Michael Jackson's autopsy photos to be shown to jurors at Conrad Murray's trial
A judge ruled on Thursday that the jury in the upcoming trial of Conrad Murray, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop star Michael Jackson, will be allowed to see autopsy photos of Jackson, according to Reuters.
The two photos feature a fully clothed and nude Jackson during his autopsy. The prosecution wants to demonstrate that the singer was healthy at the time of death to counter Murray's defense team's claim that Jackson, in desperate financial straits, felt he could not carry out his European concerts unless he could overcome intense insomnia. They say he was so desperate for sleep that he overdosed himself on the anesthetic propofol while his doctor was out of the room.
Jackson died at age 50 on June 25, 2009 in his Los Angeles home from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol and two other sedatives that were prescribed by Murray. His death was classified as a homicide.
Defense attorneys tried to bar the autopsy pictures from being shown, saying they will inflame the passions of the jury and called them "graphic."
However, Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said according to Reuters, that the photos were "not gruesome. They're not graphic. They're not inflammatory."
Pastor also ruled in favor of the prosecution's request to show clips of Jackson in excerpts from the concert movie "This Is It."
"These video clips are completely at odds with someone who, as the defense has claimed, would recklessly take his own life just hours after the last clip was filmed," prosecutors told the Associated Press.
Pastor again ruled against the defense by allowing testimony from women whom prosecutors claim that Murray had a "personal and social relationship" with while he was married.
Murray's lawyers filed their own paperwork on Thursday asking a judge to prohibit mention of Murray's extramarital affairs and children he had out of wedlock, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"The prosecution's case involves the treatment and care of Michael Jackson provided by Dr. Murray. It is not about the existence and number of children Dr. Murray has, or about his personal sexual relationship with women," Murray's defense lawyers Ed Chernoff and Nareg Gourjian wrote in court documents according to the newspaper.
The judge also ruled against the defense's request to discuss Jackson's financial issues, saying he did not want a "salacious analysis of personal financial issues" during the trail.
Dr. Conrad Murray has pleaded not guilty and the search for a jury to judge him resumes May 4. Murray faces up to four years in prison if convicted.