Michael Jackson Trail: Bodyguard claims Murray was hiding evident
“(Murray) reached over and grabbed a handful of vials, and reached out to me and said, ‘Here put these in a bag,’” Alvarez told jurors of the critical minutes before an ambulance arrived at Jackson’s rented Holmby Hills mansion on June 25, 2009.
Murray cleared the vials from a nightstand while Jackson lay on a bed unresponsive – his arms outstretched, his palms up, his mouth and eyes wide open, Alvarez said.
The cardiologist, 58, then pointed toward an IV stand, Alvarez said, and told him to grab a saline bag hanging from it that held a glass bottle of propofol – the surgery-strength anesthetic Murray has admitted he pumped into Jackson.
“When I took it off, he instructed me to put it in a blue bag,” Alvarez said.
It was only after the scramble to scoop up evidence that Murray told him to call 911, Alvarez said, noting that he didn’t question Murray’s instructions because he deferred to the doctor’s authority.
“I believed Dr. Conrad Murray had the best intentions for Mr. Jackson,” he said. “I didn’t question his intentions at the time. I knew it was a medical emergency … I thought we were packing, getting ready to go to the hospital.”
Prosecutors hope Alvarez’s testimony will support their contention that Murray accidentally killed Jackson with a drug overdose and then deceived paramedics and emergency room doctors by not telling them about the propofol when specifically asked.
Murray’s defense team wants jurors to believe that after the doctor gave Jackson a small amount of the drug and left to use the bathroom, the music icon woke up and gave himself a much larger dose that killed him “so instantly he didn’t even have time to close his eyes.”
Defense lawyer Ed Chernoff used phone records to argue that the events related by Alvarez – including ushering Jackson’s kids out of the room – would have taken place over just 30 seconds.
“Do you think you could have performed all these events that are listed here in half a minute?” Chernoff asked.
“That’s what happened, sir,” Alvarez responded. “I’m very efficient, sir.”
“I guess so,” Chernoff added.
Jackson’s personal chef later took the stand and described seeing Dr. Murray in a panic at the foot of the stairs between 12:05 and 12:10 p.m. the day Jackson died – a time-frame before Murray’s first phone call seeking help from Jackson’s personal assistant.
“He was flustered, his eyes were big, he was screaming and he was panicked,” chef Kai Chase told jurors. “He yelled: ‘Go get help, go get security, go get Prince.’”
Chase said she ran to a nearby den, retrieved Jackson’s 12-year-old son Prince and returned to cooking.
“You never told Dr. Murray you were not going to get security?” defense lawyer Michael Flanagan asked.
“No,” Chase replied.
She earlier told a prosecutor that Murray never asked her to call 911 and she didn’t know what was going on upstairs.
She admitted she received about $7,000 from paid media interviews after Jackson’s death.