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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Conrad Murray Trial
Aired September 27, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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"PIERS MORGAN" starts right now.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight, a sensational trial of Dr. Conrad Murray day one.
DAVID WALGREN, PROSECUTOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence in this case will show that Michael Jackson literally put his life in the hands of Conrad Murray.
MORGAN: The Jackson family looks on while fans from around the world crowd outside the courthouse.
ED CHERNOFF, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The evidence is not going to show you that Michael Jackson died when Dr. Murray gave him Propofol for sleep. What the evidence is going to show you is that Michael Jackson died when Dr. Murray stopped.
MORGAN: But as the world watches, what is the truth? Who caused the death of Michael Jackson?
WALGREN: Dr. Murray's repeated incompetent and unskilled acts that led to Mr. Jackson's death.
CHERNOFF: The scientific evidence will show you that when Dr. Murray left the room, Michael Jackson self-administered a dose of Propofol that with the lorazepam created a perfect storm that killed him instantly. MORGAN: Tonight the legal experts, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Michael's lifelong friend Kathy Hilton. The trial of Conrad Murray. This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
An extraordinary first day in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray today. Michael Jackson's parents, his brothers Tito, Jermaine and Randy and sisters Janet and La Toya and Rebbie are all there.
In his opening statement prosecutor David Walgren said that Murray gave Michael Jackson Propofol not because it was right, but because he was making $150,000 a month off the singer. And he charged the doctor's act what he called gross negligence towards his patient.
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff said that Michael Jackson's death was a result of Propofol he took on his own, calling it a perfect storm that killed him instantly.
Murray wiped away tears during his lawyer's statement. But the most extraordinary statement of all came from Michael Jackson himself in a rambling, incoherent recording catch in Conrad Murray's iPhone and played in court today.
CNN's Ted Rowlands has that and more.
Ted, a dramatic day in many ways. Finally laying bare, really, all the rumors and whispers that we've been hearing about this trial. I suppose one of the most dramatic moments of all came right at the top when the jury were shown a photo, which we can see now of Michael Jackson dead. I mean, a bizarre thing to do. What was their thinking?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know what? It was right off the bat, Piers, when the prosecution began the opening statements. Dave Walgren, the lead prosecutors within a few minutes, he showed this photo of Michael Jackson. And boy, if the jurors weren't fixated to begin with, they sure were at that point.
Of course, the family a very-- it was a very emotional moment for the family in the courtroom as well and for everybody to see that image of Michael Jackson. And obviously, what they're trying to put -- hammer home here, what they were early on in the opening was that this was the victim.
He was an international star. And every one of those jurors, they know it, has an opinion and has some connection to Michael Jackson. They knew that in voir dire. They threw that picture out and they established that connection very early.
MORGAN: But the other perhaps even more extraordinary moment I felt came when David Walgren played this recording from Murray's iPhone in which you hear a sedated Michael Jackson in May 10th, 2009.
I want to play that to you, Ted, and then we'll discuss it afterwards. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER/ARTIST: We have to be phenomenal. When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, I've never seen anything like this in my life. Go. Go. I've never seen nothing like this. Go. It's amazing. He's the greatest entertainer in the world. I'm taking that money, a million children, children's hospital, the biggest in the world, Michael Jackson's Children's Hospital."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, Ted, that was one of the most, sort of pathetic and pitiful things I think I've ever heard from a celebrity. Never heard Michael Jackson talking like this.
What I was found curious -- I'm interested in your take on this -- was, A, the reaction of his family when this was played in the courtroom. But B, really who came out of this better, the prosecution or the defense? Because you can argue it's either way, can't you, on this?
ROWLANDS: Well, absolutely. Because the defense is going to argue that Michael Jackson came to Dr. Murray, if you will, already an addict who had some major, major problems. And this audio tape absolutely reinforces that.
When they played this tape, boy, you could see obviously the family had a very visual reaction. Imagine listening to that and that's your son talking. So Katherine Jackson was very emotional, Joe Jackson, as well, Michael's brothers and sisters also. But the jury as well. Everybody I think that listened to that, I would challenge anybody whatever you think of Michael Jackson, when you first hear that tape, there's a lot of empathy that goes through you when you listen to it because it's clearly a drug addict in a horrible, horrible state.
MORGAN: Yes, I mean, I interviewed Jermaine Jackson recently and it was one of his main fears on behalf of the family was that Michael would be exposed by the prosecution as some kind of addict in all this -- by the defense. As some kind of -- no, I suppose by the prosecution.
