Hearing will decide if Dr. Conrad Murray can be tried for involuntary manslaughter

By Josh Rottenberg
January 14, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

A year and a half after the death of pop icon Michael Jackson, the singer’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, entered a Los Angeles courtroom Jan. 4 for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there’s sufficient evidence to try him on charges of involuntary manslaughter. Over several days of dramatic testimony, with members of Jackson’s family in attendance, prosecutors laid out their case that Murray gave Jackson a lethal dose of the powerful sedative propofol, botched efforts to revive the singer, and withheld vital information about medication Jackson had been given. Murray has pleaded not guilty, and defense attorneys are expected to introduce testimony suggesting Jackson may have given himself the lethal injection.

According to courtroom reports, bodyguard Alberto Alvarez testified that Murray ordered him to place several vials and an IV bag into other bags before calling 911. Two paramedics and an emergency-room doctor said Murray never mentioned Jackson had been given propofol, and a specialty pharmacist in Las Vegas testified that he sent Murray large quantities of propofol in the months before Jackson’s death. In the hearing’s most emotional moment, Alvarez recalled Jackson’s two oldest children, Paris and Prince, watching as Murray worked to revive their father: ”I told them, ‘Don’t worry, children, we’ll take care of it.”’

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