January 7, 2011 afternoon session. Edited by Caligirl 9 at 5 p.m.
Correction edits by Sprocket 1/8 @ 9 p.m.
It’s 1:30 and we see the courtroom. One of the attorneys is talking to my favorite court reporter. I’m pretty sure that’s Mavis I see up on the screen.
Nicole did say “Gentlemen’s Club.” as to where she worked and met him. I missed the “Gentleman” part of the answer!
Witness #16—Elissa Fleak
DDA established where witness is employed and what job entails—she is an LA County Coroner Investigator. Performs investigations at scenes, notify family, write reports for pathologists, and assist investigation. Eight years (in job). Was working in that capacity in June 2009.
DDA Q: Learned of the death of entertainer Michael Jackson?
Fleak: Yes I did.
DDA Q: In response to learning that information did you respond to UCLA medical center?
What time did you respond?
Fleak: Can I check my notes?
DDA Q: Yes.
Fleak: I arrived at hospital at 17:20 hours.
DDA Q: At UCLA ?
DDA Q: 5: 20 pm?
DDA Q: At your arrival to UCLA did you make physical observations of the decedent?
Fleak describes what she did and what her duties were: To perform an external body examination. “Anything I could infer, to the cause of death for my report.
DDA Q: Looking for wounds, knife wounds?
Fleak: Yes. Did not find anything at that time.
Investigator Fleak obtained 4 vials of blood from UCLA staff labeled Gershwin. [ed. note: recall explanation pseudonym from yesterday’s testimony]
DDA gives label number. Fleak replies, “Yes. Correct.”
DDA Q: Were those vials of blood logged into the coroner’s office?
DDA Q: Was to preserve them?
Fleak: Yes for toxicology purposes.
DDA: On that date did you respond to that location of 100 N Carolwood, LA?
Fleak: Yes. After ER room, I went to the house to observe the scene investigation.
She specifically did an investigation of that bedroom area.
(DDA puts up exhibit on the ELMO. Fleak identified where she was told the decedent was before taken to the hospital. Photo of the two tables, night stands; she identifies them.)
DDA Q: People’s 9. Recognize?
Fleak: Yes. The diagram of the second floor of the house.
DDA Q: Depicts the bedroom you just described?
DDA Q: At this point did you begin taking photographs and documenting some of the items you found relevant to pertaining to cause of death.
DDA Q: Begin with any prescription?
Fleak: Yes, I began with several pill bottles on the nightstand right next to the bed.
DDA Q: Did you document inventory?
Fleak: Yes I did.
DDA Q: Documented on a Coroner’s 3A form?
Fleak: Yes I did.
DDA Q: Do you remember what prescriptions you recovered?
Fleak: Yes I do.
DDA Q: What did you recover?
Fleak: Flomax, clonazapam, diazapam, lorazapam, tomazapam, trazadone, and tiziandine. [ed. note: will research and clarify for accuracy]
Also collected several pill bottles, tubes of lotion. Hydrocodone [ed. note: Vicodin]. Tube of Lidocane lotion that was it on the nightstand [ed. note: Lidocaine lotion may have been used to reduce pain when starting IV].
DDA Q: How about Benoquin?
Fleak: Yes. There was Benoquin.
DDA Q: Lotion in a tube?
Fleak: Yes it was.
DDA Q: Did you document who prescribed?
Fleak: reports diazepam (Valium), Flomax, Lidocaine lotion, lorazepam (Ativan), temazepam (Restoril, a sleep aid) prescribed by Dr. Murray. [ed. note: A cardiologist prescribing a med for prostatic hypertrophy?] Clonazepam (antianxiety), trazodone (antidepressant) by a Dr. Metzger, name missed prescribed by Dr. Klein [ed. note: presume Benoquin as it’s a medication used for vitiligo]
DDA shows Investigator Fleak photos of a night stand, close up of table next to night stand,
DDA Q: Do you see the two separate tables? (Shows photo. Line of questioning and answers describes another photo of area where prescription bottles were, in a basket in the lower shelf of one of the tables, as well as other areas of the table.
(There is a tube of Lidocaine lotion on table. There was a syringe on the table and one on the ground, next to the bed.)
The plunger and the top part of the syringe (to which you would attach a needle)?
DDA shows new photos of syringes, of oxygen tank, other items, taking Investigator Fleak through identifying photos with more items, including an IV bag with connected tubing.
Fleak described some of the equipment. Blue “Ambu” bag goes to a nasal cannula. [ed. note: Actually it would be connected directly to oxygen tubing and not a nasal cannula.]
Fleak notes “I did describe it as a broken’ syringe because the two pieces are separated from each other. I should have ...they’re not broken.”
Syringe on the table, needle on the floor. DDA asks Fleak if they may have been together they may not have been. Fleak answers correct.
