Witness who says he helped Conrad Murray stow Jackson drugs to testify
Jurors at the trial of Michael Jackson’s physician were expected to hear Thursday from one of the prosecution’s key witnesses: a security guard who has claimed that Dr. Conrad Murray ordered him to remove drug vials from the singer’s bedroom before summoning an ambulance.
Alberto Alvarez, Jackson’s director of logistics, placed the call to 911 about 25 minutes after the time prosecutors believe Murray discovered that the singer had stopped breathing.
In a previous hearing, Alvarez testified that for at least part of that time, Murray was focused on gathering up pill bottles and other evidence of his treatment of Jackson. “He instructed me to put them in a bag,” Alvarez said in January.
Among the items Murray told him to collect, he said, was an IV bag containing a milk-like liquid consistent with the surgical anesthetic propofol.
Jackson died June 25, 2009, of an overdose of propofol and sedatives.
Other witnesses scheduled for the third day of Murray’s trial include Jackson’s personal chef, who was in the home at the time preparing lunch, and two paramedics who attempted to revive Jackson.
The paramedics are expected to recount how Murray gave false information as they tried to save the singer’s life. One medic, Richard Senneff, said Jackson looked like “a hospice patient” and seemed to have been dead for at least 20 minutes, but Murray insisted that he had just lost consciousness and had no medical problems.
“I asked if he was taking any medications ... he said no, none, he’s not taking anything,” Senneff said.
In truth, the doctor had been treating Jackson’s chronic insomnia with propofol, which is not supposed to be used outside a surgical setting, for weeks.
Murray, 58, faces a maximum of four years in prison and the possible loss of his medical license if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers assert that Jackson dosed himself with a fatal combination of drugs.
-- Harriet Ryan
Photo: Conrad Murray listens to testimony during the second day of his involuntary manslaughter trial. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times