Today, Judge Pastor opened the proceedings in court by advising the jury of all the exhibits which are available for them to study, should they wish to see them. He then advised them that they were given a written copy of the Jury instructions to keep, which he would also read out to them and following a short break, the attorneys would begin to make their final arguments.
Mr Walgren began by informing the jury that they had much to consider, as they had seen and heard forty nine witnesses and seen over three hundred and thirty exhibits. Their decision on Murray’s guilt must be based on whether or not they believed that he was responsible for Michael’s death. They would have to believe that he was guilty of gross negligence, which must be a significant factor in Michael’s death.
The evidence in this case, he said, was overwhelming, it was abundantly clear that Murray had acted with criminal negligence. The trust between a doctor and a patient must be sacrosanct and a doctor’s first duty was; “First Do No Harm.” Every doctor that had testified had said that they would never have treated Michael with Propofol in his home, under any circumstances. Michael had trusted Murray with his life, so that he could sleep and paid with his life!
On June 27th, two days after Michael had died Murray met his attorneys at a Los Angeles hotel, where he gave a statement to LAPD. There were no signs of traumas or wounds on Michael’s body and no cause of death had been decided, so the police sat down with Murray to hear his statement. The jury were advised by Mr Walgren to read the transcript and evaluate for themselves its truthfulness.
Mr Walgren reviewed the evidence which had been given on behalf of the Prosecution and was very eloquent and thorough, covering all his points in depth and with gravity. He covered Murray’s actions with the drugs Michael asked for and the fact that his financial rewards would have been substantial. He spoke of the drugs individually and collectively and the huge volumes ordered by Murray. The recording on Murray’s phone of Michael’s voice, making plans for future, with wonderful ambitions, was discussed by Mr Walgren, who didn’t know why Murray had recorded Michael and why he had kept it.
Instances of Murray’s falsehoods were next on the agenda and the jury were advised again to hear Murray’s statement and to evaluate its truthfulness. Murray had said that he was trying to wean Michael off Propofol but when Michael had warned him that his lack of sleep might mean a cancellation of the tour, Murray decided to try the Propofol again.
When Murray returned to the bedroom, from the bathroom, after a “two minute break,” he said that he found that Michael was not breathing. Mr Walgren here decried Murray’s failure to call 911, at great length, as, he said that aid from the paramedics was Michael’s only hope. This failure meant that Michael could not be saved and Murray knew that he had to cover his tracks, or people would find out what he had done.
During the morning of June 25th, Murray had made phone calls, sent voicemails and checked his emails, all the time he had told the police that Michael had been awake and complaining. A situation that would be impossible to believe, said Mr Walgren. It would mean that Michael was complaining to Murray and begging for more help to sleep, at the same time as Murray was using his phone at Michael’s side. Mr Walgren’s opinion was that Michael had already been sleeping and Murray was not paying attention to his patient. Murray had called Sade Anding at 11.51a.m. Therefore, Mr Walgren asked; “what was so important that he had to speak to her at that time. During that call was when he discovered that Michael was not breathing and even then, he did not react as any competent doctor would have. He said that the evidence at that point was circumstantial and the truth will never be known and we will never know if Michael had cried out, or choked, or gasped.
Murray failed to call 911 but called Michael’s aid, Michael Amir Williams, leaving a voicemail for him to hurry to the house. Mr Walgren said he put Conrad Murray first and intentionally delayed getting help to save Michael’s life. He then asked the jury if Murray was to receive $150,000 a month for his work, why then had he spent so much time that morning on his phone instead of monitoring Michael’s sleep.
His phone records revealed his calls to his girl friends and a lengthy email from the insurance company about the tour, which Murray had opened and read, all while Michael was said to be complaining about his inability to sleep. The deception and lies continue as at 11.17a.m. Murray responded to that email, discounting problems with Michael’s health.
When Michael’s staff arrived in the room, Murray had Albert Alvarez help him put away the empty vials of drugs, medical equipment and two IV lines he had used during that night. Other witnesses had spoken about there being an IV bag with a Propofol bottle propped inside it. Alberto called 911 more than twenty minutes after Michael’s body was found and it took the paramedics only four minutes to arrive to try to revive Michael, but it was already too late. Murray also had not told them he had used Propofol.
