Michael Jackson Tour Director Alarmed By 'Incoherent' Star Days Before Death


Conrad Murray Defense Says He Was Weaning MJ Off of Propofol

Chernoff told the court that Murray isn't to blame for Jackson's death, and that Jackson gave himself a lethal dose of of drugs.

Murray, in a gray pin-striped suit, looked stunned at the evidence compiled against him. He cried when his defense attorney Chernoff, delivered the defense's opening statement.

"While Michael Jackson was frustrated because he could not sleep, frustrated because his doctor refused to give him a drug that he preferred, that he wanted, he did an act without his doctor's knowledge, without his doctor's permission," Chernoff said.

The defense claimed that Jackson took a sedative and then a final dose of propofol without his doctor's knowledge. The sedative lorazepam coupled with the propofol created a "perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly," Chernoff said.

"When Dr. Murray came into the room and found Michael Jackson, there was no CPR, there was no doctor, no paramedic, no machine that was going to revive Michael Jackson. He died so rapidly, so instantly, he didn't even have time to close his eyes," Chernoff said.

The defense contends that Murray had begun trying to wean Jackson off of the propofol in the days before his death. They said that Jackson compartmentalized his life in such a way that Murray was unaware that his client was addicted to demerol. Chernoff said that Jackson had become addicted to demerol from visiting dermatologist Arnold Klein.

A side effect of demerol use is an inability to sleep.

"It was an absolute, total and thorough inability to sleep. Not for minutes, not for hours. For days," Chernoff said.

"Michael Jackson told Dr. Murray that his insomnia was the result of his mind always racing ... it was the genius of him ... and perhaps that's partly true ... but it was also the demerol," Chernoff said.

The prosecution argued that Murray was not forthcoming with detectives and first responders about Jackson's propofol use. They claim that phone records show that Jackson was left unattended while under the drug and that 911 was not called right away when Jackson was first found unresponsive.

"It will be clear that Conrad Murray abandoned Michael when he needed help. It was Conrad Murray's gross negligence, it was Conrad Murray's unskilled hands and his desire to obtain this lucrative contract of $150,000 a month that led Dr. Murray to not only abandon his patient, but to abandon all principles of medical care," Walgren said.

Walgren also showed pictures of Jackson's bedroom to show how medical monitoring devices typically used when someone is under anesthesia were not there or appeared unused. A blood pressure cuff was still in a box and an oxygen tank had no oxygen, Walgren said.

Propofol is typically administered in an operating room and is commonly referred to as "milk" among addicts.

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