Conrad Murray cries as witnesses speak up for him
The doctor charged in Michael Jackson's death cried Wednesday while hearing five witnesses tell jurors he was thorough and caring and not motivated by money.
Dr. Conrad Murray's eyes filled with tears as one of the witnesses, Ruby Mosley, recalled the physician founding a clinic in a poor community in Houston in honour of his father.
Mosley told a Los Angeles courtroom that Murray never would have founded the clinic if he had been greedy, as prosecutors have previously suggested.
Murray continued to wipe his eyes for several moments after Mosley left the witness stand. She was the last of five character witnesses that Murray's attorneys called during the doctor's involuntary manslaughter trial. He has pleaded not guilty.
The trial recessed for the day after Mosley's testimony and was expected to resume Thursday with Murray's final witnesses — a pair of medical experts.
Authorities contend Murray gave Jackson a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol in the singer's bedroom on June 25, 2009. Defence attorneys claim the singer gave himself the fatal dose.
Gerry Causey, of Cedar City, Utah, said Murray treated him for a heart attack 11 years ago, and the cardiologist remains his best friend.
Causey said he was not put to sleep at his request while Murray implanted a stent after fully explaining the procedure to him.
"I know his love, his compassion, his feelings for his patients," Causey said. "He's the best doctor I've ever been to."
"I just don't think he did what he's been accused of," Causey said.
Another witness, Dennis Hix of Banning, Calif., said Murray performed a stent procedure for him for free.
Murray agreed to become Jackson's personal physician for $150,000 US a month but was never paid because the singer died before the contract was signed. Prosecutors have contended that Murray was heavily in debt and initially sought $5 million to treat Jackson as he prepared for a series of lucrative comeback concerts.
Another character witness, Andrew Guest, echoed Causey's comments about Murray's skill and care.
"He makes sure you're OK, during the procedure, after the procedure," said Guest, a locksmith at a casino in Las Vegas. "I'm alive today because of that man."
The flurry of witnesses came as defence attorneys wind down their case, which could conclude Thursday. They previously told a judge that after the character witnesses, they will call the two experts to counter prosecution experts who said Murray acted recklessly by giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid.
The lawyers already called a doctor and nurse practitioner who treated Jackson but refused his requests to help him obtain either an intravenous sleep aid or propofol.
Murray's attorneys contend Jackson was desperate for sleep so he could rehearse for his comeback shows and gave himself the fatal dose of propofol when his doctor left the room.
They attempted to argue that Jackson would have been indebted to concert promoter AEG Live for nearly $40 million if his shows were cancelled, but a judge blocked any mention of the figure to the jury.