Michael Jackson's doctor did not inject pop star with Demerol before his death, lawyer says
A lawyer for Michael Jackson’s personal physician said today that reports that the doctor injected the pop star with a powerful painkiller before his death were “absolutely false.”
“There was no Demerol. No OxyContin,” Edward Chernoff, the attorney for Dr. Conrad Murray, told The Times.
The lawyer, who was present Saturday for Murray’s three-hour interview with Los Angeles police detectives, said Jackson was already unconscious when the doctor “fortuitously” entered the bedroom of the performer’s Holmby Hills mansion.
The 50-year-old entertainer “wasn’t breathing. He checked for a pulse. There was a weak pulse in his femoral artery. He started administering CPR,” said Chernoff, a Houston criminal defense attorney.
The lawyer’s claim was consistent with the account of a source close to the investigation who told The Times that the lengthy interview with the doctor turned up “no smoking gun.”
Murray had not “furnished or prescribed” Jackson with Demerol, the lawyer said.
He described Murray as stunned by Jackson’s death. “He was the one who suggested the autopsy to the family while they were still in the hospital. He didn’t understand why Michael Jackson had died,” he said. Murray, a cardiologist with practices in Nevada and Texas, shuttered his offices in May after Jackson asked him to travel to London for a seven-month concert run.
Chernoff said the concert promoter, L.A.-based AEG Live, had agreed to pay the doctor $300,000 and was still owed the money. AEG Live Chief Executive Randy Phillips has described Murray as Jackson’s personal physician of three years. Murray’s attorney, however, said that although the men had known each other since 2006, Murray only came on as Jackson’s personal physician last month for the London shows.
He said previously Murray had treated Jackson’s children for an infection while the family was living in Las Vegas and the doctor considered the performer “a friend.”
On Friday, an LAPD detective told The Times that investigators had no information that Jackson was injected with Demerol or other painkillers. Such claims "are coming from outside the investigation," said Lt. Gregg Strenk, head of the LAPD's Homicide Special Section 1, which is assigned to the Jackson case.
-- Harriet Ryan