Ortega Testifies: Jackson Was Too Sick to Dance
The first day of the Michael Jackson death trial has ended, with afternoon testimony from This Is It director/choreographer Kenny Ortega saying that the late King of Pop was too sick to dance at rehearsals.
Following a break for lunch, the trial's first witness, Ortega, read an e-mail he wrote to a concert promoter in June 2009 expressing his concern for the performer and his health -- and whether or not they should cancel the upcoming U.K. concerts. He said that Jackson was "sort of missing" from rehearsals, which "created anxiety" for him.
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According to the Los Angeles Times, Ortega said in the e-mail, "Everything in me says he should be psychologically evaluated," adding, "There still may be a chance he can rise to the occasion if we get him the help he needs." Ortega said that he was rebuffed by Murray when he approached him about Jackson's medical care.
Jackson's personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray is accused of involuntary manslaughter, with the prosecution saying that he gave Jackson a lethal dose of the powerful sedative propofol.
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Earlier in the day, the prosecution presented an alarming image -- never-before-seen -- of a deceased Michael Jackson on a gurney, the word "homicide" starkly stamped above it. Murray's defense says that Jackson administered an extra dose of the drug himself. At another point, Murray wiped away tears as his lawyer described him as a hard-working and dedicated doctor.
Murray's defense attorney, attorney Ed Chernoff, stated that Jackson taught the physician how to use propofol and that he had used the drug to sleep for years. "The evidence is not going to show you that Michael Jackson died when Dr. Murray gave him propofol to sleep," he said. "What the evidence is going to show you is that Michael Jackson died when Dr. Murray stopped."
Several Jackson family members were present for the first day in the courthouse, including patriarch and matriarch Joseph and Katherine, sisters LaToya and Janet, and brothers Jermaine, Randy and Tito.
Stay tuned to ETonline for further developments in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray.