TMZ Full Recap Part 29 - September 2011

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TMZ Full Recap Part 29 - September 2011

  • on: January 30, 2013, 12:37:32 PM
Lawyers Seek to Bar Testimony
On Swallowing Propofol

9/6/2011 9:46 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Dr. Conrad Murray's lawyers want to ban a prosecution medical expert from testifying that ingesting Propofol would not trigger a fatal reaction.

TMZ broke the story months ago ... the defense will argue ... a frustrated Michael Jackson accidentally killed himself by either ingesting or injecting himself with a fatal dose of Propofol when Dr. Murray left the room.

Prosecutors intend to call Dr. Steven Shafer, who embraces two studies which allegedly conclude a patient can't die from orally ingesting the drug.

In one of the studies, 6 Chilean students volunteered to drink Propofol -- and they survived just fine.

Another study produced the same results, but the patients were pigs -- real pigs.

Dr. Murray's team claims the studies are hearsay, because Dr. Schafer wasn't part of the tests.

Judge Michael Pastor has not ruled on the objection.

Dr. Murray's Conduct
"Egregious and Unconscionable"

9/7/2011 9:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

A prosecution witness will testify ... Dr. Conrad Murray committed  "multiple egregious and unconscionable violations" in his treatment of Michael Jackson the day he died ... this according to documents obtained by TMZ.

Prosecutors filed the document because they want to shoot down the defense theory that MJ may have orally ingested the fatal dose of Propofol.

According to Dr. Steven Shafer, "There is a zero possibility that the propofol was orally ingested."

Dr. Shafer believes, "There is almost nothing in Murray's care of Michael Jackson that reflected the actions of a trained physician."

Judge Michael Pastor has not ruled on whether Dr. Shafer is qualified to testify about the oral ingestion of Propofol.

Shot Down Again
Over Jury Sequestration

9/7/2011 11:26 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Dr. Conrad Murray's legal team failed again in its attempt to sequester the jury in the Michael Jackson manslaughter case.

A California appeals court just ruled ... the trial judge -- Michael Pastor -- did not abuse his discretion when he decided not to sequester the jury.

The latest decision is no surprise -- appeals courts don't micro trial judges.

The upshot -- the trial will now proceed as scheduled, with the jury selection beginning tomorrow.

Signs On for MJ Tribute Concert

9/9/2011 8:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Another HUGE addition to the upcoming Michael Jackson tribute concert ... TMZ has learned Jamie Foxx has signed on and will perform LIVE in Wales at the October show.

Foxx joins Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo, Smokey Robinson and others who are set to perform at the Oct. 8 show.

Sources connected to the show tell TMZ ... show organizers are pumped up about Beyonce's performance -- and insist she did NOT pull out, despite a report to the contrary.

We're told B is recording a "unique, never before seen performance" that will be played at the show ... just as she committed to do.

Read the Jury Questionnaire

9/9/2011 4:19 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has obtained a copy of the jury questionnaire in Dr. Conrad Murray's manslaughter trial, and the lawyers and judge want to know just how obsessed potential jurors are over high-profile cases like Casey Anthony.

Among the 113 questions ...

-- Over the past several years, have you followed any publicized cases?   (e.g., OJ Simpson, Robert Blake, Phil Spector, Casey Anthony, etc).

-- Have you accessed or posted any blogs concerning Michael Jackson or Conrad Murray?

-- Agree or disagree .... Celebrities and high-profile people feel they are entitled to act however they please.

-- Agree or disagree .... Celebrities and high-profile people in Los Angeles get away with crimes because of their status.

-- Has your life or the life of anyone close to you ever been affected by the behavior of someone who had a drug (prescription or other) or alcohol addiction?

-- Did you ever watch "This Is It?"

-- Have you ever considered yourself a fan of Michael Jackson or the Jackson family?

-- Have you ever undergone a medical procedure that required an anesthetic?

-- Have you ever been prescribed medication by a friend who is a physician?

-- Has your physician ever refused to prescribe a medication that you specifically requested?

And the questionnaire lists potential witnesses to see if prospective jurors know any of them.  The witnesses include Janet Jackson, Jermaine, Joe, La Toya, Katherine, Paris, Prince, Blanket, Randy, Marlon, Tito and Rebbie.

Fam Was Ready to Help MJ Flee
If Convicted on Molestation

9/10/2011 7:28 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Jermaine Jackson says his family had a plan in place to help his brother Michael flee the country ... if MJ had been found guilty of child molestation back in 2005.

