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Michael Jackson's death: Jackson camp says concert promoter hired doctor [Updated]

DoctorThe cardiologist being sought for questioning in the investigation of Michael Jackson's death was hired by a concert promoter to accompany the entertainer to London for his comeback concert series, a Jackson advisor said today.

Dr. Conrad Murray, a physician with offices in Nevada and Texas, was with Jackson when he went into cardiac arrest Thursday; police, who talked to Murray briefly at UCLA Medical Center, are trying to track him down for further interviews.

Dr. Tohme Tohme, a Jackson advisor, said that Los Angeles-based concert promoter AEG Live retained Murray and that the physician arrived in town less than two weeks ago.

Jackson and the rest of the company were set to depart early next week for England.

"I don't know the exact arrangements, but AEG paid him and he was going to go with [Jackson on tour]," Tohme said of Murray. Tohme said Murray treated Jackson for a cold when the singer was living in Las Vegas last year.

A spokesman for AEG declined to comment.

In a statement, the company, which had sunk tens of millions of dollars into Jackson's comeback efforts, expressed condolences to the singer's family and said it planned to begin processing refunds for about 750,000 tickets next week.

Police sources said Friday afternoon that they were still looking for Murray. Investigators impounded his vehicle at Jackson's Holmby Hills house.

Murray was hit with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal judgments last year and has a history of money problems.

In 2008, three judgments were filed against Murray or his company, Global Cardiovascular Associates in Clark County, Nev., totaling more than $435,000, and two other cases are pending from companies that claim Murray owes them a total of $355,000. The three judgments include $71,332 for school loans, $135,302 to Popular Leasing USA and $228,420 to Citicorp Vendor Finance.

Murray specialized in cardiovascular disease and was licensed in California, Nevada and Texas. He has  no history of discipline in those states. He graduated in 1989 from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, an independent, historically black university that touts itself as “perhaps the major educator of black physicians in the U.S.”

Murray practices in both Nevada and Texas. In Houston in 2006 he helped open the Acres Home Heart and Vascular Institute, fulfilling part of a promise he made after the death of his father, a longtime community leader and doctor. He opened Global Cardiovascular Associates, his Las Vegas practice, in 2000. On Friday, that Las Vegas office was dark and locked. A "Closed" sign hung on the door, reading: “Will be back at :00 p.m.”

At least one TV crew circled the parking lot.

Nobody answered the door at Murray’s Las Vegas home -- a million-dollar stucco-and-stone dwelling in a gated community next to  the Red Rock Country Club -- but a gray sedan pulled away as a reporter approached.

In addition to the recent judgments, Murray filed for bankruptcy in 1992 in Riverside County. Five tax liens were filed against him between 1993 and 2003, in amounts totaling more than $44,600, according to county records.

[Updated at 4:40 p.m.:Tohme said that Jackson selected Murray but that AEG paid the doctor's bills.]

--Harriet Ryan and Kimi Yoshino, with Ashley Powers in Las Vegas

Photo. Dr. Conrad Murray in 2006. Credit: Houston Chronicle

Comments () | Archives (20)

Texas has stringent rules on licensing, but for some reason, these things seem to happen more frequently to Texas docs. I guess they are looking at the wrong things there.

Q: What's the difference between Dr. Murray and a street drug peddler?

A: The cops aren't actively seeking to interview the street pusher!

Honestly why did they hire a cardiologist?? Trying to keep a man going that had no business going into 50 concerts? Why did a cardiologist not know to remove him from the bed and put him on the floor to do CPR? From the way this is written it seems he was only around Michael the last two weeks?
Such a sad repetitive story with these doctors, Anna Nicole, Heath...why are they never the ones held accountable?

John, upon what evidence do you based your statement ?

I am guessing Jackson went to Murray in his capacity as an internist initially, not a cardiologist. Murray seems to have been very irresponsible with his financial obligations. It remains to be seen how irresponsible he was here, but I am sure he is actively seeking a good criminal defense lawyer right now.

I heard he used lidocaine to try to bring him out of cardiac arrest, but if it was the Demerol, he needed to use the narcotic antagonist, naloxone hydrochloride to reverse the effects of Demerol.

