Trial for Michael Jackson's Doctor, Conrad Murray, Starts

1:06 PM PST 09/27/2011 by THR staff
Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images

Opening statements were made by the prosecution and Murray's lawyers on the first day of the trial, expected to last five weeks.

The manslaughter trial for Michael Jackson's personal doctor, Conrad Murray, began on Tuesday, with the prosecutor saying that the doctor's negligence caused the singer to die, the New York Times reports.

"The acts and the omissions of Michael Jackson's personal doctor, Conrad Murray, directly led to his premature death at age 50," deputy district attorney David Walgren of Los Angeles said during opening statements on Tuesday.

Walgren said that Murray had "repeatedly acted with gross negligence" and "incompetence" in the singer's death.
During the statements, jurors saw a photograph of Jackson after he died with "homicide" above the image and Walgren played a soft recording of Jackson from 2009 discussing comeback shows. The trial is expected to go on for five weeks.

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Prosecutors said Murray failed to safeguard Jackson in several ways, and they noted that Murray sent texts and spoke on his cell phone while administering a anesthetic used during surgeries to Jackson.

Murray's lawyers say the singer took an extra dose of anesthetic while the doctor was in the bathroom. Murray's attorney, Ed Chernoff, told the jury that Jackson created a "perfect storm in his body" that led to his death.

When Jackson died, he was rehearsing for This Is It, a set of sold-out concerts in London. In court documents, prosecutors claim that when Murray realized there was an issue, he first called Jackson's security team and not 911. It is unclear how long it took for the 911 call to be made, but it looks to have been between nine to 20 minutes, prosecutors say.

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