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Lawyer for doctor: Jackson had pulse when found
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14:11, June 29, 2009

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Michael Jackson still had a faint pulse and his body was warm when his doctor found him in bed and not breathing, a lawyer for the doctor told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Edward Chernoff also said Dr. Conrad Murray never prescribed or gave Jackson the drugs Demerol or OxyContin. He denied reports suggesting Murray gave Jackson drugs that contributed to his death.

Chernoff told the AP that Murray was at the pop icon's rented mansion on Thursday afternoon when he discovered Jackson in bed and not breathing. The doctor immediately began administering CPR, Chernoff said.

"He just happened to find him in his bed, and he wasn't breathing," the lawyer said. "Mr. Jackson was still warm and had a pulse."

Jackson's family requested a private autopsy in part because of questions about Murray, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday.

People close to Michael Jackson have said since his death that they were concerned about his use of painkillers. Los Angeles County medical examiners completed their autopsy Friday and said Jackson had taken unspecified prescription medication.


TIME Magazine's special commemorative issue on pop star Michael Jackson is shown here, released to Reuters on June 27, 2009. The June 29 special edition, featuring a photo of Michael Jackson by Herb Ritts, will be published in addition to TIME's regular weekly issue. Pop star Michael Jackson died on Thursday, June 25, 2009. (China Daily/ Agencies Photo)


Chernoff said any drugs the doctor gave Jackson were prescribed in response to a specific complaint from the entertainer.

"Dr. Murray has never prescribed nor administered Demerol to Michael Jackson," Chernoff said. "Not ever. Not that day. ... Not Oxycontin (either) for that matter."

Paramedics were called to the mansion while the doctor was performing CPR, according to a recording of the 911 call. Medics spent three-quarters of an hour trying to revive Jackson. He was pronounced dead later at UCLA Medical Center.

Murray was interviewed by investigators for three hours Saturday. His spokeswoman called Murray "a witness to this tragedy," not a suspect in the death, and police described the doctor as cooperative.

Chernoff also said the promoter of Jackson's 50-show London concerts, AEG Live, owes the cardiologist $300,000.

"His contract with the promoters states he would receive an amount of money each month to be his (Jackson's) personal physician and they have failed to honor that contract," Chernoff said. "They are two months behind."

Randy Phillips, president and CEO of AEG Live, acknowledged the contract called for Murray to be paid $150,000 a month, but said the contract required Jackson's signature.

"Michael never signed the contract," Phillips said.

He also said the doctor's claim for payment may be against Jackson's estate, not AEG which was merely advancing the money to Jackson.
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