JJ told the London Times the plan was for Michael to head to Bahrain, which does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

He said a plane was on call to whisk Michael away if need be ... but MJ knew nothing about the plan. He says he thought the family could have convinced Michael to go along with it.

Jermaine told the paper, "If they were going to sit and crucify my brother for something that he didn't do, America deserves us not to come back here."

Star Map Chick Is
Ruining Our Property Value!

9/11/2011 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The owner of the home where Michael Jackson died is suing a woman who is selling maps to movie stars' homes ... just feet from the MJ house.

Linda Welton has become semi-famous for anyone who drives on Sunset Blvd. in the fancy area where MJ rented the house.  She's done a booming business since Michael died, in no small part because she's selling the maps in plain view of the MJ home.

In the lawsuit ... obtained by TMZ ... the owners of the now-infamous 100 North Carolwood Drive claims they can't sell the house because "Potential buyers are bothered upon approach by the quite visible and annoying constant illegal stopping and/or parking of cars in front of the home on what otherwise would be a quiet residential street."

The owners -- Hubert and Roxanne Guez -- claim their property value has plummeted because of the stream of traffic, Linda's lawn chair, coolers and large patio umbrella, and the illegally parked cars.  They also allege Linda is violating the law by essentially having a newsstand on a street corner.

Linda claims she's running the same business her mom did, and her mom already went to court and won a lawsuit giving her the right to sell the maps.  Linda thinks the current case is nothing more than harassment. 

Here's the problem with the lawsuit ...The way we see it, even if Linda went away, there would still be a steady stream of cars loaded with people who want to see where Michael died.

Lawyer Calls BS
On Jermaine Jackson

9/11/2011 10:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The lawyer who successfully defended Michael Jackson against child molestation charges tells TMZ ... Jermaine Jackson's claim of a plan for Michael to bolt the country if convicted would have been for nothing ... because MJ never would have had the chance to flee even if he wanted to.

Tom Mesereau tells us ... Santa Barbara Police told him several years after the trial that they were extremely concerned about possible violence if MJ was convicted. Mesereau says the cops were particularity concerned about the Nation of Islam.

As a result of those concerns, Mesereau says he was told if Michael had been convicted, he would immediately have been taken into custody and helicoptered to a prison facility in Lompoc, CA.

The upshot -- there would have been no opportunity for escape.

But more fundamentally, Mesereau says Jackson never talked about fleeing and says he obeyed the law throughout the trial.

Katherine and MJ's Kids to
Score $30 Million

9/13/2011 4:49 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

A huge development in the Michael Jackson Estate case.  The Executors have done so well making money for the Estate since Jackson died, they want to fund the Michael Jackson Trust to the tune of $30 million for the benefit of Katherine Jackson and Michael's 3 kids.

TMZ has obtained court documents in which co-Executors John Branca and John McClain are asking the court's permission to fund the trust.  According to the docs, the Estate generated more than $310 million in gross revenues as of December 31, 2010 -- that's the latest accounting.

In addition to funding the trust, the Executors are asking the court's permission to sell the longtime family home on Hayvenhurst Avenue in Encino, CA.  According to the docs, Katherine wants to sell the house and, although no price is mentioned, the property was valued at $4,150,000 when Michael died.

The docs say Katherine wants the Estate to purchase another home and she's eying several properties, but we're told the home she really wants is the Calabasas house in which she and the kids are currently living.

Key Witness Has VANISHED

9/15/2011 11:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Bizarre -- a pharmacist who testified he shipped MASSIVE amounts of Propofol to Dr. Conrad Murray in the weeks leading to Michael Jackson's death has disappeared without a trace, prosecutors claim.

According to prosecutors, Tim Lopez -- a former pharmacist at Applied Pharmacy Services in Las Vegas -- has mysteriously moved to Thailand and cannot be found.

Prosecutors now want a judge to let them use Lopez' previous testimony from the preliminary hearing in January -- when he claimed Dr. Murray ordered several large quantities of Propofol, beginning on April 6, 2009.

Two hearings have been set for next week to decide if the testimony will be permitted.

Michael Jackson Video
Proves Singer Was a Wreck

9/20/2011 4:35 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Lawyers for Dr. Conrad Murray want to show jurors just how worn down Michael Jackson was in the weeks leading up to his death -- and their proof ... MJ's blowout announcement for the "This Is It" concerts.

MJ held the news conference on March 5, 2009 ... announcing he would perform his last 10 concerts ever in London that summer ... insisting, "When I say this is it, it really means this is it."

Murray's defense team filed legal docs, claiming the video shows Jackson was rapidly deteriorating, both mentally and physically, when he made the announcement.  They're asking the judge for permission to show jurors the video, to prove Michael was literally on his last leg ... several months before his death.

