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Michael Jackson's security guard, wooed by tabloids, finally speaks at trial

At the Conrad Murray trial Thursday, security guard Alberto Alvarez provided the most detailed public account yet of the frantic scene in the bedroom the day Michael Jackson died.

By Staff writer / September 29, 2011

Defense attorney Edward Chernoff (l.) questions Alberto Alvarez, one of Michael Jackson's security guards, about the timeline the day Michael Jackson died during Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial in downtown Los Angeles Thursday.

Al Seib/AP

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A member of Michael Jackson’s security staff testified on Thursday that Conrad Murray asked him to help gather up drug vials and remove a drip bag from an IV stand before a 911 call was made to summon emergency medical personnel.

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At the time, Mr. Jackson was lying face up in bed with his eyes and mouth open, palms facing upward, and showing no visible signs of life, the witness said.

The new revelations came during dramatic testimony on the third day of the involuntary manslaughter trial of the pop legend’s personal physician at the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The testimony is important because it suggests that Dr. Murray may have been more concerned with protecting himself than in acting quickly to do everything possible to try to save Jackson’s life.

Alberto Alvarez, the security guard, said he was called to the scene where he saw Murray performing chest compressions on Jackson, who was not breathing and was unresponsive.

“He was laying on his back with his hands extended out to his side with palms up,” Mr. Alvarez said. “His eyes were slightly open and his mouth was open.”

“When I came into the room, [Murray] said, ‘Alberto, hurry, we have to get him to a hospital, we have to get an ambulance,' ” Alvarez told the jury.

Almost immediately, two of Jackson’s children, daughter, Paris, and son, Prince, entered the room. “Paris screamed out, ‘Daddy,’ " and began crying, Alvarez said.

Murray told the security guard: “Don’t let them see their dad like this.”

The scene in Jackson's bedroom

The testimony provided the most detailed public account yet of the frantic scene in the bedroom of Jackson’s Los Angeles mansion on June 25, 2009, the day he died.

Authorities said he died from a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol, which Jackson had apparently been using to try to treat his chronic insomnia.

The drug is usually administered in a surgical setting like a hospital or clinic with a full array of vital-sign monitors and emergency-resuscitation equipment. Murray was allegedly administering the anesthetic to Jackson in his bedroom through injections and intravenous drip bags.

Alvarez said after rushing the children out of the room, he asked Murray what happened. “He said he had a reaction, he had a bad reaction,” Alvarez told the jury.

The security guard said he did not see any equipment in the room that might help monitor Jackson’s vital signs or alert staff to a medical emergency.

Alvarez said he was shocked when he noticed a device called a condom catheter attached to Jackson’s penis. The device is used frequently in concert with an intravenous saline drip to allow medical patients to urinate while still in bed. He also saw clear plastic air tubes inserted into Jackson’s nose, and an intravenous tube inserted into Jackson’s leg.

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