The Korea Herald


Defense: Jackson gave himself fatal dose of drug


Published : Sept. 28, 2011 - 10:11

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Prosecutors told jurors Tuesday that Michael Jackson was killed by the actions of his personal physician, who used a dangerous anesthetic without adequate safeguards and botched recovery efforts when he found the singer unconscious.

Defense attorneys countered that Jackson caused his own death by taking the drug propofol after his doctor left the room in a desperate attempt to overcome his chronic inability to sleep.

Nothing Dr. Conrad Murray could have done would have saved the King of Pop, defense attorney Ed Chernoff told the panel, because Jackson was desperate to regain his fame and needed rest to prepare for a series of crucial comeback concerts.

The competing versions of Jackson's death and Murray's role in it were laid out in opening statements at the physician's involuntary manslaughter trial.

Speaking for more than an hour, prosecutor David Walgren relied heavily on photos and audio recordings to make his case that Murray was an inept and reckless caretaker of Jackson.

He showed a photo of a lifeless Jackson on a hospital gurney, and played a recording of Jackson speaking to Murray while the prosecutor said he was under the influence of an unknown substance roughly six weeks before his death.

The singer's speech was heavily slurred but recognizable as the international superstar. He spoke of his hopes for the upcoming concerts.

``We have to be phenomenal,'' Jackson is heard telling Murray. ``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. I've never seen nothing like this. Go. It's amazing. He's the greatest entertainer in the world.''

Murray is accused of giving Jackson a lethal dose of propofol in the bedroom of the singer's rented mansion, but Chernoff said Jackson gave himself the fatal dose.

He claimed the singer swallowed several pills of the sedative lorazepam on the morning of his death and that was enough to put six people to sleep. He also said Jackson self-ingested propofol, and it killed him instantly.

Jackson did not even have a chance to close his eyes, Chernoff said.

In his opening remarks, Walgren said Murray was grossly negligent by providing Jackson propofol. The prosecutor said while working for Jackson, the doctor was shipped more than four gallons of the anesthetic, which is normally given in hospital settings.

He said Jackson trusted Murray as his physician.

``That misplaced trust in Conrad Murray cost Michael Jackson his life,'' Walgren said.

``He left him there, abandoned him to fend for himself,'' the prosecutor said later while winding down his opening remarks.

The doctor had initially requested $5 million to work for the singer for a year, but accepted the lower rate of $150,000 a month, Walgren said. His contract to be Jackson's personal physician was never signed and he was never paid.

He told jurors that Murray deceived paramedics and emergency room doctors by not telling them he had been giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid. He also called the doctor inept and said he repeatedly deviated from the standard of care by leaving the singer alone while under sedation and not immediately calling 911 when he found the singer was unconscious.

Murray never called for emergency services himself, instead waiting more than 20 minutes to have one of Jackson's bodyguards make the call.

``Basic common sense requires 911 be called immediately,'' Walgren said. ``Basic common sense. And we know that was not done.''

Chernoff told jurors it was not their job to determine whether Murray was a good doctor. He said Murray and Jackson were actually friends, and Murray was trying to wean Jackson off of propofol. Jackson, however, took a lethal dose before he died, the lawyer said.

At times during the defense attorney's opening statements, Murray appeared to be crying and wiped his eyes with a tissue.

Testimony was expected to begin later in the day, with prosecutors planning to call the pop superstar's friend and choreographer, Kenny Ortega.

A number of Jackson's family members were in the courthouse, including his father Joseph, mother Katherine, sisters LaToya and Janet, and brothers Jermaine, Randy and Tito.

LaToya Jackson carried a sunflower, Michael's favorite flower.

Murray arrived holding hands with his mother.

If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.


마이클 잭슨 "명백한 살인": 검찰

지난 2009년 '팝의 황제' 마이클  잭슨 에게 과도한 약물을 투여해 죽게 했다는 혐의로 기소된 주치의에 대한 공판이 현지 언론의 큰 관심 속에 27일 (현지시간) 미국 로스앤젤레스 법원에서 처음 열렸다.

법원 앞에는 수많은 팬이 몰려들어 잭슨의 노래를 합창하는가 하면 '마이클을 위해 정의의 심판을 내리라'는 구호를 외치는 등 운동 경기장을 방불케 했다.

또 미국 전역에서 모인 보도진 수백명이 진을 쳐 북새통을 이뤘다.

이날 공판에서 검찰은 주치의 콘래드 머레이(58)가 의사로서의 의무를 다하지 않아 잭슨이 사망했다며 유죄를 주장했다.

데이비드 월그린 검사는 "잭슨이 머레이를 지나치게 믿은 것이 잘못됐다"면서 "

머레이는 한달에 15만 달러라는 엄청난 보수를 받는 주치의 자리를 놓치지 않으려고 불면증 치료에 그릇된 방법을 썼다"고 말했다.

검찰은 머레이가 잭슨에게 과도한 분량의 마취제 프로포폴을 처방하면서 의사로 서 지켜야할 주의 의무는 전혀 도외시했다고 지적했다.

또 검찰은 잭슨이 의식을 잃고 쓰러진 뒤에도 적절한 조치를 취하지 않았으며 심지어 응급구조사와 응급실 의사에게도 잭슨이 복용한 약물의 정체를 알리지  않았 다고 공박했다.

그러면서 검찰은 잭슨이 죽기 얼마 전 머레이와 전화로 나눈 대화를 배심원들에 게 공개했다.

머레이의 휴대 전화에 녹음된 잭슨의 육성은 거의 알아듣기 힘들만큼 힘이 없었 다. 검찰은 잭슨이 이미 강력한 마취제인 프로포폴에 중독된 상태였다는 증거라고 밝혔다.

복귀 공연을 준비하던 잭슨은 당시 전화에서 "공연이 끝나고 사람들에게  '당신 들은 내 인생 최고의 공연을 봤다'고 말하고 싶다"며 커다란 기대를 드러냈다.

검찰은 또 사망 직후 창백한 잭슨의 시신을 찍은 사진도 배심원들에게 제시했다 .

머레이의 변호인단은 프로포폴은 의사들이 불면증 치료를 위해 흔히 처방하는 약물이며 머레이가 잭슨이 약물을 끊도록 애를 썼다고 반박했다.

다만  잭슨이 머레이의 조언을 듣지 않고 멋대로 약을 복용해 사망한 것이라고 주장했다.

남성 7명, 여성 5명으로 구성된 배심원단은 앞으로 5주 동안 이어질 공판에서 다양한 증인들의 증언을 청취할 예정이다.

배심원단이 유죄 평결을 내리면 머레이는 최고 4년 징역형을 받을 수 있다. (연합뉴스)