Prosecutor: Doctor took Jackson from his children

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Projecting images of Michael Jackson's grief-stricken children on a giant screen, a prosecutor told jurors Thursday the singer's doctor took away their father with an overdose of a powerful anesthetic.

With Jackson's mother and siblings watching from the courtroom gallery, prosecutor David Walgren summoned memories of the dead star during his closing argument in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray.

He showed a photo of Jackson at his last rehearsal before the picture of the three Jackson children - Prince, Paris and Blanket - at their father's memorial.

He also reminded jurors of the scene in Jackson's bedroom when Paris came upon Murray frantically trying to revive her lifeless father and screamed, "Daddy!"

"For Michael Jackson's children this case goes on forever because they do not have a father," Walgren said. "They do not have a father because of the actions of Conrad Murray."

The prosecutor repeatedly called Murray's treatment of Jackson bizarre and said there was no precedent for the cardiologist giving the singer a powerful anesthetic as a sleep aid.

Still, Jackson trusted him and that that eventually cost the singer his life, Walgren said.

"Conrad Murray looked out for himself and himself alone," the prosecutor said.

Murray has pleaded not guilty, with his lawyers arguing that Jackson caused his own death by taking the fatal dose of propofol when Murray left the singer's bedroom on June 25, 2009.

At the start of his closing argument, defense attorney Ed Chernoff said prosecutors had not proven that a crime occurred.

"They want you to convict Dr. Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson," Chernoff told jurors.

Chernoff attacked the credibility of Jackson's bodyguard Alberto Alvarez, who testified that Murray ordered him to place medicine vials in a bag before calling 911.

Chernoff suggested Alvarez's story had changed over time and that he would later sell it to news outlets.

"Do you honestly believe that Alberto Alvarez is not going to cash in?" Chernoff said.

Earlier, Walgren, in a carefully structured argument enhanced by video excerpts of witness testimony, spoke of the special relationship between a doctor and patient and said Murray had corrupted it in the treatment of his famous client.

Murray violated his medical oath to do no harm and "acted so recklessly that it caused the death of Michael Jackson," the prosecutor said.

Walgren portrayed Murray as a greedy opportunist who was more concerned with earning $150,000 a month as Jackson's personal physician and traveling to London for his "This Is It" concert than with the welfare of his patient.

He cited evidence showing Murray did not call 911 after finding Jackson unresponsive. Instead he called Jackson's personal assistant, a decision the prosecutor said was just one of the doctor's bizarre actions on the day the singer died.

He suggested Murray delayed the call until he could hide medical equipment and bottles that might incriminate him.

"He's putting Conrad Murray first. He's intentionally not calling 911. He's intentionally delaying help that could have saved Michael Jackson's life," Walgren said.

"What on Earth could motivate a medical doctor to delay making that all-important call?" he asked. "Self-preservation."

Evan after paramedics arrived, the doctor made no mention of giving Jackson propofol because of "a consciousness of guilt," Walgren said.

He ridiculed the defense theory that Jackson injected himself with the fatal dose of propofol and denounced the testimony of defense expert Paul White who blamed Jackson for his own death.

"What you were presented by Dr. White was junk science. It was garbage science," Walgren said.

He also played statements of several doctors who testified that they would never have agreed to give Jackson propofol for insomnia in a private home.

"The setting represents an extreme violation of the standard of care," Walgren said. "No one ever did it until it was done to Michael Jackson. It is gross negligence and it is a cause of Michael Jackson's death."

At one point, Walgren suggested Murray was conducting "an obscene experiment" on Jackson.

With only Jackson and Murray present in the singer's room on the day he died, there will be things that are never be known about his death, Walgren said. But he said it was clear that Murray, untrained in anesthesiology, was incompetent.

"Conrad Murray is criminally liable," he said. "Justice demands a guilty verdict."

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AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.

 


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