Dr. Conrad Murray was born in St. Andrews, Grenada on February 19, 1953. Murray graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee in 1989. In 1992 he completed his residency in internal medicine at Loma Linda University. In 1995, he finished a fellowship in cardiology at University of Arizona.
Three years earlier, in 1992, financial problems caused him to file for bankruptcy. Dr. Murray’s offices are in Houston and Las Vegas.
Dr. Conrad Murray was hired to be Michael Jackson’s personal physician for his “This is It” concert tour. According to a report compiled by the L.A. County Coroner Jackson had returned from rehearsals the night before his death unable to sleep. The report says Dr. Murray first tried to help him sleep without using propofol. He told detectives he gave Jackson valium at 1:30 a.m., and then injected lorazepam through an IV at 2 a.m. That was followed an hour later by midazolam.
Murray said he gave Jackson various drugs over the next few hours because he was still having trouble sleeping. Then at 10:40 a.m., Murray administered 25 milligrams of propofol after the singer repeatedly demanded the drug. Murray told investigators after the last dose of propofol, he left the singer for two minutes to go to the restroom. When he got back, Dr. Murray said he found Jackson in his room at his Holmby Hills estate, not breathing and with a faint pulse. He says he administered CPR, but the effort was unsuccessful.
Michael Jackson later was pronounced dead at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
On February 8, 2010, Murray pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges and was released after posting $75,000 bail.
Michael Jackson, often called the King of Pop, was born August 28, 1958. The 7th of 9 children, Jackson started performing when he was 5 years old. The family singing group, The Jackson 5, launched as an opening act for music legends like Gladys Knight and Pips, James Brown, and in later years The Supremes.
Their first album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, hit the charts in December, 1969 with songs like "I Want You Back." The next month that song was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100!
More hits would follow including "ABC," "The Love You Save," and "I'll Be There."
In 1971, at the age of 13, Michael Jackson went solo. Hits included “Got to Be There” and “Ben” - about a rat.
In the 1980s he ratcheted up his recording success with music videos for songs like “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, “Thriller”, “Black or White” and “Scream”.
Jackson grew up in a small home with a big family in Gary, Indiana. In 1968, after being signed by Motown Records, the Jacksons moved to California.
As an adult, Michael Jackson’s home was enormous and drew as much attention as he did. Jackson called it Neverland Valley Ranch. He lived there from 1988 to 2005. It had a theme park and was based on the fantasy island of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up.
Jackson was highly honored for his work. He was inducted into The Dance Hall of Fame and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He won hundreds of awards including 13 Grammy Awards, the Grammy Legend Award, The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, 26 American Music Awards and AMA’s “Artist of the Century”Award. He had 13 number-one hit songs in the U.S. and an estimated sale of over 750 million records worldwide.
Michael Jackson’s personal life, relationships, dress and appearance often attracted controversy. And, there were the legal problems. Child sexual abuse charges against him were settled out of court in 1993. In 2005 he was tried and acquitted in a different case of sexual abuse allegations.
The L.A. County Coroner ruled that on June 25, 2009 Michael Jackson died of acute propofol intoxication. By many accounts, as many as one billion people around the world watched the public memorial service broadcast live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
The coroner declared Jackson’s death a homicide. The singer’s personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray has pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Michael Jackson was laid to rest in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.
Judge Michael Pastor has been assigned to handle all proceedings in the Conrad Murray matter.
Over the years Judge Pastor has handled a significant number of very serious and complicated felony matters, including charges of multiple murder, sex offenses, and fraud.
He is one of only 10 judges on the entire L.A. Superior Court who is designated to handle "Complex Criminal Litigation/Long-Cause" criminal matters.
He recently completed a court trial involving charges of stalking and burglary; the alleged victim Shawn Johnson, who won both the Gold Medal in gymnastics for the U.S.A. in the Beijing Olympics and the competition in the television program "Dancing With The Stars." This case was handled as a court trial without a jury for both the guilt and sanity phases of that matter.
In addition, Judge Pastor heard the case with defendant-actor Jason Priestley accused of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury to his passenger.
Judge Pastor was assigned to handle a case involving a photographer charged with perjury, attempted grand theft, and forgery; the alleged victim, actress Cameron Diaz.
Judge Michael E. Pastor was born in New York City and grew up in Buffalo, where he attended high school. He graduated from Cornell University in 1971 and worked in New York City for a year before beginning law school.