I mean, talk me through how the defense and prosecution played out today. Who had the better day, do you think?
ROWLANDS: Well, you know, it's tough to say. To be an objective observer, both of them scored points for sure. The prosecution's opening was clean. It was very succinct. And they were very clear on harping on a few points. They painted Murray as being greedy, as being ill qualified to serve as Michael Jackson's doctor, and then they really hammered home a couple of points which resonated.
One, the amount of propofol that he purchased. They used grass and calendars to show bottle after bottle, hundreds of bottles of propofol that he was purchasing for Murray, to deflect this argument that he was somehow weaning him off of it. Sure it looked like he was buying a lot of it.
And then the other thing that could be very damning, when Jackson was struggling for his life, possibly when the EMTs showed up, they said, what did you give him, they asked Dr. Murray. What did you give this person, this patient, he mentioned other things but he never mentions propofol.
They go to the hospital at UCLA, the emergency room doctors asked the same thing. Again, no mention of Propofol. The prosecution made a huge point of that. Putting it up on a screen. And I think that resonated with the jurors.
MORGAN: I mean clearly just to finish with you, Ted, for now, we'll come back to you later, but clearly the defense's strategy, I guess, is to portray Michael Jackson as this drug addict who had a persistent problem and that Conrad Murray was actually trying to help him wean off this stuff.
And the prosecution will be saying, no, no, that's not what happened. You know Conrad Murray was willfully allowing him to have way too much and indeed that's what caused his death. Is that really the crux of this court case?
ROWLANDS: Yes, the defense is a little bit multilayered in that they're saying that Jackson had a horrible insomnia problem and he used Propofol to get over it and Murray when he came on board understood this and used this as well with the anticipation of weaning him off of it.
They're also layering in the role of other doctors, specifically Arnold Kline. They mentioned him in the opening. And then when Kenny Ortega, the first witness, was up there, again there's a question about Arnold Kline. And what they're going to do is plant the seed in the jury that it wasn't just Propofol, it was Demerol and it was plastic surgery, and this other doctor who's not here, they can point some of the blame that way. Watch for that to be a constant theme throughout this trial.
MORGAN: Ted, thanks for now. We'll come back to you a little later.
I want to bring somebody now who knew Michael Jackson better than most people. His longtime friend Kathy Hilton.
Kathy, a very, very difficult day, I would imagine, for you as his friend and for the family to see these pictures of Michael lying dead. I found quite shocking. And the audio tape of him in an almost zombie-like condition, perhaps even more so.
What was your reaction to those two things?
KATHY HILTON, FRIEND OF MICHAEL JACKSON: I saw that this morning, and when I heard the tape, I could not believe what I was hearing. I was -- I had never heard anything like that before with anyone. I mean, if that doesn't show you, don't you think that was enough? MORGAN: Yes, I mean, what does it show you, though, given that it was taken -- the recording was made in May before he died, two months or so before he died. What does that tell you?
HILTON: That's what I was wondering, A, why, Michael would never let anyone tape him. And he obviously was very sedated. Or he would not let anybody hold anything up like that. Not his mother, no one. So I'm sure that -- I don't know how long the doctor was there before.
MORGAN: Did you find it suspicious?
HILTON: I thought it was very suspicious. And I thought it was very strange. I mean, not normal.
MORGAN: I mean, none of this seems overtly normal, I must say. Clearly --
HILTON: Wouldn't he have called somebody right away? You know, a manager or a family member, and said, you need to get over here and see this? I'm not a legal person.
HILTON: Yes, I mean I suppose -- I suppose, Kathy, the real issue, I guess, and you can give us an insight into this, is how much of a drug addict was Michael, do you think, before Conrad Murray ever came on the scene?
The clear suspicion from his defense counsel is that for years he had become dependent on a number of drugs. I guess that, although this tape has come out and possibly helps the prosecution, you could argue it helps the defense. It shows that Michael was a habitual user of these drugs.
HILTON: Well, I could just say that I have spent time with him up until four or five months leading up to all of this on June 25th, and let me just say one thing.
I want to make it very clear that I was very apprehensive, as you know, Piers, about doing this interview.
HILTON: And I did speak to Mrs. Jackson. And I got her blessing.
Michael was a very, very private person. And -- but I do want to share with the public the Michael that I know and that I love. And I can tell you that when he was living at the Bel-Air Hotel for, I'd say, a good three months, and he had visited before and then he went back to Las Vegas, then he came in to L.A., never ever exhibited any of that kind of behavior.
