Conrad Murray trial: Michael Jackson's children saw doctor try to revive him, security chief says
Michael Jackson's chief of security, Faheem Muhammad, says the singer's two oldest children watched Conrad Murray try to revive their father's lifeless body in his bedroom at their Los Angeles home.
Muhammad made his comments on Wednesday, September 28, at the involuntary manslaughter trial of Murray, who was the King of Pop's personal doctor.
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"When I came into the room, I saw Alberto standing up, pacing," Muhammad said, referring to the singer's bodyguard, Alberto Alvarez. "I saw Mr. Jackson's feet near the side of the bed on the ground and as I continued to walk over I could see the rest of his body and I saw Dr. Murray near his side. He appeared to be administering CPR. He appeared very nervous. He was on his side. He was sweating."
Muhammad said Jackson appeared to be dead, adding: "His eyes were open. His mouth was slightly open." At this time, he noticed Paris and Prince, Jackson's older son and daughter, standing in a landing area outside. Jackson's younger son, Blanket, was elsewhere in the house.
"Paris was on the ground balled up crying and Prince, he was just standing there, he just had a shocked, slowly crying type of look on his face," Muhammad said. "I went and gathered them together and kind of talked to them for a second. Got the nanny's attention from the stairway. We walked them downstairs and put them in a different location."
Autopsy results have shown that the singer died at age 50 on June 25, 2009 at his Los Angeles from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which he called his "milk," 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 and has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
Murray faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted. 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.
Muhammad said that on the day Jackson died, he received a phone message from the singer's assistant, Michael Amir Williams, at 12:16 p.m. urging him to come to the house. Muhammad said he was in his car at the time, as he had left the property around noon to go to the bank.
He said Williams told him "MJ had a bad reaction" and asked him to go check on him. Williams testified earlier on Wednesday that Murray had used those words when he called him at 12:13 p.m. that day - seven minutes before the doctor ordered Alvarez, to call 911.
Paramedics arrived at the singer's home at 12:26 p.m. Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. Prosecutors say Murray demonstrated "gross negligence" by not calling 911 before anyone else.
"Call me right away," Murray's voice is heard in the recording left on Williams' phone, which was played in court (listen to it here). "Please call me right away. Thank you." Muhammad said he then called another security official at 12:18 p.m. and told him to check on Jackson, since he was away from the house. Muhammad said he then drove back to the home and called Williams as he walked inside to double-check what he told him to do. Muhammad said he then went upstairs to Jackson's room. He asked Avarez if 911 was called. He said he told him, 'Yes.'
Muhammad said that after he escorted the children away from their father's room, he put them and their little brother in a vehicle so they wouldn't have to see their father as paramedics wheeled him on a gurney to an ambulance. He said he and Williams rode with them to the hospital. Williams had said earlier that Murray rode with Jackson.
Williams had also said that at the hospital, Murray told him there was "cream" in the singer's room "that he wouldn't want the world to know about" and asked that he be driven to Jackson's home to retrieve it. Search warrants have showed that 30 tubes of skin whitening cream used in the treatment of vitiligo, a skin condition that the African-American singer had, were found at Jackson's home after his death. Further details about the cream Murray was referring to have not been disclosed at the trial.
Williams said he then relayed Murray's request privately to Muhammad and told him that he planned on telling Murray that police had confiscated their car keys. William said he then went back to the doctor and declined his request.
Muhammad confirmed William's words, adding that they agreed Murray "shouldn't enter the house under any circumstances." Muhammad also confirmed that the doctor had asked for a ride to get some food. He said he told Murray to go to the hospital's cafeteria. He said he later saw Murray leaving the building.
Days before his death, Jackson was rehearsing in Los Angeles for his sold-out, 50-venue "This Is It" tour - his first major series of concerts since 1996. Murray was to provide medical care for Jackson at the time. Jackson missed several days of rehearsal before he died.
Kenny Ortega, co-director of the "This Is It" tour, said Jackson appeared unwell, "lost" and "incoherent" at a rehearsal on June 19, just days before his death.
Muhammad said that on June 21, Williams called him and said "MJ said he was having some weird symptoms and one of his hands was hot and one of his feet was cold and he wanted a doctor to come and see if everything was okay."
Muhammad said he called Cherilyn Lee, a nurse who has also cared for Jackson's children. He did not get in touch with Murray and did not recall what Lee told him. Murray was later "reached" and told about the situation, he said, adding: "I called Dr. Lee because I was asked to call Dr. Lee."
Following Jackson's death, investigators found several medical substances and equipment in his room, including bottles of propofol, Lidocaine, which is another anesthetic that Jackson called "anti-burn," anti-anxiety, pain and insomnia medications prescribed by Murray, including Valium, lorazepam and tempazepam and the prostate medication Flomax.
They also found other prescriptions prescribed by dermatologist Arnold Klein and general practitioner Allan Metzger, which as the antidepressant trazodone, the muscle relaxer tizanidine and the anti-anxiety drug clonazepam. An IV stand with a saline bag was also found, as was a Cardiology Review book, a jug or urine on a chair and the jacket and pants worn by Jackson on his last performance - a rehearsal at Staples Center, on June 24, 2009, some 12 hours before his death.
Prosecutors have accused Murray of not providing adequate medical equipment, such as oxygen tanks, for Jackson while he was administering propofol and other prescription medications. The doctor's lawyers have disputed this.
Williams and Muhammad confirmed the presence of oxygen tanks at Jackson's home.
"I've seen Dr. Murray bring the oxygen tanks," Williams said. "Seeing them being moved in and out."
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 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 occured when Murray was not around.
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