Conrad Murray Jury Goes Home for Weekend

Prosecutors claimed Conrad Murray's actions violated a "sacred trust," but the defense argued Michael Jackson is to blame for his own death

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Saturday, Nov 5, 2011  |  Updated 4:15 PM EDT
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Jurors failed to reach a verdict Friday in the Conrad Murray trial. And everyone who is following the trial wonders what they're up to

Beverly White and David Gregory

Jurors failed to reach a verdict Friday in the Conrad Murray trial. And everyone who is following the trial wonders what they're up to

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Day 1: Jury deliberations in Conrad Murray Trial

What we know about the jury and reaction outside the courthouse today on the 1st day of jury deliberations. NBC4's Patrick Healy reports.

Closing Arguments in the Conrad Murray Trial Part 1

Legal analyst Royal Oakes joins Colleen Williams on Nonstop News LA to break down the closing arguments in the Conrad Murray Trial.
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Jurors in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician went home for the weekend without reaching a verdict.

Conrad Murray Trial: Testimony Timeline, Juror Profiles, Jackson Audio

Friday was the first full day of deliberations for the seven-man, five-woman panel considering the fate of Dr. Conrad Murray.

The jurors range in age from 32 to 57. By their own description on the questionnaire, six are Anglo, five Latino, and one African American.

In terms of background for understanding the complex medical information, Juror 10 may be the best qualified. She got a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry in England and worked for awhile as a lab technician. She moved to the San Gabriel Valley a 12 years ago. Her husband also has a science background and works in engineering. Juror 3 has an MBA and only two of the jurors do not have at least some college work.

Jurors will return Monday at 8:30 a.m.

How long will it take them to finish? That's anyone's guess. Gerry Schwartz, who was in the pool of prospective Murray jurors, says the group may want a few more days in the spotlight.

"They're finally in a position of power, where everyone is waiting for them to give the word," says Schwartz. "I think psychologically,  you're going to enjoy that a little bit."

The six-week trial combined emotional testimony, including recordings of Murray and the King of Pop, and detailed scientific analysis from medical experts. Attorneys relied on both Thursday during closing arguments.

"Every single doctor that testified in this case said would never do what Conrad Murray did," Deputy District Attorney David Walgren told jurors.

But defense attorneys insisted that the pop superstar was responsible for his own death. They claimed Jackson created a "perfect storm" of drugs inside his body that led to his death on June 25, 2009.

"At what point to we draw the line about Dr. Murray's responsibility for a grown-up," defense attorney Ed Chernoff said during closing arguments.

The jury is considering the attorneys' arguments and testimony from nearly 50 witnesses. Deliberations began at about 8:30 a.m. Friday in a downtown Los Angeles courthouse.

Outside the courthouse, crowds of Jackson and Murray supporters gathered in ancticipation of a verdict.

"We would like to get justice for Michael," said Jackson admirer, Felesha Wilson.

"I am most concerned and thankful that we do have a jury so that we can get answers to our many questions," said Murray supporter Beatrice Fakhrian.  " And, I believe that Dr. Murray will be exonerated."

Murray was seen earlier this week walking with his girlfriend, who was a prosecution witness, along the beach in Santa Monica. When asked whether he was looking forward to putting the trial behind him, Murray said, "I can't wait buddy."

The final days of testimony focused on science -- two experts on the drug blamed in Jackson's death took the stand -- but Walgren repeatedly mentioned Jackson and his children during his closing argument. He told the jury that even when Murray's trial is over, Prince, Blanket and Paris will continue to live with the result of Murray's mistakes.

"It is abundantly clear that Conrad Murray acted with criminal negligence, that Conrad Murray caused the death of Michael Jackson, and that Conrad Murray left Prince, Paris and Blanket without a father," Walgren said before exiting the courtroom to an ovation from Jackson fans in the hallway.

He also noted that what really happened on June 25, 2009, in a mansion on Carolwood Drive might never be known.

"The people won't prove exactly what happened behind those closed doors,'' he said. "Michael Jackson could give answers, but he is dead.''

Defense attorneys told the jury the decision comes down to whether Murray committed a crime or whether he was an unethical doctor. They portrayed Murray as an outsider who was brought into Jackson's world at time when the singer was driven to please fans with a series of upcoming London concerts.

"The defense raised the question, is it really apparent how Michael Jackson died?" said NBC4 legal analyst Royal Oakes.

It was after a rehearsal for those concerts -- organizers originally planned about 30, but upped the numbers to 50 after pre-sale demand for tickets -- that Jackson returned to his rented Holmby Hills mansion. During the early hours of June 25, 2009, Jackson pleaded for something to help him sleep, Murray told investigators.

"He tried to close his eyes, and nothing would work," Murray said during the two-hour interview granted two days after the entertainer's death. "He complained that he would have to cancel rehearsals... and not satisfy his fans if not rested well."

Murray administered propofol, a powerful surgical sedative that Murray said Jackson called his "milk," later that morning, he told investigators. He then left the room to use the bathroom and noticed Jackson wasn't breathing when he returned, Murray said.

Prosecutors claim that Murray's decision to administer propofol, usually reserved for use in a surgical setting with proper medical equipment, as a sleep aid in Jackson's bedroom was just one of the many mistakes that led to the King of Pop's death. That he left the bedroom, even for a few minutes, was another violation of the "sacred trust" Jackson had with his doctor, prosecutors said.

But the defense told jurors it was Jackson who administered the fatal dose. They also claimed Murray did not know Jackson ingested the drug lorazepam. Prosecutors and their witnesses developed stories over time that placed the blame on Murray, the defense argued.

"They want you to convict Dr. Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson,'' Chernoff said.

Even if the defense's self-administration theory is correct, prosecutors said the jury should still convict Murray because of negligence. Murray's use of propofol as a sleep aid, his delay in calling 911 and failing to tell paramedics and ER doctors he administered propofol were just some of his "bizarre" actions, Walgren said.

"Poor Conrad Murray,'' Walgren said in his closing argument. "Michael Jackson is dead. And we have to hear about poor Conrad Murray and no doctor knows what it's like to be in his shoes."

Murray faces up to four years in prison and loss of his medical license if convicted. Judge Michael Pastor will determine the sentence.

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