Judge Pastor attended U.S.C. Law School and graduated in 1975. He then handled criminal defense matters before and after passing the California Bar in 1975. In 1976, Judge Pastor was hired by the Los Angeles City Attorney as a deputy and served as a prosecutor at the Metro, CCB, and Van Nuys branches of that office. In addition to his duties as a criminal litigator, he wrote manuals used by prosecutors. He developed the Chronic Offender Prosecution Emphasis (COPE) unit of the office and worked with the newly-formed “Mothers Against Drunk Drivers” (MADD) to devote resources toward the prosecution of alleged recidivist DUI offenders. Judge Pastor was selected as Assistant Supervisor and then as Supervisor of the Van Nuys branch and as Acting Head of Branch Operations.
Judge Pastor was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in January 1983 and managed misdemeanor trials, the master calendar, and preliminary hearings at the Metro Branch; and in the following year, he was appointed the Supervising Judge of that branch. In 1985, he was assigned to the Criminal Courts Building, where he handled misdemeanor trails, E.D.P. matters, and preliminary hearings. He became the first judge in Los Angeles County to handle “Night Court” preliminary hearings.
In 2000, Judge Pastor was elevated to the Los Angeles Superior Court as a result of court consolidation. From 2000 to 2001, he served as the Assistant Supervising Judge of the Criminal Courts-Central Division. In 2001, Judge Pastor was assigned to handle felony jury trials in the Foltz Criminal Justice Center and remained in that assignment until 2004, when he was chosen for his present assignment in a felony “complex criminal litigation” courtroom on the 9th floor of the CJC. In that capacity, he has presided over a significant number of complicated and noteworthy criminal proceedings.
Throughout his legal career, Judge Pastor has lectured on and taught a variety of topics relating to criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence.
In 2007, the Los Angeles County Bar Association-Criminal Justice Section honored Judge Pastor as “Judge of the Year.”
In 2010, the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association honored Judge Pastor with its “Judicial Excellence Award.”
The Defense Team:
Edward Chernoff heads up Dr. Murray’s legal team. A Houston attorney, Chernoff’s website describes him as the patriarch of the firm Stradley Chernoff & Alford.
Mr. Chernoff received an accounting degree from the University of Florida in 1984. He attended the University of Houston Law Center on a scholarship. After graduation he worked for the Harris County District Attorney's office where, according to the firm’s website www.criminallaw.com, Mr. Chernoff tried 70 jury trials, lost only one felony case and “led all trial prosecutors in cases tried and won.”
He left the Harris County D.A.'s office in 1991 and began private practice. In 1999, he formed the law firm of Stradley, Chernoff & Alford.
According to his site, Mr. Chernoff has tried many high profile cases throughout the United States. The site states “He rarely loses”.
J. Michael Flanagan, who defended Britney Spears in her 2007 hit and run case, says he has experience with Propofol death cases. In fact, he told TMZ "I'm probably the only attorney in town [Los Angeles] that has successfully tried a Propofol case involving death."
TMZ reported that back in 2004, “Flanagan defended a nurse who was accused of wrongly administering the stuff to a patient who later died. The nurse was charged with involuntary manslaughter… the nurse was acquitted.”
Per his website Mr. Flanagan got his J.D. from USC Law School and is a member of the Glendale and L.A. Co. Bar Associations. He was president of the Glendale Bar Assn. in 1984-1985. He is also a member of The State Bar of California, California Trial Lawyers Association, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Criminal Courts Bar Association (Member, Board of Trustees, 1980-1983).
Nareg Gourjian joined the Gourjian Law Group in January 2010. Per his firm’s website http://www.gourjianlaw.com, Mr. Gourjian practiced for seven years with the law firm of Geragos & Geragos. At the Geragos firm, he served as co-counsel with managing partner Mark J. Geragos on numerous high profile cases involving R&B singer Chris Brown, Scott Peterson, Kazuyoshi Miura and hip-hop/rap artist Nate Dogg.
His firm’s website says that in addition to representing Dr. Murray he also represents Joe Finley, an "America's Got Talent" prospect whose wife was found dead last fall at a Los Angeles hotel.
Mr. Gourjian received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he graduated with honors in Sociology. He earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles in 2002. While at Loyola Law, Mr. Gourjian served as an Editor on the Board of the Entertainment Law Review.
Matthew Alford is, like Ed Chernoff, a partner in the Houston law firm of Stradley Chernoff & Alford. According to the firm’s website, after attending the University of Houston law school, Alford joined a civil law firm in Houston and then the Harris County District Attorney's office as an Assistant District Attorney. The site says Alford had a 93% conviction rate during his 5 years of prosecuting cases.
