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Michael Jackson's doctor left singer alone after giving him powerful drug, sources say

Michael Jackson smiles for cameras at the announcement of nominations for the 1995 MTV Video Awards on July 25. Jackson's video for "Scream'' was nominated for 11 awards that year.

Michael Jackson’s personal physician left the performer alone and under the influence of a powerful anesthetic to make telephone calls the morning the pop singer died, according to three people familiar with the investigation.

By the time he returned, Jackson had stopped breathing, the sources said.

Dr. Conrad Murray, identified in court records as a suspect in a police manslaughter investigation, legally acquired the operating room drug, propofol, from a Las Vegas pharmacy and gave it to Jackson as treatment for insomnia, said the sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because the investigation is ongoing.

In an interview with Los Angeles police detectives two days after Jackson’s death, Murray acknowledged obtaining and administering the medication, the sources said. He reportedly told police that the singer had returned to his rented Holmby Hills mansion in the early hours of June 25 exhausted from a lengthy concert rehearsal but was unable to sleep.

Me-jackson14BLOG

Jackson had been using propofol as a sleep aid on and off for a decade, according to one law enforcement source. Murray told investigators that he had given Jackson doses of the drug repeatedly since taking a $150,000-a-month job as his doctor in May, the sources said.

The 51-year-old cardiologist told detectives that because there had never been a problem in the past, he felt comfortable leaving Jackson alone to place calls on his cellphone, the sources said. It’s unclear how long Murray was out of Jackson’s bedroom.

When Murray returned, the 50-year-old pop star was not breathing. Murray performed CPR on Jackson, and another person called 911. Paramedics arrived and rushed Jackson to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m.

Murray has maintained that he did nothing wrong. His attorney, Edward Chernoff, has repeatedly declined to say whether his client gave Jackson propofol. Asked Wednesday about the version of events outlined by the sources, the lawyer said: “I’m not going to dispute the police officers' claims in that regard. They were there at the interview, and Dr. Murray did not lie to them. But they are not telling the whole story.”

Chernoff confirmed that the doctor had spent time on the phone talking to family members and employees in his medical offices before he discovered Jackson stricken in a bedroom. Investigators pursuing the case have focused on whether Murray’s use of propofol outside the hospital setting and his decision to leave Jackson alone rose to a level of negligence required for an involuntary manslaughter charge.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has concluded its investigation into Jackson’s death but, at the request of the LAPD, has not released its findings. Evidence gathered during the investigation suggests that the propofol admission alone might not be enough to charge Murray with manslaughter.

Other prescription drugs, including an anti-anxiety medication, were found in Jackson’s system along with a limited amount of propofol. The law enforcement source said the presence of the other drugs without a massive amount of propofol could complicate any prosecution.

The other drugs may have amplified the effect of the anesthetic and depressed Jackson’s breathing, sources said. Another factor is Jackson’s history of drug addiction and his prior use of propofol in particular. In an interview Wednesday, Chernoff suggested that Murray did not realize what he was signing up for when he agreed to become Jackson’s doctor.

“When he accepted the job, he was not aware of any specific requirements regarding medications that Michael Jackson was taking or any addictions that he was suffering from,” Chernoff said.

But after relocating to Los Angeles, “he realized that Michael Jackson had some very unusual problems,” the lawyer said.

Chernoff criticized what he called selective leaks by investigators and said they had rushed to portray Murray as guilty and the anesthetic as the cause of death. “From the beginning, they leaked that propofol killed him. It has appeared the investigation was designed to support a conclusion they already made with regard to Dr. Murray,” the lawyer said.

He said it was evident from their searches of Murray’s properties in Las Vegas and Houston that investigators thought drugs other than propofol played a role in the death. Investigators were looking for evidence that the doctor prescribed Jackson the other medications, he said.

“I have no doubt they came up completely empty in that regard,” he said.

Murray is one of at least five doctors whose conduct is being examined by the LAPD with the aid of the Drug Enforcement Administration in connection with Jackson. Although several have had records subpoenaed by the coroner’s office, Murray is the only one to be publicly identified as a suspect.

Dmitry Gorin, a defense lawyer who was a deputy district attorney, said that to prove involuntary manslaughter, prosecutors would have to show that Murray’s conduct was reckless to the point that no reasonable physician would consider such a course of treatment.

