Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dr. Conrad Murray Prelim: Day 1, Part 1

Prosecution Witnesses
1 Kenneth Ortega (Co-director, Co-creator, THIS IS IT tour)
2 Michael Amir Williams (Personal Assistant to Michael Jackson)
3 Faheem Mohamed (Head of Jackson’s security)

Continued from....

8:30 am
I’m inside the courtroom. I’ve got an ideal seat in one of the cushy padded rolling chairs with arms right in front of the video screen. Steven Mikulan and Public Information Officer (PIO) Pat Kelly are talking about the fans. One fan has an armband that says “Sony Kills.” As much as I’d like to be in the actual courtroom, this isn’t bad. I will miss seeing which Jackson family members attend the prelim and will have to read the MSM to find out.

There is a full page sheet of instructions to the media about what is and isn’t allowed inside the courtroom or overflow room. You can leave, but you can’t reenter until there is a break in the proceedings. (Later, these rules in the overflow room are not strictly enforced. In the afternoon, some reporters enter the overflow room very quietly after the prelim had started up again.)

ASHLEY BANFIELD! That’s the name of the on-air correspondent I couldn’t remember! She just entered the overflow room.

Pat Kelly tells us the cameras are voice activated. So whomever speaks, the camera will go in that direction. She said they tried it out last night. At the moment, there are few reporters here...not even a dozen.

Several of the reporters are quite surprised at the rules for covering the prelim. From my point of view, it’s being treated just like an extension of Pastor’s courtroom. Pat Kelly states “there is no transmission from this room, ever.” One reporter asks, “How about downloading?” Pat replies, “If you want to transmit, you must go out to the hallway.” The rules apply to download also. I’ll post them later tonight.

It’s two minutes now until the Judge takes the bench. Some reporters jokingly ask if there will be a ball drop. I really like Pat Kelly. She is professional but at the same time she is not afraid to inject a bit of levity into the event.

Earlier in the lobby, Beth Karas introduced me to two people this morning and they just enter the overflow room...but I’ve forgotten their names already. My memory is failing me. Steven tells me he has the same problem and has just forgotten what I’ve told him.

I take a peek over at Steven’s notes. He’s writing about the fans who were on Temple Street. He was there and tells me it was a big scene. I missed it because I came in through the back of the building. You can read Steven’s report in THE WRAP.com.

Judge Pastor’s courtroom appears on screen! I see the back of my favorite court reporter, Mavis. I’m pretty sure it’s her. I met her during the Cameron Brown retrial. She’s a gem.

The view of the courtroom is from the jury box. It’s a still camera. It’s not being operated by someone to zoom in on someone who is speaking. You can see the Judge, the witness and the prosecutors. It’s more difficult to see the defense table and the defendant. Currently, we have zero audio. So we are missing the beginnings of the prelim.

Steven says he can’t see the defendant at the defense table. He is too far away. Then the sound finally comes on Judge Pastor is speaking. He is verifying that there are no defense witnesses present.

The overflow courtroom is Dept 110 this week and Dept 109 next week.

Pastor talks about the rules for the courtroom.

No gum chewing. No food or drink. No cell phones. Electronic devices in the courtroom for note taking only. No cell phone sending or receiving. Audience members must follow courtroom procedure at all time. Violations may include contempt of court proceedings against the violator.

Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren is the co-prosecutor along with Deputy Dist. Atty. Deborah Brazil. Ms. Brazil and Alan Jackson did the prelim hearing last January in the Lily Burk case.

David Walgren presents the opening statement. I’m surprised there is an opening statement. From my recollection, Jackson and Brazil did not present one in the Burk prelim.

The people will be calling a number of witness, 20 to 30 witnesses who will testify to the relevant facts surround Michael Jackson’s death.

Walgren gives the background at to what was taking place weeks before Jackson’s death.

The evidence will show Michael Jackson was preparing for the important tour of his life. THIS IS IT. It was to begin in London, in August, 2009. Jackson was preparing for it. It was to be a major world event. Rehearsals began in Burbank. Later, they were transferred over to The Forum. Next, the rehearsals were taking place at The Staples Center in downtown.