Murray's lawyers also think the video is relevant because Jackson was "adamant" about performing only 10 shows, and that subsequently adding 40 dates to the schedule may have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

Shut Up or Beat It!

9/21/2011 3:57 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Some Michael Jackson fans who want to see their brand of justice meted out against Dr. Conrad Murray just got a stern warning from the judge's staff -- they'll be thrown out of court if they don't shape up.

Dr. Murray was in court today on some pretrial matters.  At one point the lawyers and Judge Michael Pastor went into chambers for a chit chat.  While they were gone, some MJ fans were staring Murray down and giving him dirty looks.

Murray then complained to the bailiff, who walked over to the fans and made it clear -- if they do it again they'll be thrown out of the courtroom.

Prosecutors Claim Murray Acted
With Guilty Conscience

9/23/2011 11:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Prosecutors in the Michael Jackson manslaughter case want the jury to hear evidence that authorities tried in vain to get in touch with Dr. Conrad Murray to figure out how Michael Jackson died, and his refusal to cooperate is evidence of a guilty heart.

Prosecutors say both the LAPD and the L.A. County Coroner tried on 4 separate occasions -- from June 30, 2009 - July 21, 2009 -- to contact Murray but never received a return call.

By falling off the radar, prosecutors believe it shows a consciousness of guilt and they want this evidence before the jury.

The judge has not ruled on the motion.


9/23/2011 3:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The twelve people who will decide Dr. Conrad Murray's fate have been chosen.

A jury of seven men and five women was selected out of 84 prospective jurors in Michael Jackson's manslaughter trial. The selection process began more than 2 weeks ago.

The trial is set to begin on Tuesday.

The Low Down

9/23/2011 5:01 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has obtained the questionnaires from the jurors who were selected to sit in judgement of Dr. Conrad Murray in the Michael Jackson manslaughter case.  Here are some highlights.

Juror #127  Mexican-American female, 54 years old, property manager, she has a daughter who was an alcohol and drug user 5 years ago, and she thinks famous people -- notably Paris, Britney and Lindsay -- are treated differently in court.  She loved MJ's music as a girl.

Juror #145 White male, 45, partner in management consulting firm, wife is pediatric nurse at a hospital, he's served twice on a jury before (murder and rape cases), watched "This is It" on Netflix.

Juror #61  White female, 57, unemployed, worked in past for Red Cross, divorced, listens to NPR, followed the OJ Simpson cases, her younger brother uses drugs, served 5 times on a jury.

Juror #70  White male, 54, college professor of animation and art, created characters for motion pictures at Disney, followed OJ trial, convicted of DUI, thinks celebs are not treated the same by police and can bend rules.  MJ fan.

Juror #44 Cuban/Mexican-White, watches History Channel, "Pawn Stars," "Sons of Anarchy" and "Modern Family," listens to Howard Stern, family members with alcohol addiction, served on a civil jury, fan of MJ, especially "Thriller."

Juror #49 White female, 43, head of communications for international marketing firm, watches NCIS and Hawaii Five-0, and motor sports/speed channel, worked in medical marketing, juror in criminal child sexual abuse case involving incest, does not think cops are more lenient with celebs.

Juror #100 white female, 48,  paralegal for 30 years, watches Big Brother, Survivor, Amazing Race, watched Casey Anthony trial, brother is an EMT, people of wealth and fame treated differently in court system.

Juror #52 Mexican male, 51, USPS letter carrier, watches Law and Order, wife is back-office medical assistant, fan of MJ.

Juror #99 Hispanic male, 42, school bus driver, father was addicted to alcohol, father-in-law died from alcohol abuse, served on a jury, MJ fan.

Juror #38  Hispanic female, 36, customer service rep, filed for bankruptcy, listens to Ryan Seacrest on radio, watched Casey Anthony trial because it involved a child, former employer is a doctor, father was an absent alcoholic, shot in a drive-by shooting in 1993, on a DUI jury, MJ fan.

Jury #128 African American male, 54, technical director for TV, cousin is a judge and another cousin who's a lawyer, his dad died of alcoholism, juror on 3 cases, loved the Jackson 5 as a kid, now likes Jay Z.

Juror #108 male "Wasp," 32, book seller, watches So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, girlfriend, in U.S. Army National Guard, grandparents attended AA, brother got DUI recently, thrown from a horse once, juror in civil trial, trained actor, MJ fan.

