Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images
Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images
UPDATE 4:16 p.m.: Court is adjourned for the day, with the judge asking the jury to return tomorrow at 8:45 a.m.
UPDATE 2:56 p.m.: This Is It tour cocreator Kenny Ortega, who also worked with Jackson on Dangerous and HIStory, testified that he had been seeing the singer at least four times a week and that Jackson was primed to get back onstage, not only for his fans, but for his kids. They didn't attend the rehearsals in Burbank, he said, because their dad didn't want them to miss school. Not long after he met Murray, Ortega said, Jackson started missing rehearsals. "My friend wasn't right," he said. "There was something going on. It was deeply troubling me." In the wee hours of June 20, Ortega sent an email to AEG Live president Randy Phillips:
"My concern is now that we have brought the doctor into the fold and have played the tough love now or never card, that the artist may be unable to rise to the occasion due to real emotional stuff," he wrote, the letter projected onto a screen for the jury to see. "He appeared quite weak and fatigued this evening. He had a case of the chills, was trembling, rambling and obsessing."
The following day, Ortega said, he called the house and Murray warned him to stop trying to be Michael's doctor. Jackson also asked his friend to believe in him. On June 23 and the following day, Ortega said, Jackson was "fully involved" at rehearsal.
Then, on June 25, he received word that Jackson had been taken to the hospital. The next call informed him that Jackson had died, after which Ortega broke the news to the This Is It tour company.
UPDATE 1:41 p.m.: Court is back in session. Chernoff resumes his opening statement. He says, "There was no doctor, no paramedic, no machine that was going to revive Michael Jackson. He died so rapidly, so instantly, he didn't even have time to close his eyes."
UPDATE 12:03 p.m.: Trial has recessed for lunch.
UPDATE 12:02 p.m.: In his opening statement, defense attorney Ed Chernoff says he plans to show that "Michael Jackson swallowed 8 milligrams of Lorazepam" when Dr. Conrad Murray was not in the room, adding that "Michael Jackson self-administered a dose of propofol" and, along with the Lorazepam, created a "perfect storm, killing him instantly."
UPDATE 11:24 a.m.: During defense arguments, Dr. Murray cried as his attorney spoke of his client's background of helping people.
UPDATE 10:36 a.m.: 15-minute recess. Opening statements are expected to conclude today. The prosecution is also expected to call its first witness, This Is It director Kenny Ortega.
UPDATE 9:48 a.m.: Prosecution presented a 2009 voice recording from Murray's iPhone of a groggy (allegedly drug-induced) Michael Jackson mumbling about the tour.
UPDATE 9:35 a.m.: Prosecutor David Walgren has begun opening statements. Within the first five minutes, the deputy district attorney showed a slide of Michael Jackson's dead body on a gurney in the hospital. It is the first picture of Jackson's dead body seen publicly.
[Editor's Note: Some readers might find the photo disturbing, which is why we put it after the jump.]
UPDATE: 8:36 a.m.: Michael Jackson's sister Janet, wearing sunglasses, and brother Randy have walked into the courtroom.
UPDATE: 8:30 a.m.: Dr. Conrad Murray was almost accosted by a Jackson fan as he walked down the hall to the courtroom. Two deputies restrained the woman before letting her go. Members of the late singer's family have begun to arrive. His parents, Katherine and Joe, along with sister La Toya and brother Jermaine were seen on the ninth floor of the courthouse.
The circus has come to town once again—and we're livestreaming the madness!
Media outlets from all over the world are clustered in front of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, where opening statements in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray are scheduled to kick off today.
Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the June 25, 2009, death of Michael Jackson, who was found to have died of an overdose of a potent anesthetic called propofol, which his doctor had been mixing with other sedatives to help him sleep.
The trial is expected to last roughly five weeks. Jackson's immediate family is expected to be a regular presence in the courtroom. The late singer's mother, Katherine, dad, Joe, and his brothers and sisters are all on a list of prospective witnesses, as well.
—Additional reporting by Baker Machado
(Originally published Sept. 27, 2011, at 7:56 a.m. PT)