This is it for the Michael Jackson trial. The evidence is no longer being seen by the public on national television or watched live on countless websites, it is locked in the jury room, with the jurors who will decide the fate of Dr. Conrad Murray. It's been a six week trial, wherein the prosecution laid out their case over a five week period. The defense used only one week to present evidence in an attempt to prove the innocence of Dr. Conrad Murray. In total, 49 witnesses took the stand.
The defense, led by attorneys Ed Chernoff and J. Michael Flanagan called 16 witnesses. The attorneys were obviously divided as they tried to rebut the prosecution's overwhelming evidence that Dr. Conrad Murray is guilty of involuntary manslaughter due to gross negligence and the substandard medical care given to Michael Jackson.
It was during the defenses' presentation that Michael's true motivations for embarking on the This Is It tour was revealed. Randy Phillips, the company president and chief executive officer of AEG, who first proposed the concert to Jackson, was called by the defense in an effort to bolster their claim that Michael was ridden with anxiety, and would go to the deadly extreme of giving himself a lethal dose of propofol, in a desperate attempt to sleep before final rehearsals. However, Randy's answers were often in direct contradiction to the defenses' portrayal of Michael. Phillips testified that Michael was excited about restarting his career with the This Is It tour in London and was committed to its unparalleled success.
The tour had the potential to erase Michael's estimated $400 million debt and make him very rich again. At the time of his death, AEG was paying for everything in his life including his rented Los Angeles mansion, his personal chef, his entire staff, as well as, the huge production expenses of This Is It. Phillips testified that Michael would have to reimburse AEG $30 millions dollars for personal living expenses, but this was not a real concern for the contracted parties due to the sold-out status of the tour. In fact, Mr. Phillips had a very intimate conversation with Michael wherein Michael cried. Phillips said, "The primary reason was that he wanted to finally settle down and get a really, really good home for the kids and his family so they weren't in his words living like vagabonds."
To my surprise, the defense's strongest evidence presented was in the form of character witnesses. The former patients of Dr. Murray, all senior citizens, whom he had not cared for in over a decade, attested to his skill as a doctor and his willingness to care for patients who were elderly and/or indigent. The witnesses testified that Dr. Murray was the most attentive and caring doctor they ever had. They told of how Dr. Murray's skill, as a cardiologist, altered the course of their lives in a positive way and in some cases, saved their lives. It was during the character witnesses' testaments to Dr. Murray's humane characteristics and great skill that Murray began to cry. He was touched - it appeared. However, I found it ironic that he was never moved to tears when the naked, dead body of Michael Jackson was displayed on the autopsy gurney. He remained stoic when testimony of Michael's daughter screaming and crying by the side of their dead father's body was given. He was unfazed when Michael's intoxicated, slurring voice was heard detailing his loneliness, his pain as a child and his life-long struggle to fit in. Dr. Murray's tears were sincere but they only seem to fall when the focal point of the story was Conrad Murray.
Throughout the 22 days of the testimony, Dr. Murray appeared somber, vulnerable and despondent as he sat between his two high power attorneys. However, after watching the trial everyday, listening closely to the testimony, reading transcripts, attending court proceedings, speaking to Murray's supporters and most importantly, looking into his eyes from a very close distance, I believe with great certainty that Dr. Murray is an arrogant, self-absorbed, narcissistic man.
The greatest support for my unwavering perception of Conrad Murray's selfish character, were his actions when he entered Michael Jackson's bedroom while speaking on the phone with one of his girlfriends. When Conrad Murray realized that Michael Jackson was dead, he went into "Me First" mode. I have lived through the same type of narcissistic "cover-up" behavior first hand in another high profile case in which I was intimately involved. I am repulsed by Conrad Murray's actions. Similar to the case in which I was involved, Dr. Murray also "pretended" to give CPR to Michael Jackson when the head of security, Alberto Alverez walked into the room. He also put on a charade in the presence of Michael Jackson's assistant when he gave Michael Jackson mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. We now know, from trial testimony, that Michael had already been dead for up to 20 minutes when Alverez and Williams entered the bedroom. We also know, according to Murray's police statement, that he immediately attempted to give Michael CPR when he entered into the room and found him non-responsive. Therefore, his act in front of Alverez and Williams was a disgusting, thought-out sham in an attempt to cover-up his killing of Michael Jackson. What type of man gives CPR and mouth-to-mouth to a knowingly dead victim, just for show: A narcissistic, selfish, sick individual like Conrad Murray.
A long-time friend and supporter of Conrad Murray, who spoke with me outside of the courthouse on more that one occasion, shared a glimpse of the real Conrad Murray with me. He stated, "Conrad is arrogant and nobody can tell him anything. He is my friend but blaming Michael for killing himself is crazy." In light of all that I've seen and heard, I completely believe This Is It Director, Kenny Ortega's testimony detailing his conversation with Murray following a rehearsal in which everyone saw that Micheal was "out of it". Ortega testified, "He (Murray) said I should stop trying to be an amateur doctor and psychologist and be the director and leave Michael's health to him."
As the indisputable evidence showed, Conrad Murray is also a liar. He lied to the pharmacist, he lied to each of his girlfriends, he lied to AEG, he lied to the insurance company, he lied to the paramedics, he lied to the UCLA doctors, he lied to Ms. Katherine Jackson at the hospital, he lied to the police during his two hour recorded statement. But he didn't lie on the witness stand because he exercised his Fifth Amendment constitutional right not to take the stand; how convenient? It would have been suicidal for Conrad Murray to take the stand in his own defense. As brilliant as he thinks he is, he would not be able to withstand the barrage of questions regarding his outright lies. Having listened to every word of testimony and offered commentary for KTLA in Los Angeles and Headline News, I have a very clear understanding as to what really happened on June 25, 2009. Yet, the only question that I have yet to get an answer is "why did Conrad Murray record Michael Jackson in a drug induced state?". What was Conrad Murray's self-serving ulterior motive?
Conrad Murray has lived a reckless life for many years: at least 7 children with 5 women; a trial and eventual acquittal for domestic violence, two child support sentences that almost landed him in jail, dating numerous young girlfriends simultaneously, medical disciplinary measures levied against him; and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt. When the trial began, I had an open mind regarding Dr. Conrad Murray and his guilt or innocence. Now, six weeks later and after listening to 49 witnesses, I know that Conrad Murray is guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter and probably other lesser and more serious charges. Conrad Murray's greed, arrogance and reckless character is the direct cause as to why Michael Jackson is not with us today, but more importantly, why Michael Jackson's children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, no longer have their daddy.
Conrad Murray chose to spend the day before closing arguments at a very public beach with his girlfriend and his 7th child. It's a luxury Michael Jackson nor his children will ever have again. I believe Conrad Murray was trying to garner sympathy from the jury before deliberations. Unfortunately, I've been where the defense is and I know all the tricks. Conrad won't fool anyone. This is it for him and his career as a doctor. It's curtains for Conrad Murray.
Follow Tanya Young Williams on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ImTanyaWilliams