LOS ANGELES (AP) - The judge hearing the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor blocked defense lawyers from asking about the singer’s multimillion-dollar contract for his final concert series.
Defense attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray had wanted to introduce Jackson’s contract with concert giant AEG Live to show that he would be heavily indebted to the promoter if the concerts were canceled. They said Jackson would be desperate to make sure the shows continued.
“This is not a contractual dispute. This is a homicide case,” Pastor said.
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff told Pastor that Jackson would have been indebted to AEG Live for nearly $40 million if the shows were canceled. Chernoff contends that led Jackson to give himself a dose of the anesthetic propofol in a desperate attempt to sleep.
Prosecutors contend Murray, who has pleaded not guilty, gave the fatal dose.
Although Pastor blocked the AEG contract testimony, he will allow some testimony from Randy Phillips, the company’s president and CEO. The judge said Chernoff could ask Phillips about putting together the shows, titled “This Is It,” the singer’s conduct during a March 2009 press conference and any issues that may have occurred with Jackson’s performance of rehearsals.
Lee began her testimony Monday, the sixth witness that Murray’s attorneys called to try to shift the blame for Jackson’s death to the singer himself. Lee’s testimony was briefly delayed Tuesday after she appeared flustered on the witness stand and said she had become dizzy.
Murray’s team plans Tuesday to call other witnesses who they think may support that theory, including Phillips and Jackson’s makeup artist and hairstylist, Karen Faye. They will also call several expert witnesses who will try to rebut the testimony of prosecution experts who said Murray was reckless and at fault in Jackson’s unexpected death on June 25, 2009.
One of the initial defense witnesses, Dr. Allan Metzger, supported prosecutors’ contentions that Murray acted recklessly by giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid and that the singer was looking forward to the show.
“He was excited,” Metzger said of Jackson’s demeanor during conversations and a house call in the months before the singer’s death. “He was talking to me about some creative things that he was thinking about. He spoke to me about his excitement and his fear about the tour.”
The doctor, who knew and treated Jackson for more than 15 years, testified the pop superstar asked him about IV medications during his house call.View Entire Story
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