Conrad Murray character witnesses to testify
Attorneys representing Michael Jackson's personal physician are expected to call a string of character witnesses Wednesday to paint Dr. Conrad Murray as a competent and caring doctor who cared for the poor.
Jurors in Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial have already heard from one former patient, called by prosecutors, who said he credited the cardiologist with saving his life with the care he received following a heart attack.
However, the patient, Robert Russell, said he later grew frustrated and felt abandoned around the time of Jackson's death when the doctor canceled critical appointments.
Also called to the stand by prosecutors was a medical assistant in Murray's office, Connie Ng, who testified that she began volunteering with the doctor after he treated her grandmother and helped her recover.
Defense attorneys have told jurors that one of the witnesses they'll be hearing is 82-year-old Ruby Mosley, a patient at Murray's charity clinic in Houston.
Mosley is expected to testify that she met the physician at his father's funeral, when he said he would set up a clinic in a low-income neighborhood of Houston in his father's honor, defense attorney Ed Chernoff said in his opening statement.
Through the testimony of the five character witnesses, who are being flown in from out of town, Murray's defense will attempt to counter prosecutors' contention that Murray was focused not on Jackson's best interests but on the $150,000 monthly salary he was to receive for the singer's care.
Prosecutors say Murray caused the death of his famed patient by giving him a powerful surgical anesthetic without any of the proper monitoring equipment, then leaving him unattended.
If convicted of the involuntary manslaughter charge, Murray faces up to four years in prison.
-- Victoria Kim at Los Angeles County Superior Court
Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray in court Tuesday. Credit: Paul Buck / Pool