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'This Is It' Producer -- Star Witness in MJ Prelim

1/4/2011 11:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Michael Jackson's producer/director for the "This Is It" tour will be a star witness for the prosecution in Dr. Conrad Murray's preliminary hearing which begins today  ... sources tell TMZ.

Our sources tell us ... Kenny Ortega will testify that on June 19, 2009 -- a week before MJ died -- Michael complained he was cold, had the shakes and was unable to perform ... so the rehearsal was canceled.

The next day -- June 20 -- an emergency meeting was held at Michael's home.  Kenny Ortega, several big wigs from AEG, Michael, and Dr. Conrad Murray were present.  We're told the meeting was "intense, loud and argumentative."  Kenny read Michael the riot act, imploring him to take better care of himself because the tour was imminent.  

Ortega will testify, during the meeting, Dr. Murray said some "terrible things," showing a lack of concern and respect for Michael.  Our sources would not reveal specifics, but we're told it's "damaging" to Murray.

Sources say rehearsals were canceled on June 21 and 22 so Michael could regain his strength. Ortega will testify ... when rehearsals resumed on June 23 and 24 -- the day before Jackson died -- Michael did a complete turnaround, wowing the backup dancers and others present with his moves and singing.

Ortega's testimony is important, because prosecutors will argue MJ was fine before Murray began pumping him with drugs the day he died.



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"The doctor's defence team claims he gave nothing to Jackson that "should have killed him", and that he took all necessary precautions."

What was the precautions that he took? What I have read he did just opposite!

1367 days ago


Let's keep in mind Jackson was a full blown addict on a bunch of stuff for many years. His whole body was a complete mess from all the different drugs he took. If it wasn't Murray it would have been someone else.

1367 days ago


Okay, calm down people this doesn't prove anything, its still an allegation. We'll have to wait until the actual hearing. These are just TMZ sources--that they pay, in case you've forgotten. Plus, these are not direct quotes from Kenny Ortega its TMZ's speculation.

1367 days ago


Poor Michael, who always did whatever hell he wanted to do, knew there was no way on God's green earth that his body was up to performing 10 shows - let alone 50 (that probably put him into more depression when they upped it to 50). MJ had not been sleeping for at least 20 years like a normal person. Which is why he got his hands on Propofol. He found Dr. Murray, who willing sold his soul and ethics to work for MJ. Being knocked out and unconscious by drugs is NOT sleep. But MJ was desperate for rest of any kind and being knocked out was the only way. Problem was, it was not working. MJ saw his opportunity with Murray not in the room. Doing what he always does - WHAT THE HELL HE WANTS TO DO - he gave himself more Propofol. Poor MJ was backed into a corner and there was no way out for him. Always the consummate professional, MJ could only keep up the facade for so long. Poor MJ checked out.

1367 days ago


Also, never forget that damage that Joe and Katherine did to their son. Michael Jackson turned out to be his own worst enemy.

1367 days ago


Michael Jackson Death: Court Case Explained

The doctor who was treating Michael Jackson when he died is facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Dr Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter
Sky News asked LA defence attorney and former prosecutor Dmitry Gorin about how the court case will work.
What is a preliminary hearing?
A preliminary hearing is a process in California courts where the Government must demonstrate a "probable cause" that the defendant is guilty of the crimes with which they have been charged.
In effect, it is a mini-trial: the prosecution presents witnesses, who can then be cross-examined by the defence team.
This is an alternative to the grand jury process, where the prosecution presents its evidence in private to 12 men or women, who then determine whether the case is strong enough to go to a full jury trial.
In this case, the judge, not a grand jury, will decide whether the Government's case has passed muster and proceeds to trial.
Why would the prosecution choose this hearing, rather than a grand jury?
I think the Government is trying to see how weak or strong its case really is against Dr Conrad Murray.
They will watch the defence lawyers make their presentation and cross-examine the witnesses, and be able to assess: "Do we even want to take this case to a jury? Do we think we can prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt?"
When you have a case that is so high profile, the prosecution wants to fine tune its case at the preliminary hearing so they will look professional to the whole world if they have to prove their case to a jury.
Doesn't it help the defence team if they see the prosecution's case in advance?
It definitely helps the defence to see the witnesses in court before a trial.
It is one thing to read the grand jury testimony off a piece of paper and have a sense for what the witnesses are going to say.
But it is a whole different situation to face the witnesses, ask them questions and see what kind of energy they give off and how they answer those questions.
What exactly is "involuntary manslaughter"?
It is a violation of Penal Code section 191 and 192 in California law. The prosecution will argue Dr Murray caused the death of Michael Jackson by prescribing and administering a serious anaesthetic in a way that was highly reckless.
The state's argument is this: Dr Murray should have known better. He should not have administered propofol under these cir***stances.
How soon after the hearing will we know if this case proceeds to trial?
Usually, the magistrate will present his decision of whether or not there is probable cause immediately after the hearing.
But this is a high profile case and the judge, Michael Pastor, is a very cerebral, very deliberative type of man, for whom I have a lot of respect.
It is possible he may wait a day or two before issuing a ruling as to whether he feels there is probable cause.
If that is the case and it moves to trial - which could be months or over a year away - the prosecution then has to convince a jury that Dr Murray is guilty "beyond reasonable doubt" which is a much higher burden of proof.
Will there be cameras in court?
That is up to the judge's discretion. He decided not to allow them.
Could he strike a plea deal?
If he takes a plea deal, Dr Murray could lose the ability to practise medicine and could lose his livelihood.
If I were his lawyer, I would advise him to go for it at trial because maybe we can win; maybe can we prove that the Government's case is weak.

