Dr Conrad Murray, 58, the singer’s personal physician, went on trial more than two years after Jackson’s death.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter of Jacksonon June 25, 2009, but faces a prison sentence of up to four years if convicted.
Dr Murray, who denies a charge of involuntary manslaughter, was accused of “gross negligence, medical abandonment and repeated incompetence.”
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren showed jurors the shocking slide of Jackson’s pale dead body wrapped in a white sheet. It was stamped with the word “homicide”
He also showed a photograph taken the previous day in which a vital-looking Jackson was seen rehearsing. “What happened during that time frame is that the acts and omissions of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor directly led to his premature death at age 50,”said Mr Walgren.
“Michael Jackson literally put his life in the hands of Conrad Murray. That misplaced trust … cost Michael Jackson his life. He died alone in his bed.”
“He left this vulnerable man – abandoned him – to fend for himself. It violates not only standard of care, but decency from one human being to another,” Mr Walgren said about the doctor.
Mr Walgren said levels of propofol found in Jackson’s body were similar to “when somebody is put out for a surgical procedure”.
He said: “It is not a sleep aid or sleep agent. It is not an agent for the treatment of insomnia. If you are not knowledgeable, competent and prepared it will lead to the death of your patient.”
Defence attorney Ed Chernoff said it was drugs taken by Jackson himself which had proved fatal.
“He did an act without his doctor’s knowledge, without his doctor’s permission, against his orders, he did an act that caused his own death,” Mr Chernoff said.
He claimed the singer had swallowed pills of the sedative lorazepam on the morning of his death. That dosage was enough to put six people to sleep, said the defence.
Jackson’s parents, Joe and Katherine, his sisters, Janet and LaToya, and other family members were in court on Tuesday, while outside dozens of fans outside the courtroom held sunflowers, pictures of the dead pop star, and placards saying ”Justice for Michael”.
The court then heard a recording ofJackson’s voice, apparently recorded by Dr Murray on his iPhone on May 10,2009, in which he discussed his planned comeback tour, This is It. The prosecution claimed it showedJacksonwas “heavily under the influence” and Dr Murray was aware of that.
In the recording Jackson slurred: “It’s time to be phenomenal. When people leave my show I want them to say, ‘I’ve never seen nothing like this he’s the greatest entertainer in the world.’ I’m taking that money, a million children, children’s hospital, the biggest in the world. Michael Jackson’s Children’s Hospital.”
Jackson’s sister La Toya, who was in court, said: “I feel like screaming! Murray knows exactly what happened and who else is behind all of this. It sickens me to see what they did to my brother. Seeing his lifeless body laying there on the gurney is heart wrenching.”
Jackson choreographer Kenny Ortega was the first prosecution witness to take the stand.
Mr Ortega said that Jackson did not seem himself at a rehearsal on June 19 and had been “rambling and obsessing.”
“He was chilled and he appeared lost and a little incoherent. Although we were conversing, I did feel that he was not well at all,” Mr Ortega said.
Mr Walgren also said that, at the time of Jackson’s death, Dr Murray was not certified in any medical speciality.
The two men had met in 2006 in Las Vegas and Jackson asked him to join the comeback tour.
Dr Murray initially asked for $5 million to be Jackson’s personal doctor for a year but settled for $150,000 a month, the court heard, although the contract was never signed.
In 80 days he ordered 155,000mg of propofol. He later claimed to have give nJackson just 25mg on the day he died, the court heard.