Michael Jackson Judge Issues Gag Order After Attorney's 'Today' Show Appearance (Video)
Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, told emergency room staff that he was treating the singer for dehydration and mentioned nothing about the powerful medications the King of Pop was taking the night he died, a witness said Friday during the doctor's manslaughter trial in Los Angeles.
UCLA Medical Center physician Richelle Cooper testified that Murray said Jackson had no health problems other than "working long hours" and being "dehydrated," and that Murray made no mention of Jackson's use of the heavy sedative propofol.
ABC News notes that paramedic Richard Senneff, who examined a dead Jackson at his Holmby Hills home, said Murray repeatedly denied that Jackson was on heavy medications despite evidence to the contrary at the scene: "I asked what his underlying health condition was. He [Conrad Murray] did not respond. ... I asked again. ... He did not respond…The third time he said nothing, nothing, he has nothing."
Senneff continued, "That did not add up to me. I see an underweight patient, I see an IV here and I see medication vials on the nightstand."
In addition to the testimony about Murray's nondisclosures Friday, Judge Michael Pastor issued a gag order for all attorneys working on the case, reports Reuters. The order followed an appearance by defense attorney Matthew Alford on the Today show in which he said his team would keep Murray off the witness stand as long as possible, and that Jackson was addicted to propofol.
"The attorneys for the parties in this case ... are ordered not to comment to anyone outside of their respective teams either directly or indirectly regarding any aspects of this case, whether orally or in writing," Pastor said.
Jackson died June 25, 2009 at the age of 50. A 51-page coroner's report concluded that the entertainer died of "acute propofol intoxication." Propofol is usually administered during surgery but Jackson was reportedly using it as a sleeping aide.
Murray is on trial for involuntary manslaughter; the trial is expected to last about five weeks. If he is convicted, he could spend four years in a California prison and lose his medical license.
Alford's interview with Today's Ann Curry begins at the 4:20 mark below: