LOS ANGELES (AP) — A prosecutor told jurors Thursday that Michael Jackson’s doctor is responsible for the singer’s death and for leaving his children without a father.
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren invoked Jackson’s children early in his closing argument, saying the superstar had them in mind in his final days and they were a driving force behind his planned series of comeback concerts.
“For Michael’s children, this case will go on forever because they do not have a father,” Mr. Walgren said. “They do not have a father because of the actions of Conrad Murray.”
Mr. Walgren also recounted for jurors how Jackson’s daughter, Paris, came upon Dr. Murray frantically trying to revive her lifeless father and screaming, “Daddy!”
The prosecutor urged jurors to convict Dr. Murray of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009. Dr. Murray has pleaded not guilty.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence in this case is overwhelming,” the prosecutor said after thanking the panel for its attentiveness throughout the case.
“Michael Jackson trusted Conrad Murray,” he said. “He trusted him with his life.”
Throughout the trial, Mr. Walgren cast Dr. Murray as an inept, reckless physician who was distracted after giving the singer a powerful dose of the anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid.
He reminded jurors that Dr. Murray never mentioned to paramedics or emergency room doctors that he had been giving Jackson propofol for roughly two months before his death.
“That is consciousness of guilt,” Mr. Walgren said. “That is Conrad Murray knowing full well what caused Michael Jackson’s death.”
Using slides throughout his arguments, Mr. Walgren told jurors that Dr. Murray ordered more than four gallons of propofol and had it shipped to his girlfriend’s Los Angeles-area apartment.
Prosecutors say Dr. Murray was engaged in a lawful practice by giving propofol to Jackson but acted in a criminally negligent way by using the drug as an insomnia treatment without the presence of proper staff or medical equipment.
They also contend Dr. Murray botched resuscitation efforts and lied to other medical personnel about his actions.
The majority of the witnesses and evidence was presented by prosecutors, who must persuade the entire jury beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict Dr. Murray.
Mr. Walgren also referred to a recording of Jackson found on Dr. Murray’s cellphone in which the singer’s speech was slow and slurred. The prosecutor said it was not known why Dr. Murray made the recording but that it was made “by a doctor who will not keep a shred of medical records.”
Lead defense lawyer Ed Chernoff is likely to argue later in the day that Jackson was responsible for his own death and took a fatal dose of propofol when Dr. Murray left his bedroom.
Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor gave jurors instructions considering the evidence in the case and reminded them before Mr. Walgren began speaking that closing arguments are not evidence.
The seven-man, five-woman jury has listened attentively throughout the six-week trial, which featured 49 witnesses and complex medical testimony. They also heard several audio recordings, including Dr. Murray’s lengthy interview with police detectives.
The jury did not hear directly from Dr. Murray, who opted not to testify in his own defense.
The doctor could faces up to four years behind bars and the loss of his medical license if he’s convicted.
AP special correspondent Linda Deutsch contributed to this report.
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