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Jackson doctor portrayed as distracted

Nicole Alvarez said she received many shipments of boxes for Dr. Conrad Murray in April, May, and June 2009. Nicole Alvarez said she received many shipments of boxes for Dr. Conrad Murray in April, May, and June 2009. (Mario Anzuoni/AP/Pool)
By Linda Deutsch
Associated Press / October 5, 2011

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LOS ANGELES - Dr. Conrad Murray’s complicated love life became entangled with the life and death of his patient Michael Jackson, prosecutors suggested yesterday as they called a parade of women witnesses who received phone calls from the doctor as Jackson was near death.

The evidence was designed to show that the doctor was trying to juggle his medical practice, personal life, and superstar patient all at the same time and was so distracted he failed to give Jackson proper care.

Murray’s phone records from the day Jackson died were displayed in court as a backdrop for testimony of those at the other end of the cellphone calls. Three of them were current and former girlfriends and one was the manager of Murray’s Houston office.

Nicole Alvarez, who lives with Murray and is the mother of his small son, was a key witness. She said she received a phone call from Murray as he rode in an ambulance beside Jackson’s lifeless body on June 25, 2009.

“I remember him telling me that he was on the way to the hospital in an ambulance with Mr. Jackson and not to be alarmed,’’ Alvarez said. “He was worried I would hear about it.’’

Three more calls to her were recorded that day but she didn’t remember the conversations.

Alvarez was depicted as an unwitting conduit for Murray’s purchases of the powerful anesthetic propofol, which Jackson craved as a sleep aid. Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter, accused of giving the star an overdose of the drug and failing to respond properly when he found him not breathing.

Murray has pleaded not guilty, and his attorneys say Jackson took the fatal dose himself.

Alvarez recounted how she received many shipments of boxes for Murray in April, May, and June 2009 but didn’t open them and had no idea of their contents. The pharmacist who shipped them to her Santa Monica apartment from Las Vegas testified that he thought he was shipping to Murray’s medical office.

FedEx and pharmacy receipts displayed by Deputy District Attorney Deborah Brazil showed that they contained large amounts of propofol, sedatives, and a skin whitening cream used to treat the skin disease vitiligo from which Jackson suffered.

Tim Lopez, the Las Vegas pharmacist who filled orders from Murray, testified that over four months he purchased 255 vials of propofol, 20 vials of the sedative lorazepam, 60 vials of midazolam, and several tubes of lidocaine, which was intended to numb injection sites. He also purchased saline solution in IV bags.

Alvarez, who had given birth to Murray’s son in March 2009, recalled the doctor telling her that he was Jackson’s private physician. The actress, 29, said she found it exciting.

“It was Michael Jackson!’’ she exulted when she recounted meeting the star. She said Murray surprised her, telling her he was taking her to meet someone and then they arrived at Jackson’s home. “I was speechless,’’ Alvarez said. “I couldn’t believe I was meeting Michael Jackson.’’

Alvarez smiled frequently and was often breathless during her testimony. She told of her romance with Murray that began at a Las Vegas nightclub and drew her into the glamorous world of Jackson’s inner circle.

She said she and Murray met Jackson several other times. “Michael was very interested in the baby,’’ she said. “He saw my stomach growing with the pregnancy. He wanted to schedule a visit so he could see my son.’’

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