Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- The pretrial hearing for Dr. Conrad Murray continues Wednesday as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge decides whether there is "probable cause" to try him on an involuntary manslaughter charge in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.
The hearing, which began Tuesday, is expected to last two or three weeks, with 20 to 30 witnesses testifying.
On Tuesday, Jackson's former security chief testified that Murray seemed not to know how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation as he waited for paramedics to arrive at the singer's house.
Faheem Muhammed said he and and guard Alberto Alvarez saw Murray crouched next to Jackson's bed "in a panicked state asking, 'Does anyone know CPR?' "
"I looked at Alberto because we knew Dr. Murray was a heart surgeon, so we were shocked," Muhammed said.
Jackson's doctor heads to court Murray faces court hearing Events surrounding Jackson's death
When defense attorney Ed Chernoff asked if perhaps Murray was asking for help because he was tired, Muhammed said, "The way that he asked it is as if he didn't know CPR."
Jackson appeared to be dead at that time, with his "eyes open and his mouth open, just laying there," Muhammed said.
Prosecutor David Walgren earlier said that Murray used "ineffectual CPR with one hand while the patient was prone on a soft bed." Two hands with the patient prone on a hard surface is the proper method, he said.
Muhammed, the third witness on the opening day of the hearing, said he never saw
Murray performing CPR on Jackson before paramedics arrived and carried him to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Jackson's mother, Katherine, sister La Toya and brothers Randy and Jackie sat in the second row of the courtroom during Tuesday's opening session.
Jackson's two oldest children, Prince and Paris, were at their father's bedroom door as the drama unfolded just after noon on June 25, 2009, Muhammed said.
"Paris was on the floor on her hands and knees and she was just crying," he said.
The children would learn two hours later that their father had died when Murray and Jackson manager Frank Dileo talked to them in a hospital room.
"Frank blurted out and said, 'Your daddy had a heart attack and died,' " Jackson personal assistant Michael Williams testified.
At the start of the hearing Tuesday, the prosecutor said that Murray waited at least 21 minutes after he found Jackson unresponsive before calling for an ambulance.
"By all accounts, Michael Jackson was dead in the bedroom at 100 North Carolwood prior to the paramedics' arrival," Walgren said.
The coroner concluded Jackson died from "acute propofol intoxication" in combination with "the contributory effects of the benzodiazepines," Walgren said.
Propofol is a powerful anesthetic used to "put people under for surgery," and the benzodiazepines were sedatives Murray later acknowledged giving Jackson in the morning before his death, he said.
"Michael Jackson was preparing for one of the most important tours of his life" in the months before his death, Walgren said.
Murray's defense team has hinted it would argue that Jackson was under pressure from the concert promoter, which led him to demand treatments to help him sleep.
Kenny Ortega, who was directing what would have been Jackson's comeback concerts, was the first of about 30 witnesses the prosecution is calling.
Ortega described Jackson as "involved, active, participating" at his last rehearsal, which ended 12 or 14 hours before his death.
"He was in a delightful mood, and we had an absolutely fantastic day," Ortega testified.
But Ortega described a different, "scary" Jackson at the Staples Center rehearsal on June 19, six nights before his death.
"I just felt that he appeared, you know, really lost," Ortega said. "It was scary. I didn't know what was wrong. I couldn't put my finger on it."
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