“Conrad Murray had put Conrad Murray first!” Mr Walgren repeated. “Why didn’t he call 911…because he had put Conrad Murray first!” and had put Michael Jackson last.
When one of the paramedics returned to Michael’s room to collect his equipment, he saw a surprised Murray, putting vials into a trash bag. Arriving at the ER at UCLA Murray failed to tell the medics there that he had used Propofol. Later while at UCLA he wanted to return to the house, but Michael’s staff told him the police had taken their car keys. He knew all that evidence was still there.
Murray was not seen again until June 27th, by which time his Defense team had assembled. He met with them and the police giving his one and only statement. He must have thought that the bags of evidence had been found by then and was surprised that police had not found the evidence he had put into a cabinet in an adjoining room. The statement, the evidence, the omissions, the lies, nothing tied in, Mr Walgren said.
Mr Walgren then went on to itemise the standards of care required by any doctor, in any setting, under any circumstances and for any patient. Each of Murray’s failures to comply with these standards meant an example of gross negligence. No medical records, no informed consent, no back up equipment, no back up staff, no constant monitoring, no 911 call, the absolute abandonment, etc; – Each was criminal negligence and each failure was more bizarre.
Mr Walgren went on to discuss Dr Shafer’s simulations. Having no medical records to work from he had worked backwards from the autopsy results to come up with a number of speculations about what may have happened to Michael, to reach possible conclusions about the blood levels. All he had to go on were the massive shipments of drugs, boluses, drips and an IV bags.
We were told that Michael did not want medical equipment left openly in his room, so Murray had put them all away.
A spiked Propofol bottle was found with Murray’s print on it. No other fingerprints were found on anything else.
“Conrad Murray,” said Mr Walgren, “was a significant factor in Michael’s death.”
The next topic Mr Walgren spoke of was the fact that the Defense had called five character witnesses, most of whom were treated correctly by Murray, with full backup, in the correct settings, with monitoring equipment and for problems that are within his expertise. This treatment was given within the last ten years except for one man who was a recent patient. He admitted that he was treated correctly by Murray, but felt abandoned by him when he received Murray’s letter stating he was closing down his practice.
The Defense had called other medical personnel, Dr Alan Metzger and Nurse Cherilyn Lee, who had refused to give Michael Propofol in his home, for sleep, under any circumstances. Dr Waldman had testified that Lorazepam is a controlled narcotic which must be kept under lock and key and in addition, accurate records of it’s use are absolutely essential.
Mr Walgren then spoke of the evidence given by Dr Paul White, who considers himself to be the ‘Father of Propofol.’ Mr Walgren said he was always going to blame Michael’s death on Michael and that Michael either drank or self-injected Propofol, unknown to Murray. Mr Flanagan, of the Defense team; “knew a guy in Indiana,” he said, who would test oral Propofol on animals. Those results were never brought out as there had been no effect on those animals.
Dr White agreed that he would never administer Propofol in a private home and that Murray should have called 911 immediately. He also agreed that a pulse oximeter without an alarm was of no value whatsoever. Asked if he would walk out of the room if he knew his patient liked to push an IV syringe himself, he replied with a resounding; “no!”
Moving onto Dr White’s use of simulations devised by his colleague Dr Onellis, he admitted he had given no information or data to her, but she had watched television and used the information from there. Mr Walgren stated that this was actually ”junk science,” and as such, worthless. Dr White said that he had not come up with the simulations himself, but Mr Walgren stressed that he had used them as examples when giving his testimony.
Mr Walgren had previously made the point that the missing IV tubing could be hidden in a pocket if it was necessary to remove it surreptitiously from Michael’s bedroom. To prove his point he showed the court footage of Dr White actually taking an IV tube from his pocket to demonstrate evidence he was giving at that time.
Dr Shafer’s rebuttal evidence was next on Mr Walgren’s agenda and he said that Dr Shafer’s research into the amount of unchanged Propofol in Michael’s urine had “debunked” the Defense theory that Michael had self-administered the Propofol.
Mr Walgren closed his argument saying that Michael had trusted Murray with his life and paid for that trust with his life. Murray had wanted this employment, had needed this employment, so he had lied, deceived, obscured and had acted with criminal negligence and that he was a substantial factor in the death of Michael Jackson. He finished by saying; “Conrad Murray was criminally liable for Michael’s death. Conrad Murray was criminally guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter.”