I can imagine AEG lost a bundle of money on account of Mr. Jackson's death. It would be interesting to know whether AEG pre-paid Mr. Jackson for his London performances. If so, I can already hear the lawyers bickering over how much should be paid back from the Jackson estate because of AEG's negligence in providing a competent doctor to oversee Mr. Jackson's health, along with causing his wrongful death. I'm quite confident this battle has already begun behind closed doors.

this is what happens when you hire an unqualified doctor with a history of personal troubles. Kind of like Kenye West's mom. Seems like both MJ and West were more interested in a doctor that "looked" right rather than one that was competent. too bad.

From Elvis Presley, to Don Simpson, to Anna Nicole to Michael Jackson. When will we teach that just because someone has a license to practice medicine, that this does not make him or her qualified to control a man or a woman's life with dangerous drugs? As a 10-year sober speaker on addiction, I have heard many stories and when it comes to out of control drug use, this is not uncommon. In the end, taking the drug is a conscious choice however and becomes less controllable as the addiction progresses and this is where I blame the doctors. They know their actions have weakened the state of their own patient and they choose to ignore this critical fact. This is why I personally would like to ask this doctor a few questions of my own. One would be: What makes you think the human body is so unreliable that it needs a shot of Demerol every day? In Michael Jackson's case, he needed to rely on his body as a dancer. Why immobilize him with drugs? I have a sneaking suspicion that Attorney General Brown is going to take a real good look at this doctor and perhaps many others who had something to do with prescribing drugs to Michael Jackson.

what a bum

Gimme a break he died. he just died. The doctor didn't do it.

Stop trying to inject more drama.

Jackson is a weirdo, and now they are trying to attack the dr?

Because... Jackson's body wasn't all that healthy.

too bad MJ picked a doctor with such a poor pedigree and personal troubles. Like Kenye West's Mom, it seems he based his choice on diversity and not competence.

It's apparent Jackson had heart problems and who knows what else. The physician is not responsible for his death, Jackson is! The promoter was aware of Jackson's health issues and paid Dr. Murray. The promoter and Jackson wanted money at the risk of Jackson's health. I wonder if the money will be given back to the ticket buyers.

No one is saying that the doctor killed him, but doctors and nurses must be accountable for the medication that they give.

If the doctor knew that he would be injecting Demerol, he should of had the antidote for it, which is Narcan. He should of made sure he also had a defibrillator, just in case. This is basic stuff, and what type of medical professional does CPR on the bed. His lawyer stated that the bed was firm. Is the bed firm as the floor? A lot doesn't make sense. I understand that Michael needed the meds. Okay fine, but when you hire a doctor, you expect that he knows what he is doing. It just doesn't make any sense. Being a cardiologist, and with all of Michael's money, I would had made sure I had all the required preventative tools, such as a defibrill canula ator, Narcan, an EKG machine, as well as Oxygen with nasal, just incase his heart or lungs failed, which it did. Poor Medicine!!

Today's news indicates that medicine vials containing Diprovan and Lidocaine swabs were found at Michael Jackson's home. In addition, Michael's personal chef stated that he had observed a few oxygen tanks in the security mobile unit located in the driveway. He described the tanks as being waist high, heavy duty tanks. Why would the doctor have all of these items on hand if he did not intend to use them? Why would he use them when the medical literature clearly states that the infusion of Diprovan must be carefully prepared, administered and monitored and should only be used in a hospital setting? Dr. Conrad Murray doesn't look so innocent when taking all this into consideration. What do you think?

It is very difficult to believe that a doctor who was for two weeks with Michael Jackson, didn't know the address of Michael's rented house. Why did Mr Murray waited thirty minutes before contacting 911, or finding someone to call 911. It is difficult to understand. What happened to Michael Jackson is very strange. But strange things happened when you don't check up thoroughfully the past of people who are supposed to work for you. It is reported that Dr Conrad Murray had financial problems. Poor Michael, often hiring people he should not have hired in the first place. Maybe this foolish move costed him his life. And if Dr Conrad Murray has nothing to reproach himself, why did he hire a lawyer as soon as Michael Jackson was pronounced dead.

katherine get the nanny out your house, check out tohme, the nanny, tom barrak associated with colony capitals(neverland ranch) daphne barak the reporter who is good friends with grace the nanny and also double check your lawyer mc millan also associated with colony capitals, and leonard rowe ao called concert promoter, who wanted to work for michael so bad but on larry king spoke of how bad of health he was in.
get the nanny out your house now! please! i hope you read this message. also check the nurse in florida.

