Sept. 28, 2011— -- intro: The manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray officially got under way Tuesday with opening statements from the prosecution and defense and testimony from the first witnesses.
While the world watched, prosecutors showed a photo of Jackson lying dead in a hospital bed and played a shocking audio tape of a drugged Jackson slurring his words so badly that he was barely understandable.
For his part, Murray looked stunned at what was presented by the prosecution. Murray cried as his defense attorney described his client as a doctor who saved the lives of people who couldn't afford to pay.
The Houston-based cardiologist is accused of administering a lethal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol to Jackson, who died June 25, 2009.
Before opening statements began it could have been a scene from the singer's 2005 trial, as members of the Jackson family filled the courtroom. While most of their faces are already familiar, others are less so.
To help you sort through the cast of characters in Murray's trial, we've put together a list of who's who. Click through to see them.
quicklist: 1category: title: The Accused: Conrad Murrayurl: text:
Murray was hired as Jackson's personal physician for $150,000 a month by AEG Live, which was producing Jackson's This Is It concert tour.
After Jackson's death, Murray claimed that he hadn't been paid. It was later revealed that the doctor, who maintained offices in Houston and Las Vegas, was in dire financial straits and behind on child support payments.
Since his arrest in February 2010, Murray has been free on $75,000 bail and has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
Murray's attorney Ed Chernoff, told the court in his opening Tuesday that Murray isn't to blame for Jackson's death, that Jackson gave himself an extra dose of drugs that killed the singer so quickly he "didn't even have time to close his eyes."
quicklist: 2category: title: The Victim: Michael Jacksonurl: text:
The King of Pop was found dead of cardiac arrest June 25, 2009.
Two months after his death, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office released a statement saying Jackson died because of acute propofol intoxication. The office cited benzodiazepine effect as another condition contributing to his death.
Jackson had been preparing for the 50-night grueling comeback tour dubbed This Is It at the time of his death.
quicklist: 3category: title: The Weapon: Propofolurl: text:
Jackson's death has landed the powerful sedative in the spotlight.
The singer reportedly used the drug, which he called his "milk," as a sleep aid.
Propofol is a sedative that is usually administered to patients who are undergoing surgery or another medical procedure. It is a fast-acting drug, with most patients receiving it losing consciousness within a matter of seconds.
The potency of propofol as an anesthetic is so widely known, in fact, that in anesthesiology circles, the drug, a white liquid, is nicknamed "milk of amnesia."
quicklist: 4category: title: The Judge: Michael Pastorurl: text:
L.A. Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor was named Judge of the Year in 2007 by the L.A. County Bar Association.
He has allowed cameras in the courtroom and refused the defense request to sequester the jury.
On Monday, Pastor ruled against allowing Jackson's final press conference to be shown during the trial, saying it was not relevant to his death. Murray's lawyers had argued that the video showed the singer under a lot of pressure and hung over.
The judge also denied a motion by the prosecution to enter evidence that law enforcement tried four times to set up a follow-up interview with Murray.
quicklist: 5category: title: The Defense: Ed Chernoffurl: text:
Murray's legal team is headed up by Texas-based attorney Edward Chernoff.
Chernoff, who has been with Murray since the doctor's arrest, took the California bar exam in order to represent Murray in court. His co-counselors are Los-Angeles based Nareg Gourjian and J. Michael Flanagan, who defended Britney Spears in her 2007 hit-and-run case.
In his opening statement, 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.
"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.
quicklist: 6category: title: The Prosecution: David Walgrenurl: text:
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren is a 16-year veteran of the Los Angles County District Attorney's Office.
He's assisted by 15-year veteran Deborah Brazil.
Walgren made the opening statements Tuesday in which he argued that Murray was not forthcoming with detectives and first responders about Jackson's propofol use. The prosecutor claimed 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.
quicklist: 7category: title: First Witness: Kenny Ortegaurl: text: Prosecutors called Kenny Ortega, the choreographer and Jackson's friend, as the first witness.
Ortega testified that on June 19, 2009, less than a week before Jackson was found dead from a drug overdose, the singer arrived at rehearsal unwell.
"My friend wasn't right," Ortega said of Jackson. "There was something going on that was deeply troubling me."
Ortega said Jackson appeared lost and incoherent. He rubbed Jackson's chilled feet and fed him food when it was clear he hadn't eaten.
Worried, Ortega sent an e-mail to the concert promoter and an emergency meeting was called in which Murray told them not to worry.
"He said I should stop trying to be an amateur doctor and psychologist and be the director and allow Michael's health to him," Ortega testified.
quicklist: 7category: title: The Bodyguard: Alberto Alvarezurl: text: Jackson's head of logistics, Alberto Alvarez, is expected to provide compelling testimony about the crazed moments after Jackson was discovered unconscious.
In earlier testimony, Alvarez described how he came into into Jackson's bedroom and saw the singer's lifeless body laid out on all-white bed covers while Murray administered CPR with one hand.
Murray, according to Alvarez's testimony, told him to grab a bag and start filling it with medicine vials and a saline bag, which he told Alvarez to get rid of. He also told Alvarez to dispose of an IV bag.
quicklist: 8category: title: Michael Jackson's Assistant: Michael Amir Williamsurl: text:
Michael Amir Williams received a frantic phone call from Conrad Murray at 12:13 p.m. on the day Jackson died. Murray said Jackson had had a "bad reaction" and somebody needed to come to the Jackson home immediately.
Williams told jurors that Murray never told him to call 911.
When Williams reached the Jackson home, the king of pop was being wheeled out on a gurney. Williams drove Jackson's three children to the hospital.
Once at the hospital, Williams said that Murray repeatedly asked for someone to return to the Jackson home because "there's some cream in Michael's room in the house that he wouldn't want the world to know about."
Williams testified that he ordered security to keep the house on lockdown to prevent anyone from tampering with the home, including Murray.
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quicklist: 9category: title: The Familyurl: text:
Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson was in the courtroom, along with his father Joseph, sisters LaToya, Reebe and Janet, and brothers Jermaine, Randy and Tito.
LaToya carried a sunflower, Jackson's favorite flower, into the courtroom and later took copious notes in a Louis Vuitton notebook.
When the photo of Jackson, lying dead on a gurney, was shown in the courtroom, LaToya passed tissues to her sister Janet.
While the family may not have agreed on other things, when it comes to Jackson's death and who's to blame they are unified in their belief that Murray is culpable.
"He killed him. He wasn't monitoring him," Katherine Jackson told reporters after Murray's arraignment last year.
Her estranged husband, meanwhile, sued Murray for wrongful death.
And LaToya, while believing that her brother died "at the hands" of the doctor, added, "I believe Dr. Murray was a part of a much larger plan."
quicklist: 10category: title: Michael Jackson's Childrenurl: text:
Jackson's eldest children, Prince Michael, 14, and Paris, 13, reportedly want to testify in the trial, but whether they will remains up in the air.
Prosecutors aren't expected to call any of Jackson's three kids to the witness stand. However, legal experts said that it doesn't mean the kids might not testify on behalf of defense lawyers.
"I think if the prosecution doesn't call one of the kids, then the defense probably will ... I don't think it would be a surprise to me to see one or more of those kids testify," veteran defense attorney Mark Geragos said.
The older two children walked into their father's room when he was in cardiac arrest and Murray was trying to revive him. They were whisked from the room after Paris burst into tears screaming, "Daddy."