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Conrad Murray explains why he didn’t call 911

November 9, 2011 | 10:26 am

Conrad Murray and Michael Jackson

Dr. Conrad Murray said he should have "walked away" from his famous patient instead of giving him the surgical anesthetic propofol to help him sleep.

In an interview with the "Today" show's Savannah Guthrie, scheduled to air Thursday and Friday, Murray said he believed he had weaned Michael Jackson off propofol three days before his death. Guthrie asked him why -- even when he felt he shouldn't be giving Jackson the drug -- he didn't leave his $150,000-a-month position.

"I should have walked away," Murray said. "But if also I walked away, I would have abandoned a friend."

FULL COVERAGE: Trial of Conrad Murray

He also tried to explain why he didn't call 911 when he found that the singer had stopped breathing, an oversight that one juror said was a significant issue for the deliberating panel.

"No one is allowed to come upstairs except for Mr. Jackson. His security is not allowed to enter the house," Murray said in response to Guthrie's question why he didn't call 911.

"You called his bodyguard," Guthrie said in a follow-up question. "Couldn't you have said: Call 911, and meet 'em at the gate?"

Murray answered: "Call 911" would still require him to call me back. I don't think he would do that, and I'm not about to leave a full explanation on the phone."

Instead, Murray began giving Jackson CPR. A security guard called for help 20 minutes later.

A jury on Monday convicted Murray of involuntary manslaughter. He faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison and a minimum of probation.


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-- Kimi Yoshino

Photos: Dr. Conrad Murray, left, and Michael Jackson. Credit: Pool