|Trial Testimony Update - Tuesday|
(25-10-2011) Day 17 of the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray got off to a rocky start due to rain that hindered the juror's arrival. Then the day's first witness, Nurse Cherilyn Lee, hadn't answered the first question when she told the Judge that she was experiencing dizziness and asked for a short break.
"This is just very sensitive for me," she explained.
Once returning to the stand, Lee told the courtroom that she tried to treat Michael Jackson's insomnia with holistic sleep aids in the months before he died. But in April 2009 he asked her about the surgical anesthetic, Dipravan - the brand name of propofol.
Lee said Jackson told her it was the only thing that would knock him out and induce the sleep he needed.
Lee said she had never heard of the drug before but, she researched it and learned of its significant side effects, and that it was only supposed to be administered for surgery in a hospital setting.
She told Jackson the drug was too dangerous to be administered in a home setting, but said Jackson seemed unpersuaded.
She broke down in tears as she said, "He said, 'I will be OK; I only need someone to monitor me with the equipment when I sleep.'"
Lee was called to the stand by the defense, but her testimony had mixed impact. Although she supported the defense theory that Jackson was shopping for someone to provide him with propofol, the prosecution used her testimony to show that she had clearly told Jackson no, pointing out to him the warnings of the drug, and implying that Murray should have known the dangers as well and refused Jackson's request.
Under cross-examination by prosecutor David Walgren, Lee acknowledged a conversation with Jackson in which she told him, "No one who cared or had your best interest at heart would give you this."
On Monday, Jackson's long-time physician Dr. Allen Metzger also testified that Jackson had asked him for an IV anesthetic to use as a sleep aid, never mentioning a specific drug. Metzger also refused and instead prescribed sleeping pills that had been effective in the past.
Also on Tuesday, Murray's lead attorney, Ed Chernoff said his client will not testify on his own behalf. This prompted Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor to say he would later inform Murray of his right to testify, even if that conflicted with the defense strategy.
Chernoff asked if the judge was legally obligated to give that guidance. "It's a requirement under Michael E. Pastor law," Pastor told the attorney.
Judge Pastor also blocked defense attorneys from introducing testimony about Jackson's contract with AEG, the concert promoters of his London shows.
Defense attorneys wanted to show that Jackson would have owed $40 million to the promoter if the concerts were canceled. They contend that Jackson was desperate to make sure the shows continued and needed sleep to get through his rehearsals.
Pastor said there was no evidence Jackson was concerned about the money and allowing testimony about the contract might confuse jurors.
"This is not a contractual dispute. This is a homicide case," Pastor said.
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|21/5/1988||Being on tour in Rome (Italy), Michael visits the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo in the Vatican.|