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Michael Jackson death: Lawyers point to attempts to interview doctor

September 23, 2011 | 10:48 am

Conrad Murray and attorney

Prosecutors want jurors to hear about four failed attempts by law enforcement for follow-up interviews with the physician charged with involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death.

Dr. Conrad Murray gave a three-hour interview to police two days after Jackson's June 25, 2009, death, during which he admitted to injecting the singer with the surgical anesthetic that was eventually ruled as the cause of his death.

In previous court hearings, Murray's attorneys pointed to the interview to say the doctor was forthcoming and cooperative in the investigation, noting he answered questions for as long as the investigators wanted.

Live video: Full coverage of Conrad Murray's trial

In papers filed Thursday, however, prosecutors pointed to four phone and e-mail messages left for Murray in June and July that went unreturned, evidence they said was relevant and should be allowed at trial.

Three of the attempts were by coroner’s investigator Elisa Fleak and the last was by Los Angeles Police Department Det. Scott Smith, one of the lead investigators on the case.

Prosecutors did not detail their reasons for asking the evidence be allowed, saying only the “probative value” will outweigh any prejudice.

But the unreturned phone and e-mail messages will likely be used to counter the defense’s argument that Murray fully cooperated with police.

The prosecution’s move came as attorneys began questioning a pool of about 100 jurors to be whittled down to a final 12 who will decide the doctor’s case.


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-- Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan at Los Angeles Hall of Justice

Photo: Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, right, with his attorney Edward Chernoff in court. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times