The most attentive, wonderful father. There was no nanny there. I mean he was in charge and taking care of three children. Blow- drying their hair and making sure that they had their coat. That they're -- those children loved him. They were his life. And he was their life. The most well behaved, beautiful, lovely little angels. And I think that everybody could see that at the memorial.
MORGAN: Do you worry, Kathy -- did you worry, if I can jump in there, that we're going to see a systematic character assassination of Michael Jackson after his death?
HILTON: Oh, are you kidding? I mean people have been doing this to him for many years. And it pained him so much and his entire family. This is a family that I've known since I'm 13 years old. And this is the most lovely, beautiful, kind, humble, thoughtful.
When those parents would say, we need you home for a meeting or we're having a lunch or a dinner, I don't care what else was going on. And all of them were very respectful. When you think of all those children that Mr. And Mrs. Jackson have, we've never had any issues with any problems with any drugs with anything.
So all I can say is as far as I'm concerned and when I've been around him, when I saw this today, this was criminal.
MORGAN: In what way do you think it was criminal?
HILTON: Well, hello? Seeing anybody and to see my friend and to have his parents and his brothers and his sisters and his children, to see something like this, and this started back two months before? Where -- why didn't anybody get in touch with somebody? I'm sorry.
MORGAN: No, I can completely understand, Kathy. I mean you went to high school with Michael. You knew him from when you were 13, he was 14. I think you went to the hospital the night that he died. This is an incredibly --
HILTON: No, I went to the hospital that afternoon.
MORGAN: Yes, and --
HILTON: And I didn't believe it. Until I saw.
MORGAN: Did you see Conrad Murray at all that day?
HILTON: I saw him standing outside of the room where Mrs. Jackson and the family and the cousins were, and the children, just crying and not understanding what was going on.
MORGAN: Jermaine said to me that when he saw Conrad Murray that night, he found his behavior suspicious. We're hearing today from the prosecution that he didn't tell anybody that he had administered Propofol at all to Michael. So he was hiding the fact that he had been giving these drugs to him that night, which again if that is true would lend itself to a suspicious sequence of events here.
What do you think the family believe really happened?
HILTON: To tell you the truth, I think that they have all been in such pain. We don't really sit there and discuss what we think or who -- I mean, I think there are a lot of people in the past that have taken advantage, certainly not like that, but people that have taken advantage.
Michael, in a lot of ways, was very trusting. And I believe that he really trusted that this doctor would be there to be helpful and on call and -- I say that again?
MORGAN: No, listen, Kathy, I know this is a very difficult thing to discuss and I do appreciate you coming on today. I think that clearly there will be lots of twists and turns in this court case. I hope that we can talk to you again as it unravels because you have such a unique perspective as somebody who has known him so long and is close to the family.
I'm just sorry that you've had to experience what the family has, too, as well, today. It must be incredibly difficult for all of you.
HILTON: Well, I just don't understand. I mean here's somebody that is doing so -- upbeat, happy, you know, just feeling great, I mean every single night I never talked to him ever after 10:30 at night. He was up. Rick, my husband, would see him at the hotel on his way to the gym. He'd see Michael and the children playing at the garden at the Bel-Air Hotel.
How -- why -- why wasn't he in that state months before? Was my question in my head.
HILTON: How do you get up at 7:30 and be out playing ball or playing and running around with kids and taking them trick-or- treating. In fact, I heard somebody today saying something about that he was very depressed or upset on Halloween.
On Halloween 2009, I got a basket the size of this table, a big treasured chest filled with candy and Halloween things and everything. And I talked to him a couple of times that day. And he was all excited. Oh, did you like that or, you know, whatever.
And Rick bumped into them. He was coming in from golf and Mike was out with a guard to take the kids trick-or-treating, and the guards saw Rick coming up and like almost pounced on Rick.
So Michael called me from the car laughing. He said, oh, you should see what just happened. You know I guess Rick had his golf hat on or something. He seemed to be in very good spirits.
MORGAN: Well, it's --
HILTON: And as I said I would see when the lights would go out, I never -- this did not seem like somebody -- because I could see right into the apartment where his room was, where the living room, I was there, you know, we'd go in and order room service and the children would like take the little pad and take our orders. Oh, I want a hamburger, I want this, I want that, they'd write it all down. He was such a responsible and so like very, very hands on, a very hands-on father.