I'll Testify ...
With Strings Attached

9/27/2011 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Michael Jackson's eldest son Prince -- an eyewitness to the horrific scene in the bedroom where his father lost his life -- does not want to testify in the Conrad Murray trial, but he's telling family he'll do what needs to be done to get justice for his departed dad.

Sources close to Prince tell TMZ ... the 14-year-old is "nervous" and worried that if he's called to the stand he might get flustered and "mess up." 

We're told if Prince is called by prosecutors ... Katherine will ask her lawyers to request that the entire courtroom be cleared during his testimony.  Judge Michael Pastor almost certainly will prohibit the media from training a camera on Prince, but it's unlikely he'll clear the courtroom.

As we previously reported, Prince is on the prosecution's witness list, since Dr. Murray summoned Prince to the bedroom for help during the emergency.  When Prince arrived, he dissolved into tears.

The trial starts today.  We'll be livestreaming opening statements.

Arrives at Court

9/27/2011 8:21 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

It begins ... Dr. Conrad Murray just rolled up to the L.A. criminal courthouse with his massive entourage, looking sedate in a gray pinstripe suit.

Katherine, Joe, and Jermaine Jackson arrived moments later. All that's missing is a red carpet.

Opening statements kick off around 8:30 AM.

9:30 AM: Janet Jackson also arrived to court, alongside her brother Randy. LaToya arrived soon after, holding a flower.

Opening Statements

David Walgren -- Prosecutor's Opening Statement
Updated 9/27/11 at 9:35 AM

Prosecutor David Walgren delivered an opening statement, using a graphic of what appears to be Michael Jackson's body on a gurney.

* Michael Jackson trusted his life to the medical skills of Dr. Murray and it was "misplaced trust"
* The cause of death was an overdose of Propofol, administered by Dr. Murray
* We will prove Conrad Murray repeatedly acted with gross negligence and incompetence
* Walgren explained that Murray would obtain $150,000 a month, not the $5 million Murray demanded for the duration of the "This is It" tour.
* Murray made arrangements with a pharmacy to purchase very large quantities of Propofol on a regular basis
* Murray lied to the pharmacist by saying he had a clinic in Santa Monica when he did not
* On May 10, 2009, Murray made a voice recording on his iPhone ... the recording documents MJ highly under the influence of "unknown agents" with Murray sitting there.  It shows Murray knew Michael's state and what he was doing to the singer

* In the weeks before MJ died, he was cold, shivering, rambling but Murray kept giving him Propofol, and Kenny Ortega will testify MJ was clearly not well
* A meeting was held at Michael's house on May 20, 2009,  MJ died, with Kenny Ortega, Murray, MJ and others.  Murray scolded Ortega for expressing concerns about his health, saying he was the doctor, adding, "Michael is physically and emotionally fine.  I am the doctor."
* On the day MJ died, at 1 AM, MJ came home from rehearsal and Murray spent the night at the house -- as he did every night for the prior 2 1/2 months -- for the purpose of putting him to sleep with Propofol.

* Walgren acknowledged what TMZ has been reporting almost from the beginning ... that Michael died in his bed -- that he was clinically dead when paramedics arrived.
* Murray was texting and making phone calls while he sat by MJ.  He made 8 phone calls, the last at 11:51 to a girlfriend, and that's when Murray realized there was an emergency.
* Murray calls bodyguard Alberto Alvarez and says Michael Jackson had a "bad reaction."
* Murray instructs Alvarez to essentially hide the evidence in a blue bag ... putting, among other things, the Propofol bottle that was hanging on the IV stand -- Walgren is implying that's the bottle that had the fatal dose
* 911 was called at 12:20.  And, Walgren says, when paramedics arrived, MJ was dead
* Murray never told the EMTs he gave MJ Propofol, even though they asked what drugs Murray had administered
* Paramedics pronounced MJ dead, but Murray insisted he be transported to UCLA
* UCLA doctors asked Murray what drugs had he given MJ, but Murray never mentioned Propofol
* Two days after MJ's death, Murray met with LAPD detectives, and disclosed he was giving MJ nightly doses of Propofol everyday for more than 2 months to put him to sleep. This is the first time Murray fessed up.
* MJ told Murray at around 5 AM that he needed to sleep and they agreed Propofol was the answer.  Murray said he gave MJ 25 milligrams of Propofol, but that would only put him to sleep for minutes.  Prosecutors say much more Propofol was administered.

* Murray explained to cops he went to the bathroom to urinate, came back 2 minutes later to discover MJ wasn't breathing.  Prosecutors says that is called "ABANDONMENT," leaving a patient unattended is medical abandonment. 
* The prosecutor says Murray was on the phone for 45 minutes after giving MJ Propofol
* Conrad Murray acted with gross negligence and was not acting in MJ's best interests ... he was working for $150,000 a month.

