What did Conrad Murray tell police after Michael Jackson's death?
The prosecution in the Conrad Murray trial played a tape of the statement Murray made to police two days after Michael Jackson died. This was the first time it has been heard in public.
Jurors at the trial of Michael Jackson’s personal physician heard portions of a dramatic tape recording on Friday of Conrad Murray’s first statement to police, given two days after the pop legend died of an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol.Skip to next paragraph
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The statement, introduced as evidence by prosecutors, has never before been released to the public. It provides Dr. Murray's moment-by-moment account of Mr. Jackson’s final hours.
Murray gave the statement with his lawyers present before toxicology tests showed that Jackson died of an overdose. After those results, Murray emerged as a suspect in Jackson’s death.
Murray admitted that in an attempt to help Jackson sleep he gave intravenous doses of two sedatives and propofol from 1 a.m. to about 11 a.m. on June 25, 2009.
The doctor said he had been treating Jackson’s chronic insomnia for more than two months by giving him nightly doses of propofol. He said he was worried that Jackson had developed a dependency, and he was trying to wean him from relying on the anesthetic.
“Three days before his death I started to wean Mr. Jackson from propofol,” Murray told the detectives. “I told him I wanted him to assume a more natural pattern of sleep.”
It didn’t work. Jackson was under intense pressure from his concert promoters – and ultimately his fans – to deliver spectacular performances in rehearsals and eventually in London. As the pressure intensified, so did Jackson’s insomnia.
It all came to a head at about 10:50 a.m. on June 25, 2009.
The crucial few hours
Jackson had been complaining through the early morning hours of his inability to fall asleep. “All the time he complained that if he could not perform, he would have to cancel rehearsal,” Murray said. “It would not satisfy his fans if he was not rested well. There was a lot of pressure there.”
At one point Murray even checked the IV where he had administered two sedatives in four different doses. He said he wanted to make sure the connection was flowing into Jackson and had not leaked onto the bed.
Murray told police that by 10:40 a.m. Jackson was pleading for propofol, which he had nicknamed “milk.”
“He said, ‘Please, please give me some milk so I can sleep,’ ” Murray said on the tape. The detectives seemed to think for a moment he meant something quaint like milk and cookies. But Jackson’s request was for heavy sedation.
Murray eventually surrendered to Jackson’s wishes and said he injected 25 milligrams of propofol into Jackson’s IV.
“He fell asleep,” Murray said. “He was not snoring. I was a little bit hesitant that he would jump out of sleep.” He added: “He does that.”
Murray said he sat at Jackson’s bedside and monitored his heart rate and other vital signs until he felt confident that “everything was stable.”
He said went to the bathroom and returned in about two minutes. “I came back to his bedside and it looked like he wasn’t breathing,” Murray said. “I was able to get a pulse. His body was warm. There was no change in color. I assumed everything happened very quickly.”
The doctor said he immediately started CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.