The people and Michael would rehearse in the afternoon and evenings. When rehearsals were over, Jackson would return to his (rented) home in Holmby Hills, 100 Carolwood Dr.

Dr. Murray was not working under a contract with Michael Jackson, but in the months before he was working as Michael Jackson's doctor. He had previously treated Jackson’s children.

Dr. Murray was treating Michael Jackson at his home, 100 North Carolwood. He would go to Jackson’s house in the evening. He would stay overnight at the location and provide care to Michael Jackson. According to Conrad Murray himself, these visits were six nights a week, for two straight months. He was giving Michael Jackson propofol to assist him in going to sleep. This was going on every sinlge night for two months. It’s a powerful anesthetic used for surgery. There is no indication for it to be used for insomnia. It’s specifically used for surgery.

On Tuesday, (June 23rd, 2009) Jackson followed his normal routine to the Staple Center for rehearsals. The rehearsals went fabulous and Michael Jackson was optimistic. Everyone was impressed with the energy and optimism that Michael Jackson portrayed.

The following day, (June 24th, 2009) Jackson followed his same routine and arrived at the Staples Center and begins his rehearsal. By all accounts it was a fabulous, energetic, rehearsal and Michael Jackson left optimistic for the future.

On June 24th, he returns home around 1 am. Actually, it’s June 25th. Dr. Murray’s car was parked in the driveway. Security dropped Michael off and the security detail departed for the evening.

A reporter is being kicked out of the overflow room.

Documents will show the emails placed by Dr. Murray and the telephone calls that were (made and received). Dr. Murray began his treatment by giving Michael a Valium pill. That was followed by and IV at 2 am with midazolam ( a benzodiazepine). At 3 am, that was followed by another sedative given through the IV. At 5 am, another treatment of diazepam. According to Dr. Murray between 1 and 10 am in the morning he slowly infused Michale with Propofol.

At some point Michael Jackson ceases to breathe and dies. The evidence will show through the paramedics, that by all accounts Jackson was dead in the bedroom at 100 N Carolwood prior to the paramedics arriving at the location.

Piecing together what happened, there were only two people in that room. The People will present various emails and telephone calls by Dr. Murray.

At 11:50 am, a phone call Dr. Murray made to an assistant lasted 11 minutes. At some point the phone conversation stopped. The assistant got of the phone and tried to call Dr. Murray back. There was a commotion in the bedroom that the person heard.

(The People) believe that Michael Jackson might have stopped breathing and it was at that time that Dr. Murray became aware (of the serious condition of his patient).

Dr. Murray did not call 911. He called one of Michael Jackson’s security personnel. He told security to call for help right away. He needs help. At 12:12 p.m. (he made a) phone call (to Michael Amir Williams, Jackson’s personal assistant).

Michael Amir Williams was not at the location. Michael Amir calls Faheem Mohammed (head of Jackson’s security) who was not at the location either. They both drive back towards the house. Learning that Faheem was not at the house Michael Amir calls someone else. At 12 :17 pm Alberto Alvarez receives a phone from Michael Amir.

Security was stationed outside the house. They had their own trailer (on the property). The security detail was finally allowed upstairs where Dr. Murry was (treating Jackson). (Alberto Alvarez) sees Dr. Murray trying to do CPR on the bed, one handed. Dr. Murray repeats that Michael Jackson had a bad reaction.

Dr. Murray begins to distract Alvarez to collect evidence. 911 has not yet been called or ordered to be called by Dr. Murray.

Dr. Murray is having Alvarez help him collect various bottles of medicine, medical paraphernalia medical bottles, wrappings, and dropping them in a (plastic?) bag. Dr. Murray tells Alvarez to grab the bag on the IV that was hanging. Alberto Alvarez grabs that bag and places it in with the other items. It’s only then he is told to call 911. The 911 was placed at 12:21 p.m.