DDA Q: Was there also an IV stand—(interrupted)
(Sprocket note: I think someone was knocking at door—bailiff got up.)
DDA Q: [Regarding location of IV stand] If you were facing at the bed, at the foot of the bed, the head of the bed it would be to your right?
Fleak: Yes. [ed. note: This makes sense, as the IV was positioned in Jackson’s left leg.]
(Sprocket note: I’m starting to yawn. I got less than four hours of sleep last night. It’s going to be a long two hours now.)
DDA is showing Investigator Fleak photos of nightstand and IV stand and IV kit attached and asks her to identify.
Fleak. Yes. She describes where everything is. “It’s a saline bag” [ed. note: IV solution]
DDA Q: In addition to observations of what you described, did you locate a jug that appears to be a jug of urine?
Fleak: There was a chair behind and to the left of you that had a bottle of urine and several urine pads.
DDA identifies Peoples 35.Fleak identifies the items in the photo.
DDA Q: Medical-type container for holding urine?
DDA Q: Recovered an open box of disposable hypodermic needles?
Fleak: Yes. It was on the two tables as well.
DDA Q: Recovered IV catheters?
DDA Q: Is it all documented in your form?
Fleak: Yes it is.
DDA Q: Recovered an empty vial of Propofol and (garbled; could be midazolam
or lorazepam, both of which were given and are given IV)?
Fleak replies vials were found between the two nightstands. DDA presents more photographs for Investigator Fleak
DDA Q: Was this an empty full, partially full bottle of Propofol?
Fleak: It was empty. (She verifies where the Propofol vial was on the floor.)
DDA Q: 200 mg bottle of Propofol?
DDA Q: Now did you return to the location of 100 N Carollwood on June 29th 2009?
DDA Q: Continued your investigation?
DDA shows Fleak some photos for clarification.
DDA Q: Describe if you will, if you would walk from this area, bedroom 2 closed.
Fleak: It’s an attached room lined with wooden closets lined with wood.
DDA Q: About the size of a regular room?
(She went into this closet area to investigate.)
DDA Q: Recovered items that were logged into evidence? Fleak says yes.
Was that logged (the syringes) as medical evidence #1?
Describes how items were logged into evidence and the numbers given.
People’s 39, 40, 41, 42 43 44 45 photos presented and Fleak describes.
Ppl 39. This is the closet area. Wooden cabinet area. Shows evidence that she collected on 29th. Showing ppls 40 close up of same items. Some bags as well as some plastic bags containing items.
DDA Q: Did you remove those items from that cabinet and inventory them on that day?
Fleak: Yes I did.
DDA Q: Is this a photo of some of those items after being laid out on a table?
Fleak: Yes it is.
DDA Q: Describe items.
Fleak: Black square bag with a zipper, recovered from cabinet area. One dark blue bag with a zipper with “Costco” on the outside. Light blue and brown colored bag with a zipper with “baby essentials” bag; misc. medical supplies.
DDA Q: As well as creams?
Fleak: Yes bag full of Benoquin lotions. Yes, those are bottles, tubes of lotions.
DDA Q: Did you empty and inventory the contents of these items?
Fleak: Yes I did.
DDA Q: This box, a black pressure cuff? Bottles?
Fleak: Three bottles of Lidocaine. Vials of Lidocaine. [ed. note: Differs from Lidocaine cream/lotion in that this solution is added to Propofol to reduce pain upon injection.]
Fleak checks notes to remember if the bottles were full or not. “Two were empty and one of them had some liquid in it. All three of them had been opened.” They were 30 milliliter bottles. Large dark blue Costco bag.
DDA Q: Did you find saline bag that had been apparently cut open?
Fleak: Yes I did.
DDA Q: Find anything in that saline bag?
Fleak: A bottle of Propofol inside that cut-open bag.
DDA shows Fleak a photo.
Flea: Yes (that’s what she found).
DDA Q: Can you describe what I’m showing; can you describe?
Fleak: It’s a slit in the bag.
DDA Q: Did you take this photograph? That was the Propofol bottle that was inside the IV bag?
DDA Q: In addition the IV bag with the slit in and the 100 mg. Propofol you mentioned, what else did you find?
Fleak: 20 ml bottle of Propofol bottle. Back to 100 ml bottle; it was open and had liquid in it. Twenty ml. open with liquid in it. Ten ml. lorazepam (Ativan) bottle open with liquid in it. Two bottles of midazalom (Versed) 10 ml both open, both had liquid in them.
DDA Q: Was there any other items in there?
Fleak: A bloody piece of gauze, a bag of miscellaneous packaging, medical packaging and a finger pulse monitor.
Fleak also did same inventory of the light blue and brown “baby essentials” bag.
