Conrad Murray trial: Michael Jackson told me, 'Please give me the milk,' doctor says
Conrad Murray says Michael Jackson begged him to give him propofol hours before his death and added that he did not call 911 after discovering him in a bedroom, not breathing, as he had focused on trying to save his life and did not know the zip code of his home.
Murray, a cardiologist who served as the King of Pop's personal doctor, also said he "loved" Jackson, who he called his friend. He made his comments to police detectives soon after Jackson's death two years ago. An audio recording of the interview was played at the physician's involuntary manslaughter trial on Friday, October 7.
NOTE: You can watch the proceedings online: OnTheRedCarpet.com is hosting a LIVE STREAM of the Conrad Murray trial, which began on September 27.
Autopsy results have shown that Jackson died at age 50 on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which he called his "milk," and other sedatives. Prosecutors have criticized the doctor for using the drug outside of a surgical setting. The King of Pop had suffered a cardiac arrest at his rented Los Angeles home and was pronounced dead at a hospital at 2:26 p.m. that day.
Murray told Los Angeles Police Department Detective Scott Smith that on the day the singer died, he administered propofol and other medications to Jackson, gradually, to help him sleep. He has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Murray faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted.
The doctor said that on the day Jackson died, he had tried for hours to get him to sleep by administering sedatives and lower dose of propofol than the singer was used to. He said he had tried days earlier to wean him off of the drug. Murray said he left the singer's bedside for about two minutes to use the restroom and when he came back, he discovered the singer was not breathing.
He performed CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Jackson, who he added had a "pulse in the femoral region," and looked at a nearby telephone. He said landlines at the singer's home did not work.
Murray told detectives he knew the street name and number of Jackson's address but not its zip code, adding: "To speak to a 911 operator would be to neglect him," he said. "I don't have that availability. I want to ventilate him, do chest compression, enough to give me an opportunity."
"I then continued CPR with my left hand singularly, reached for my cell phone and then called his assistant, which number I had," the doctor said. I told him, 'Brother Michael, you need to sent security up to Mr. Jackson's room immediately. We have a problem."
Murray is referring to Michael Amir Williams, Jackson's assistant, who phone records show was the first person the doctor called to report that the King of Pop was in jeopardy.
"I couldn't ask him at that time to call 911 because he would want to know what it was about and I have a patient that needs help," Murray told detectives. "I'm trying to assist and I'm trying to do it the best I can and to try and get help."
Phone records presented to the jury showed that Murray had left Williams a voicemail at 12:13 p.m., telling him to call him right away. They also showed that in the hours up until then, Murray's cell phone was also used to make and receive calls, voicemails and emails to and from the doctor's former patients, girlfriends and business associates.
Williams testified on the trial's second day that he did, after which Murray told him Jackson "had a bad reaction" and asked for him to "get somebody up here immediately." Williams said he was away from the house and relayed the message to the singer's bodyguard, Alberto Alvarez.
'I'VE GOT TO SLEEP, DR. CONRAD'
Prior to his death, Jackson had been rehearsing daily for his "This Is It" comeback tour - a series of 50 concerts set to take place in London. Murray, who had been treating him on and off since 2006, was hired by the tour promoter to care for Jackson daily and spent most nights at his Los Angeles home.
Murray said Williams called him around midnight on the day of Jackson's death, telling him to come to the singer's home. He said he arrived at about 1 a.m. Jackson was getting ready for bed in a room where an IV drip was set up alongside oxygen bottles.
The drip, he said, was aimed at hydrating the singer as well as for administering drugs to help him sleep. He said Jackson told him he was "tired and fatigued, and I'm treated like a machine.'"
The doctor said the singer then showed and returned to the room. He said he then helped the singer put a cream he uses "chronically for dermatological issues" on his back, explaining to Smith that the singer suffered from the disease vitiligo, which causes parts of the skin to turn white, and "walks with an umbrella in the sun."
Jackson dressed in pajamas and lay down on the bed. Murray said he placed the IV on Jackson, below one of his knees. He said he gave him a Valium pill and 2 milligrams of another sedative, lorazepam, "pushed slowly" into the IV with a syringe.
The doctor said Jackson was still unable to sleep, so he slowly injected 2 milligrams of midazolam, another sedative, into his IV. He said he told the singer: "Let's change the lighting of the room. Let's lower the music. I'll rub your feet. Try to relax. Try to meditate."
