Michael Jackson Death Trial
A desperate, drug-addicted insomniac racked with anxiety about his coming concert series: that is how a defense lawyer portrayed Michael Jacksonin his last days during opening statements on Tuesday in the involuntary manslaughter trial of the singer’s personal doctor. Ed Chernoff, the defense lawyer, suggested that Jackson was most responsible for his own death and had, against his doctor’s orders, ingested or injected himself with the prescription drugs that killed him. “When Dr. Murray left the room, Michael Jackson self-administered a dose” of anesthetic, Mr. Chernoff said, and that dose, combined with other drugs he had taken, “created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly.” Prosecutors argued, however, that it was the doctor’s negligence, in plying Jackson with large amounts of a powerful anesthetic, that had proved fatal. The trial, which is expected to last about five weeks, will hinge on these competing versions of what happened the hours just before and after Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009.