MORGAN: Kathy, I'm going to -- I'm going to have to leave it there. Let's go to a break. I mean I want to thank you very much again for coming on. It's a fascinating reaction you've given us. I suspect this one shared by the family. There must have been a totally different side to all this, just the family were totally unaware of because Jermaine knew nothing about this kind of stuff either.
HILTON: Well, I think it was hard at sometimes as we all have heard to have gotten in touch at certain points.
HILTON: You know, the numbers are changed and people controlling and that's all I'll say.
MORGAN: I understand.
HILTON: And --
MORGAN: Kathy, I'm going to --
HILTON: My love to the family.
MORGAN: I'm going to have to leave it there. Thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate it.
HILTON: Thank you, thank you.
MORGAN: When we come back, Dr. Sanjay Gupta weighs in on claims about Michael Jackson's overuse of Propofol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALGREN: In your standard 10 cc syringe, this is how much Propofol Conrad Murray is admitting to giving on June 25th. But the evidence also shows as already discussed that from the time of April 6th, 2009, to Michael's death, over 155,000 milligram of Propofol had been shipped to Nicole Alvarez's apartment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was prosecutor David Walgren in court today.
Most of us never heard of Propofol before Michael Jackson died. Joining me now is CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta to explain what we heard today.
Sanjay, I guess that the crux of all this really comes down to this administering of Propofol. I'm curious, is it actually lawful for any doctor to administer Propofol in a private home in this manner?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's interesting, Piers, because the law's a little bit vague on this. It's so bizarre that I don't think anyone even thought of it as a possibility, frankly. It is a drug that's used in hospitals, that's used in ICUS and in operating rooms. And to some extent it's been a drug of abuse among certain health care personnel, again, in hospitals.
But it's not a controlled substance. It wasn't at the time, still not. Although a lot of people had wanted to make it a controlled substance. So it's maybe not as much a legal issue as just an unethical, very poor judgment issue medically, Piers.
MORGAN: I mean people are making a very big deal today that he didn't -- when he got to the hospital -- tell people about the drugs that Michael had taken.
From a medical standpoint, as a doctor, do you find that suspicious or do you think that someone who has just seen Michael Jackson die in his care has just freaked out a bit and maybe just wasn't thinking straight?
GUPTA: No, I think it's suspicious. I think it's the first thing you said, Piers. I think because any doctor who's familiar with this substance knows just how potentially dangerous it could be. So Conrad Murray -- I think any doctor would say this is an extremely risky thing to be doing, to be giving this medication outside a hospital, outside a place where immediate interventions could take place if needed.
So I think maybe whether he was trying to cover that up. There's also this side issue, Piers, that this is a medication that can disappear very quickly from the bloodstream. That's part of the attractiveness of this. It works very quickly but then disappears very quickly. And that's why doctors like to use it.
So maybe he was thinking that, you know, it would not be detected. Obviously, it was detected. I think this just sounds suspicious.
MORGAN: And finally, Sanjay, there's this whole suggestion from the defense attorney that Michael Jackson took a load of these drugs of his own accord without Conrad Murray knowing, lorazepam and Propofol, creating what he called a perfect storm in Michael Jackson's body.
MORGAN: And they specifically said that there was evidence of this Propofol in Michael Jackson's stomach which could only have come from oral administration. Does any of that sound credible to you?
GUPTA: Well, you know, at first -- I mean I'll preface by saying the whole thing is so bizarre. I know I've said that three times now. But you know I did quite a bit of looking into this, Piers, after the first time I heard that, and it's plausible. Propofol again is one of these medications that someone goes to sleep quickly, but they wake up quickly as well. It's plausible that if it was sitting there mixed in with some juice or something else because it tastes awful, I understand. Somebody might be able to take -- swig some of that down. But the problem, though, Piers, where it doesn't make sense, falls apart, is that it takes a much longer time to get into the blood stream if you swallow it, obviously, versus injecting it. So it wouldn't -- it wouldn't have the same sort of quick impact that you see with the injection.
MORGAN: Sanjay, it is, as you say, bizarre. Thank you very much.
GUPTA: Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: And I want to bring in jury expert Jo-Ellan Dimitrius to talk about the 12 people who've been chosen to decide Conrad Murray's faith.
Jo-Ellan, obviously, an incredible pressure on these jurors. We've seen many strange verdicts come in when you have any case involving a celebrity. What was your initial assessment of the behavioral pattern today?