Alvarez was called (by Michael Amir) at 12:12 p.m. The shortest time Dr. Murray waited to call was 9 minutes. That’s assuming that 12:12 p.m. is the first time that Dr. Murry knows of Michael Jackson’s demise. Circumstantially it was at 12 noon that Dr. Murry may have paid enough attention to Michael Jackson (to notice his distress). Paramedics were on site within 4 minutes.

(Paramedics found) Michael Jackson’s eyes were fixed and dilated. Wide open. He was cool to the touch. Asystole. Completely flat lined. Cold to the touch.

(According to) paramedics Goodwin, Senneff (sp?) and Blunt, Michael Jackson was dead upon arrival of their treatment. They did not observe any standard medical treatment that one would expect to see with Poropfol. such as a heart monitor, (oxygen?) etc. Paramedic Senneff asked about his underlying medical condition. Dr. Murray , told him there was nothing. He (Michael Jackson) was dehydrated. The only thing Dr. Murray reveals to the paramedics is the (nordiazepam). He doesn’t mention the benzodiazepines or giving Michael Jackson Propofol.

If the paramedics had the full information they could have acted appropriately. (The doctors at UCLA; same thing.) He never told the paramedics or the UCLA doctors about the Propofol!)

Paramedics treating at 12:27 pm. The paramedics treatments all failed.

12 ;57 pm. (UCLA?) advises they are prepared to call it. They announce Michael Jackson deceased.

Dr. Murray states he will assume care.

1:07 pm The medical team takes Jackson to UCLA: (Arrive?) 1:13 pm, where the care is taken over by Dr. Cooper and Dr. Winn of UCLA. They also inquired of Dr. Murray what Michael Jackson was treated (with). All they were told was he had given him (mirazapam?), a Valium, and also on flomax. He did not mention anything about the {ropofol treatment. Not a word was said about Propofol to UCLA doctors.

DW: They tried all they could to bring Michael Jackson back to life. He remained asystole. Dr. Cooper, at 2:26 pm pronounced Jackson dead. At some point Dr. Murray walked out of the hospital and went on his way. LAPD tried to contact Dr. Murray; they were not able to reach him. Two days later he was interviewed by LAPD with his attorney. It was at that interview where it was learned what Dr. Murray had given Michael Jackson.

DW: The autopsy concluded that Michael Jackson died of acute Psssropofol poisoning along with benzodiazepine. the court will learn from these medical experts, there are a number of actions of Dr. Murray did that deviated from the expected standard of care.

The fact that Propofol was given in a home setting instead of a surgical room, without the assisting medical equipment. The fact that no attending staff or assistants was made available for Dr. Murray. The fact that it was given in conjunction with several benzodiazepine’s. The fact that he was trying to do CPR with one hand on a bed. (The fact that there was a failure to maintain any appropriate medical records, and the failure to advise the paramedics or treating medical doctors (to the medications/treatment given).

This is the end of the prosecution’s opening statement. From this alone, it sounds bad for Dr. Murray.

Defense Atty., Ed Chernoff will not prepare an opening statement.

I'm beat. I've been transcribing my notes for over 3 hours and I have to get up early tomorrow. I will most likely be way behind the MSM in my reporting but I will get all my notes up eventually.

End of Part I


ritanita said...

Thanks for the reporting. It must feel good to be back in court again!

Martin said...

Hi, this really is a great account of the start of yesterday's prelim... PLEASE PLEASE PLEEEASE if you can stick up the rest of your notes from the day and will you be in court again today and so on?

I'll be watching your awesome blog!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware that Dr. Murray never conveyed to any other medical personnel about the propofol. Does sound like the defense will not be able to over come these facts.

KZ said...

