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People vs. Dr. Conrad Murray

Defense Claims

Michael Jackson Killed Himself

9/27/2011 12:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Ed Chernoff -- Defense Attorney's Opening Statement
Updated 9/27/11 at 11:00 AM



Dr. Conrad Murray
's attorney Ed Chernoff told the jury Michael Jackson caused his own death.

* Chernoff says the evidence will show MJ swallowed 8, 2 mg pills of Lorazepam.
* And Chernoff says MJ self-injected a dose or Propofol that created a "perfect storm" that killed him.
* There was no way to save MJ.  He died instantly.
* Chernoff told the jury what TMZ has reported for the last year -- that the centerpiece of the defense case is that Michael's death is on Michael -- not Dr. Murray.
* Chernoff also said MJ "had a problem" that no amount of determination could overcome, even with his talent, and without help he could not do the "This Is It" tour -- a tour that would score him more money than he had ever made on tour before.
* So, Chernoff says, Michael went doctor shopping.
* Dr. Murray is not a "celebrity doctor" -- he's a cardiologist who saves lives.
* The defense will put some of Dr. Murray's patients on the stand to show his level of care.  He would buy prescriptions for people who couldn't afford it and would generally go well above the standard of care expected of a doctor -- which contradicts prosecutors who call him greedy and reckless.  Murray seemed to tear up as he listened to Chernoff.

0927_conrad_crying

* Murray treated MJ for several problems, including toe fungus and a broken foot.
* Chernoff said Murray had no idea at the time that MJ had a much deeper problem
* MJ didn't have insomnia -- he had "an absolute, total and thorough inability to sleep."
* When Murray met with detectives 2 days after MJ's death, he thoroughly answered every question.  It was no holds barred and they hid nothing.  Chernoff said Murray told cops, "I don't know what killed Michael Jackson.  I want to know also."
* Michael Jackson told Murray the only way he could sleep was with Propofol and he always took Propofol.  MJ told Murray exactly how it was to be administered.  He even had a nickname for the drug -- milk.  MJ knew Lidocaine was essential in administering Propofol to prevent a burning sensation.
* MJ told Murray he would use Propofol with or without Murray, so Murray then agreed to provide Propofol.
* Dr. Murray provided Propofol for 2 months for MJ, and during that time the singer slept, woke up, and lived his life -- suggesting it wasn't negligent to administer the drug.
* The evidence is going to show is that Michael Jackson died when Dr. Murray stopped.  Murray told cops he believed his role was to find a way to help MJ sleep normally, urging him to get off Propofol.
* In other words, Murray was trying to ween MJ off Propofol and give him other, more traditional sedatives.  And, on June 22, 3 days before MJ died, Michael agreed to let Murray to try to get him off Propofol. And on that day Murray gave MJ half the Propofol he had been giving him.  And it worked. MJ slept.
* On June 23, Murray gave MJ NO Propofol at all, giving him other drugs instead.  And, on the day MJ died, the plan was not to give Propofol.  It was to go to other sedatives.  That's why in the recording,MJ pleads for the Propofol.  That's why Murray gave him other drugs instead during the night. 
* Chernoff says MJ had certain "personality traits."   He kept various people in life separate from one another. 
* Chernoff will present an addiction specialist, who will testify DR. ARNOLD KLEIN ADDICTED MICHAEL JACKSON TO DEMEROL.
* Things were so serious 5 days before Michael Jackson died, reps from AEG and others had a meeting at MJ's house and talked about "pulling the plug" on the tour.  And subsequently MJ made it clear to Murray -- he needed to sleep or the tour would go down in flames.
* Chernoff insists Murray only gave MJ 25 milligrams of Propofol just before MJ died -- and that is not enough to kill him.  Chernoff says MJ went to sleep, and Murray checked his pulse -- which was good.
Murray then sat and watched and left the room "only when I felt comfortable."  This may be the key to the case -- did Murray abandon MJ by leaving the room?
*  Chernoff says when Murray left the room "there was zero Propofol in his [Michael's] system."  Of course, what Chernoff is arguing is that Michael then shot himself up with the fatal dose.


* Chernoff came back from break the defense will show the amounts that Dr. Murray's death could not cause Michael's death.
* The science will prove there had to be more Propofol delivered to MJ's system after Dr. Murray left the room.
*The defense says MJ's stomach content had 4 times the amount of Lorazepam than in his blood, which means Michael would had to swallow the drug himself, after Murray left the room.





94 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

Hardy    

I see what they did there.

1019 days ago
17.

Rogue Warrior    

It's disappointing that a Dr. like Conrad Murray didn't come along sooner and take this black man who wanted to be a white tran on his much deserved dirt nap!!!!!!!!!!!

1019 days ago
18.

J. Sarayda Shapiro, PhD    

The idea that MJ "died instantly from taking propofol really makes no sense. When propofol kills someone, it does so by stopping their breathing. If you give the person artificial respiration, they should be fine.

