Who's responsible for MJ's death?

NEED TO KNOW
  • Closing arguments begin in Michael Jackson wrongful death trial
  • Dr. Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after giving Jackson fatal dose of propofol
  • AEG Live says it's not liable because Jackson hid drug abuse
  • Jackson family says AEG negligently hired Murray
Closing arguments begin in the wrongful death suit against Michael Jackson promoter AEG Live.

What you need to know about the MJ trial

What you need to know about the MJ trial

Watch: Conrad Murray found guilty

Watch: Conrad Murray found guilty

Closing arguments in the wrongful death lawsuit against AEG Live, the concert promoter for Michael Jackson's "This Is It" tour, began Tuesday afternoon in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Jackson's family says AEG Live executives negligently hired, retained or supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, the man found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for Jackson's death.

Get caught up: What you need to know about the MJ trial

Lawyers for AEG Live's defense contend that Jackson's secrecy about his drug use made it impossible for executives to know that Murray posed a danger to the singer as he prepared for his comeback tour. Jackson was scheduled to perform a record-setting 50 concerts in the same venue, O2 Arena in London.

HLN is live-blogging closing arguments. Read below for minute-by-minute updates from the trial (best read from the bottom up):

6:59 p.m. ET: Panish has ended his closing argument. He thanked the jury, and told the jury he will give a shorter rebuttal argument Thursday. AEG's attorneys will give their closing argument tomorrow. The judge told the parties to report to the courtroom tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. ET.

6:55 p.m. ET: Panish said he believes each of Jackson's children should be awarded $85 million dollars for past and future losses.

6:50 p.m. ET: Panish is playing a song Jackson wrote for his children, while video plays of Jackson with his children.

6:47 p.m. ET: Panish said Paris was there when her father overdosed, and it was very traumatic for her.

6:42 p.m. ET: Prince was very close to his father, and he was like his father's little assistant according to Panish.

6:36 p.m. ET: Panish is now detailing the non-monetary losses Jackson's children have suffered from his death.

6:33 p.m. ET: Jackson wrote poetry for his mother. 

6:29 p.m. ET: This is a picture of the Jackson family home in Gary, Indiana.

6:27 p.m. ET: Panish is showing the jury some pictures of Jackson with his family.

6:25 p.m. ET: "Death lasts forever," said Panish. "This will never be replaced."

6:23 p.m. ET: Panish is now discussing how the Jackson family has suffered loss besides monetary losses. He is explaining that Jackson family will no longer feel MJ's love or comfort.

6:19 p.m. ET: Panish has picked back up with his closing argument. He says AEG wanted Jackson to perform, because his tour was going to make a large profit. He also says Jackson invested in his family.

5:57 p.m. ET: The video is over, and Panish said the video of past performances was the best evidence that Jackson could have still sold out shows if he had lived. Court is now in a 15 minute break.

5:52 p.m. ET: The video of past performances has been playing for more than 10 minutes now.

5:48 p.m. ET: The video also showed Jackson's first moonwalk at the 25th Anniversary of the Grammy's.

5:42 p.m. ET: The video of past performances shows Jackson performing with the Jackson 5 as a child, and also shows him performing to sold out crowds as an adult.

5:38 p.m. ET: Panish is playing a video of Jackson's performances for the jury so they can see he could have still earned a substantial amount of money if he lived.

5:36 p.m. ET: AEG's own accounting figures indicate that Jackson was going to earn close to $1.5 billion on his final tour.

5:34 p.m. ET: Panish just played a clip from "This is it" with Kenny Ortega saying that Jackson could have sold out 200 shows on his final tour.

5:31 p.m. ET: Panish said Katherine Jackson should be awarded less money than his children, because her life expectancy is much shorter.

5:27 p.m. ET: When deciding how much to award Katherine Jackson and Michael's kids, Panish tells jurors they have to use common sense to decide "what is just and fair."

5:25 p.m. ET: "Unfortunately nothing can bring Michael Jackson back… in our society there’s a tremendous value placed on human life," said Panish. He has started talking about Jackson's mom, Katherine, saying there is no word for a parent who has lost a child because it's "an indescribable loss that no parent should ever experience."

5:22 p.m. ET: Panish is moving on to the next set of questions, which address compensatory damages.

5:19 p.m. ET: A timeline of Jackson's medical treatments is displayed  on a slide. Panish says Jackson survived 50 years of procedures with "never a single issue." He says the one thing that changed was AEG and Murray.

5:16 p.m. ET: Panish tells jurors they don't need to spend much time on question #4 and moves on to question #5: "Was AEG Live’s negligence in hiring, supervising, or retaining Dr. Conrad Murray a substantial factor in causing Michael Jackson and the Jackson Plaintiffs’ harm?"

5:15 p.m. ET: Panish moves on to question #4, saying the answer is "obviously" yes: "Did Dr. Conrad Murray’s unfitness or incompetence harm Michael Jackson and the Jackson Plaintiffs?"

5:10 p.m. ET: Jackson was described by a witness earlier in the trial as "very, very underweight... like someone who was at the end stage of a -- of a long disease process."

5:04 p.m. ET: One AEG employee said Jackson was so thin, he could see his heart beating in his chest. Another employee expressed fears Jackson was going to die and needed to be hospitalized, according to Panish.

