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Michael Jackson death: Doctor's jury hears drugged singer's voice

September 27, 2011 | 10:38 am

LaToya Jackson arrives at court 

The voice of a heavily drugged, rambling Michael Jackson echoed through the courtroom during opening arguments Tuesday in the trial of his personal doctor.

"When people leave my show, I want them to say, 'I've never seen nothing like this in my life,' " the singer mumbled on a recording that the prosecution said was made on Dr. Conrad Murray’s iPhone.

Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren told jurors that Murray recorded his famous patient about six weeks before his death when he was "under the influence of unknown agents."

The recording shows the doctor was aware of "Michael’s state" while the physician continued to offer the singer drugs.

Live video: Full coverage of Conrad Murray's trial

"That is what Conrad Murray is seeing and observing on May 10, 2009, and what does he do with that knowledge and information? On May 12, he orders another shipment of propofol and midazolam," Walgren said.

Both drugs were found in Jackson's system after his death on June 25 of that year. Walgren said the entire recording would be played for jurors during the trial.

In the clip played Tuesday, Jackson slurred his words as he talked about his hopes for his approaching "This Is It" concert.

"It's amazing. He's the greatest entertainer in the world. I'm taking that money, a million children, children’s hospital biggest in the world … Michael Jackson’s children’s hospital," he said.

The existence of the recording was not previously disclosed.

Murray is on trial for involuntary manslaughter. His lawyers are scheduled to address the jury later Monday.

But Murray -- who arrived at the courthouse in a pinstriped, khaki suit accompanied by his mother -- will not be the only person on trial.

His attorneys plan to argue that blame should be pointed at the King of Pop himself.

Jackson, they will argue, was under immense financial pressure to succeed. Many were watching whether he could pull off a career comeback with a series of concerts in London.

Murray, 58, faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter. He is accused of injecting Jackson with propofol and leaving his bedside.

Murray told police he gave Jackson the drug -- the singer referred to it as "milk" -- over a two-month period to help him sleep, even though it has no established use for insomnia.

If convicted, Murray faces a four-year sentence and likely loss of his medical license.

The jury of seven men and five women are expected to hear five weeks of testimony, beginning with choreographer Kenny Ortega, co-director of the "This is It" concerts.

Ortega, best known for the films "Dirty Dancing" and "High School Musical," testified at a hearing earlier this year that Murray assured him that Jackson was healthy enough to perform and even scolded him for canceling rehearsals when Jackson seemed weak.

Prosecutors contend that at the same time Murray was brushing off the concerns of Ortega and other concert executives, the doctor was giving Jackson nightly doses of the surgical anesthetic on which the singer later overdosed.

In comments to a judge Monday, Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren said he planned to summon witnesses to testify chronologically about events leading up to and then following Jackson's death.

As the trial began Tuesday, the streets north of the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse were lined with satellite trucks. An overflow courtroom was set up to accommodate two dozen television and radio outlets from around the world.

Jackson's parents as well as siblings Jermaine, Latoya, Randy and Janet arrived at the courthouse at about 8:30 a.m.


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

Photo: LaToya Jackson enters the courthouse Tuesday for opening statements in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images