JO-ELLAN DIMITRIUS, JURY CONSULTANT: Well, I think that it's going to be very important that the audience knows, Piers, that seven of these jurors actually have drug or alcohol abuse in their immediate families. And clearly, both sides looked at these jurors as being people that would react, hopefully, to whichever way the evidence was going to come down.
You know, what I -- what I heard today certainly is the fact that I think what the defense was looking for was much more intelligent jurors that are going to listen to the expert testimony, particularly Dr. White. Dr. White seems like he's going to be the guy for the defense to talk about Propofol and what, in fact, happened and how these various drugs may have interacted in Michael's system.
So I think that these jurors do have a tremendous burden in front of them. But what's interesting about this, Piers, is that the celebrity isn't the defendant. The celebrity is the victim.
MORGAN: That's right, yes.
DIMITRIUS: And that's why I think -- I think this is actually going to be very different in terms of its outcome because of that fact. Because the fact that, while Conrad Murray has become somewhat of a celebrity simply because of what happened, it is truly Michael Jackson that is the celebrity, the victim.
MORGAN: And quickly, if you don't mind, this CSI effect people are talking about where jurors, like everybody who watches these kinds of shows, may have been led to believe now there has to be absolutely overwhelming, concrete, specific forensic evidence before they can convict anybody.
How much does that come into play in a case like this, do you think?
DIMITRIUS: It's a tremendously important component for the prosecutors because prosecutors around the country are always worried that they have to step up to the plate and create situations such as "CSI" does. They have to come up with magical answers to questions within a matter of seconds.
What I saw in the -- in the prosecution's opening today was a level that we haven't seen before, with the visual in support of the oratory that David Walgren was delivering. And I think that they really understand that they are going to be put to this higher CSI level. And as such, they've responded by combining all of these incredible graphics that I thought were very, very well done and very impactful along with the oratory.
MORGAN: Jo-Ellan, thank you very much indeed.
DIMITRIUS: You're welcome.
MORGAN: Next, I'll ask some of the country's top legal eagles. Will the jury believe that Michael Jackson gave himself a fatal dose of Propofol.
MORGAN: I want to turn now to a panel of legal experts, Mark Barnes, attorney and drug policy expert, Mark Geragos, who for a time represented Michael Jackson in his molestation trial, Sean Macias, who is close to the defense team, and Dmitry Gorin, who has known lead prosecutor David Walgren since the early days in the DA's office.
Let me start with you, Dmitry Gorin. You know David Walgren. How did he do today, do you think, in laying out his case?
DMITRY GORIN, FORMER PROSECUTOR: David did an excellent job in his opening statement. I think it was very clear. It was organized. I think the jury and the audience could easily follow along what happened here, what led to Michael Jackson's death.
He's a very, very good attorney. And I'm not surprised he did such an excellent job in his opening statement today.
MORGAN: Sean Macias, what did you think? You're close to the defense. This is one of those cases that's going to get quite technical, one senses. What was your feeling as the day unraveled?
SEAN MACIAS, ATTORNEY: You know, I had the same feeling as the counsel that just spoke earlier. I think that the prosecution came out. They had a wow factor. They had a lot of arts and crafts. But I think the defense counsel came out strong after lunch, and was definitely discussing the factor that Michael Jackson ingested it and caused his own death.
I think it's going to be a very technical case, and hopefully that the jury won't be bored, and you know, not get wowed by these arts and crafts that the prosecution is going to put out. MORGAN: Defense attorney Ed Chernoff has said that the judge's refusal to allow in information about Jackson's previous drug use, in his words, gutted a good deal of his defense strategy. Did he make up ground today? Is that going to be a major problem for him?
MACIAS: I absolutely think that he made up ground today. I think that he is going to -- he's going to take it, you know, as the evidence progresses. And I think that it's going to be -- I think that the prosecution came out very strong today. But I think it was a lot of bang and a lot of dust, but as it settles, I think the defense will come out a lot stronger.
MORGAN: Dmitry Gorin, a lot of play is going to be made, clearly, of Michael Jackson's mental and physical health at the time that had this happened. There was this very disturbing audio played today, which was pretty shocking to everybody, seeming to suggest that two months before Michael Jackson was in a pretty zombiefied state when that recording was made, suggesting a big problem with these kind of drugs.
There was also Kenny Ortega, Michael's longtime collaborative partner, who testified today that he warned people before Michael Jackson died that he was concerned about his health. Conrad Murray said, no, he's fine. He's in good mental and physical condition.
How significant is this debate over his health before he died, do you think, going to be?
