6 Oct 2011
Conrad Murray Trial, Day 7: Slurring Michael Jackson Tape Played in Court (Live Feed)
Update, 11:25 a.m. PT
A disturbing tape of an incoherent, slurring Michael Jackson speaking to his personal physician, Conrad Murray, was played in court during Murray's trial for involuntary manslaughter Wednesday.
In the conversation, which was retrieved from Murray's iPhone and bears a time-stamp of 9:05 a.m. on May 10, 2009, Jackson rambles about his intention to open a children's hospital, slurring, "I'm gonna do that for them. That will be remembered more than my performances."
On the recording, Jackson continues, "I love [children] because I didn't have a childhood. I feel their pain. I feel their hurt."
Toward the end of the recording, there's a long pause, after which Murray asks Jackson, "You okay?"
In halting, barely coherent speech, Jackson replies, "I am asleep."
The court also heard a voicemail sent to Murray by Jackson's former manager, Frank Dileo, the day after Jackson experienced an unsettling incident.
"Would you please call me?" Dileo asks in the message, time-stamped June 20, 2009 -- days before Jackson's June 25 death. "I'm sure you're aware [Jackson] had an episode last night; he's sick … I think you need to get a blood test on him today; we gotta see what he's doing."
In testimony last week Kenny Ortega, the director of Jackson's "This Is It" comeback tour, told the court that, at his Sept. 19 rehearsal, the singer appeared unwell both physically and psychologically.
"My friend wasn't right," Ortega testified, according to ABC News. "There was something going on that was deeply troubling me."
According to Ortega, during an emergency meeting at Jackson's home the following day, Murray dismissed his concerns about the singer's well-being.
""He said I should stop trying to be an amateur doctor and psychologist and be the director and allow Michael's health to him," Ortega said.
DEA computer forensics examiner Stephen Marx is currently testifying about emails on Murray's phone, with medical information about a patient named "Omar Arnold" ... Omar Arnold is reportedly one of the aliases used by Michael Jackson to obtain prescription medication, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Now on the witness stand: Stephen Marx, a DEA computer forensics examiner who extracted and analyzed data from Conrad Murray's iPhone.
His testimony could include a playing of the complete file of the famous audio recording of slurred Michael Jackson speech, which Murray had recorded on his phone weeks before Jackson's death. Snippets of the recording were played by the prosecution during the trial's opening statements.
Update, 9:22 a.m. PT
Sally Hirschberg, who is in charge of order records at Seacoast Medical supply company, where Conrad Murray ordered many medical supplies, is the prosecution's opening witness.
Her testimony includes specifics about Murray's orders, including his order for an IV infusion set.
Hirschberg testified that the request raised a red flag initially, because Murray's assistant requested the set be delivered to a California residential address, instead of a medical facility. Hirschberg said she refused to ship the IV stand to the California address.
Day seven of Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial is expected to include prosecutors playing audio of his interview with police two days after Michael Jackson's death.
Prosecutors have not released their witness lists, but so far have largely followed the order in which they called witnesses in Murray's preliminary hearing in January.
That would mean, CNN.com reports, that today's schedule will likely include testimony from investigators with the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
Read more: Conrad Murray Trial, Day 6: Pharmacist Testifies About Propofol
The coroner ruled Jackson died on June 25, 2009 of "acute propofol intoxication," and that sedatives were also a factor. Prosecutors contend Murray is criminally liable for Jackson's death because he recklessly administered the propofol, a potent surgical anesthetic drug, and was negligent in properly monitoring Jackson.
If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Murray faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.
Today's court action follows what was the most dramatic, colorful day of testimony in the case so far, as various women who have had relationships with Dr. Murray testified that they were in phone contact with him in the hours leading up to Jackson's death.
Prosecutors called the witnesses to help establish a timeline of Jackson's death, and to try to prove their assertion that, instead of monitoring Jackson, Murray was busy with personal calls.
Read more: Conrad Murray Trial: Defense Faces Uphill Battle in Week 2
Among the women who testified on Tuesday was cocktail waitress Sade Anding (pictured), who described a phone call with Murray that took place within the hour Jackson died.
A few minutes into the call, Anding said, "I heard the mumbling of voices ... and I heard coughing, and nobody answered." She hung up the phone a few minutes later. Prosecutors suggest the commotion was Murray discovering Jackson was in medical distress. They believe the coughing was likely Jackson's.
Anding agreed under defense cross-examination that the coughing could have come from anyone.
Also testifying yesterday was Murray's current, live-in girlfriend, Nicole Alvarez, an actress.
Alvarez (pictured) delivered the most famous catchphrase of the trial so far when she described her acting preparation as maintaining her "instrument" -- "As an actor, your instrument is yourself." She was also caught contradicting herself under oath.
In the January preliminary hearing, she said she had seen that Murray was being paid $150,000 per month to work with Jackson. But when asked about Murray's salary under oath on Tuesday, she said she couldn't remember the amount.
Read more: Juror Questionnaire for Conrad Murray Trial Rife With Drug and Celebrity-Related Questions
One possible, unspoken reason for putting the women on the stand: The "parade of girlfriends," as it was called in television coverage of the trial, could lead jurors to conclude that Murray led a hectic personal life that distracted him from Jackson.
The jury will not hear some details about Murray, however, because Judge Michael Pastor has instructed that his personal life is not on trial. Jurors will not hear about Murray's marital status, the fact that he has seven children with six different women, or that he is dealing with financial woes, including claims of unpaid child support.