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Update on Dr Conrad Murray’s Trial

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Update on Dr Conrad Murray’s Trial

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Oct 7, 2011 – The day eight of the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray for the alleged involuntary murder of Michael Jackson focused on the haul of drugs recovered from his home shortly after his death. 

Prosecutors tried to convince a jury that Murray was responsible for the pop star’s death. 

Toxicologist Dan Anderson said he found Midazolam, lorazepam, diazepam in blood from Jackson’s heart. Also found in the blood were Propofol, lidocaine.  He said no cocaine was detected. 

Coroner’s investigator Elissa Fleak Fleak began the day by continuing to identify pieces of evidence collected from Jackson’s home.

She told the court she found a large collection of drugs and medical paraphernalia in the pop star’s bedroom and wardrobe, including vials of propofol, the drug that killed him. She said the drugs were hidden away in bags she found in a cupboard in the star’s bedroom. 

She also found an empty vial of the drug on the floor by the bed and an array of different sedatives and prescription painkillers in medicine bottles bearing the name of the star and an alias he is known to have used.

The drugs were found in two searches of the singer’s Los Angeles mansion within days of the tragedy.

Miss Fleak, who works for the Los Angeles County Coroner, said she examined Jackson’s body after he was taken to hospital to see if she could determine any obvious cause of death.

She took a number of photos of the star – including one shown on the opening day of the trial – but said she was unable to see what caused Jackson’s collapse.

She testified that she also found medical equipment, including oxygen bottles, IV containers, syringes and a jug or urine in Jackson’s bedroom.

But defence lawyer, Ed Chernoff pointed out some apparent inconsistencies and omissions in Fleak’s records. Her initial notes did not indicate that a propofol bottle was found inside an IV bag, but her revised notes did. She also did not photograph the bottle in the bag before removing it.

In addition, Chernoff noted that she moved one bottle of medication before photographing it, that her notes said gloves were found on the floor when photos showed them on a chair and that she left a fingerprint on one of the syringes found in the room. Fleak also acknowledged that she did not collect and test a juice bottle that was on Jackson’s night stand with some of the bottles of prescription drugs.

On redirect, prosecutor David Walgren asked if Fleak had ever conducted what she considered a perfect investigation and she said no.

After Fleak testified, Walgren read a stipulation that fingerprint analysis was conducted on many of the vials and pieces of medical equipment found in Jackson’s room and only the propofol bottle found in the saline bag had Conrad Murray’s prints on it. Of the other items where prints were detected, Michael Jackson, Murray and several of Jackson’s employees were all eliminated as possible sources.

Walgren began to review results of toxicology testing on Jackson’s body with coroner’s office toxicologist Dan Anderson

Munray’s lawyers for the doctor spent the first half of the eighth day of his trial calling into question key evidence against him. In aggressive cross-examination, defence lawyer Ed Chernoff questioned Ms Fleak’s recollection, suggesting she had made a “substantial number of mistakes” in her investigation of the scene.

He highlighted that she had destroyed her original notes, left a thumb print on a syringe, and showed the court photos with latex gloves on a chair in the singer’s bedroom, when her report said they were on the floor.

Chernoff also showed court the photograph of the saline bag that a prosecution witness said had a propofol bottle inside it, with some of the milky white substance collected at the bottom.

The lawyer highlighted that this was the only photograph of the bag, and in it the propofol bottle had been taken out, and there did not appear to be any of white liquid inside.

Ms Fleak admitted that she has never conducted a “perfect” investigation, but insisted it was common practice to destroy original notes once the detail had been recorded in a formal report.

In a blow to the defence team, she said she had requested Jackson’s medical records, and that when she received them there were no records past April 2009. The singer died in June of that year.

Later the court heard the full police interview with Murray in the days after his patient’s death.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. If convicted he faces four years in prison and will have his medical licence revoked.

It has also emerged that Jackson slept with a doll. A photo of Jackson’s deathbed, taken just days after he died, showed the child’s toy lying on top of the singer’s white sheets.

The doll had blonde hair and was dressed in brown dungarees and sandals. It was impossible to tell if it was male or female.

Lying next to the doll on Jacko’s bed sheets was a black Bose CD player and a CD.The never-before-seen snaps of Jackson’s private bedroom were shown to jurors during the eighth day of Dr Conrad Murray’s trial at Los Angeles Superior Court. The Nation

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