Detective testifies about Jackson doc's money woes
 Email this Story

Apr 30, 7:51 PM (ET)

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY

(AP) This March 5, 2009 file photo shows singer Michael Jackson announcing his concerts at the...
Full Image

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A police detective who investigated Michael Jackson's doctor says he found massive evidence the physician was in dire financial straits, and he believed the doctor would do whatever necessary to get paid.

Detective Orlando Martinez told jurors hearing a negligence case filed by Jackson's mother that former cardiologist Conrad Murray was more than $500,000 in debt when Jackson died.

Murray was expecting a $150,000 a month paycheck to serve as Jackson's tour doctor, but the singer died before the contract was finalized.

Jackson's mother is suing concert giant AEG Live, claiming it failed to properly investigate Murray or his finances.

(AP) In this April 27, 2011 file photo, Katherine Jackson poses for a portrait in Calabasas,...
Full Image
Murray was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter after Jackson died of an overdose of the anesthetic propofol.

AEG has denied wrongdoing.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Jurors in the civil case between Michael Jackson's mother and concert giant AEG Live got another glimpse of the singer's private life on Tuesday through the eyes of a paramedic who described the singer's bedroom and the frantic efforts to revive the King of Pop on the day he died.

Many other private moments from the singer's life will be exposed as the case progresses over the next several months, with witnesses expected to testify about secret medical treatments, lavish spending and tender moments spent with his mother and children.

(AP) Randy Jackson and Rebbie Jackson, background right, brother and sister of late pop star Michael...
Full Image
In the nearly four years since his death, nearly every aspect of Jackson's life has been explored in court proceedings, documentaries, books and news stories.

Still, the negligence case filed by his mother against AEG promises to deliver the most detailed account of the singer's addiction struggles, including testimony from his ex-wife Debbie Rowe about treatments involving the anesthetic propofol dating back to the 1990s.

Jackson died from a propofol overdose in 2009 while preparing for a series of comeback concerts at AEG's O2 Arena in London.

Katherine Jackson contends AEG didn't properly investigate the doctor who later administered the fatal dose. The company denies wrongdoing.

During opening statements, attorneys framed Jackson's prescription drug addiction through the prism of his superstar status.

(AP) This Feb. 1, 1993 file photo shows Pop superstar Michael Jackson performing during the...
Full Image
Attorney Brian Panish, who represents Katherine Jackson, said the drug problems worsened when the pop star was under the stress of live performances.

AEG attorney Marvin S. Putnam countered that Jackson's stardom provided a cover to receive multiple, secret medical treatments, many involving propofol.

At one point in the proceedings, the harsh portrayal of Jackson's struggle with addiction, led one juror to lean forward and stare at the floor for several moments.

Katherine Jackson and two of the superstar's children, Prince and Paris, are potential witnesses whose testimony will likely focus heavily on their grieving and losses.

On Monday, Panish played a song Jackson wrote for his children as a montage of photos played during opening statements. He also read a handwritten note from Jackson that his mother framed and has hanging on her wall.

"The only way you can assess damages, is to know what they had," Panish said before reading the letter and playing "You Are My Life."

Katherine Jackson dabbed her eyes with a tissue. On Tuesday, she left the courtroom while the paramedic described her son's condition on the day he died.

It may be several days before jurors get another look at Jackson's softer side.

The trial will also feature testimony on Jackson's troubled finances, with debts that reached nearly $400 million by the time he died.

AEG contends the debts made him desperate to have a successful concert series.

"The private Michael Jackson was like a lot of American in the 2000s, spending a lot more than he was making," Putnam told the jury after describing the singer's lavish Neverland Ranch, his art collection and other spending.

With the start of testimony on Tuesday, the panel was transported by paramedic Richard Senneff into the singer's bedroom, a place he kept locked and where his propofol treatments were administered out of sight of everyone but Murray.

Senneff, a paramedic and firefighter for nearly 28 years, told the panel about responding to Jackson's bedroom on June 25, 2009, and finding an unusual scene.

He described a Murray's frazzled efforts to revive Jackson.

"He was pale, he was sweaty," the paramedic said of Murray. "He was very busy."

He said Jackson appeared to be terminally ill.

"To me, he looked like someone who was at the end stage of a long disease process," Senneff said, adding that Murray told him that he was treating Jackson for dehydration.

Senneff told the panel he found an IV pole, oxygen tanks and a nightstand with several medicine bottles.

Just as he has previously testified in Murray's criminal trial, the paramedic told the panel that Murray never mentioned propofol, the hospital-grade anesthetic that killed the singer.

Jackson's blue hands, feet and lips, and the singer's dry eyes all signaled to Senneff that the singer was dead and hadn't been breathing for a long time.

Onlookers and paparazzi were already gathering at Jackson's gate and someone pressed a camera to the ambulance window to get pictures of the stricken star.

---

Anthony McCartney can be reached at .http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP






  email this page to a friend


Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All right reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.