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Michael Jackson employees who saw pop star near death to testify at Conrad Murray hearing

January 4, 2011 |  8:01 am

Three of Michael Jackson's employees, including one who was with the pop star when he went into cardiac arrest, are expected to take the witness stand Tuesday at a preliminary hearing for Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray.


Michael Amir, Jackson's chief of staff; Alberto Alvarez, a security staffer; and Faheem Muhammad, chief of security, have been subpoenaed to testify for prosecutors seeking to prove they have enough evidence to try Murray for involuntary manslaughter, said the employees' lawyer, Carl Douglas.

Douglas, who declined to comment for the story, confirmed that he would appear with his clients following their court appearance Tuesday and make some brief comments.

Douglas, perhaps best known for being a member of O.J. Simpson's defense team, complained in August 2009 that his clients wanted to provide more information to LAPD detectives. Investigators had conducted "informal" interviews with the men about what they saw and heard June 25, 2009, the day Jackson died. One of the interviews lasted about two minutes, and the other filled a one-page transcript, Douglas said at the time. He maintained that some of their information could shed new light on the time line police had established covering Jackson's final hours and the actions of his doctor. Police eventually did conduct  formal and complete interviews with all three men in late August 2009.

Alvarez was with Jackson and Murray in the pop star's bedroom in the moments before paramedics arrived and could provide independent insight into what transpired, the attorney said. But he would not elaborate on those details at the time.

In search-warrant documents released at the time, police said Murray told them he gave Jackson the powerful anesthetic propofol at 10:40 a.m., watched him for 10 minutes and went to the restroom briefly. When he returned about 11 a.m., Jackson had stopped breathing. Police said three phone calls totaling 47 minutes were made from Murray's phone, beginning at 11:18 a.m. -- all before 911 was called at 12:22 p.m.

Murray's attorney at the time was critical of the time line as "theory, not fact."

Douglas, who in 1993 served as an attorney for Jackson, said at the time that Amir received a frantic four-second message from Murray at 12:13 p.m. with words to the effect of "come quick."


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-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Conrad Murray in court. Credit: Los Angeles Times