Frightening Intentions?

9/27/2011 1:05 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

It seems the prosecution wanted to give the Michael Jackson death photo a murky, gritty treatment before it was presented in court this morning -- because it was clearly touched up to look as daunting as possible.

It appears the photo is NOT the original pic -- because now it includes a tattered border, a morgue-esque green hue ... and the word "Homicide" printed over MJ's body in a grainy, police-style font.

The prosecution used the photo as the background for a slide-show presentation in court.

Compare the pic to a cleaned up version of the photo (below) -- is the murky photo more likely to shake the jury?

We gotta ask ...

Prosecution's image
Misleading      62%
Fair                38%
Total Votes: 75,975

Defense Claims

Ed Chernoff -- Defense Attorney's Opening Statement
Updated 9/27/11 at 11:00 AM

Dr. Conrad Murray's attorney Ed Chernoff told the jury Michael Jackson caused his own death.

* Chernoff says the evidence will show MJ swallowed 8, 2 mg pills of Lorazepam.
* And Chernoff says MJ self-injected a dose or Propofol that created a "perfect storm" that killed him.
* There was no way to save MJ.  He died instantly.
* Chernoff told the jury what TMZ has reported for the last year -- that the centerpiece of the defense case is that Michael's death is on Michael -- not Dr. Murray.
* Chernoff also said MJ "had a problem" that no amount of determination could overcome, even with his talent, and without help he could not do the "This Is It" tour -- a tour that would score him more money than he had ever made on tour before.
* So, Chernoff says, Michael went doctor shopping.
* Dr. Murray is not a "celebrity doctor" -- he's a cardiologist who saves lives.
* The defense will put some of Dr. Murray's patients on the stand to show his level of care.  He would buy prescriptions for people who couldn't afford it and would generally go well above the standard of care expected of a doctor -- which contradicts prosecutors who call him greedy and reckless.  Murray seemed to tear up as he listened to Chernoff.

* Murray treated MJ for several problems, including toe fungus and a broken foot.
* Chernoff said Murray had no idea at the time that MJ had a much deeper problem
* MJ didn't have insomnia -- he had "an absolute, total and thorough inability to sleep."
* When Murray met with detectives 2 days after MJ's death, he thoroughly answered every question.  It was no holds barred and they hid nothing.  Chernoff said Murray told cops, "I don't know what killed Michael Jackson.  I want to know also."
* Michael Jackson told Murray the only way he could sleep was with Propofol and he always took Propofol.  MJ told Murray exactly how it was to be administered.  He even had a nickname for the drug -- milk.  MJ knew Lidocaine was essential in administering Propofol to prevent a burning sensation.
* MJ told Murray he would use Propofol with or without Murray, so Murray then agreed to provide Propofol.
* Dr. Murray provided Propofol for 2 months for MJ, and during that time the singer slept, woke up, and lived his life -- suggesting it wasn't negligent to administer the drug.
* The evidence is going to show is that Michael Jackson died when Dr. Murray stopped.  Murray told cops he believed his role was to find a way to help MJ sleep normally, urging him to get off Propofol.
* In other words, Murray was trying to ween MJ off Propofol and give him other, more traditional sedatives.  And, on June 22, 3 days before MJ died, Michael agreed to let Murray to try to get him off Propofol. And on that day Murray gave MJ half the Propofol he had been giving him.  And it worked. MJ slept.
* On June 23, Murray gave MJ NO Propofol at all, giving him other drugs instead.  And, on the day MJ died, the plan was not to give Propofol.  It was to go to other sedatives.  That's why in the recording,MJ pleads for the Propofol.  That's why Murray gave him other drugs instead during the night. 
* Chernoff says MJ had certain "personality traits."   He kept various people in life separate from one another. 
* Chernoff will present an addiction specialist, who will testify DR. ARNOLD KLEIN ADDICTED MICHAEL JACKSON TO DEMEROL.
* Things were so serious 5 days before Michael Jackson died, reps from AEG and others had a meeting at MJ's house and talked about "pulling the plug" on the tour.  And subsequently MJ made it clear to Murray -- he needed to sleep or the tour would go down in flames.
* Chernoff insists Murray only gave MJ 25 milligrams of Propofol just before MJ died -- and that is not enough to kill him.  Chernoff says MJ went to sleep, and Murray checked his pulse -- which was good.
Murray then sat and watched and left the room "only when I felt comfortable."  This may be the key to the case -- did Murray abandon MJ by leaving the room?
*  Chernoff says when Murray left the room "there was zero Propofol in his [Michael's] system."  Of course, what Chernoff is arguing is that Michael then shot himself up with the fatal dose.

