02-19-2017  6:08 pm      •     

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- An executive for the maker of a medical device used by Michael Jackson's doctor to monitor the singer told jurors on Friday that the equipment was not adequate for the continuous monitoring of patients.

The $275 fingertip device that monitors the pulse and blood oxygen levels was recovered after Jackson's death and was being used by Dr. Conrad Murray while he was giving the singer doses of the surgical anesthetic propofol.

Prosecutors called Nonin Medical executive Bob Johnson to try to show that Murray lacked enough equipment to care for the singer during the treatments. Propofol is normally administered in hospital settings.

Johnson said the model that Murray used had no audible alarm and was not intended to be used for the continuous monitoring of patients.

Murray, 58, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, Murray could face up to four years in prison and lose his medical license.

A former patient of Murray lauded Murray's treatment of him, but testified Friday that his cardiologist became increasingly distant and hard to reach while working with Jackson.

"I felt like I was getting the best care in the world," said Robert Russell of Las Vegas.

Russell said he couldn't get answers about his own treatment from Murray's office on June 25, 2009 - the day Jackson died - and demanded to speak to the doctor.

The doctor left him a voicemail at 11:49 a.m. Prosecutors are using records to show that Murray was on the phone in the moments before he realized Jackson was unconscious.

Russell told jurors Murray's message seemed odd because the doctor said he was going on sabbatical, despite telling the salesman and his wife months earlier that he was going to work for Jackson.

Jurors are expected Friday to hear from paramedics who responded to the singer's rented mansion and tried to revive him.

Martin Blount and Richard Senneff had previously testified at a preliminary hearing that Murray never mentioned giving Jackson the powerful anesthetic propofol and told them the singer lost consciousness moments before an ambulance was called.

Both men believed the singer had died by the time they arrived, but Murray insisted Jackson be taken to a hospital for more resuscitation efforts.

The prosecution witnesses will likely provide jurors more insight into Jackson's final moments as futile attempts were made to revive the unresponsive superstar as the trial enters its fourth day.

On Thursday, a pair of Jackson staffers described the chaotic scene at the rented mansion.

Personal chef Kai Chase said she was preparing a spinach Cobb salad for Jackson when a panicked and flustered Murray came down a spiral staircase shouting for her to get security and the singer's son, Prince.

"His energy was very nervous and frantic," said Chase, who added she ran to get Jackson's son in a nearby room. "I said, `Hurry, Dr. Murray needs you. Something may be wrong with your father."

Chase said later she saw paramedics and security running upstairs to Jackson's bedroom where he lay and some of the house staff were crying, unsure of what was happening.

"The children were crying and screaming," she said. "We started hugging. We came together, held hands and we began to pray."

Bodyguard Alberto Alvarez said he went to help Jackson after the singer's assistant called him on his cellphone.

Shocked at seeing Jackson lying motionless in his bed, eyes slightly open, Alvarez barely had time to react when he heard the singer's daughter scream "Daddy!" from the doorway. He led her and Prince from the room, trying to comfort them.

Alvarez then said Murray told him to put vials of medicine he scooped from Jackson's nightstand into a bag. Alvarez complied and also placed an IV bag into another bag.

Alvarez's testimony was key for prosecutors who contend Murray, who has pleaded not guilty, was intent on concealing signs that he had been giving the singer doses of propofol as a sleep aid.

Alvarez said he thought Murray might be preparing to take the items to the hospital, but the bags never made it to the hospital and the bodyguard never questioned the doctor.

Defense attorney Ed Chernoff asked whether there was enough time for Alvarez to shield Jackson's children, survey the room and stow away the drugs in the brief period that phone records show he was in the home before calling emergency responders.

The bodyguard insisted there was, telling the attorney, "I'm very efficient, sir."

Chernoff was not convinced, questioning whether 30 seconds was enough time for the dramatic sequence to play out. Alvarez assured him there was.

The defense attorney also challenged Alvarez's recollection, asking whether the collection of the vials happened after paramedics had come and whisked Jackson to a nearby hospital. Alvarez denied it happened after he called 911.

Chernoff questioned why Alvarez didn't tell authorities about Murray's commands to bag up the medication immediately after Jackson died, but instead waited until two months after the singer's death. The bodyguard said he didn't realize its significance until seeing a news report in late June in which he recognized one of the bags detectives were carrying out of Jackson's mansion.

The burly Alvarez became emotional as the 911 call was played for jurors. Jackson's mother, Katherine, appeared distraught and her son, Randy, huddled next to her and put his arm around her.

"Was that difficult to hear?" prosecutor David Walgren asked.

"It is," Alvarez replied.

Alvarez's testimony allowed Walgren to present jurors directly with a bottle of propofol that they've heard much about throughout the previous two days of the trial.

Jurors intently looked at the bottle, which appeared to still contain some liquid.

Walgren asked whether anything good had happened to Alvarez as a result of his experience in Jackson's bedroom.

"No sir," Alvarez responded.

Media outlets reportedly offered him up to $500,000 for interviews, but Alvarez said he always refused. "It's caused a lot of financial problems," he said, starting to choke up. "I went from a great salary to hardly anything."

---

AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report

---

Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
    Read More
  • FDR executive order sent 120,000 Japanese immigrants and citizens into camps
    Read More
  • Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups and hundreds of former EPA employees
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Carpentry Professionals
Calendar

PHOTO GALLERY

Reed College Jobs
His Eye is on the Sparrow