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Opening Statements Begin in Conrad Murray's Trial [Update]

Tuesday marked the beginning of Michael Jackson's physician's trial, charged with administering Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol.

 

[UPDATE | Sept. 27, 4:01 p.m. PDT: Murray's trial, which will be televised and streamed online, opened to a worldwide audience. Just like Michael Jackson's life, this trial will be far from private.

And while much is known about Jackson's death, this trial is expected to be the first time that Murray will reveal his side of the story.

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren began by showing jurors photos of Jackson on a gurney. Walgren said that he would fill in the details of what happened in Michael Jackson's final hours, leading up to his death. His testimony is to follow later on in the day.

"What happened during that time frame is that the acts and omissions of Michael Jackson's personal doctor Conrad Murray directly led to his premature death at age 50," Walgren said.

Despite these accusations, Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter, denying that he gave Jackson anything that should have killed him. Defense attorneys claim that Jackson somehow administered himself the lethal dose.

Most of the testimony will center around the drug propofol, typically administered in hospitals. Not only do authorities claim that Murray is responsible for administering a lethal dose, they also believe he did not have proper equipment to revive Jackson.

Prosecutors plan on playing a recording of an interview of Murray with police two days after Jackson's death. He admitted to having given propofol to Jackson as a sleeping aid. These statements led to him being charged in February 2010.

Prosecutors plan on calling Jackson's friend and choreographer, Kenny Ortega, to the stand as the first witness. Earlier this year, Ortega testified that after he sent Jackson's home from rehearsals once for appearing to be sick, Murray warned him not to try and act as Jackson's doctor.

Ortega, choreographer and director of the theatrical film on Jackson's last rehearsals "This Is It," will provide insight on Jackson's state at the time. He will also walk jurors through some of the footage that will be shown during the trial.  

The preliminary trial that took place earlier this year resulted in a judge ruling that there was enough evidence to move forwards, however this time around, many more details will be disclosed. And many more witness recollections will be challeneged.

However, Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor has made on stipulation about the trial. Murray's lawyers are to limit the information they disclose in regards to Jackson's history with drugs, his financial difficulties and personal problems.

If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Murray could face four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.

Many of Jackson's family members showed up Tuesday to listen in as events unfolded. Family members present included his mother Katherine, father Joseph, sisters LaToya and Janet, and brothers Jermaine, Randy and Tito.

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