* Chernoff came back from break the defense will show the amounts that Dr. Murray's death could not cause Michael's death.
* The science will prove there had to be more Propofol delivered to MJ's system after Dr. Murray left the room.
*The defense says MJ's stomach content had 4 times the amount of Lorazepam than in his blood, which means Michael would had to swallow the drug himself, after Murray left the room.

Kenny Ortega:
"Something Was Wrong" With MJ

Kenny Ortega -- Michael Jackson's Choreographer Testifies
Updated 9/27/11 at 1:50 PM

Michael Jackson's friend and choreographer, Kenny Ortega, just took the stand for the prosecution -- claiming Michael was ill in the days leading to his death ... and Dr. Murray berated him when he expressed concern.

* Ortega -- creator and director of "This Is It" -- says Michael was "very excited" about the show.
* Ortega said in mid to late June, 2009 Michael missed several rehearsals.
* On Friday June 19th, Ortega noticed Michael "wasn't right" and that something was going on. Ortega said it "troubled him." He said Michael seemed lost and was "incoherent."
* Ortega says he sat with Michael as he watched the rehearsals -- rubbing Michael's feet because the singer was freezing cold. Michael left early that day.
* Ortega says he was so worried about Michael, he sent an email to AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips (below) -- saying Michael needed psychological help.

*Ortega says he was confronted by Murray during a meeting at Michael's home on June 20th. Murray  told him he was upset Ortega didn't let him rehearse, berating him for acting like a doctor (video below).
* Ortega says on June 23, barely 4 days after Michael was sick, he came to rehearsals full of energy. Ortega said "it was a different Michael."
* On June 25th, Ortega got a phone call from AEG Live Co-CEO Paul Gongaware saying an ambulance had taken Michael to the hospital. Paul called later and told Ortega, "we lost him."
* During cross examination, Ortega told defense attorney Ed Chernoff, Murray was in charge of Michael's schedule leading up to his death.
* When asked whether he thought Michael was abusing drugs, Ortega said yes.
* Ortega said right before June 19th, Michael "went missing for about a week."
* Ortega stepped down subject to recall.

The Opening Day Musical

9/28/2011 12:02 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

If you thought the first day of Dr. Conrad Murray's manslaughter trial had everything but a theme song -- go ahead and scratch that off your wish list ... 'cause it's "Opening Dayyyy!"

Michael Seemed Fine to Me

9/28/2011 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Lou Ferrigno -- Michael Jackson's friend and fitness guru for decades -- tells TMZ MJ showed no signs of physical distress during workouts, as recently as 2 weeks before the singer died.

Lou's account differs from some of the statements in court -- that Michael was deteriorating in the weeks before his death.   

Lou says two weeks before Jackson died, he went to MJ's home and trained him for an hour.  Michael did cardio on the treadmill, used the exercise ball, worked with some light weights, completed a bunch of core exercises, and did a lot of stretching. 

Lou says Michael's energy level was very good, but he did complain that he was upset because he was having trouble sleeping.

Lou says he had been training Michael 2 to 3 times a week for the tour ... and aside from seeming "very stressed out," he appeared in good health.

And this is eerie ... Lou says as he left Michael's house the last time -- two weeks before MJ's death -- Jackson said, "Take care of yourself."  Lou said, "I'm going to see you next week."  Michael just repeated, "Take care of yourself."  Lou feels Michael knew something bad was about to happen.

AEG Live Co-CEO:
Murray Wanted Too Much $$$

Paul Gongaware -- AEG Live Co-CEO Testifies, Day 2
Updated 9/28/11 at 8:50 AM

Paul Gongaware took the stand again today -- claiming Dr. Conrad Murray requested an astronomical salary for his services to MJ.

* Gongaware said it was Michael who asked him to hire Dr. Murray... but Murray was asking for $5 million ... way too much money.
* But Michael insisted he wanted Murray so he called him again and this time offered him $150 thousand a month -- per MJ's instructions.

Paul also told Dr. Murray's defense attorney he was on the lookout for any drug use by MJ, saying he noticed a "slight slur" in Michael's speech during their interactions.

Paul Gongaware -- AEG Live Co-CEO Testifies, Day 1:
MJ Wanted 21 Extra Shows

Updated Yesterday, 9/27/11 at 3:45 PM

AEG Live's Co-CEO Paul Gongaware just took the stand ... telling prosecutors Michael was the one who demanded 21 extra shows.

