Patient tells jury about Jackson doctor’s care

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former patient of the doctor charged in Michael Jackson’s death told jurors the physician saved his life.

Robert Russell of Las Vegas lauded Dr. Conrad Murray’s treatment of him, but testified Friday that his cardiologist became increasingly distant and hard to reach while working with Jackson.

Russell told jurors he couldn’t get answers about his treatment from Murray’s office on June 25, 2009 and demanded to speak to the doctor. The doctor left him a voicemail at 11:49 a.m.

Prosecutors are using records to show that Murray was on the phone in the moments before he realized Jackson was unconscious.

Russell told jurors Murray’s message seemed odd because the doctor said he was going on sabbatical, despite telling the salesman and his wife months earlier that he was going to work for Jackson.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

An executive for the maker of a medical device used by Michael Jackson’s doctor to monitor the singer told jurors on Friday that the equipment was not adequate for the continuous monitoring of patients.

The $275 fingertip device that monitors the pulse and blood oxygen levels was recovered after Jackson’s death and was being used by Dr. Conrad Murray while he was giving the singer doses of the surgical anesthetic propofol.

Prosecutors called Nonin Medical executive Bob Johnson to try to show that Murray lacked enough equipment to care for the singer during the treatments. Propofol is normally administered in hospital settings.

Johnson said the model that Murray used had no audible alarm and was not intended to be used for the continuous monitoring of patients.

Murray, 58, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, Murray could face up to four years in prison and lose his medical license.

Jurors are expected Friday to hear from paramedics who responded to the singer’s rented mansion and tried to revive him.

Martin Blount and Richard Senneff had previously testified at a preliminary hearing that Murray never mentioned giving Jackson the powerful anesthetic propofol and told them the singer lost consciousness moments before an ambulance was called.

Both men believed the singer had died by the time they arrived, but Murray insisted Jackson be taken to a hospital for more resuscitation efforts.

The prosecution witnesses will likely provide jurors more insight into Jackson’s final moments as futile attempts were made to revive the unresponsive superstar as the trial enters its fourth day.

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