AP Photo/Isaac Brekken; Getty Images
by Gina Serpe | Mon., Nov. 7, 2011 4:00 PM
AP Photo/Isaac Brekken; Getty Images
Aside from the fact that it's finally over, that is. (We can't be alone in thinking that after six very, very long weeks, we weren't sure this day would ever come.)
But one thing that should come as no surprise is that Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial had plenty of shockers in store for the public during its lengthy run, both about the doctor, Michael Jackson (just when we thought we'd heard and seen it all) and, of course, the company both men kept.
Here are the five biggest shockers from the trial…(Some are graphic...you've been warned.)
1. Michael's Dead, Naked Body—and Voice—Were Resurrected: Deputy District Attorney David Walgren wasted absolutely no time in shocking the court—and the viewing public—by launching the prosecution's case with a bang, showing a startling, disturbing and undoubtedly powerful blown-up photo of Michael's corpse. A similar image made surfaced during the third week of testimony, when Walgren showed a graphic, naked (but censored) postmortem picture of Jackson taken hours after his death, just prior to his autopsy.
Meanwhile, two weeks into the trial, the prosecution also played in full a four-minute recorded phone conversation between a heavily sedated Jackson and Murray, taking place shortly before the former's death. On the highly disturbing audio, the slurring, virtually unintelligible Jackson rambes about "the angels," how he has "no more hope" and talking about children who "walk around with no mother…I love them. I love them because I didn't have a childhood. I had no childhood. I feel their pain. I feel their hurt. I can deal with it."
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
2. Courtside Seats Were the Hottest Ticket in Town: The Jackson family knows how to form a united front. The family never once failed to show up for their daily courtroom vigil, seemingly rotating turns to be present for each and every day of the six-week-long proceedings (now that's dedication). Janet Jackson even went so far as to cancel the Australian leg of her tour—booked long in advance of the trial—in order to be present in court. At one time or another, Katherine, Joe, Randy, Rebbie, Janet, La Toya (with her incessant tweeting and parade of one, um, interesting outfits) and Jermaine were present and accounted for in the front row of court, both to support their brother and to remind everyone that Michael wasn't just an eccentric pop superstar, but a man with a family who misses him.
But, of course, he was also an eccentric pop superstar with the Rolodex of pals to prove it, as evidenced during the fifth week of trial, when Kathy and Rick Hilton turned up at the courthouse to show their support for their longtime pal.
3. It Got Personal: Tension ran high during this trial, yet we weren't expecting the level of discourse to sink to that of playground name-calling. But guess what?
Rebbie Jackson was the first to fire a shot, albeit under her breath and wisely out of earshot of the judge, when she referred to Murray's attack-dog defender Ed Chernoff as an "a--hole" for his relentless questioning of a coroner investigator, but she was followed up by key defense witness (and borderline contemptee of court) Dr. Paul White. During the testimony of Dr. Steven Shafer—of whom it's safe to say Murray and White were not fans—the anesthesiologist demonstrated for the jury how to hook up a propofol drip, leading Murray to turn to his friend White, scowl, and whisper, "Can you believe that?" Which was all the prompt White needed to blast Walgren as "a scumbag." He then went one step further, speaking exclusively to E! News after the day's testimony and called the prosecution's handling of the evidence "unethical and unconscionable," comments which got back to the judge and earned White another date in court—Nov 16, for his own contempt hearing.
Now, now, boys. Play nice.
Mario Anzuoni-Pool/Getty Images
4. Conrad Murray, Lady Killer?! There's nothing remotely amusing or entertaining about an involuntary manslaughter trial. Or at least, there wasn't until Conrad Murray's parade of lady friends made their way into court. It wasn't so much what they said that was so intriguing—though it occasionally was—but how they said it.
Cocktail waitress Sade Anding, for example, revealed that she carried on a one-sided conversation with Murray the morning of June 25, 2009—likely at the exact time that Jackson first went into distress—and remained on the line for an astounding six minutes before realizing the phone was likely in his pocket.
Murray's baby mama, wannabe actress, "speechless" Jackson fan and "instrument" maintainer extraordinaire Nicole Alvarez was next on the stand, and while she confirmed that Conrad's propofol orders were delivered to the Santa Monica apartment they shared, she'll be most remembered for clarifying what she meant when she said her job was maintaining her instrument. "Myself. Myself. As an actor, your instrument is yourself." Might be time for a tuning.
5. The Verdict: Innocent until proven guilty and all that, but the Los Angeles Superior Court had its work cut out to find the 12 people who wouldn't be entering into the trial without an opinion (dare we say, an unfavorable one) on Murray. But, given the precedent-setting shock verdicts of other high profile cases, we still weren't sure we'd see the day Murray would be found guilty.
That justice was ultimately served may be the biggest courtroom shocker of all.
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