Defense attorneys for Conrad Murray challenged testimony by two of Michael Jackson’s employees Thursday after they described behavior by Murray that prosecutors allege indicated he was trying to cover up the truth about his treatment of the singer instead of trying to save him.
Murray is on trial for involuntary manslaughter in connection with Jackson’s death, which occurred on June 25, 2009 after prosecutors say Murray gave him an overdose of the drug propofol.
One of Jackson’s security guards, Alberto Alvarez, testified that Murray directed him to put a bottle of propofol and some other vials in bag before he had Alvarez call 911. Alvarez said he did not question Murray’s motives at the time and thought he might have been packing them up to bring to the hospital, but he then saw detectives carrying a similar bag out of the house in a news report later that month.
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff contended that phone records show that only about 30 seconds elapsed between Alvarez arriving in the bedroom where Jackson’s body was and his call to 911, and Chernoff listed over a dozen things that Alvarez claimed occurred during that time.
“I’m very efficient, sir,” Alvarez responded when asked how that was all possible.
Chernoff also pointed out that Alvarez did not tell police about putting the drugs in the bag or many of the other details in his testimony when he first spoke to them on June 25, 2009. He revealed much of that information for the first time in a meeting with detectives two months later, after seeing news reports, talking to an attorney, to other Jackson employees and to tabloids that were offering him up to $500,000 for interviews.
Alvarez said he refused all paid interview requests, despite having serious financial problems. Still, Chernoff suggested that the story he told investigators in August 2009 was a much more interesting version of events than he had provided to them in June.
Chernoff had previously questioned Jackson’s personal assistant and chief of security about similar discrepancies between the information they gave police in June 2009 and what they said two months later and at a preliminary hearing earlier this year.
On Thursday, Chernoff also questioned the actions of Jackson’s personal chef, Kai Chase, who was working at the house at the time of Jackson’s death. Chase testified that Murray came to her about ten minutes before Alvarez arrived, nervous, frantic and screaming at her, “Get help, get security, get Prince.”
In response, Chase sent Prince, Jackson’s oldest son, upstairs to help Murray and returned to preparing lunch without calling security.
“Did you think that a 12-year-old child was going to be able to assist this doctor with a problem with Michael?” Chernoff asked.
Chase responded that she did what Murray told her to do.
Chase testified earlier on Tuesday that she saw Jackson’s children crying and screaming while Murray and the security personnel were upstairs trying to revive him. She said that she and the housekeeping staff joined hands with the children and prayed.
Chase told the jury that her heart is still broken over what happened that day.
Two paramedics who responded to Alvarez’s 911 call are expected to take the stand Friday.