GORIN: I think it's very significant. I think the prosecutor's position is going to be that Dr. Murray was on notice here. Dr. Murray knew he had a patient whose health was compromised, a patient who appeared to be addicted, that people close to the patient were telling Dr. Murray, look, you got to do something.
And what did Dr. Murray do? Dr. Murray continued to administer Propofol, texted his girlfriends, and then hid the fact that Propofol was used by him from the responders, the 911 call responders.
So I think Michael Jackson's prior health condition was very important. I think it makes it more difficult for Dr. Murray to defend himself because, to everyone around Michael Jackson, it was obvious Michael Jackson was in distress and needed serious help. You don't end up weighing 110 pounds at your death unless you're in hospice care.
Unfortunately, in this case, Dr. Murray failed to provide sufficient care, was grossly negligent, and therefore the government has decided to prosecute him for being guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
MORGAN: Mike Barnes, let me bring you in on that. Do you agree with that? You're a drug policy adviser. you're an attorney. It's a complex one. The defense is clearly going to say, look, Michael Jackson was addicted to these drugs, pain killers and stuff to help him sleep and he'd been taking them a long time. And our client was trying to wean them off these. Is that a credible position for them to take, do you think?
MIKE BARNES, DRUG POLICY ADVISOR/ATTORNEY: It's not. I don't think that the prosecution should necessarily try to fight the notion that Michael Jackson was addicted. I don't know that the facts necessarily support it in this particular case. But it can be helpful, because it creates a greater standard of care, greater caution required on the part of Conrad Murray in treating Michael Jackson.
And so that's not necessarily a bad thing. You know, it's really -- I think the tough part here is not to create a situation, as the defense attorney, where you're turning off the jurors, both in terms of your case and also in terms of the drug abuse issue, and trying to make Michael Jackson the victim, to be the evil doer here.
Really Conrad Murray should not have been prescribing powerful controlled substances to one who had an addiction. We see, actually, instead of weaning him off, he was increasing the dosages of Propofol as he was creating greater and greater orders to this Nevada pharmacy.
MORGAN: Let me bring in Mark Geragos on this. This is going to be key, isn't it, to the whole case, you sense. I've got an extraordinary interview with some of Conrad Murray's previous patients coming up after this break, in which, you know, they portray him as almost a saintly figure, not motivated by money, very caring.
I was quite taken aback by the strength of their feeling towards him. Is it fair to just label him as somebody who has been negligent and simply just allowed Michael Jackson to take far too many drugs and die?
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don't think it's fair. And I think it's part of the conundrum that the prosecution has in this case. It's never easy to convict a doctor. Unlike journalists or lawyers, doctors are usually well thought of. So you, first of all, got a doctor who was not out there at least presumably trying to harm Michael Jackson.
I don't think that the defense took the position at all that demonizing him, at least through the front door. There was kind of a round-about way, in terms of the argument that was made or the statements that were made today.
But remember, there is always a lot of trouble whenever you ask jurors to convict a doctor when he's doing something that's supposedly in the course and scope of his doctorly duties, if you will. That's exactly what you have here.
Remember, Elvis' doctor walked when he was prosecuted. That was kind of the tack that was taken with that case. I think that your previous guest Jo-Ellan analyzed it, that kind of the reversal in this case is the key point.
You've got -- the celebrity is not the defendant here. The celebrity is the person who died. And the defense wanted intelligent jurors and they got some intelligent juror. It's a circumstantial evidence case. You want people who are a little bit smarter, who are not going to be taken away by their emotion, and who are going to analyze this case.
When they analyze it, they'll come down to did Dr. Murray cause the death? Is there a reasonable doubt as to that or not?
MORGAN: Gentlemen, thank you all very much.
Today, the defense told the jury they'll hear from some of the doctor's patients. I'll talk to several of those after this break.
MORGAN: Joining me now, four patients of Dr. Conrad Murray: Dennis Hix, Andrew Guest, Ruby Mosely and Gary Causey.
Let me start with you, Gary. You've driven all the way from Utah to be here. Like the two gentlemen here, you were treated by Conrad Murray at his Vegas clinic. Ruby, you were treated at the Houston clinic. I think all of you are here because you all believe he's fundamentally a good man who did a remarkable thing with each of your lives.
Why have you made such an effort to be here? Why is it so important to you?
GARY CAUSEY, DR. MURRAY'S PATIENT: It's important to me because I think there's an injustice being done. He's my personal friend. He saved my life. We've grown close over the last 11 years. And there's some things going on in this trial and stuff that I'm not happy with.
