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Conrad Murray tape: "Make me sleep," Michael Jackson begged

October 7, 2011 |  4:38 pm

Jurors at the trial of Michael Jackson’s personal physician heard the doctor describe in his own words what happened in the final hours of the singer’s life.

In a police interview conducted two days after Jackson’s life, Dr. Conrad Murray narrated in a collected, steady voice the long hours during which he tried in vain to get Jackson to sleep on drugs other than propofol, the powerful surgical anesthetic that ultimately caused his death.

After about nine hours of unsuccessful attempts with two different sedatives, Jackson began begging for the drug that the doctor suspected he had grown dependent on, Murray said in the interview.

“At that time he said can I have some milk?” Murray recalled. “He said please, please, give him some milk.”

“Hot milk?” a detective asked.

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“This is just a medicine that he was familiar with, it’s called propofol,” Murray said.

Murray said by that time, it was already around 10:40 a.m., and he told Jackson he would need to wake up around noon. But Jackson persisted, the doctor told the detectives.

“He said just make me sleep, doesn’t matter what time I get up ... He said I can’t function if I can’t sleep,” the doctor said. “I agreed at that time that I would switch ... to the propofol.”

Murray said because of the other drugs he had given the singer throughout the night, he only administered half of the dose he normally gave.

In using the anesthetic, normally used only in hospital settings, the physician told detectives he “took all precautions that were available” including oxygen tanks and a pulse oximeter, a device for monitoring oxygen levels in the blood and heart rate.

He then left Jackson’s bedside for a mere two minutes to go to the bathroom and returned to find his patient wasn’t breathing, Murray said in the interview.

His otherwise calm voice grew louder and excited as he described performing CPR and trying to get help.

Murray’s account in the interview is contradicted by other witnesses’ testimony, including a security guard who said the doctor had him collect medicine bottles and an IV bag before asking him to call 911 and a paramedic who testified that Jackson appeared long dead by the time he arrived.

Prosecutors have argued that evidence, including the doctor’s own phone records, shows the doctor lied about the that morning's events.

Slightly more  than an hour and half of the recording, which is more than two hours long, was played before court adjourned for the weekend.

Friday marked the first time that the doctor’s police interview was made public. In the interview, Murray told detectives he gave Jackson propofol nightly for the two months he cared for the singer, but that Jackson already knew the drug well and said he had obtained it from several different doctors.

Murray said a Las Vegas doctor, David Adams, once used his office to give Jackson the drug.

“Dr. Adams said I know Michael, I know Michael very well, he does well on Diprivan [propofol] ... He loves that drug,” Murray told detectives.

In the three days leading up to Jackson’s death, he was trying to wean Jackson off of the anesthetic and trying to get him to sleep in a more natural manner, Murray said in the interview.


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-- Victoria Kim

Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray listens to testimony in court. Credit:  Mario Anzuoni pool photo