Testimony resumes in trial of Michael Jackson doc

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“We have to be phenomenal,” Jackson is heard saying in the recording, which investigators gleaned from Murray’s phone after the singer’s death. “When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, `I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go. I’ve never seen nothing like this. Go. It’s amazing. He’s the greatest entertainer in the world.’”

Murray’s lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff also noted Jackson’s desire for success, but that the singer’s ambition ultimately prompted him to give himself a fatal dose of medication.

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

Michael Jackson started begging,” Chernoff said. “When Michael Jackson told Dr. Murray, `I have to sleep. They will cancel my performance,’ he meant it.”

He told jurors that Jackson swallowed enough of the sedative lorazepam to put six people to sleep before ingesting propofol. The combination, which Chernoff called a “perfect storm” of medications, killed Jackson so quickly that he didn’t even have chance to close his eyes.

Prosecutors reject Murray’s version and told jurors the Houston-based cardiologist also had a tremendous stake in Jackson appearing in the concerts.

The doctor had initially asked to be paid $5 million a year for working with Jackson, but Gongaware said he immediately rejected the proposal. Instead Murray accepted an offer to become Jackson’s doctor for $150,000 a month _ a sum he was never paid because his contract hadn’t been signed before Jackson’s death.

Murray still has plenty to lose _ if convicted he faces up to four years in prison and will have to relinquish his medical license.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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