"He did that reluctantly," Murray told detectives. "And his eyes closed. I was grateful for that."
After about 10 minutes, Jackson woke up again, he said. "It was 4:30 in the morning and he was wide awake," the doctor said. "And then he complained, 'I've got to sleep, Dr. Conrad. I have these rehearsals to perform. I must be ready for this show in England. Tomorrow I have to cancel my performance, I have to cancel my trip because, you know, I cannot function if I don't get the sleep.'"
Murray said that throughout the next few hours, he continued to monitor Jackson and slowly gave the singer additional doses of lorazepam and midazolam.
"I told (Jackson), 'You know, if I got the medicine that I gave you, I'd be sleeping until tomorrow evening, a normal person's way. You are not normal,'" Murray told Smith. "I told him that. And then I waited, waited again. Daylight came upon us. Jackson was still .. awake. Still talking. Seven-thirty, Mr. Jackson is still wide awake."
Murray said he checked to make sure the IV tubing did not have a leak in it. He said he also made Jackson stand up and urinate. At the time of his death, Jackson was wearing a condom catheter. Murray told detectives that the singer had had problems urinating and that he had prescribed Florax, typically given for prostate problems. Soon it was after 10 a.m. and Jackson was still awake, Murray said.
"Now he's really complaining that he cannot sleep," the doctor told Smith. "What I'm doing isn't working. At that time, he said, 'I'd like to have some milk. Please, please give me the milk so that I can sleep, because I know that this is all that really works for me. Just make me sleep. Doesn't matter what time I get up.'"
"I agreed at that time that I would switch ... to the propofol," Murray said. "And I would give him a small amount that would help him to sleep and then see if the effect would be there."
He said that just after 10:40 a.m., he then "slowly infused" into Jackson's IV 25 mg of propofol, a dose he said was half as large as the one he had administered to the singer in the past. He said he diluted the drug with Lidocaine.
"I took all precautions ... available to me," he said. "Since I started seeing him, I made sure that there was oxygen at the bedside, that he was placed on oxygen every night via nasal cannula and pulse oximeter."
Prosecutors have criticized the doctor for allegedly failing to maintain proper medical equipment, adding that the pulse oximeter in question did not contain an alarm. Murray said that at about 11 a.m., Jackson feel asleep, but did not snore.
"Normally, if he's in a deep sleep, he would be snoring," he said. "I was a little bit hesitant that he would probably jump out of sleep. He just ... gets up like that, and his eyes close, and he's wide awake. And whenever he's up, he reaches for his IV site. I monitored, saw his oxygen saturation. everything looked stable."
The doctor said he left the room to relieve himself and to empty jugs of urine that Jackson had filled throughout the night.
"I was gone, I would say, about two minutes," Murray said. "Then I came back to his bedside and was stunned in the sense that he wasn't breathing."I looked at the pulse oximeter right away and his heart rate was like 122 beats. I felt for a pulse and I was able to get a thready pulse in the femoral region. His body was warm. There was no change in color."
Murray said he became to perform CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Jackson and said he "saw his chest rise and fall."
"While I'm doing that, I look at the telephone," the doctor said. "No telephones in that house work. I guess to avoid calls because Mr. Jackson constantly changed his cell phone number."
Murray said during nights, only himself, only Jackson and his three children - Prince, Paris and Blanket, were typically present inside the home, adding:" "Security don't come into his house to even use the bathroom."
Murray told detectives that after he phoned Williams for help, he continued to try to revive Jackson. He said he no longer felt a pulse on the singer. He continued CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on him and then injected his IV with Flumazenil, an antidote he said could reserve the effects of the sedatives. He said he then ran downstairs to the kitchen.
"I saw the chef, who was cooking," Murray said. "I think her name is Rose. I told her, 'I have an emergency. Have security come immediately.'"
The chef in question, Kai Chef, had testified on September 29 that between 12:05 and 12:10 p.m. on the day Jackson died, the doctor rushed down the stairs, adding "He was flustered. His eyes were big. He was screaming and he was panicked. He yelled, 'Go get help. Go get security, go get Prince.'"
Murray said Alvarez, Jackson's bodyguard, then came upstairs to the room the singer was in.
"He gets inside there," the doctor said. "I said, 'Call 911.' While he's doing 911, I am doing chest compressions. I am doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But I want 911 to be called now, even though he's still on the bed, because I would still need help to move him off from the bed and place him at an appropriate site on the floor, where I would have a firmer surface."