In 1997, he began his own practice. Two years later he joined forces with Ed Chernoff and Bill Stradley to form the partnership of Stradley, Chernoff & Alford.
Again, quoting his firm’s website “Matt Alford is the boisterous dandy of the firm. His dress is impeccable… always. If one were to visit his home unannounced one evening he might be wearing silk pajamas, Gucci's and sporting a pipe. But don't let the attire fool you. Matt is an intimidating bad ass. He has the most pronounced personality of all the lawyers in the firm. His office is loud. It is not unusual for animated laughter or a booming explicative to echo from behind his walls, depending on who's on the other end of the conversation. Without question, Matt is the partner at Stradley, Chernoff & Alford with the most oratory. He can, from the hip, deliver a closing argument or cross-examination that completely turns the tide at trial. He goes about his trial work with a scorched earth mentality. Like Babe Ruth, he has been known to call his shots; guaranteeing victory at trial. He has never failed to back up these boasts. He doesn't shy away from embarrassing a prosecutor if he feels it's deserved. Matt is either loved or hated by his opponents, but all respect him. Some fear him.”
Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley is in his third term as D.A. While he is not directly prosecuting this case, he directs more than 1,000 attorneys, nearly 300 investigators and more than 800 clerical and support personnel who prosecute 60,000 felonies and 130,000 misdemeanors annually. He oversees an annual operating budget of more than $330 million.
Mr. Cooley obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Los Angeles and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California Law Center.
According to the agency’s website http://da.co.la.ca.us/history/cooley.htm Mr. Cooley is “in the midst of his historic third consecutive term as Los Angeles County District Attorney.” The site says his staff “includes recognized national experts in areas such as DNA evidence, public corruption, foreign extradition, fraud and gang prosecution.
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren is no a stranger to high profile cases. In 2009, he wrote the argument against Oscar-winning fugitive Roman Polanski’s effort to seek dismissal of the 1977 child-sex case pending against him.
In 2005, Walgren prosecuted photographer John Rutter who was convicted of forgery, attempted grand theft and perjury for a scheme to sell topless pictures of actress Cameron Diaz back to the actress for millions of dollars. The pictures were taken when Diaz was 19 and before she had become a star.
Mr. Walgren graduated from UC Davis, King Hall School of Law in 1995. He started as a Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney immediately out of law school working misdemeanors, felonies and juvenile cases. He was attached to the Hardcore Gang Unit from 2000 to 2005 when he joined the Major Crimes Unit. He is still in Major Crimes.
Los Angeles County Deputy D.A. Deborah Brazil is also at the prosecution team’s table. She graduated from Southwestern School of Law in 1996. Immediately out of law school she started working as a Los Angeles Co. Deputy District Attorney. At first she worked multiple assignments (misdemeanors, felonies). She was transferred to the Family Violence Unit where she worked for 3 years. She was moved to the Hardcore Gang Unit where she was for 3 years and, finally, to Major Crimes where she is now.
The Jackson Family:
Katherine Jackson – Michael Jackson’s mother. Born May 4, 1930
Joe Jackson – Michael’s father. Born July 26, 1929, he managed the Jackson 5, the Jacksons and, for awhile, his son Michael’s career.
Rebbie Jackson is the oldest of the Jackson children. She was born May 29, 1950. Her musical career has involved mostly background performance. Michael produced her single “Centipede”.
Jackie Jackson is Michael’s oldest brother. He was born May 4, 1951 and joined Michael as the lead singer in the Jackson 5. Jackie’s “Be the One” was a hit song in 1989.
Tito Jackson was the guitar player for the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons. He was born Oct. 15, 1953. After the demise of the Jackson 5, Tito became a successful studio musician.
Jermaine Jackson, who was born Dec. 11, 1954, played bass guitar and sang for the Jackson 5. He had his own solo success with the song “Daddy’s Home” in 1972 after the group broke up.
LaToya Jackson was born May 29, 1956. She was a backup singer for the Jackson 5. She also had her own album. Posing nude for Playboy in 1989 and writing a tell-all book generated controversy. She has called her brother Michael’s death a murder for money that involved a conspiracy.
Marlon Jackson was born March 12, 1957. He was a member of the Jackson 5, but left the group to go solo. He had a hit song in 1987 called “Don’t Go”. It was from his “Baby Tonight” debut album.
Randy Jackson was born Oct. 29, 1961. He was also a member of the Jackson 5 and a percussionist. After the group broke up, he formed his own band. He also worked as a studio musician.
