Witness Describes Moments Before Jackson's Death - NBC4 Washington

Witness Describes Moments Before Jackson's Death



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    Michael Jackson's doctor collected medical vials and instructed one of the singer's assistants to remove a bag from an IV stand next to Jackson's body before ordering anyone to call 911 for help the day the superstar died, the assistant testified Wednesday.

    Alberto Alvarez, who said he was a logistics director for Jackson, testified he went into Jackson's room on June 25, 2009, and saw Dr. Conrad Murray using one hand to give the apparently dead singer chest compressions.

    Murray then grabbed a handful of bottles or vials and asked Alvarez to put them in a plastic bag, then put the plastic bag inside a larger brown bag, the witness testified in a hearing to determine if Murray should stand trial for involuntary manslaughter.

    "When I did that, he then instructed me to remove an IV bag from the IV stand," Alvarez said, adding that he placed the IV material in a separate bag.

    Asked if all of this was done before anyone called 911, Alvarez responded, "That's true."

    Alvarez said the IV bag had a bottle inside, and there was a milk-type liquid at the bottom of the bag.

    After the vials and IV bag had been collected, Murray then told Alvarez to call 911, which he did, the witness testified.

    Alvarez said when he first entered the room, Murray was on "the right side of the bed and he was giving chest compressions to Mr. Jackson." He said at that point, Jackson was on his back on the bed, and his eyes and mouth were open.

    "He was standing over him and he was giving him chest compressions with one hand."

    At one point, two of Jackson's children -- Paris and Prince -- entered the room.

    "Paris screamed, `Daddy,' and she started crying," Alvarez said.

    Alvarez said Murray asked that the children be taken out of the room, saying, "Don't let them see their father like this."

    When Alvarez eventually called 911, the operator told them to put Jackson on the floor, which they did, Alvarez testified. He said Murray asked if anybody knew CPR, so he went to Jackson's body and began compressing the singer's chest, while Murray gave him mouth-to-mouth.

    According to Alvarez, Murray said it was the first time he had given mouth-to-mouth, but he had to do it because Jackson was his friend.

    Deputy District Attorney David Walgren asked Alvarez if Jackson appeared to be alive or dead.

    "Dead, sir," Alvarez responded.

     Jackson, 50, was eventually taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. He died from acute intoxication of propofol, which Walgren described as a "powerful anesthetic agent" that is "used to put people under for surgery."

    Prosecutors contend that Murray, 57, failed to tell paramedics or doctors at UCLA that he had administered propofol to the singer and took steps that were an "extreme deviation from the standard of care." Walgren said propofol should not be administered in the home, especially without proper monitoring or equipment, and should not be used to treat insomnia.

    The hearing before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor is expected to last seven to eight days and include between 20 and 30 witnesses to be called by the prosecution.