Jackson’s final days described at trial
Guard testifies on doctor’s actions at incident scene
LOS ANGELES - The last days of Michael Jacksons life were filled with the adulation of fans, a rehearsal performance onlookers described as amazing, and intense preparations for his big comeback in London.
In good spirits, Jackson chatted with well-wishers outside his home and at the Staples Center, where he practiced songs and dance routines before he returned home. Then things took a tragic turn, according to Michael Amir Williams, who testified yesterday in the trial of the doctor charged with involuntary manslaughter in Jacksons death.
Williams, Jacksons personal assistant who had gone with him to the rehearsal and had dropped him at home, said he got a frantic call the next day from Jacksons doctor, Conrad Murray. He said, Get here right away. Mr. Jackson had a bad reaction. He said, Get someone up here right away, Williams said.
A security guard, Faheem Muhammad, testified that he arrived at Jacksons bedroom to find Murray sweating and nervous, leaning over Jackson and trying to revive him. He said that Jacksons two older children, Paris and Prince, were in shock, and that Paris fell to the ground, curled up and weeping.
Moments later, Muhammad said, he heard Murray ask if anyone knew CPR.
The testimony on the second day of the trial helped shed light on what Murray did and did not do after he found Jackson unconscious in June 2009. Murray, 58, has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could face up to four years in prison and would have to relinquish his medical license.
On June 24, 2009, the day before Jacksons death, Murray was in negotiations to join Jackson on his tour as his personal physician, testified lawyer Kathy Jorrie of concert giant AEG Live. She said she was gathering information for an insurance company to make sure Jackson was in good health and could be insured.
Dr. Murray told me repeatedly that Michael Jackson was perfectly healthy, in excellent condition, she recalled. Dont worry about it. Hes great.
Jorrie said Murray had added to his contract a provision for a CPR machine when they got to London for the highly touted show that would include 50 concerts over nine months. He needed to be sure if something went wrong he would have such a machine available, she said.
Murray signed the contract, which would give him $150,000 a month, and faxed it to her that night, she said. Jackson, however, would never get to sign it.
In the late afternoon of June 24, Williams said he arranged for a car and accompanied his boss to the Staples Center for a key rehearsal. He said Jackson was in good spirits.
He would make sure we stopped, stick out his hand, anything to show his fans he loved them, he said.
Williams managed to watch Jackson on stage.
How was his performance, asked Deputy District Attorney David Walgren.
Personally, I thought it was amazing, Williams said.
They returned to Jacksons rented Holmby Hills mansion after that. Murrays car was outside the house.
Williams brought in gifts that had been given to Jackson and said good night. Williams checked out with the security staff and went home. The next day at 12:13 p.m. his cellphone rang. There was a message from Murray.
Were you asked to call 911? Walgren asked.
No sir, Williams said.
Williams said he rushed from his downtown home and arrived just as Jacksons body was being loaded into an ambulance.