 “They’d use medical experts to show that the lack of monitoring equipment, lack of staff and leaving the room was so beyond the pale of what a professional would do,” Gorin said.

-- Harriet Ryan, Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

More photos and video at www.latimes.com/michaeljackson

 
Comments () | Archives (102)

It was more than involuntary manslaughter, this man is not a doctor but a quack.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CCTV RECORDINGS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE MANSION? APPARENTLY, THEY WERE CONFISCATED, ESPECIALLY THOSE RECORDINGS MADE FROM INSIDE?

Murray is guilty by admitting he left the room when no doctor should ever do that. If he didn't monitor him, what did he expect would happen.

Why could "the presence of the other drugs without a massive amount of propofol . . . complicate any prosecution"?

If this guy didn't know what he was singing up for when he agreed to be MJ's doctor, he should have quit once he found out. It's easy to say this now that MJ is dead.

At least this story cleared up the question of where the Dr's cell phone was, and why he couldn't use it to call 911. It also gives MJ's fans some closure: he WAS NOT AN ADDICT! Not in the (traditional) sense, and not as the media has made him out to be. He used medication for anxiety and to help him sleep--perhaps he was addicted to those, but HE WAS NOT ADDICTED TO ILLEGAL DRUGS as some people have insinuated. Thank you for clearing that up because "knowing" Michael and what he stood for, I found that very hard to believe. Yes, I do realize that one type of drug is just as deadly/addictive as the other, but in some people's minds, distinguishing between the two is necessary, and I felt like this was one of those times.

IMO, there is plenty of evidence to charge this doctor with negligence...and he should be, because he WAS negligent; he didn't have any equipment designed to resussitate MJ if something went wrong (which it obviously did).

It still sad of King Pop of MJ gone but I did,t know he was taking drungs. and I still wish the JAckson keep the Never land rauch Well his song mean somthing and ever one buying his CD and DVD. and I belive ghost MJ still come by miss his family and his kids.. I still understand why the kids had where halloween mask that was rely dum when they with there dad I,m me with Mj. ooowell we all still going miss him but his sprit still grows

was that at the house owned by Hubert Guez?

None of this is going to bring Michael back. Let Michael rest in peace now.

Treating a patient with propofol outside of a hospital environment is very
highly unusual. But $150,000 a month for services may explain that
decision. Hope this guy looses his medical license.

Are you kidding me? Using propofol outside a hospital setting alone is negligence. And then leaving a patient after giving propofol would cause any anesthesiologist to lose his medical license. The Jackson's need to hire a good malpractice lawyer, not just a criminal lawyer on this one.

My father was addicted to pain pills. Near his death at 80 I went to one of his doctors to inform him that dad was running between his two different doctors to get the pills he " needed ". If he could not get what he wanted from one he went to the other. He had two medications one from each. If ( if ) indeed someone is addicted to something they will find a way to get it. I have no idea of Mr. Jackson's history. Or do I assume anything. With the money he had in that town the better question may be what couldn't he get if he wanted it? I am sad for the Jackson family and for their grief. And their thoughts of what could have been done to help Michael live longer. And who may have been at fault or contributed to his death. It was a sad event. It is a modern tragedy.

Administering Propofol in a home care setting is a negligent act in ANY jurisdiction. To say it was the standard of care to leave ANY patient without constant monitoring by trained personnel is to say Surgeons and their staff can take lunch with patients on IV anesthesia infusions. My gut: Dr. Conrad will lose his medical license and the Jackson Estate will sue... How ya gonna pay Jackson lost income for Michael~ Insurance company is sitting on pins and needles right about now.

All along, I wanted to figuratively hang Murray. But, as someone who only gets her information from the media, I realize now that there's SO much that we don't/can't/may never know about what happened. This is a complicated case that seems to get more convoluted each week and I just hope that truth prevails, whatever it is, and justice is served. If that means that Murray isn't criminally negligent, responsible or even SOLELY responsible, so be it.

As for Michael - I'm so sorry for you. It breaks my heart that you lost your life.. not just in June, but many, many decades earlier when you weren't allowed to be you, and then finally fell victim to harmful means of alleviating your pain - physical, psychic and emotional.

May you rest in peace now.

