Conrad Murray Trial: How Damaging Are the Interrogation Tapes?

VIDEO: Doctor says the pop star begged him for the drug that killed him.

For the first time, jurors in the Michael Jackson death case this week heard the tapes of Dr. Conrad Murray telling police his version of events from the night Jackson died.

The calm, methodical interview had never been played publicly and gave Jackson fans a chance to hear Murray's account of the singer's final moments alive.

Murray told police that Michael Jackson fell into a cardiac arrest when he left the singer briefly to go to the bathroom, and he didn't call 911 immediately because "to speak to a 911 operator would be to neglect" the singer.

Former prosecutor Ricki Klieman analyzed the impact of the interrogation tapes.

"On the defense side, it probably actually was a good day, because the prosecution has tried to paint him as a philandering older doctor who cared more about all of his girlfriends and didn't really care about his patients except for celebrities. Here he sounds reasonable, cautious, concerned, caring for his patients step by step," she said.

"The other side from the prosecution's point of view, it's a banner day, because not only do we have Conrad Murray saying that he administered propofol as well as all of the other tranquilizers that are in Michael Jackson's system, but he is fixed in his timeline, and his timeline is directly contradicted by all of those cell phone calls."

She said hearing Michael Jackson begging for the drug propofol helps Murray.

"Michael Jackson is begging for it, but is Murray the doctor or is he the supplier? Who is in charge?"

Murray could face four years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the singer's death. The interview occurred on June 27, 2009 at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey, Calif., where Murray's attorneys were staying.

"I love Mr. Jackson," Murray said. "He was my friend and he opened up to me in different ways, and I wanted to help him as much as I can. He was a single parent. ... I always thought about his children.

"I wanted to give him the best chance," said Murray of his efforts to save the singer.

Evidence in Conrad Murray Manslaughter Trial

In the tapes, which were played for jurors Friday, Murray, at times, described his friend as a chemically addicted man who had a deep "pharmacological knowledge." He told police Jackson's veins were "dried up" like an old man's, making it difficult to find sites to inject an IV.

Of Jackson's health, he said that the singer was "very thin," had trouble with his right hip and suffered from a toe fungus.

When asked about whether Murray knew if Jackson saw any other doctors, Murray said, "He never disclosed that to me, but because he moved around so much, I would assume that he was."

On nightstands next to the bed where Jackson died and where Murray administered propofol to the singer were vials of prescription pills prescribed by at least two other doctors besides Murray, according to pictures shown to jurors and trial testimony.

Murray said that when Jackson asked him to be his personal physician, accompanying him on his comeback tour dubbed "This Is It," he had no idea that he would spend six nights a week administering the powerful anesthetic, propofol, to the singer.

"That was not my purpose of joining his team," Murray told police. "I was there to help him, and I was going to be available should something go wrong.

"What I was recognizing was Michael Jackson might have had a dependency to a substance," Murray added. "I was trying to wean him off."

Murray told police that in the three days before Jackson died, he had begun the weaning process. He said that the first day, he gave Jackson a small dose of propofol and on the second day, he gave him no propofol at all. But on the third day, Jackson returned from a night of rehearsing and he was wide awake.

The doctor had been summoned to Jackson's home after midnight on June 25, 2009, the day Jackson died. Jackson entered the home a short time later after rehearsing at the Staples Center.

Jackson told Murray that he was tired and felt fatigued. He told the doctor, "I'm treated like I'm a machine. ... Let me just have a quick shower and change and I'll come back to you."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...