For the first several weeks of the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s former physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, jurors have heard a barrage of damaging testimony from the prosecution’s witnesses. Now, on the third day of witness testimony from the defense, jurors got a starkly different take on the physician as several witnesses took the stand to defend Murray, bringing him to tears.
According to the Los Angeles Times, on Oct. 26, five character witnesses, all patients at Murray’s Las Vegas and Houston practices, attested to Murray’s skill and care as a physician, speaking about the long hours Murray put into his sessions, his calling them at home and on the weekends, and the many free services he’s offered them when enable to pay. As the witnesses spoke their praise of Murray, the embattled physician continually welled up with tears.
“That man sitting there is the best doctor I’ve ever seen. I’m alive today because of that man,” said Andrew Guest, whom Murray treated for a heart condition in 2002.
Gerry Causey, a longtime friend and patient of Murray’s, testified that the physician held appointments with him that would last for up to four and a half hours and Murray would later call Causey’s wife to let her in the progress of her husband.
Lunette Sampson, a patient at Murray’s Las Vegas office who suffered several heart attacks and blockages in her heart and legs, also explained that Murray was generous with his time.
“Dr. Murray is not the type to rush through a procedure. When we come, we know he is going to be there for a while,” Sampson testified.
Ruby Mosley, an 82-year-old patient who first met Murray at his father’s funeral, argued against previous witness testimony that Murray was a greedy doctor who egregiously neglected Jackson.
“If this man had been greedy, he never would have come to an area or community of Acres Homes, 75% of them poor, on welfare and social security,” said Mosley about Murray’s decision to setup a clinic in an impoverished area of Houston in honor of his late father.
Throughout the case, the prosecution has said that Murray shirked his responsibilities as a licensed physician by giving Jackson propofol because the King of Pop rewarded him with a $150,000 a month salary. And when cross-examining the witnesses, prosecutor David Walgren pointed out that each of the five witnesses had only care from the cardiologist related to heart problems, not sleep disorders or drug dependency. And when they were sedated by Murray, it was always in a hospital setting with monitoring equipment and with backup personnel, unlike Jackson, who was sedated solely by Murray while at home.
Once the witnesses had been dismissed for the day, Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor spoke directly to Murray and reminded him that he has the defendant’s right to choose whether or not he wants to take the stand and testify in his own defense. Pastor explained that he would ask Murray for an answer later in the week once the defense’s case was closed, to which Murray replied that he understood. –nicholas robinson