Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dr. Conrad Murray Prelim Coverage

1/12/11 9:45 p.m. Sprocket edit.

7:35 a.m.
I'm in the cafeteria of the criminal court building. The 9th floor is closed until 8:00 am. I've already had a catch up chat with Beth Karas in the lobby. The PIO has issued strict rules for covering the prelim. If you are caught reporting from inside the courtroom or overflow room you are banned for the remainder of the trial. The PIO stated they will be monitoring various news sites to ensure the rules are followed. In a few minutes I'll be heading upstairs to the 9th floor to wait in the elevator bay for the 9th floor security station to open.

7:39 a.m.
Beth won't even be able to get inside the media overflow room since her network has her doing quite a few "live shots." She'll be outside across the street at the CNN/TruTv broadcasting truck.

8:09 a.m.
I'm on the 9th floor, right by the elevator bay. Steven Mikulan is here beside me and it's almost a deja vu back to Spector 1. I see Terri Keith from City News clear security. Mary from the PIO is at the overflow room. Elizabeth from the PIO is at Pastor's courtroom at the other end of the hall. Linda Deutsch from the AP is here along with the famous sketch artist who's name escapes me right now.... Mona?

8:15: am
The public lottery supposedly starts now, but I think I'm going to not even chance it. I'm going to go straight to the overflow room. No Jackson family has shown up yet on the 9th floor.

8:16 am
It's surprisingly quiet for the 9th floor. Just media, chatting, catching up. Most of the press is at Judge Pastor's end of the hall. I'm drawing a brain fade on the name of a former In Session show host who was on with Jack Ford.... I recognize her, but I can't remember her name.

8:20 a.m.
The parking lot behind the CCB is no more. There is a big construction crew. Word is they are building a park. When I first passed it, I thought, great. They are finally building a parking structure. That would have been the logical thing to do.

8:27 a.m.
More people are showing up. I'm going to resituate myself down at the overflow room.

10:36 am
I'm in the hallway. The prosecution presented an opening statement outlining the details of evidence they will present about the case.

The first witness was Kenneth Ortega, the co-director/creator of THIS IS IT tour. The highlight of Ortega's testimony was testifying about observing Jackson on June 19th showing up to rehearsal, "shivering" and not appearing very well. It was the witness's own observations about Jackson. Jackson did not tell him he did not feel well. Jackson did not take the stage that day. He sat in the seats and watched the rehearsals for a few hours and then decided on his own to go home. The next day, Ortega was called to a meeting at Jackson's home, where several people were present, including Dr. Murray. Ortega testified that Dr. Murry told him in no uncertain terms that "he" was in charge of Jackson's health and not him.

I'll be posting my detailed notes later tonight after they have been cleaned up and edited.

12:23 pm
I'm finally in the cafeteria setting up to get something to eat. I left my lunch at home! I'm trying to wolf down a meal as best I can to get across the street to visit Beth Karas if there's time and then be back upstairs early enough to get my same seat. Basically next to one of only 2 outlet plugs available in the overflow room.

The second witness to testify is Jackson's personal assistant, Michael Amir (sp?) Williams. This is one of the people that Dr. Murray first called when he started to lose his patient. In June of 2009, MA Williams worked for Jackson about 2 years prior. He testifies he first heard about Dr. Murray in 2007 and met him in Las Vegas in 2008 when Jackson was living there.

The highlight of Williams' testimony so far was when everyone was at UCLA hospital after Jackson had been pronounced dead. Dr. Murray made a request of Williams that he found to be odd. Murray asked to be driven back to the residence. He said there was some "cream" that Jackson used that he knew he wouldn't want the press to know he was using so could someone take him back to the house.

Williams' checked with another individual, part of security. Since it was a chaos scene at the hospital, Williams, not wanting to have any confrontation, or to tell Dr. Murray something negative, he told him a story that the police had taken their keys, and that they couldn't return to the residence. (This wasn't true.) Later, after more of Jackson's family had arrived at the hospital, Dr. Murray told Williams that he was really hungry. He hadn't had anything to eat or drink for many hours and wanted to know if someone could take him to get something to eat. This request was also denied in the wake of the tragedy. Williams testified that Dr. Murray left without saying goodbye to him.

I better hit the restroom and head back upstairs.

2:48 pm
I'm in the hallway. Mini disaster for me. My mouse fell off the pad I was using and broke. I'm now forced to use the keyboard mousepad, and I've never mastered it after all these years.

Fareem (sp?) Mohamed, head of Jackson's security is on the stand. Fareem Mohamed was head of Jackson's security and entered Jackson's residence and then bedroom when he was notified by Williams that something was wrong at Jackson's house. He observed Dr. Murray attempting to attend Jackson. He gave a look of shock to the other individual in the room when Dr. Murray asked if anyone knew CPR.

My next notes will be later tonight.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you are covering this trial. As an anesthetist, I can say that our entire profession is disgusted and horrified at what Conrad Murray was doing under the guise of providing medical care. He should permanently lose his license in every state, as well as go to prison. I know they're charging him with manslaughter because that is what the prosecutors think they can make "stick", but in my opinion it was criminally negligent homicide or second degree murder. There is no home use of propofol that is justifiable, and that a cardiologist was administering it is patently absurd. Cardiologists ARE NOT trained to administer anesthesia drugs, and are completely unqualified to do so. He would not have been given privileges in ANY hospital to administer propofol, as a cardiologist. And 25mg is not any kind of "usual" dose, lol. That is ridiculous! Conrad Murray didn't know what the hell he was doing, and he killed his "patient". Period, the end. I will watch and read with great interest.

Anonymous said...

Was Ashleigh Banfield the former co-host with Jack Ford you mentioned?

Thanks for covering the hearing. A great job as always.

David in TN

Anonymous said...

Hey! thank you for, once again, attacking a high profile trial. You are a model for the blog reporter for me. Followed you in Spector I and II. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

So glad that you are "back in the saddle" with trial coverage! You are the best!


ChickyGirl said...

Hi, this is the first time I've heard Tf you. I will follow your comments on the trial. I hope you will not be biased to either side. It seems like all reporting coming out of the hearing is very biased against the doctor. I just would like to hear the truth. Thanks.