Also, ther eis no evidence that MJ used propofol between 1997, when he did the HIStory tour, and 2099, when he started preparations for the This Is It tour. So, the idea that MJ was on propofol all along is unlikely.

I'm a psychologist with lots to say about the Murray trial. Please check out my new website, www.maninthemirrorbook.com or follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/ManInMirrorNews or on facebook, www.facebook.com/jsarayda

1019 days ago
19.

Docicu3    

The opening argument was excellent by the defense if the pharm holds up to scrutiny. Michael Jackson was an addict in withdrawal who was under multiple kinds of sedative only some of which was given by the doc on trial.
It would be wrong to find this doc guilty if it is true 1) The derm doc created MJ demerol addiction 2) Ativan was being taken in excessive doses Murray had nothing to do with during his attempt to taper the daily Propofol.
Iatrogenic addiction is one of the biggest problems in health care today and this is just another example of outpatient docs creating addictions they cannot manage.

1019 days ago
20.

Nikki    

This is ridiculous! If MJ gave himself the fatal dose of propofol then WHY weren't his fingerprints found on any vials or on the syringe??? This defense attorney is a moron!

1019 days ago
21.

char    

just listening to the tape dr murray recorded of michael shows how messed up he was on meds how in the world would a dr leave someone that messed up alone like dr murray did with michael the day he died to talk on the phone, let alone order that much propofol to michaels house.

1019 days ago
22.

Banester    

Simple, no drugs no death. Now who provided those drugs?

1019 days ago
24.

Darlene    

Dr. Murray sold his soul t the devil, was it immoral, YES, was it murder, I don't think so. MJ had been killing himself for years, where was the family outrage then, oh yes, they were at the bank cashing MJ's check. This family is totally dispictable, they continue to make money off the tragic, sad life of Micheal Jackson. Michael Jackson was no icon and I hate that we continue to be ask to treat his memory as one. The medical board should be disciplining Dr. Murray not the justice system and our tax dollars.

1019 days ago
25.

Em    

My goodness Ed Chernoff is exceptionally dull to listen to. His thoughts are all over the place, telling us that we will hear from this person and that person, that Murray has many poor patients that depend on him, that Arnold Klein is to blame, etc. etc. etc. What? The prosecutor's opening was better (in my humble opinion) as they stuck mostly to fact and medical professionalism and procedures (both of which were made blatantly clear Murray didn't abide by). Not to mention he was a little easier to listen to.

1019 days ago
26.

charlotte    

MY PRAYERS ARE WITH THE JACKSON FAMILY. DR.MURRAY GETTING ON FOUR YEARS ,WHAT A DISGRACE,FOR ME TO LOSE MY SON,BROTHER ,FATHER. LIFE IN PRISON FITS THIS MAN ,HE MESS UP THE DEFENSE PUT ON A VERY WEAK CASE WHERE DID THEY GET THAT LAWYER FROM A DISGRACE. GOD BE WITH YOU JACKSON FAMILY

1019 days ago
27.

Lilly Pad    

So said that a talent like Michael is dead,...by his own hand? quite possibly. I am disgusted with the family, especially Jermaine and Latoya,...even in death the are still trying to make a buck off Michael, creepy and sad.Over and over in my mind,....when this family saw signs whey dind't they step up ans step in; according to Janet Michael had been supporting the family leeches for quite some time and when approaching Michael, he threatened to cut them off. Sooo, what were these vermin supposed to do, when their meal ticket threatened them? While Dr. Murray holds some responsibility in this, how much is the family and Michael responsible for? Sad, sad, sad,....
Poor mama Jackson, just trying to right by Michael's kids,...but why won't these vultures let this poor miserable man rest? N-O-W,...the oldest boy is being paraded around with identical clothing that Michael used to wear,....w-t-f ?

1019 days ago
28.

fioo hoos    

MURDER INC studio sytem same as elvis dean&monrolls plus worth more DOA than DOA right son of charles manson sheen?

1019 days ago
29.

Siggisis    

"* MJ told Murray he would use Propofol with or without Murray, so Murray then agreed to provide Propofol."

Moot point. If another doctor had killed Michael with Propofol and the same negligent and criminal behaviour, that doctor would be on trial!

1019 days ago
30.

FACT1    

IF I WERE MURRAY I WOULD HAVE FIRED HIS LAWYER DURING HIS OPENING STATEMENT. THE GUY COULDN'T FINISH A SENTENCE & HAD NO CLUE AS HOW TO START ONE.
MICHAEL WAS DONE IN BY MURRAYS HAND,
NOW MURRAY DID IT AGAIN TO HIMSELF BY HIRING THE LAWYER FROM "MY COUSIN VINNIE".
MY 10 YEAR OLD COULD HAVE DONE BETTER THAN MURRAYS LAWYER.

1019 days ago
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