Conrad Murray trial: Michael Jackson's chef, Kai Chase, said doctor yelled to get Prince
Michael Jackson's personal chef, Kai Chase, says she was preparing a lunch of spinach Cobb salad with organic turkey breast for the King of Pop on the day he died when his doctor, Conrad Murray, came down the stairs in a panic and yelled at her to "go get help, go get security, go get Prince."
Prince is the oldest of the singer's three children. At the time of his father's death on June 25, 2009, he was 12 years old. Chase made her comments at Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial, which concluded its third day on Thursday, September 29. NOTE: You can watch the proceedings online: OnTheRedCarpet.com is hosting a LIVE STREAM of the Conrad Murray trial.
The chef said Murray did not tell her to call 911. Prosecutors have criticized Murray for not contacting emergency services before anyone else after he discovered Jackson laying unresponsive in his bedroom on the afternoon of June 25, 2009.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted.
Chase said that she arrived at Jackson's Los Angeles home on the morning of his death and made the children breakfast and also prepared for the singer one of his favorite morning meals - granola with almond milk.
She said he did not come down to eat it, adding that he often dined in private, so she wrapped it and placed it in the refrigerator. She also noted that a white bean soup she made the day before was left there, uneaten.
Chase testified that she then left the house to go to the market and returned around 10:30 a.m. By this time, she said, Murray would typically come downstairs to get Jackson a container of juice she had prepared in advance. But he did not do so that day, she said.
"When I returned to the home, the children were paying, music was playing and everyone was enjoying themselves and I started getting ready to prepare lunch. " Chase said, adding that Jackson preferred to eat that meal at 12:30 p.m. "exactly" and that she would adhere to that schedule, although sometimes exceptions were made.
"For that day I was preparing a spinach Cobb salad with organic turkey breast," she said. She said that between 12:05 p.m. and 12:10 p.m., Murray rushed down the stairs leading to the kitchen and stood in the middle of the curved staircase. She noted the time on her cell phone, adding that it was important for her to keep track of the hour to ensure the timing of her meals.
"He was flustered," she said about Murray. "His eyes were big. He was screaming and he was panicked. He yelled, 'Go get help. Go get security, go get Prince.'"
Chase told one of Murray's attorneys during his cross-examination that she understood it was an emergency situation.
"I was very uncertain to what type of emergency but Dr. Murray's actions were very panic-stricken and that led me to believe something was wrong," she said. "I dropped what I was doing and I ran into the den where I saw Prince. I said, 'Prince, Dr. Murray needs you. There may be something wrong with your father.'"
When asked to explain why she approached the boy before anyone else, Chase said: "The decision I made was because Prince was in my eyesight and at that moment, Dr. Murray was vey frantic and very disturbed. The first thing that I thought of was to immediately get some help and that was the fastest thing I could do. I did what I was told."
"Prince and I both turned around and ran back into the kitchen and he approached Dr. Murray," she said. "I went back to work."
Chase said she resumed her lunch preparations and that several minutes later, security guards soon rushed into the home. She said she heard and saw staff members, including housekeepers, and Jackson's children crying several feet outside of the kitchen.
"I asked them (the staff) why they were crying they said ... 'We think Mr. Jackson may be ill," Chase said. "The children were crying and screaming. We started hugging and we came together and we held hands and we started praying. The energy in the house did not feel good. It was not the energy that I have always felt in this home that I worked for in the time that I was with Mr. Jackson and his children."
She never saw Murray after that. At this time, she said, paramedics and security guards ran up the stairs to the second floor to get to Jackson.
"We were still huddled together and we were still unknowing of what was going on," Chase said. "My heart is still broken. It was a very devastating day to me."
Autopsy results have shown that the singer died at age 50 from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which he called his "milk," due to its white shade, and other sedatives. Murray, had said he gave Jackson a dose of propofol as a sleeping aid in his house on the day he died. Murray's lawyers maintain that Jackson drank propofol on his own while the doctor was away from his bedside and that the dose Murray had administered was too low to be fatal.
Phone records show Murray called Jackson's assistant, Michael Amir Williams (listen here), minutes before emergency services were contacted, and told him the singer had a "bad reaction." Earlier on Thursday, Jackson's former bodyguard Alberto Alvarez, testified that Williams relayed to him Murray's message and told him to go to the home to check on the singer.
Chase noted that Williams' cell phone number was the only contact number she had for Jackson, whose home did not appear to have a land line.
Alvarez complied and said he saw Murray performing CPR on Jackson. Prince and his sister, Paris, witnessed the scene from outside the room, he and security chief Faheem Muhammad confirmed. Alvarez said he ushered the children away, then returned to the room.
He said the doctor ordered him to collect several medicine vials and a saline bag, which Alvarez later confirmed contained a bottle of propofol, before instructing him to call 911. That phone call was played in court. (listen to it here)
"In my personal experience, I believed Dr. Murray had the best intentions for Mr. Jackson," Alvarez added. "I didn't question his authority."
EMTs Richard Seneff and Martin Blount were also set to testify on Thursday but did not have time to do so. They are scheduled to take the witness stand on Friday. The jury is also set to hear from medical experts and doctors from UCLA Medical Center, where Jackson was pronounced dead.
On Tuesday, one of the prosecutors played to the jury a recording of a voice message by Jackson, found on Murray's iPhone, to demonstrate the effect propofol had on him as he prepared for his "This Is It" UK tour. The singer's voice is deeply slurred.
Williams said he had never heard Jackson sound like that before, adding: "Never heard in that extreme. It's kind of sad. That was pretty extreme."
One of Murray's attorneys, Michael Flanagan, told OnTheRedCarpet.com on Wednesday that Jackson slurred his words because he "self-medicated" and that it occurred when Murray was not around.
Don't forget: In addition to supplying you with breaking news reports, OnTheRedCarpet.com will provide a live stream of the Conrad Murray trial.