Janet Jackson – The youngest of the 9 Jackson children, Janet was born in Gary, Indiana May 16, 1966. She followed in her brother’s footsteps with dancing, singing, songwriting and acting. She’s won 7 Grammy Awards and 15 American Music Awards.
Her television credits include The Jacksons (1976), Good Times (1977-79), A New Kind of Family (1979-80), Different Strokes (1981-82) and Fame (1984-85).
In 1982, Michael helped her with her debut album Janet Jackson. Michael and 3 other brothers sang on her next album Dream Street. In 1986 she released Control which featured two No.1 songs including the title song and "What Have You Done For Me Lately".
Potential Prosecution Witnesses:
The witness list has been sealed by order of Judge Michael Pastor. The following are potential witnesses who testified in Dr. Murray’s preliminary hearing:
Director/Choreographer Kenny Ortega was the first witness called to the stand in Dr. Murray’s preliminary hearing. He testified that on June 19, 2009, he was rehearsing with Michael Jackson and thought the singer “didn’t appear well at all. I didn’t know what was wrong but I knew something was wrong.” On June 23 and 24, 2009 he said “Michael was in great form”. Those were the pop star’s last two rehearsals.
Michael Amir Williams testified in the preliminary hearing that on the day the singer died, Dr. Murray called him in a panic saying Michael Jackson had experienced a “bad reaction”. Williams, assistant to Mr. Jackson, testified that the singer had left some “cream in the house that … he wouldn’t want the world to know about.”
Kai Chase, Michael Jackson’s cook, testified that Dr. Murray panicked after Michael Jackson stopped breathing.
Security Guard Faheem Muhammad testified he heard Dr. Murray ask if “anyone in the room knew CPR.”
Security guard, Alberto Alvarez, testified during the preliminary hearing that Dr. Murray instructed him to get some of the medications in the house. Alvarez said “he grabbed a handful of bottles or vials and (he) instructed me to put them in a bag.”
Richard Senneff, LA City Fire paramedic, testified during the preliminary hearing that when he arrived it looked as if Michael Jackson had been dead for more than 20 minutes.
Paramedic Martin Blount testified during the preliminary hearing that Dr. Murray said he had not given the singer any medications, but observed him put “three small bottles of lidocaine… into a black bag” after scooping them off the floor.
Dr. Richelle Cooper, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center ER Dr., testified during the preliminary hearing that Michael Jackson died long before he reached the Hospital. She instructed the paramedics to pronouce Mr. Jackson dead at 12.57pm. Dr. Murray, tho, asked them not to and to resuscitate him according to her testimony.
Dr. Thao Nguyen, a doctor at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, testified during the preliminary hearing that Dr. Murray said he gave Mr. Jackson lorazepam, but nothing else.
Bridgette Morgan, a Murray ex-girlfriend, testified during the preliminary hearing that she was unable to reach Dr. Murray when she called him 30 minutes before Jackson stopped breathing,
Sade Anding, another Murray ex, testified during the preliminary hearing that Dr. Murray called her at 11:51am the day Michael Jackson died. She said he didn’t speak much, but she could hear a “commotion as if the phone was in a pocket or something”.
Nicole Alvarez, Dr. Murray’s current girlfriend, testified during the preliminary hearing that she received packages from the doctor shipped from a Las Vegas pharmacy, but she never knew what was in them.
Elissa Fleak, with the Coroner’s Office, testified that she found 12 bottles of propofol in Michael Jackson’s home. She also discovered 6 vials of lidocaine and some syringes.
Potential Defense Witnesses:
Judge Pastor has ordered the witness lists from both sides remain sealed. The following are names revealed in a prosecution motion to eliminate witnesses. And, the judge did just that believing their testimony would be irrelevant to the case at hand.
Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein will not testify in the trial. The judge sided with the prosecution that defense attorneys just wanted to shift blame to Dr. Klein for Dr. Murray’s problems. The judge, however, allowed that Dr. Klein’s records could be shown to jurors. They are records of Demerol injections given to the singer.
Dr. Alan Metzger will be allowed to testify. Metzger, a longtime Jackson doctor treated Mr. Jackson as recently as 2 months before his death. Court papers indicate Jackson asked Dr. Metzger for IV sleep medicine, but the Dr. turned down the request.
The judge ruled the defense may call anesthesiologist Dr. David Adams. Records show Adams gave Jackson propofol on 4 separate occasions in 2008 for dental procedures. Dr. Adams told investigators that Michael Jackson was so familiar with propofol that he had a name for it – “milk”.