* Gongaware claims the first 10 shows sold out nearly instantaneously and Michael wanted to add another 21 bringing the total to 31.
* Gongaware says Michael was obsessed with beating Prince's record of 21 shows at the O2 arena. 
* He said even after selling out 50 shows, there were still 250,000 people waiting for tickets.

AEG Attorney Testifies
Murray Demanded CPR Machine

Kathy Jorrie -- AEG Attorney Testifies
Updated 9/28/11 at 9:15 AM

AEG attorney Kathy Jorrie took the stand this morning -- describing the contract she drafted between AEG, Dr. Murray, and Michael Jackson.

According to Jorrie, Murray had a laundry list of demands -- including $150,000 a month, even while "This Is It" was on hiatus.

Jorrie testified, Murray also demanded a CPR machine for MJ while he performed in London.

Jorrie claimed, when she asked Murray why he would need a CPR machine... Murray responded, he didn't want to take chances with MJ's age and the strenuous nature of the show.

* Jorrie says she spoke to Murray on June 24th. Murray told her he had seen Michael perform and that he was in "perfect health." This was a day before he died.
* She also said the contract was never signed by all parties, and no payment was ever made to Murray by AEG.

MJ's Personal Assistant:
Murray Left Panicked Voicemail

Michael Amir Williams -- MJ's Personal Assistant Testifies
Updated 9/28/11 at 10:33 AM

Michael Jackson's personal assistant Michael Amir Williams just took the stand -- and prosecutors played a panicked voicemail Dr. Conrad Murray left on Williams' phone the day MJ died.

* Williams said MJ was in good spirits on the evening of June 24, 2009... his last rehearsal. He said the rehearsal was "amazing."
* The following day, Williams received a panicked message from Murray at 12:13 pm saying, "call me right away."  When he called back, Murray told him MJ had a "bad reaction" ... and to "get somebody here immediately."
* When he got there, the first thing he saw was MJ being brought out in a gurney. He said Murray seemed "frantic."
* Williams said after he learned of Michael's death, Murray came up to him and said there was "some cream Michael wouldn't want the world to know about." Murray asked him to drive him to the home so he could retrieve the "cream."
* After checking with MJ's head of security, Faheem Muhammad, the two decided not to let Murray back into the house...
* Williams said it was "normal" to have oxygen tanks in MJ's house.

* Williams told Ed Chernoff he never told police about Murray's odd request until two months after Michael's death.
* Williams told Chernoff Dr. Murray never asked him to call 9-1-1.
* Williams testified that he had seen Michael speak "slower" after coming out of Dr. Arnold Klein's office -- where the defense says Michael got hooked on Demerol.

MJ's Bodyguard
Prince & Paris Saw Everything

Faheem Muhammad -- Michael Jackson's Bodyguard Testifies
Updated 9/28/11 at 2:05 PM

Michael Jackson's head of security, Faheem Muhammad, claims Prince and Paris witnessed Conrad Murray desperately trying to resuscitate their father the morning he died, and had to be removed from the scene.

Muhammad testified Paris was  "on the ground, balled up crying," and Prince "was shocked and slowly crying."

Muhammad claims Jackson appeared to be dead when he arrived at the scene -- and when he noticed Prince and Paris in the doorway, he took them downstairs.

Muhammad says that's when he heard Murray asking if anyone knew CPR -- and his fellow bodyguard Alberto Alvarez rushed to help.

Once MJ was pronounced dead, MJ's assistant Michael Amir Williams relayed to him Murray's request to go back and retrieve the "cream" -- and that's when they both agreed not to let Murray back in the house.

Muhammad also claimed MJ visited Dr. Arnold Klein's office several times a week and often came out "a bit tipsy" -- but never explained why. According to Muhammad, MJ once said to him, "You must think I'm crazy for going to Dr. Klein's everyday."

Pacing Frantically in Hospital
... After MJ Dies

9/28/2011 3:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Dr. Conrad Murray was captured on video anxiously pacing around the waiting room at UCLA Medical Center ... after Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 ... and the footage was just presented in court.

Prosecutors claim the tape shows Murray leaving the hospital around 4:36PM that day -- two hours after MJ was pronounced dead.

The defense refuted the claim -- and showed additional footage -- which appears to show Murray in the hospital around 5PM (notice the timestamp).

On Second Thought ...
I Don't Want to Sell the House

9/29/2011 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Katherine Jackson has had a change of heart, deciding she doesn't want to sell the Jackson family home after all.

