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Conrad Murray requested CPR machine for Jackson, says lawyer

(Xinhua)

10:42, September 29, 2011

Michael Jackson personal assistant Michael Amir Williams testifies during Dr. Conrad Murray's trial in the death of pop star Michael Jackson in Los Angeles September 28, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- An attorney hired by concert promoter AEG to draft an employment agreement for Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's personal physician who is charged with involuntary manslaughter following the singer's death, testified on Wednesday that Murray had asked for a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) machine as a precaution during Jackson's 50- day comeback tour.

Kathy Jorrie said she questioned Murray's request to have the machine at his disposal. "I wanted to make sure that Michael Jackson was healthy and didn't have a heart condition," she said.

Although insisting that the singer was in good health, Murray wanted the machine as a precaution as the superstar would be putting on an "extraordinary" performance in London, Jorrie said.

"We wouldn't want to take a chance," Murray reportedly told Jorrie.

The machine was never sent and the employment contract was not completed. Murray signed the draft and sent it to Jorrie the day before Jackson died, according to the attorney.

Jorrie said she had at least two conversations with Murray in the week before Jackson's death while she was preparing the contract, which was going to be retroactive to May 1, 2009.

Murray wanted to continue being paid his 150,000-dollar monthly fee even when "This Is It" series of concerts were on a roughly three-month hiatus. Murray also said Jackon had agreed to that arrangement, Jorrie testified.

AEG is being sued by Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, based on her contention that the concert promoter hired and controlled Murray when he was caring for her son.

Jackson, 50, was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. on June 25, 2009 at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The coroner's office determined that he died of acute Propofol intoxication and classified his death as a homicide.

Murray, 58, who is freed on 75,000-dollar bail, faces up to four years in prison if convicted of the involuntary manslaughter charge.

Prosecutors claim Murray gave Jackson the powerful sedative of Propofol and then failed to monitor him, leaving the singer's bedroom for 45 minutes to send emails and make phone calls. They contend that the cardiologist "repeatedly acted with gross negligence, denied appropriate care" to his patient and that it was Murray's repeated incompetence and unskilled acts that led to Jackson's death.

Defense attorneys insisted that Murray was weaning Jackson off the medication, but the singer "self-administered" a lethal dose of the drug that killed him after the doctor left the room at his rented Los Angeles home.

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