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Testimony resumes in trial of MJ's doc

world Updated: Sep 29, 2011 01:28 IST
AP
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Testimony has resumed in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor, with a concert promoter telling jurors that the singer appeared strong during one his final rehearsals.

Paul Gongaware is an executive for AEG Live, which was promoting Jackson's planned series of comeback concerts in 2009. He watched the pop superstar perform at the singer's final two rehearsals and says Jackson appeared engaged and energetic.

It is the second day of the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, who has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with Jackson's death. He faces up to four years in prison and loss of his medical license if convicted.

Gongaware was questioned by a prosecutor briefly Wednesday morning and is now being questioned by defense attorneys.

Promoter says Jackson looked healthy at rehearsal

Two days before he died, Michael Jackson appeared strong during one of the final rehearsals for his highly anticipated comeback concerts, a promoter told jurors Wednesday as the involuntary manslaughter trial of the pop superstar's physician entered its second day.

Paul Gongaware, an executive for AEG Live, said Jackson appeared engaged and energetic during the session.

Prosecutors called Gongaware to show the importance of Jackson's comeback concerts and in an apparent attempt to show that both the singer and his physician were deeply engaged in preparations for the show before Jackson died on June 25, 2009.

Gongaware also testified that he saw Dr. Conrad Murray at one of Jackson's rehearsals after people affiliated with the planned concerts complained that the singer had been missing some of the sessions.

Prosecutors wrapped up their direct questioning of Gongaware before defense attorney Ed Chernoff briefly questioned the executive.

Under the cross-examination, Gongaware acknowledged the concert giant is being sued by Jackson's mother for negligent supervision of defendant Murray when he worked with Jackson.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with Jackson's death.

Prosecutors allege Murray caused Jackson's death by providing him with a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives without the proper lifesaving equipment or skills.

Another AEG employee, attorney Kathy Jorrie, testified about drafting a contract for Murray to work as Jackson's personal physician.

At one point in negotiations, Murray requested his contract be modified to allow him to hire another physician in case he was tired or unavailable while Jackson was performing in London, she testified.

"He wanted to make sure that there was somebody else available to be of assistance," Jarrie said.

Prosecutors also planned to call one of Jackson's bodyguards and his personal assistant, who Murray frantically called after he found the singer unconscious.

In opening statements Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said Murray delayed summoning emergency crews and lied to doctors and medics when he failed to reveal he had been giving Jackson the medications to try to help the entertainer sleep.

Chernoff claimed Jackson gave himself a fatal dose of medication in a desperate attempt to get some sleep.

He said Murray had been trying to wean Jackson off propofol, but the entertainer kept requesting it on the day he died.

"Michael Jackson started begging," Chernoff said.

Jackson's assistant recounts doctor's urgent call

Michael Jackson's former personal assistant says he fielded an urgent phone call from the doctor charged in the singer's death but was never told to call emergency services.

Michael Amir Williams told jurors that defendant Dr. Conrad Murray simply told him that Jackson had a bad reaction. Williams dispatched a security guard to the bedroom of Jackson's rented mansion, where Murray had been giving the singer the anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid.

Authorities contend the Houston-based cardiologist gave Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic and other sedatives. Murray's attorneys claim Jackson gave himself the fatal dose while the doctor was out of the room.


Lawyer says Jackson doctor sought CPR machine

An attorney for the promoter of Michael Jackson's final concerts said Wednesday the singer's personal physician asked the company for life-saving equipment just days before the pop superstar's death.

Kathy Jorrie, who works for concert giant AEG Live, testified at the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray that she questioned some of the doctor's requests, which also included the possibility of hiring a second doctor to assist him.

"Dr. Murray told me Michael Jackson was perfectly healthy, in excellent condition," Jorrie testified. She said Murray told her not to worry about Jackson's condition.

"He's great," she recounted the doctor telling her in a conversation the day before Jackson's death. Murray asked for a CPR machine in case one wasn't available at the concert venue at London's O2 arena, Jorrie explained.

Prosecutors allege Murray caused Jackson's death by providing him with a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives without the proper lifesaving equipment or skills.

Earlier in the day, a promoter told jurors that Jackson appeared strong during one of the final rehearsals for the highly anticipated comeback concerts.

Paul Gongaware, an executive for AEG Live, said Jackson seemed engaged and energetic during the session just two days before he died.

Prosecutors called Gongaware to show the importance of the concerts and in an apparent attempt to show that both the singer and his physician were deeply engaged in preparations for the show before Jackson died on June 25, 2009.

Gongaware also testified that he saw Murray at one of Jackson's rehearsals after people affiliated with the planned concerts complained that the singer had been missing some of the sessions.

Prosecutors wrapped up their direct questioning of Gongaware before defense attorney Ed Chernoff briefly questioned the executive.

Under the cross-examination by defense attorney Ed Chernoff, Gongaware acknowledged AEG is being sued by Jackson's mother for negligent supervision of Murray when he worked with Jackson.

Jorrie also testified about drafting a contract for Murray to work as Jackson's personal physician.

At one point in negotiations, Murray requested his contract be modified to allow him to hire another physician in case he was tired or unavailable while Jackson was performing in London, she testified.

"He wanted to make sure that there was somebody else available to be of assistance," Jorrie said.

Prosecutors also planned to call one of Jackson's bodyguards and his personal assistant. Murray frantically called the assistant after he found the singer unconscious.

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