I am so saddened by Michaels death but I feel he was the destruction of himself. He had many Dr.'s over the years and he would have found a Dr. to do what he wants, when he wants... To work for or with Michael you must be a YES person, otherwise you would be replaced. Dr. Murray should have considered whether the $$$ was worth his reputation and made better choices. He is guilty of that...Many celebs have taken this path as Michael and it's really a shame there are people who give up on helping them and just go along with their problems.. The end result is always the same..unfortunately....

All along, I wanted to figuratively hang Murray. But, as someone who only gets her information from the media, I realize now that there's SO much that we don't/can't/may never know about what happened. This is a complicated case that seems to get more convoluted each week and I just hope that truth prevails, whatever it is, and justice is served. If that means that Murray isn't criminally negligent, responsible or even SOLELY responsible, so be it.

As for Michael - I'm so sorry for you. It breaks my heart that you lost your life.. not just in June, but many, many decades earlier when you weren't allowed to be you, and then finally fell victim to harmful means of alleviating your pain - physical, psychic and emotional.

May you rest in peace now.

If Michael Jackson was asleep, under the influence of an anestetic, why would "Dr" Murray need to make calls out of the room - on his cellphone? Why wouldn't he just make the calls in the room, on the cellphone, and monitor MJ's condition like he was paid $150,000 a month to do? Please. He hooked MJ up and went off to bed...

WHO CARES...... ENOUGH ALREADY

All things considered what a professional should do is recognize a adverse reation of drugs and put MJ in a hopital where he may have been helped in the first place.

Murray’s conduct was reckless to the point that no reasonable physician would consider such a course of treatment.

Involuntary manslaughter, probable cause of death, negligent use of the drug propofol. due to a MJ drug interaction, may have contributed to his adverse reaction of drugs.

A most difficult and heart wrenching case for law enforcement, L.A.P.D.
Coroner's Dept., DEA.

Does not matter, This should never have happened at all. It is all about the high holy $$$$$. nobody cared about Michael including his family. he was there money train and now more than ever they will use it to the hilt

Dr. Murrary was more concern with the salary he was receiving than the concern of Michael Jackson. Well, I wonder what he has to say now since his employer is no longer alive.

Rick Atlanta

To the family and friends of michael jackson. Thank you for all the beautiful music and wonderful entertainment.We appreiciate you all.

In God We Trust

The Scott Family
#419

I am very sad. This icon was the only one that was honest with his fans. On national television, he said many years ago after the severe burns that he had to get treatment for the overuse and need for pain medicine. he said it stopped him from proforming as a perfectionist. Since he did not make another statement, knowing that he was wise and true to his fans and his destined humanitarian/philanthropist heart felt contributions, his outstanding performances and his love an interest in his fans made him use doctors ("do no harm oath") to help him achieve his goals. For any doctors to say that they did not know that he (Michael Jackson)did not have a chronic life time pains from injuries:limbs/vertebrea damage or breakage, nose-two surgeries to breath and sing, lung blood vessel injury and most of all, complications from Lupus/Vitiligo-is lying because of the various national television notification from the icon.

The problem has always been the reports without documented facts about the icon. He had to endure the untrue and realistic scandals while alive and now "rush to judgement" people want to humiliate him in death. You do not use doctors to die. with a pain center body and a hereditary astistry sleep disorder to live. Forget the so called drug addiction because he could perform and rear 3 intellectual children;therefore, since he really had a desperate pain center body and all the stress from lies, false money making allegations, and media assasination with unproven data for rating and financial enhancements, the medicine was severely needed!

He did not deserve to die while using a doctor. I pray that all this misinformation about this great human being stop. He has died mysteriously and Please "speak no evil of the dead". He can not come on National television-as he did while alive- and plead for justice and truths and understanding. He may have been different because he was destined from birth from some higher power to give the world all that he has given but he was a very, very good hearted human being because he loved all human beings even during his worst hour of pain from the false assasination of his gigantic character. He alwsys said and it felt that he surely meant, "I love you! no, no, I really, really love You!"

giving someone a potent anesthetic in their bedroom and then walking out to make phone calls . . . are you kidding . . . negligence beyond words

as a physician and surgeon who deals with patients on propofol on a daily basis, what is alleged is criminally negligent in my opinion. You never leave these patients alone without direct observarion, EKG monitoring, blood pressure monitoring and pulse oximetry monitoring. If an anesthesiologist or anesthetist did this , they would be fired on the spot and referred to the state medical board for investigation and discipline.

Hate the new design of the website.

 
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