LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Disturbing sounds and images from Michael Jackson’s life and death played a key role yesterday in the manslaughter trial of his doctor, with jurors hearing a recording of the self-styled King of Pop speaking in a slurred voice and viewing a photo of his dead body.
Prosecutors also showed pictures of a jug of urine found by Jackson’s bed after his June 25, 2009 death, and a coroner’s investigator testified she found a large collection of sedatives and painkillers in the “Thriller” singer’s room.
A recording of a May 2009 conversation between the singer and his physician, Dr Conrad Murray, marked one of the most dramatic moments in the doctor’s week-old trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Jackson is heard speaking slowly, in a low and at times incoherent voice, slurring his words.
“My performances will be up there helping my children and always be my dream,” Jackson said.
“I love them because I didn’t have a childhood. I had no childhood. I feel their pain.”
“Elvis didn’t do it. Beatles didn’t do it. We have to be phenomenal,” Jackson is heard saying of his planned 50 London comeback concerts. He said he wanted to use the profits from the shows to fund a children’s hospital.
Jackson’s brother Jermaine Jackson wiped away tears while listening to the tape.
Prosecutors are seeking to prove through the tape Murray knew the powerful effects of the drugs they claim he was giving Jackson, well before the singer died in his care.
Murray denies involuntary manslaughter — or criminal negligence — in Jackson’s death from what medical examiners have said was an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol combined with sedatives.
The doctor has admitted giving Jackson propofol that day as a sleep aid. But his attorneys claim Jackson gave himself an extra, fatal dose of propofol when Murray was out of the room.
Coroner’s investigator Elissa Fleak testified yesterday she found a large collection of drugs and medical paraphernalia scattered through Jackson’s bedroom and an adjoining walk-in closet. They included vials of propofol and the sedative lorazepam.
There were also other drugs in a wicker basket beside Jackson’s bed that were prescribed by doctors other than Murray. Some bottles were made out to “Mick Jackson” or “Omar Arnold.”
Fleak said it was she who took a photo of Jackson lying dead on a hospital gurney that was shown to the jury yesterday.
Murray faces a maximum of four years in prison if convicted.