1367 days ago


Murray is just the fall guy. Kenny's comments prove they are just as much to blame. Neither Kenny or AEG seem to show any concern for Michael's condition or attempted to get him help that was necessary. If his condition was that bad on the 19th, then they should of assisted in getting him help.

It's all about money. I thought the TINI group was a bit excessive in their claims. I guess they were reporting correctly on what they saw.

1367 days ago


Let's put the blame where it really belongs. Joe, Katherine and Michael himself. Murray, whether yes or no is the fall guy.

1367 days ago


Jackson Sleep Aid Is 'Only For Expert Use'

The powerful anaesthetic propofol has been identified as a key factor in Michael Jackson's death.

Propofol 'should always be used in a clinical setting'
Sky News asked Dr John Dombrowski, from the Washington Pain Centre, to explain more about the drug.
What is it?
Propofol is the generic name for a milky, anaesthetic liquid used to make patients comfortable when undergoing surgeries or procedures.
Before this, medical professionals used sodium pentathol, also known as truth serum, which has been around since the 1940s and left patients feeling "hungover".
It is very fast-acting, yet also very quick to wear off, so you usually have to administer this using an infusion device: it drips into a patient via a vein to give them the medication.
The minute you stop the infusion, they will wake up and go about their day.
How does it work?
It puts the patient to sleep, slowly shutting the body down so you can observe blood pressure lowering.
This is why propofol needs to be administered by an anaesthesiologist or at least a physician who's trained on how to not only administer the medication but, more importantly, how to rescue that patient.
That is really the key thing: rescuing patients. So you can say: 'OK, we overshot with this medication, let's get you back'. And that is why you need that certain level of training.
How should you monitor the patient who is receiving propofol?
Always carefully. Firstly, you should have an electrocardiograph telling you what is going on with the patient's heart, secondly a blood pressure cuff and thirdly a pulse oximeter, which tells the physician the saturation of the drug in patient's system.
Of course all those machines and gadgetry are great, but nothing replaces the skill-set of the physician observing the patient while he or she is "under".
The other thing you always need to give the patient is supplemental oxygen because these drugs slow down the body. The patient will not breathe as much and will need some extra oxygen.
Is it rare to use propofol at home?
I would never administer it in a home setting to help someone sleep. This is not an appropriate use of this medication.
It is always used in a clinical setting to help people undergo surgery or to have procedures done, so that they are comfortable. It is not the kind of medication you can apply and then leave.
The guidelines from the American Society of Anesthesiologists make it clear that a medical professional should be in attendance at all times.
Can you become addicted to the drug?
It is very unusual. Number one, propofol can be hard to get. Number two, it puts you to sleep and then immediately you are awake, so there is really no addiction potential as far as I understand it.
What can happen with medication used to bring relief from pain and to induce sleep is that patients become used to the effects. They can start to rely on it.
If a combination of heavy sedative medications are not doing the job and then a medicine is introduced which succeeds in giving a patient several hours of restful sleep, it becomes a crutch.
I am aware of certain instances where some anaesthesiologists have self-administered the medication. They will jerry-rig an IV, put the needle in their arm and run this medication. Unfortunately this can end in tragedy.

1367 days ago


Anesthetic Works Fast: How Propofol Killed Michael Jackson

Quackster didn't have proper training not equipment for administering propofol!

1367 days ago


"Read MJ the riot act".....So they noticed there was a 'change' of some sort in MJ & asked him to address the problem. MJ was an adult. As much as some choose to lay blame on Ortega/Phillips, Michael was a big boy & responsible for himself. If he were not ready or able to tour then he should have said something. Doesn't sound like they simply ignored MJ like many blame AEG for. You cannot MAKE someone eat & drink, nor tell you when there is a problem if they are so determined to keep it to themselves. They weren't MJ's 'parents', they had a business arrangement with him.

1367 days ago


so ortega thinks this is all wacko jackos fault..finally someone who knows whats going on....michael jackson commited suicide..plain as that

1367 days ago


1) about the outrageous comment from RonBurgundy, please know that MJ has been acquitted on 14 counts whether you like it or not, it is people like you who have killed him really by spreading such horrific rumors and lies. And in order for you or anyone else not to look too ridiculous on that matter and as if acting out of frustration, please do***ent yourself, read what really happened to MJ before, during and after the trial and then you might have something sensible to say.... unless you already paid your subscription for life to the tabloids !

2) NOW MR K.O., make up your mind about what you are saying ! either MJ was in great shape, great mood, healthy and ready to go, with new innovative ideas or was he cold, shaky ???? you said it in interviews not me !!!!!!!!!!


1367 days ago


Doc didn't start pumping him with the "P" drug the day he died. he had been doing it for 6 weeks. Remember the cook said the doc was coming down the stair EVERY morning with oxygen tank(s)

1367 days ago


Phantom of the Opera,Beautiful video,thanks
sorry Michael, who does not know.
Love is more strong that death.

1367 days ago
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