Prosecutors have criticized the doctor for performing lifesaving techniques with one hand on a surface that is not flat. Paramedics had testified that they observed Murray attempting to revive Jackson this way and then moving him to the floor with the help of the singer's bodyguard. Murray told detectives he was unable to move Jackson to the floor on his own.
Alvarez had testified that Murray told him to place vials of medicine in a bag before instructing him to call 911. The doctor made no mention of such an incident in his interview with the police detectives. Several vials and bottles of propofol and other medications were found inside the room and elsewhere in the house, a coroner's office investigator had testified.
Paramedics arrived at Jackson's home at 12:26 p.m. Both paramedics and doctors who tried to save Jackson had said the singer was in cardiac arrest and appeared lifeless from the moment they saw him. One doctor had relayed to one of the paramedics that he should pronounced Jackson dead at the home at 12:57 p.m. - after more than 20 minutes of revival attempts.
Murray's comments to the police detectives matched what paramedics and doctors at UCLA Medical Center had testified in recent days - that he asked EMTS to administer other lifesaving medications, which were useless, and transfer authority over Jackson to him and bring him to the hospital by ambulance. He arrived at 1:13 p.m. and medical personnel there took over revival attempts.
"I mean, I love Mr. Jackson," Murray told the detectives. "He was my friend. And he opened up to me in different ways. And I wanted to help him as much as I can. You know, he was a single parent, you don't always hear that from a man. I always thought of his children, you know, as I would think about mine. So I wanted to give him the best chance."
MURRAY: JACKSON REQUESTED PROPOFOL
Murray said that during the two months prior to Jackson's death, he gave the singer propofol "30 days a month, roughly every day" and that he "handled it fine."
"That is not an agent that most people pull .. out from their hat," Murray told Smith. "(Jackson) explained to me that he had taken it multiple times. He used it frequently on his tours. it was given to him by multiple other doctors."
Murray said Jackson was also familiar with the numbing agent Lidocaine, which he said he referred to as "antiburn."
"He said whenever (propofol) was injected into him or it was running into him, infusing, it would set his limb or where ever on fire," the doctor said. "He asked me if I ever had it, and I said, 'No.' And he said, 'Well, I am just letting you know. Without the antiburn, it's really uncomfortable. So make sure that there is always a lot of that available."
Murray's lawyers maintain that Jackson drank propofol and consumed other medications on his own while the doctor was away from his bedside and that the dose of propofol Murray had administered was too low to be fatal.
"He never told me that he administered it himself, but he had said to me that the doctors allowed him to infuse it himself," Murray told the detective. "And I refused him that opportunity. And he asked me, 'Why would you - why don't you want me to push it? I love to push it. You know, it makes me feel medicine is great.'"
Murray said he told Jackson "I don't want you ever to infuse such a substance when I'm present. I'll do that. So sorry about the other doctors who have done this. I would not."
The doctor he was concerned the singer had become dependent on propofol and tried to wean him off of it."
"I constantly cautioned him that that is an artificial way to go to sleep," he said. "I wanted him to go to sleep naturally. I asked him, 'If this is your pattern, what is going to happen when the show is over? Are you going to continue like this?' He said, 'No I think I will do fine.'"
Murray said three days prior to Jackson's death, he had given him less propofol and larger amounts of other sedatives - lorazepam and midazolam - through an IV, adding that on one of the nights, the singer was able to sleep without propofol at all.
Murray said he gave in on the third night - hours before Jackson died - "so he could get a couple of hours sleep so that he could produce, because I cared about him."
"I had no intentions of hurting him," Murray told the detectives. ""Mr. Jackson was my friend. I loved him. We had a great relationship. After joining his team, I fell into the situation with a gentleman who wanted a regular, frequently, nightly (propofol). That was not my purpose of joining his team. I was there to help him and I was going to be available should something go wrong, to help provide the best care for him."
MURRAY CONSOLES FAMILY, KIDS
NOTE: The trial is set to resume on Tuesday, October 11, during which more of the recording of Conrad Murray being questioned by police is expected to be played. Here is a summary of what was said, according to documents obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com:
Don't forget: In addition to supplying you with full details about the case, OnTheRedCarpet.com will provide a live stream of the Conrad Murray trial, Monday to Friday, from 8:45 a.m. PT / 11:45 a.m. PT. The judge has said it is set to end on October 28.