I need to sort this out. Michael hired a Doctor who was irresponsible and desperate to pay off his debts, Michael wanted anestesia in his home administered by a cardiologist and Michael was not fit enough to do 50 concerts in the first place.
I am a HUGE Michael jackson fan but sounds like his death was inevitable under these circumstances.
The financially strapped Doctor will pay because he was not strong or ethical enough to decline the financially strapped superstar's request for drugs in the home but at least the Doctor did not lose his life. The superstar did. And thats why we are all bent out of shape.

Ok, I think i've managed to sort it out.


Dr Murray had a great deal going on. I don't want to speculate, but I marvel at how the main could focus on patient care with all he was involved in. It's dizzying to just read about it.

iT IS SO SAD THIS WHOLE MESS,AND COMMON SENSE TELLS US THERE WAS ANUMBER OF CONFLICTING STORIES BEING TOLD!!!!WE WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED ,AND POOR Michael died so soon ,and left 3 beautiful innocent chidren behind ,this is what wew all are forgetting ,so when we pass judgement at least think that sooner or later these chidren will read some of the awful lies ,that others and the MEDIA ,have been happy to sread about him!!!i say read Aphrodite Jones Book 'the Michael Jackson 'conspiracy ,and his own autobiography Moonwalk,please lets stop believing EVERYTHING THE MEDIA SLAMS AT US!!!!

Michael did not have Dr. Murray on his payroll, but AEG did and they are the ones who took out an Overdose Policy on Mr. Jackson. They have done alot of things behind his back and if it does come out. The company will have to live with themselves forever.

I have read an article that is on youtube where it stated that Randy Phillips hired Dr. Murray because he believed that Michael Jackson could not have completed all fifty shows. I know that Michael had health challenges that can actually be documented like lupus. I know that he had back problems because he missed some days of rehearsal. Let's remember this man went through hell during the trial. Mr. Tom Sneddon can be thanked for hurting the career of a wonderful human being who tried his best to only help humanity. When MJ was arrested several years ago, they threw him in a bathroom and locked him in there for forty-five minutes.

It is disgusting, deplorable and despicable how he was treated in this world. He was not perfect, but God was about to do a work in his life. If he could not sleep then other measures should have been considered. Let's stop saying that he was a drug addict. He had issues to deal with although he could have handled them differently that's what it is. He was not into cocaine, heroin, marijuana, etc.

Just premeds. At least, he admitted that he had this problem. Some people try to cover it up. I think that someone who is a Christian should have thought enough of this brilliant young man and sincerely helped him. I know that he reached out to a good friend three weeks before passing away Pentecostal minister Andre Crouch and his sister Sandra.

However, where was everyone else who should have been praying for him when he was thrown under the bus. He never molested any child. Read Redemption by Geraldine Hughes who worked for the lawyer in the Chandler case. She witnessed first hand the extortion plot against Michael Jackson. See, all of these years we have all been led to believe that he slept with those children. He never did. Plus, he gave the kids his bed and he slept on the floor in his own sleeping bag. That's compassion. One of his former managers talked about that was Michael's mission. If we loved him so much, we should have been able to see that at least he cared about the children of this world.

He was concerned about school violence, and he expressed this in a speech he never liked music that talked about killing. Everyone has their pluses and minuses. Everyone. At least, he gave to humanity in a quiet way. Think about it. Mr. Sneddon is the very one who set this man up and only wanted to take him away from his family and true friends. He believed the lying Arviso family over the truth. He has alot to apologize and he should be held accountable for sending a man to an early grave. I am angry because Michael should be here just like Larry King said.

We need to learn the actual and absolute truth. Enough said.


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