MORGAN: What kind of things?
CAUSEY: They didn't sequester the jury. They're going to hear stuff, no matter whether it's a contempt or whatever. They're going to hear stuff.
MORGAN: Tell me how he saved your life.
CAUSEY: I was having a heart attack. And it was on Christmas Day. And they couldn't get it to stop. So he came in. And he took me up to the room. I watched him on TV when he did it.
MORGAN: So you watched him save your life, effectively?
CAUSEY: I did. I asked him if I could watch.
MORGAN: What is the big misconception about him, do you think? For people who don't know Conrad Murray, what is the misunderstanding about the kind of man he is?
CAUSEY: The misunderstanding about Conrad is his compassion and his love for people. It's not just his patients. It's everybody. The man is a tremendous man.
MORGAN: Andrew, let me bring you in. You were 48 years old. ANDREW GUEST, DR. MURRAY'S PATIENT: Yes.
MORGAN: And your brother died from a heart related --
GUEST: Forty one years old.
MORGAN: At 41. Conrad Murray saves your life. Tell me about that very briefly.
GUEST: I came in to see him after seeing my family physician first. And had some really bad chest pains. I thought this can't really be happening to me. But he took me in. He did the procedure on me. Took me from major chest pains to feeling great.
He put stents in. And after that, I started feeling a lot better.
MORGAN: When you heard that Michael Jackson had died, where were you? And particularly, what were you thinking when you heard that Conrad was there at the time and had been the doctor that night in the house?
GUEST: I was at home. I saw it on TV. And I did not believe it. Right away, there was accusations against Dr. Murray. And I think everybody here can say the same thing. We're all alive today because of Dr. Murray. He's a great man. He's the only doctor that I've had that's called me at my home to find out how I am.
MORGAN: Dennis, you've heard the two gentlemen. What's your view?
DENNIS HIX, DR. MURRAY'S PATIENT: He's the most compassionate man that I've ever met. Best doctor I've ever had. And unlike them, he came to my house when I was sick.
MORGAN: Do you think he saved your life?
HIX: Absolutely. Mine, my brother's, two brothers, two or three of my friends.
MORGAN: What do you think happened here? Dennis, let me start with you. How did Conrad find himself in this position?
HIX: I spoke with him before he went to work with Michael. And he loved him. He treated him there in Vegas. And he cared for him. So when Michael felt he had the need, Conrad went to work for him. As far as administering the Propofol -- is that how you say it -- I don't know what happened there.
I don't know if Michael was doing it before Conrad got there and Conrad was just overseeing it. But I know one thing for sure. He wouldn't have hurt him on purpose.
MORGAN: Could you picture a scenario where Michael Jackson, hugely successful, very rich entertainer, maybe taking any number of drugs for a long period of time, basically demands to have this stuff and Conrad Murray bowing to that kind of pressure? Is that a picture you could recognize?
HIX: No. I believe he was taking it before Conrad came into the picture. That's kind of the sense that I got from Conrad Murray. He was there more or less to take care of him, because he knew it was, you know, dangerous.
MORGAN: Ruby, let me bring you in.
RUBY MOSELY, DR. MURRAY'S PATIENT: No problem.
MORGAN: You know Conrad Murray well. Do you think that, at worst, this was a terrible accident? Is it possible that he was negligent, do you think?
MOSELY: Let me share something with you and I'd like to elaborate on that a little bit. Number one, Dr. Murray had no way of knowing how much medication was already in Michael's body. Truthfully, with him being the type of person he is, my knowing him is to say that he actually was concerned about trying to save his life.
MORGAN: Let's take a little break. When we come back, I want to talk to all of you really about what you would say to Conrad Murray if you got the chance right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you plead?
MURRAY: Your honor, I'm an innocent man. I, therefore, plead not guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Back now with four patients of Dr. Conrad Murray, Dennis Hix, Andrew Guest, Ruby Mosely and Gary Causey.
Dennis, let me come to you. Obviously, Conrad Murray has been vilified already, before he's even got to a courtroom. Many people have already tried an convicted him of killing Michael Jackson.
As somebody that knows the man well and believes he saved your life, how do you feel about the way his reputation has been put through the mincer like this?
HIX: Basically, Piers, the reason I'm here is to let people know he is not the animal that they are portraying him to be. He is caring. I heard that he was 500,000 dollars in debt when this first thing happened. Ain't no damn wonder. He don't charge people to fix him.
He did my brother free. He did me free, because I needed it. My insurance wouldn't cover it.
