“It violates not only the standard of care but the decency of one human being to another,” he said. “Dr. Murray abandoned Michael when he needed help.”
He said he sent a message to Randy Phillips, producer of the “This Is It” concert, telling him that Jackson was ill, probably should have a psychological evaluation and was not ready to perform.
“It’s important for everyone to know he really wants this,” he wrote. “It would shatter him, break his heart if we pulled the plug. He’s terribly frightened it’s all going to go away.”
In response to the email, Ortega said, a meeting was called at Jackson’s house where Ortega clashed with Murray, who told him to stop playing amateur psychiatrist and doctor.
Within a few days, he said, Jackson had recouped his energy and was full of enthusiasm for the show.
During the defense opening statement, Chernoff referred to Dr. Arnold Klein, Jackson’s dermatologist, who the judge decided will not testify.
He told jurors that Klein would not be testifying but his records would be available and an addiction specialist would testify that one of the side effects of Demerol withdrawal is trouble sleeping. Chernoff said Murray was unaware of a Demerol shot administered to Jackson on June 16 and thus didn’t realize there could be a fatal interaction with propofol.
Klein’s attorney, Garo Ghazarian, later in the day issued a statement calling the allegations preposterous and “merely an attempt to whitewash the facts surrounding the death of … Michael Jackson while under the management of Dr. Conrad Murray.”
He noted there were no traces of Demerol in Jackson’s autopsy or in his home, indicating he was not addicted. He also said Klein’s use of the drug was not excessive. He noted that Klein was cleared by authorities of any wrongdoing in Jackson’s death.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP