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Bed or Floor? The Tiny Detail That Could Save Dr. Conrad Murray


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It doesn't take a law degree to glean that after four days of testimony at the Michael Jackson manslaughter trial, Dr. Conrad Murray is in big trouble. A parade of prosecution witnesses have testified about the events of June 25, 2009, the day the King of Pop died, each one offering details that seem to push Jackson's personal physician closer and closer to a no-brainer guilty verdict. That is, until today, when one small detail, a discrepancy in witness accounts, gave Murray some hope.

Yesterday, Jackson's security guard Alberto Alvarez told the court that Murray first attempted to resuscitate an unresponsive Jackson by administering CPR while the singer was still in bed. Alvarez, who was on the phone with paramedics at the time, was told by emergency services to move Jackson to the floor, because a firm surface is preferable to a cushy one (you'd think Murray should've known that, but that's besides the point). Alvarez testified that he and Murray immediately moved Jackson to the floor while an ambulance raced to the scene... or did they?

In testimony today, Richard Senneff, one of the paramedics who came to Jackson's mansion on June 25th, revealed that when he walked into the singer's room, he saw Murray attempting to resuscitate Jackson on the bed, and not the floor. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it shows that one of the two major prosecution witnesses is not properly remembering the events of the evening. The defense will argue that if one of the witnesses is misremembering that little detail, he might be wrong about the rest. It's not even about proving which witness is wrong; Murray's team will look to damage the testimony of both Alvarez and Senneff by making the jury unsure who to believe.

Senneff also testified that when he asked Murray why Jackson possibly went into cardiac arrest, the doctor never said he gave Jackson the sedative Propofol, a contributing factor in Jackson's death. This can be viewed in two ways: The prosecution will hammer the point that Murray knew he was wrong to treat Jackson with Propofol and was covering his tracks, while the defense will argue that Murray held back the Propofol revelation because he didn't even know that Jackson had Propofol in his system. After all, Murray's entire defense rests on convincing a jury that Jackson administered the Propofol to himself.

Between this gaffe in testimony and the broadcasting of Dr. Murray's phone numbers, week one of the Michael Jackson manslaughter trial has been riveting, must-watch (and morbid) TV.

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