2 100ml bottles of Propofol
2 20 ml bottles of Propofol unopened
(3?) bottles of 20
3 20 ml bottles of Lidocaine opened
1 30 mil bottle of Lidocaine unopened
20 ml bottle of diazepam opened
(Sprocket note: I can’t keep up.)
more unopened. 5 mi diazepam opened.
1 4ml (Sprocket note: I missed) opened
1 4ml of diazepam unopened.
DDA Q: Where there other items?
Fleak replies: Red pill bottle with no label that contained 14 capsules turned out to be ephedrine. Over-the-counter night drops. Five bus cards of Dr. Murray. An IV clamp. A blue strip of rubber.
Fleak recognized the rubber as used for a tourniquet.
DDA Q: In total, looking at contents of both bags, is accurate to say, there were 11 bottles of Propofol?
DDA Q: In addition to the one empty bottle on the floor of Propofol there were a total of 12 bottles of Propofol. Is it true there were six bottles of Lidocaine?
Fleak: I’d have to count.
DDA Q: Could you please?
Fleak: Six, correct.
DDA Q: In addition to the Lidocaine lotion. Correct.
Another photo exhibit. Photo of some of the contents of the “baby essentials” bag.
Describes the items that were all in the photo...medicines.
DDA: Nothing further.
Defense CROSS FLANAGAN.
Q: You made a search of the bedroom on 25th in the evening?
Q: And that’s where you obtained all of the photos and the bed and the surrounding the bed?
Fleak: Some were taken on the 29th. I was told by detectives additional information medical evidence at the house.
Q: They told you Dr. Murray told them a location and what they had? Did they tell you the interview that they had was from Dr. Murray?
Fleak: Yes. (Objection, sustained, reply stricken from record.)
Q: Did they tell you what information they had that you—(Objection, sustained).
Why did you go back on the 29th?
Fleak: I was told there was additional evidence at the house.
Q: Detective Smith. Did he tell you what there was?
Q: Did he tell you where to look?
Fleak: Yes. In that closet room.
Q: Had you looked in that room on the 25th?
Fleak: I did not. I may have glanced in the room but I did not search it.
Q: So you went back looking for evidence that Detective Smith said would be there.
Q: Did you search any of the other items, any of the other drawers?
Q: Was all of the stuff that you found that you took into your custody, was all in that one little area? (lists the bag)
Fleak: Those three bags were found in that cabinet, yes.
Q: When you went through and searched all the drawers and cabinets in that room, did you ever find a trash bag?
Fleak: What type of trash bag? Like a grocery trash bag? No. In the plastic bag, there was something that was crumpled up...
(Discussion about bag and baggies.)
It was clear plastic bag about a gallon. There was no zipper, it was just open at the top.
There was clumpled-up plastics, like disposable syringes, the packaging surrounding syringes, tissues, crumpled up.
Q: Like anything that had biological material on it?
(Sprocket note: missed answer. I’m almost falling asleep.)
Fleak: It was in the Costco plastic bag, but I don’t remember specifically if it was crumpled up.
Defense now questions about the IV bag with the Propofol bottle in it, questioning Fleak about how much was left in the bottle. She didn’t inventory for amount any bottles that were opened.
Notes printed, residual. She means the bag was fingerprinted. She doesn’t remember how many bottles were full or less full, she didn’t document that at the time.
Q: You fingerprinted?
Fleak: I didn’t fingerprint. Notes mean the bottle was open, it had liquid in it and it was fingerprinted.
At this time, I believe it was possible to be fingerprinted. We are not fingerprinted at that time when I wrote my notes.
Q: You didn’t use the term positive for liquid you just have residual?
Fleak: “In my mind it means the same thing. It was just how I was taking notes.”
Q: The black square bags. On things you have listed, it’s crossed out.
Fleak: It ‘s just a number 2.
Q: The first item was the first bag. (Sprocket note: I’m not getting this.)
Fleak: I don’t know why I crossed that number out. Two vials... Empty means there was on liquid in it that I could see.
Clarifies her notes how she listed the items.
Q: The Costco bag was a mixture of partially used and full bottles? Did they all have liquid in them?
Q: Some were partially used?
Q: The IV from the IV bag. Last page of your worksheet. “IV bag from the IV stand.”
Did it have liquid in it?
Q: Did you have it fingerprinted?
Fleak: I don’t remember.
Q: This IV bag had some tubing coming down from it.
Fleak: Yes. And in the tubing hand an IV in it?
Halfway from the tubing there was a clamp and that clamp had a syringe in it.
The plunger was depressed. I don’t remember if there was a small amount of liquid in the syringe.
Q: Was the plunger completely depressed?
Fleak: I don’t remember exactly where it was.