5:01 p.m. ET: The director of Jackson's show e-mailed AEG executives, telling them Jackson was in trouble and needed a mental evaluation, according to Panish.

4:59 p.m. ET: E-mails Panish reads in court show there were concerns about "trouble at the front" when it came to Jackson's health and his tour.

4:56 p.m. ET: The director of the show, Kenny Ortega, was supposed to monitor Jackson's health, according to Panish. "The pressure was on," said Panish. Jackson and Ortega then put the pressure on Murray, according to Panish. 

4:52 p.m. ET: Panish says everyone knew Jackson had problems sleeping and needed help to treat his insomnia.

4:48 p.m. ET: Testimony from earlier in the trial continues to be played by Panish.

4:41 p.m. ET: Panish warns the courtroom not to laugh as he replays testimony by a few AEG executives who are edited together to say "I don't know" or "I don't remember" several times.

4:38 p.m. ET: Jackson family attorney Brian Panish has continued working his way through the jury verdict form, addressing question #3: "Did AEG Live know or should it have known that Dr. Conrad Murray was unfit or incompetent and that this unfitness or incompetence created a particular risk to others?"

4:36 p.m. ET: Court is now in session.

4:32 p.m. ET: Closing arguments should begin again any minute now.

2:59 p.m. ET: The judge has recessed the court for lunch. Closing arguments will resume at 4:30 p.m. ET.

2:57 p.m. ET: "It's not a stretch that he was unfit and incompetent -- come on," Panish said, in reference to Murray.

2:55 p.m. ET: A detective working for the LAPD was easily able to determine Murray was financially "a mess," which was a motivation for what he did, according to Panish.

2:52 p.m. ET: Conrad Murray asking for $5 million to go on tour was a red flag showing he was "unfit, incompetent and outrageous," according to Panish.

2:50 p.m. ET: Panish says AEG Live wanted complete control over Murray and that some people do things they normally wouldn't do because of a need for money.

2:47 p.m. ET: Video being played in court shows AEG executive Paul Gongaware being asked about the e-mail he sent (mentioned in previous entry). He says he doesn't member sending it or what it means. "We weren't paying his salary," Gongaware said. He then says he doesn't know whose salary he's even talking about.

"It would be funny, but for somebody who has lost his life... I don't think it's funny," Panish said.

2:42 p.m. ET: Panish shows this e-mail to the jury, sent between AEG execs: "We want to remind him that it is AEG, not MJ who is paying his salary."

2:40 p.m. ET: Panish says Murray swore to do no harm but did it anyway: "Why did he do it? For the money."

2:39 p.m. ET: "Was Dr. Murray swayed by the conflict of the money vs. the patient?" asked Panish.

2:36 p.m. ET: Murray had two obligations: One to the entity paying him money (AEG) and one to his patient (Jackson), according to Panish.

2:27 p.m. ET: Panish moves on to the second question on the verdict form: "Was Dr. Conrad Murray unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired?" Panish says it's obvious Murray is unfit and incompetent because he killed the King of Pop and wasn't trained to treat insomnia.

2:22 p.m. ET: Panish says Murray was included on AEG Live budgets.

2:19 p.m. ET: Why would AEG let Murray have control over Jackson's rehearsal schedule if he wasn't hired by them, asks Panish.

2:13 p.m. ET: Panish is showing e-mails between AEG Live and Murray that he says prove they had a contract.

2:04 p.m. ET: Panish is still going over the first jury question: "Did AEG Live hire Dr. Conrad Murray?" He says a contract can be written or oral, partially written or partially oral and that oral contracts are just as valid as written contracts.

1:58 p.m. ET: On the issue of whether AEG Live hired Dr. Murray, Panish says the evidence overwhelming shows that they did.

1:55 p.m. ET: "If the scale [of justice] tips ever so slightly, we have met the burden of proof," said Panish, who must show AEG Live negligently hired, supervised or retained Dr. Murray.

1:53 p.m. ET: Panish is walking jurors through what needs to be proven in this case and who has the burden of proof.

1:51 p.m. ET: Dr. Murray broke his Hippocratic oath and AEG Live is responsible, according to Panish.

1:47 p.m. ET: An AEG exec had to throw Jackson in a shower and slap him before the press conference that announced his "This Is It" tour, according to Panish. Executives exchanged e-mails after saying, "We can't back off now, it would be a disaster for the company."

1:45 p.m. ET: Panish says AEG wanted Jackson to perform so badly "they would do whatever it took to get him on stage and they told that to Dr. Murray."

1:42 p.m. ET: "He had abused prescription medications during times of pain, anxiety, stress," said Panish.

1:39 p.m. ET: “The whole world stopped when the King of Pop died and everyone grieved,” said Panish.

1:37 p.m. ET: Panish says Michael Jackson “danced, walked, moon walked on this earth for nearly 50 years… someone like that only comes around every so often. We may never see the likes of Michael Jackson ever again… That gift came at a huge price.”

1:34 p.m. ET: Jackson family attorney Brian Panish begins his closing argument by thanking the jury for its service. Jurors have been listening to this case for five months.

1:24 p.m. ET: Katherine Jackson and daughter Rebbie have entered the courtroom. Grandchildren Taj and TJ Jackson (the sons of Tito) are now sitting with their grandmother.

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