Prelim Hearing Underway for Dr. Conrad MurrayJanuary 4, 2011 - 1:28 PM | by: William La Jeunesse
Did Michael Jackson kill himself accidentally with an overdose of the drug propofol? That’s what we expect to hear today from the defense team representing Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s personal physician and the man accused of killing the pop star.
Court got underway in Los Angeles Tuesday morning. Jackson’s mother Catherine, sister LaToya and brother Jackie arrived shortly before 9 a.m. Murray arrived moments later in a black Mercedes with dark windows.
There are no cameras in the courtroom and no electronic transmissions — e mail or telephone calls from the courtroom or the overflow media room. Also reporters are not allowed to come in and out to file their stories.
Murray was treating Jackson for chronic insomnia when Jackson died. Murray admits he gave Jackson a cocktail of powerful sedatives, but Murray’s attorney claimed in court documents, that when Murray was out of the room, Jackson woke up and gave himself more.
Attorney Michael Flanagan says Murray gave Jackson 25 milligrams of propofol, but it would have taken 150 milligrams to kill him.
To support that defense, Flanagan has claimed a second syringe was found broken on the bedroom floor in addition the syringe used to administer the drugs intravenously. Flanagan has asked the court to allow the coroner to find out how much propofol may have been in the broken syringe as well as the IV bag.
Propofol is used in hospitals to sedate and anesthetize patients. It is not approved for home use or to treat sleep disorders.
Since this is only a pre trial hearing, prosecutors must only show there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. However, the LA District Attorney is expected to call up to 35 witnesses over the next two weeks, including security guards, personal assistants and Kenny Ortega, the producer of ‘This is It’ the production Jackson was working on a the time of his death.
Ortega is expected to say Murray showed a callous disregard for Jackson’s health at a meeting one week before the singer died.
Some court expects say the evidence against Murray could be so overwhelming he may agree to a plea bargain and some prison time less than 5 years.