Q: Was there residue?
Fleak: I don’t remember?
Q: Was there more tubing below that IV port?
Q: Did that tubing have liquid in it?
Fleak: I don’t remember.
Q: Did the tubing above it have liquid in it?
Q: Was that clear?
Q: Was the IV bag clear?
Q: Did it have a milky appearance to it?
Fleak: It was clear. [ed. Note: this is setting up the “Jackson self-injected” theory. Defense attorney was asking for location of ports, or openings, in the IV tubing, and the location of those ports, theorizing a port was close enough for Jackson to use and then clear the tubing above with saline.]
Q: When you went back on the 29th, was this the only thing you collected from the bedroom?
(Sprocket note: missing some of this exchange)
Q: One of the items, I think this bag, fingerprint dusted, the only [thing] you remember is from the IV bag itself?
Fleak: Yes. Remembers that the IV bag had about 1/2 to 3/4 full when it was hanging.
Q: You were there on the 25th, and you found quite a few things. Can I have the photographs?
The break was called at 2:46pm
Resumption of cross of Coroner Investigator.
Fleak: "There was a vial, with some medications.”
Q: They all appeared to be used?
(Sprocket note: did not hear answer)
Q: What was crumpled up?
Fleak: The packaging.
Q: You described that as a bag of medical garbage?
Q: All of these things, all of the vials, hand been used? Is that correct?
Q: They were open and they had liquid in them?
Fleak: All those things as trash? (Objection, sustained.)
Q: In the main room, where was the IV bag on the stand that had the syringe in it? In that room? In this corner. (She's pointing to an exhibit on the screen with a laser pointer.)
Why wasn’t that taken on the 25th?
Fleak: I wasn’t taking anything that was injectable. I’m usually looking for pill bottles. At the time I didn’t know what Propofol was when I was there. I didn’t know it was injected intravenously. I didn’t know it would be used to administer the drugs that were there.
Q: So you saw the IV drugs there?
Fleak: I saw bottles of medications.
Q: Asks about the “broken” syringe.
Fleak: I should have described it as “separate.” It was not cracked it was not broken it was not defective in any way. They were just separate—the needle and the plunger.
Q: As you sit here now you would have described it as a broken syringe?
Fleak: No I wouldn’t it.
Q: Why did you collect that?
Fleak: It was on the ground near the bottle on the ground.
Q: Did you ask for these things to be fingerprinted?
Fleak: I don’t remember?
Q: Is it part of your role to ask for things to be fingerprinted?
Q: So (what is your role?) you collect and put away? Maintain custody?
Fleak: In a complete death investigation we have more responsibilities than just collecting and logging evidence. (A coroner's investigator) performs a body investigation, notifies families, performs a death scene investigation... (She mentioned a few more tasks).
Q: On that day, did you notice the IV with the pole with the IV syringe?
Fleak: Yes I did.
Q: Why did you not take that into custody? (Objection, asked and answered. )
Did you notice on the table some juice bottles? They were labeled the Naked Juice company.
Were they empty?
Fleak: I did not collect those juice bottles and I did not document what was in them.
Q: You left them there at the scene?
Fleak: Yes. They were on the table next to the bed.
Q: And the syringe, was it in reachable distance of the bed? (Objection! Sustained!)
[ed. note; here we go!] How far was the syringe from the bed?
Fleak: About 2 feet.
Q: And the syringe? (Miss answer)
Q: Bottle of Propofol, how far was that?
Fleak: I don’t know if it was one foot, or..??? (Sprocket note: I missed last part of answer.)
Q: Defense attorney asks, something about what about a 136 pound, 5'9" man, could they have reached it? (Objection! Calls for speculation! Sustained!)
Did you take the Ambu bag into custody?
Fleak: No I did not.
Q: The open box of disposable needles how close was that to the table?
Fleak: Couple feet.
Q: So if that was on the table so you could reach that? (Objection! Sustained.)
We lost our feed.
It came back.
Fleak: Both vials on the floor were empty. No liquid that I could see. I could not see and I did not check the inside of those vials.
Q: When you seized these items, where did you take them?
Fleak: To the coroner’s office.
Q: What did you do with them? B
Fleak: booked them into evidence.
Q: Did you inspect them?
Fleak: As far as the labels... (Sprocket note: I think that's her answer.)
Q: Did you inspect them, as far as the portions?
That’s it for cross No redirect.
Judge asks to see the attorneys at side bar.
Beth Karas got to come in to the courtroom right at the restart of the session for about 5 minutes, and then she had to go back out again. I’m betting she would really like to be in the courtroom, hearing the testimony.
No additional witnesses today. The prosecution is ahead of schedule. 9:00 a.m. Monday to discuss evidentiary matters. 10 a.m. for testimony.