MORGAN: So when people say that he is greedy and was only working for Michael Jackson for money and fame and so on, what do you think of that?
HIX: That's ridiculous. That's ridiculous. I mean, I heard him call the guy and tell him to get rid of a 15,000 dollar bill that I had. No, don't charge him that. That's all right. My brother wasn't 65 yet. My brother now has 28 stents in him. But Conrad kept him going until he could get on Medicaid. But all the time before that, he fixed him free.
MORGAN: I will come to you. That is powerful stuff in defense of Conrad Murray's character there. Would you go along with that?
CAUSEY: Yeah, absolutely. I had three of my foremen all went to him. One of my -- well, one of my secretaries. She had no insurance. She had just been put on payroll, but it didn't matter to him. I called him and he said bring her right now.
MORGAN: Money was not his motivating factor?
CAUSEY: No. She went. He fixed her, 200 something thousand dollars without even knowing that he would get paid. He has never -- or in the last five years, charged me for any office calls, any examinations, nothing, you know?
HIX: That's why he was broke.
MOSELY: Tell me about it.
CAUSEY: Since my business went down.
MORGAN: I suppose the flip -- and Andrews, I will put this to you -- is that he was broke. He was in debt when he took this job. He was being paid a lot of money to look after Michael Jackson. And Michael Jackson may well have been the kind of guy that said you give me this stuff or you're fired. We don't know.
This may or may not come out in court. Is Conrad Murray the kind of man that in that situation, when he probably needed the money, and probably enjoyed the attachment to Michael Jackson -- could you have imagined him bowing to that kind of pressure?
GUEST: I don't think so. I think Michael Jackson's people asked for the best doctor they could get. And Conrad Murray is the best doctor you can get.
MORGAN: Ruby, if required, will you give evidence on his behalf in court?
MOSELY: Certainly. And you want to know the reason why? It's because, number one, Conrad was not about money. I don't believe that he was that greedy that he went -- he went and they called him because of the kind of doctor that he was.
MORGAN: In your case, Ruby, what did he do for you?
MOSELY: OK, in my case, let me tell you, I was having problems with my heart and didn't even know it. When I went into his office, the electrocardiogram and the tests that he had run was on his desk laptop. He sat there and showed me where those blockages was.
I could have had a heart attack or stroke or aneurysm or all three driving.
MORGAN: In your view, his quick thinking saved your life?
MOSELY: No, his quick thinking and proactiveness.
MORGAN: Dennis, let me end with you, because you were the last to speak to him of the group here. What kind of mood -- when he went to work for Michael Jackson, you said that he was excited about it and stuff. Could he have had his judgment impaired, do you think, by that dynamic?
HIX: Anything's possible, but I doubt it very seriously. And while we're mentioning it, he never did get paid a penny for working with Michael Jackson. So, no, it's all just ugly. He is a good, good doctor. And I hope everybody can see that.
MORGAN: What do you think is the right verdict here?
HIX: Piers, if I knew all of the -- all of the fundamentals of this case, I might be able to answer that. But I can't.
MORGAN: Your belief, like all of you, is that there's no way he would have done anything to have deliberately imperiled Michael Jackson's life?
HIX: Absolutely no doubt.
MORGAN: None of you believe that is possible, knowing Conrad Murray?
HIX: Not somebody who works the way that he works with people, and comes to your house to make sure you are all right, and works for free.
GUEST: We are alive today because of that man.
MOSELY: That's right.
HIX: I mean, I had a doctor here tell me that there's no no way he could fix me. My heart was half blocked. And as far as he was concerned, he was a God. So when I got to Las Vegas, luckily I moved in next door to him. And he came to see me. And a month later, he unplugged the part that this doctor said couldn't be done.
He's a great doctor. And he cares.
MORGAN: Well, listen it is great you have all come in today. I think if he was watching this, he would certainly be very moved by the support you have given him. Now, thank you all very much indeed.
MOSELY: We are going to keep him in our prayers.
MORGAN: I'm sure he will appreciate that very much. HIX: No matter what, he is still my doctor.
MOSELY: Oh, yes, he is.
MOSELY: We are still waiting on him to come back.
MORGAN: Ruby, Gary , Andrew, Dennis, thank you all very much.
MORGAN: Tomorrow, we will have all the dramatic developments in this extraordinary trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. And I will talk exclusively to one of Michael Jackson's closest friends, Dionne Warwick. That is all for us tonight.
"AC 360" starts now.