Conrad Murray: ER doctor says she never had chance to save Jackson
The trial of Michael Jackson’s personal physician began its second week of testimony Monday with an emergency room doctor telling jurors that in retrospect she and her hospital team never had any chance of saving the singer.
“Mr. Jackson died long before he became a patient,” Dr. Richelle Cooper said.
The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center doctor pronounced Jackson dead twice on June 25, 2009 -- once over the phone after paramedics had failed to revive him in his home and a second time at the hospital where his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, had insisted he be brought for further treatment.
Prosecutors highlighted on Friday Murray’s failure to mention to Cooper that he had administered the anesthetic propofol to his famous patient.
On cross-examination Monday, a defense attorney pressed her on whether the omission had any effect on the care she gave.
“The minute he comes in the hospital, there’s no chance?” asked attorney J. Michael Flanagan.
“Knowing everything I know now, that would be correct,” Cooper said.
Flanagan suggested that Murray may have left out propofol because he believed it had worn off earlier in the day and was not the cause of his cardiac arrest.
Cooper agreed the amount Murray later told police he had given Jackson -- 25 miligrams -- was small. She said she used more than twice that amount to sedate patients and questioned whether it would have knocked the singer out at all.
“I wouldn’t expect that to produce any levels of sedation,” she said.
If it did, she added, “[In] seven to 10 minutes, it would probably be worn off.”
A prosecutor questioned Cooper briefly about her dealings with the singer’s children, whom she went to see after she had pronounced Jackson dead the second time.
“They were crying. They were fairly hysterical,” she recalled.
Murray, 58, is charged with involuntary manslaughter.
He contends Jackson self-administered a lethal amount of propofol when he was out of the room.
If convicted, Murray faces a maximum of four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.
-- Harriet Ryan at L.A. County Superior Court
Photo: Dr. Richelle Cooper testified Monday that she never had a chance to save Michael Jackson. Credit: Mario Anzuoni / Pool Photo