Very interesting chain of events described. I'm an anesthetist, so I'd like to comment on the medical chain of events as you have reported them. It's clear to me that MJ was "quite" dead for several HOURS before Murray even noticed he wasn't breathing. If MJ's periphery was "cool" to the touch at 12:25 when paramedics arrived, assuming an ambient temperature of at least 72 degrees in the room, and the body on an insulated bed, clothed, possibly with bed covers over him, it would have taken several hours of cooling for the periphery of the body to feel "cool" to another human's touch. If the body periphery skin temp was even 90+ degrees, it's likely he could have been dead since at least 9 a.m. or earlier. No mention yet of rigor, which usually begins around 4 hours PM. Frankly, I don't doubt that Murray claims to have given him more meds at 10 am-- he simply failed to recognize that his patient was DEAD. A fairly critical error for any health care professional.

MJ kept getting propofol infused into his dead body, which was not metabolized or circulated by his non-beating heart. Hence the sky-high blood levels at post. Depends on what rate the infusion was at when he died how much more accumulated. Murray may well have bumped his IV with another 25mg at 10 am-- and I agree that THAT 25mg wasn't what killed his patient! Murray didn't have the skills of any ICU nurse or any first- week- in- the- OR anesthesia student. THAT is what killed his patient.

Murray was "nursing" the meds and IV's-- not monitoring and assessing his patient, which can lead to dead patients in hospitals, as well as outside of hospitals. And without a cardiac monitor displaying rhythm and respiratory impedence (hello, you're a CARDIOLOGIST, Murray!), end tidal CO2, or a pulse oximeter, or a stethoscope, he was relying on his completely untrained, and nonexistent assessment skills to detect apnea and lack of a pulse in his patient. And no advanced airway management was ever attempted. I doubt very much that Murray even knows how to position someone's head or jaw to open an airway or assist inadequate respirations, let alone competently use an ambu bag or intubate.

That MJ's corpse received 30 minutes of ACLS at the scene with documented asystole (after badly attempted bystander basic CPR), and another 73 min of ACLS at the hospital ER with documented asystole, far, far exceeds what any person would receive who was not known to be severely hypothermic. I cannot imagine what the staff was thinking during that code.

And while I agree that it was egregious and incompetent that Murray did not mention the propofol to any of the legitimate medical providers, it would not have made one bit of difference if they had known, as there is no "reversal" agent for propofol. All that info would have done is persuade them that MJ was indeed quite dead, and they would have called the code even sooner.

Arrogance, incompetence, greed, and narcissism, plus the all important M.D. after Murray's name, killed his patient. No one forced him to give anything to MJ, who was an addict looking for a source. And MJ wanted propofol not only because it's a great anesthetic, but precisely because it is not a narcotic, and doesn't show up in drug tests. Clean drug tests may have been a condition of his insurance contract for his music tour, sometimes required by producers.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment here; my second comment, and I hope I wasn't out of line with a longish post! Murray makes me furious, as you can see!

Anonymous said...

@ KZ - You've answered something I've been wondering about and asking questions about since June '09. Wish I could contact you?

Thanks T&T for a great blog.

Anonymous said...

I realize it's a bit late to comment in this area but in rereading testimony, etc and KZ's professional opinion, how would KZ, in describing MJ as dead for hours, and being infused while dead, how does that account for his facial expression being missed by Dr. Murray? I don't fully understand the sequence of events/ timeline, so I may be totally misunderstanding here...or, as KZ's comment was written early in the testimony, maybe something has changed.

Sprocket said...

Not KZ, but I will try to answer.

Understand, we have not heard the entire interview Dr. Murray had with detectives. We've only heard a summary.

We don't know if questions like these were asked by police.

By Dr. Murray's own timeline with detectives as to what he did and when, there is a discrepancy of almost an hour.

Dr. Murray states he went to the bathroom "for about 2 minutes" around 11 am.

The phone call with Sade Anding at 11:51 am, where she testified that after about 5 minutes, she realized that Dr. Murray wasn't there/listening to her. She heard some comotion in the background and a sigh, as if the phone might have been in a pocket.

What happened during that hour? Evidence shows Dr. Murray was receiving and sending E-mails and on the phone.

We don't know specifically where Murray was in Jackson's mansion during that hour.