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Jurors get first glimpse of doctor’s personality
Question of the Day
“It’s a different effect to tell the story with gentle prodding from detectives as opposed to the brutal shredding of his account that would happen if he took the stand,” he said.
Murray’s lawyer, Ed Chernoff, was present and frequently added comments, telling his client to add details he might have left out.
Thomas Mesereau Jr., who won Jackson’s acquittal in a child molestation trial, said he listened to the tape carefully and felt it may have helped the defense in painting a picture of Murray as a caring physician.
“He doesn’t sound like a menacing person,” said Mesereau. “He sounds like a likable person, a decent person.”
Mesereau said it’s clear that Murray was trying to head off a criminal charge and instead he gave authorities ammunition with which to charge him.
Detectives sounded confused when Murray mentioned that he had been giving Jackson “milk” every night. “He said, `Please, please give me some milk so that I can sleep, because I know that this is all that really works for me,’” Murray said.
“Hot milk or warm?” one of them asks naively.
“It’s just some medicine … that he is familiar with,” Murray said.
Asked to name the medicine, he said, “propofol” and detectives asked him to spell it.
“And what is this propofol?” asked Detective Stephen Smith.
“It is a sedative that could also be used for anesthesia,” said Murray.
In fact, propofol is a powerful anesthetic used for surgery in hospital settings. Mention of propofol opened up more questions from the detectives.
Under further inquiry, Murray painted a picture of Jackson as a performer besieged by insomnia which threatened to torpedo his “This Is It” comeback concert. He also pointed a finger at other doctors who had introduced Jackson to propofol and gave it to him in such quantities that he became dependent on it.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
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