'Hiding drugs delayed 911 call' as Michael Jackson died

 

Los Angeles

As Michael Jackson lay dying, his personal doctor delayed calling an ambulance so that evidence of prescription drug abuse could be removed from the bedside, a court heard last night.

Conrad Murray, who is on trial for the involuntary manslaughter of the singer, was accused of taking a break from attempting to revive him, in order to gather up several vials thought to contain Propofol, the drug which caused Jackson's fatal cardiac arrest.

He placed them vials in a paper bag and later removed them from the room, according to Alberto Alvarez, a security guard who gave evidence on day three of proceedings at Los Angeles Superior Court.

The testimony, which lasted for several hours, is the most damning yet against Murray, who is accused of accepting an inflated salary of $150,000 a month to recklessly feed his client's addiction to dangerous medications.

Alvarez told how he arrived in Jackson's bedroom on the morning of June 25th 2009 to find Murray making what appeared to be a haphazard attempt to revive him. The singer was on a soft mattress, with his mouth and eyes open and his palms facing upwards. The doctor was pushing intermittently on his chest with his left hand.

"Does anyone know CPR?" Murray, who claimed to be a professional cardiologist, asked at one point. He said his patient had suffered "a bad reaction."

Eventually, Jackson was moved to a harder floor, which is the correct location for a recussitation attempt. But Murray continued to use just a single hand to administer pressure on his chest, in apparent contravention of medical protocol.

Then he instructed Alvarez to remove several vials and bottles from the bedside, along with a bag which administered an IV drip. "Here, put these in a bag," Murray allegedly said. Only after the bag was full and in his possession did he ask for emergency services to be called to the property.

With tears in his eyes, Alvarez listened to a tape recording of the call he made to emergency services. "We need an ambulance as soon as possible," he told the operator, saying a 50-year-old man had lost consciousness. "He's not responding to anything."

When it became apparent that Jackson had died, the bodyguard recalled noticing that the singer's children Paris and Prince Michael were in the doorway. Murray shouted "don't let them see their dad that way." Then "Paris screamed out, 'Daddy!'"

Alvarez said that he quickly ushered the children out of the room, reassuring them that: "everything will be OK."

He initially presumed that Murray had been gathering the drugs for possible use on the ensuing trip to hospital. But it later emerged that the Doctor had simply hidden them. A police search of the property later found the bag in the cabinet of another bedroom. It contained eleven bottles of Propofol, one of which was empty.

Last night's evidence adds weight to the Prosecution's argument that Dr Murray was more concerned with covering up evidence of drug abuse than with attempting to save Jackson's life. Later, the court was due to hear from the two paramedics who arrived on the scene soon afterwards.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Supply Chain Administrator

£8000 - £10800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Supply Chain Administrator is ...

Recruitment Genius: Client IT Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client IT Account Manager is ...

Ashdown Group: Management Accountant / Analyst (CIMA finalist/newly qualified)

£32000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant / F...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - .NET

£27000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of a mark...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor