean up evidence before summoning help. In the most favorable scenario, Walgren said, Murray waited at least nine minutes before calling paramedics.
He faulted the doctor in opening statements for performing CPR on Jackson with one hand on his bed, rather than a hard surface as is generally required.
He also stated that “ fabulous” rehearsal two days before his death and was set to go to London in a few days.”
Walgren also plans to call several experts whom he said would testify, “there are a number of actions displayed by Dr. Murray that show an extreme deviation from the standard of care.”
The prosecutor also said he would call a bodyguard who would testify that Murray ordered him to collect items from Jackson’s bedroom
The first witness the prosecution called was “This Is It” producer/director Kenny Ortega
Choreographer Kenny Ortega testified that he was summoned to Jackson’s home a day after letting the superstar skip rehearsal because he seemed sick.
Dr. Conrad Murray and others suggested Jackson should not have been sent home because he was physically and emotionally fine,Ortega testified, adding he was told not to try to be Jackson’s doctor or psychiatrist.
Later in the hearing, Ortega testified that Jackson had gone home early from rehearsals on June 19.
“He didn’t look well at all,” Ortega testified. “Michael was chilled and soft-spoken. … He wasn’t in the kind of condition to be at rehearsal.”
Ortega also said Jackson appeared lost.
“It was scary. I couldn’t put my finger on it,” Ortega said. “I said, ‘Michael, is this the best place for you to be or do you want to go home and be with your family?’ He said, ‘Would you be OK with that?’ I said, ‘OK,’ and he left.”
The next morning, Ortega said, he was called to Jackson’s home, where he was confronted by Murray, Jackson, the star’s manager Frank DiLeo, and Randy Phillips, head of AEG, the company producing Jackson’s “This is It” comeback tour.
“It quickly became clear that the meeting was about me,” Ortega said. “Dr. Murray was upset that I had sent Michael home the night before and didn’t allow him to rehearse.” (Really, the DOCTOR was upset MJ was sent home??? LOL Circus…)
Ortega, who later directed the Jackson concert film “This Is It” based on rehearsal footage, said the pop star was in good spirits throughout most of the rehearsals and was excited about the progress being made in preparation for the London shows.
He recalled his last conversation with Jackson.
“Michael said, ‘I know you love me and care about me. You don’t have to worry about me. I’m fine,’ and he gave me a big hug,” Ortega said.
On cross-examination, defense attorney Ed Chernoff asked Ortega if he had ever seen anyone having withdrawals from drugs, and the witness said he had not.
MICHAEL AMIR WILLIAMS
Another witness, Jackson’s personal assistant Michael Amir Williams, described Murray calling him on the day the superstar died and frantically asking him to get help from bodyguards for Jackson, who was in a bedroom
Williams stated he received a frantic voicemail from Murray at 12:13 PM on June 25, 2009. Williams said Murray’s VM said, “Where are you? Get here right away, hurry.”
Murray told him the singer had a “bad reaction” and that immediate help was needed, but didn’t ask him to call 911, Williams said.
Williams says he then called Alberto Alvarez, MJ’s security guard, and asked Alvarez to walk to the front door. Williams says he heard Murray’s voice in the background, then Alvarez hung up
Williams added that staff were never allowed upstairs.
Williams described the chaotic scene at the mansion and hospital and recalled the heartbreaking moment when DiLeo told Jackson’s children their father was dead. Williams said he and Murray and everyone else were crying. He also added that Murray added to the confusion by immediately contradicting Dileo.
He went on to say that at one point just after Michael had been pronounced dead, Murray insisted to Williams that he was going to go back to the house to get some ‘cream’ that “Michael wouldn’t want people to see”. Williams immediately contacted staff at the house to ‘lock it down’. Also whilst chaos reigned at the hospital the Murray was requesting Williams to get him food!
One of Michael’s other bodyguards, said he and and guard Alberto Alvarez saw Murray crouched next to Jackson’s bed “in a panicked state asking, ‘Does anyone know CPR?'”
“I looked at Alberto because we knew Dr. Murray was a heart surgeon, so we were shocked,” Muhammed said
When defense lawyer Ed Chernoff asked if perhaps Murray was only asking for help because he was tired, Muhammed said “The way that he asked it is as if he didn’t know CPR.”
Jackson appeared to be dead at that time, with his “eyes open and his mouth open, just laying there,”
Prosecutor David Walgren earlier said that Murray used “ineffectual CPR with one hand while the patient was prone on a soft bed.” Two hands with the patient prone on a hard surface is the proper method, he said.
Muhammed, the third witness on the opening day of the hearing, said he never saw Murray performing CPR on Jackson before paramedics arrived and carried him to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Jackson’s two oldest children, Prince and Paris, were at their father’s bedroom door as the drama unfolded just after noon on June 25, 2009, Muhammed said.
“Paris was on the floor on her hands and knees and she was just crying,” he said.
The children would learn two hours later that their father had died when Dr. Murray and Jackson manager Frank Dileo talked to them in a hospital room.
The session ended at approx 16.30pm. To be reconvened on 5/1/11 at 09.30am
Travis Payne was also present.