Images of dead Michael Jackson opens court case

accreditation

Images of Michael Jackson lying dead in a hospital and rehearsing the day before his death, along with recollections of the singer as a troubled "lost boy," made for a heart-wrenching opening on Tuesday to the manslaughter trial of the doctor hired to care for him.

In opening arguments two years after Jackson's death by drug overdose of propofol and sedatives, prosecutor David Walgren told jurors the "Thriller" singer "literally put his life in the hands of Dr. Conrad Murray."

"That misplaced trust in the hands of Conrad Murray cost Michael Jackson his life," Walgren said.

But Murray's lawyers argued Jackson "caused his own death" by giving himself extra medication in a bid to sleep. "He died so rapidly, so instantly, he didn't even have time to close his eyes," defense attorney Ed Chernoff said in opening arguments.

Murray denies he is guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson on June 25, 2009, but admits giving the 50-year-old pop star a dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid. He faces a prison sentence of up to four years if convicted. The trial is expected to last four to six weeks.

The Texas cardiologist, who was paid $150,000 a month to care for Jackson, wiped away tears during Tuesday's opening statements as Chernoff defended him.

Jackson's lifeless body was found at his rented Los Angeles mansion just three weeks before a series of 50 planned London comeback concerts titled "This Is It" were scheduled to begin.

Kenny Ortega, the co-director of the concerts, testified that Jackson was excited about the shows because he wanted his young children to see him perform.

-Reuters

Follow YOU on Twitter.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
LATEST YOU
LATEST YOU
Read your favourite magazine in a convenient PDF form.
Read now