LAPD Questions Jackson Cardiologist

Records show Dr. Conrad Murray has $400,000-plus legal judgments against him.

ByABC News
June 27, 2009, 9:56 AM

June 28, 2009— -- The "personal physician" who was at the side of Michael Jackson when the pop icon died was questioned Saturday by Los Angeles police, who said he provided useful information and is not a suspect.

In a statement released late Saturday, the Los Angeles Police Department said Dr. Conrad Robert Murray "voluntarily contacted" the department.

"Detectives assigned to Robbery-Homicide Division met with Dr. Murray and conducted an extensive interview," the statement said. "Dr. Murray was cooperative and provided information which will aid the investigation."

Murray's lawyers said the doctor and attorney Edward Chernoff, a Texas criminal law attorney with the firm Stradley, Chernoff & Alford, met with the LAPD for three hours.

"During the meeting Dr. Murray helped identify the circumstances around the death of the pop icon and clarified some inconsistencies," the statement said. "Dr. Murray has been in Los Angeles since the death of Mr. Jackson. He rode in the ambulance to the hospital and stayed at the hospital for hours comforting and consoling the Jackson family.

"Investigators say the doctor is in no way a suspect and remains a witness to this tragedy," the statement said.

Murray, a cardiologist, had tried to "pump" Jackson, according to the 911 call, but did not sign a death certificate.

"Dr. Murray considered himself to be a friend of Michael Jackson and he is very distraught over his death," Murray's attorneys said in a statement earlier Saturday. "He will continue to cooperate in every respect."

Murray is a 1989 graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, and practices medicine in Nevada, California and Texas.

Court records say Murray has more than $400,000 worth of legal judgments against him, including child support and default on a $71,000 education loan.

Randy Phillips, the promoter of Jackson's 50-concert London comeback said Jackson himself insisted the company hire Murray to be his personal physician. Phillips talked about Jackson's health during a press conference when the opening concert was delayed.

"Not that I'm a doctor, but I would trade my body for his," Phillips said of Jackson at the time. "He's in fantastic shape."

Meanwhile, Los Angeles fire and police officials have begun preparations for what they expect will be a massive turnout at the memorial service for Jackson, ABC News has learned.

No date has been set yet for the event but authorities are expecting large crowds.

The superstar's body was released to his family after an initial autopsy was inconclusive, but the Jacksons Saturday had not yet disclosed the name of the mortuary where it's being kept or funeral plans.