During a court hearing yesterday, Howard Weitzman, the lawyer for the Michael Jackson Estate, announced they were withdrawing their petition to get the judge's approval to sell the Hayvenhurst estate in Encino.

Weitzman said they submitted the petition because Katherine expressed a desire to sell the property but has since had second thoughts.

The court did, however, approve a petition for Katherine to buy another house.  Sources tell TMZ ... she wants to buy the home she's currently renting in Calabasas, where she can live with Michael's 3 kids.

MJ's Security Guard:
Murray Had Me Remove Vials

Alberto Alvarez -- Michael Jackson's Security Guard Testifies
Updated 9/29/11 at 8:48 AM

Michael Jackson's security guard Alberto Alvarez -- the man who called 911 the morning MJ died -- just took the stand, claiming Murray asked him to remove several vials of Propofol before he called an ambulance.

Alvarez claims he quickly arrived at the scene on June 25th, 2009 -- and saw Murray performing one-handed chest compressions on MJ, who was still in the bed. According to Alvarez, Murray immediately asked him to pack away several vials and an IV bag.

Alvarez claims there were two saline bags on the IV stand, but Murray cared only about the one that contained a vial with a "milky white substance."

Alvarez claims Murray THEN asked Alvarez to call 911 -- at which point the dispatcher ordered him to move Michael from the bed to the floor in order to perform CPR. According to Alvarez, paramedics arrived soon after.

Defense attorney Ed Chernoff tried to get Alvarez to admit he may have been confused about the timing of the events -- but Alvarez insisted ... Murray ordered him to bag the vials BEFORE paramedics arrived.

Alvarez says he has been offered enormous sums to provide interviews to media outlets -- as much as $500,000.

The defense just showed footage inside a hospital room where MJ's body was relocated after the singer was pronounced dead -- and the place was crawling with cops.

Conrad Murray Is Guilty

9/29/2011 11:43 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Tom Mesereau -- the lawyer who successfully defended Michael Jackson in the singer's 2005 molestation trial -- claims Dr. Conrad Murray "violated every ethical obligation he had as a doctor" when he gave MJ Propofol ... and deserves to go to prison.

Mesereau wants to make it clear, "I am on the side of the prosecution."

Michael Jackson's Chef:
Murray Begged Me For Help

Kai Chase -- Michael Jackson's Chef Testifies
Updated 9/29/11 at 2:35PM

Michael Jackson's personal chef Kai Chase just testified -- claiming a frantic Dr. Conrad Murray begged her for help the day MJ died, ten minutes before anyone called 911.

According to Chase, she was in the kitchen preparing lunch for Michael and his kids -- and between 12:05 and 12:10PM, Murray ran downstairs, yelling for her to "get Prince, get help, get security."

Chase claimed she sent Prince to Dr. Murray and returned to work.

Chase admitted she didn't contact security -- a point highlighted by defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan.

Yesterday, MJ's personal assistant Michael Amir Williams testified ... Murray called him at 12:13 PM, and Williams immediately phoned security. MJ's security guard Alberto Alvarez eventually called 911 at 12:21 -- between 11 and 16 minutes after Murray allegedly asked Chase for help.

While Chase was leaving court today, we asked if she thought her testimony was helpful -- she responded, "Absolutely."

Paramedic #2:
Murray Lied About IV Bags

Martin Blount -- Firefighter/Paramedic #2 Testifies
Updated 9/30/11 at 2:00 PM

The second paramedic who rushed to resuscitate Michael Jackson claims Dr. Murray informed him the IV bags on the scene were filled with a harmless saline solution.

According to Martin Blount, Murray insisted the saline was used because MJ was "dehydrated" from a 16-hour rehearsal the day before.

Blount claims Murray never mentioned Propofol.

Senneff, the other paramedic, testified he saw Murray clearing out vials after MJ was loaded onto the ambulance.

What's interesting -- Blount says he saw Murray scooping up Lidocaine bottles into a black bag even before the singer was taken out of the room.

MJ's ER Doctor:
Murray Said MJ Was 'Dehydrated'

MJ's ER Doctor -- Richelle Cooper Testifies
Updated 9/30/11 at 3:30 PM

The ER doc who first tended to Michael Jackson's body at the hospital claims Dr. Murray misled her about MJ's condition -- telling her, the singer was dehydrated.

According to Dr. Richelle Cooper, Murray claimed he had only administered 4mg of Lorazepam to MJ.

Murray never mentioned Propofol.

Continuing her testimony from Friday, Dr. Cooper said that for the hour and 13 minutes she treated MJ, she never felt a pulse.


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