Michael Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray to go on trial
Michael Jackson‘s personal physician, Conrad Murray, has gone on trial in Los Angeles, charged with involuntary manslaughter of the singer.
Prosecutors say he gave Jackson a lethal dose of the sedative propofol, which the star used as a sleeping aid, on the night he died in June 2009.
The defence says Jackson gave himself too much of the drug.
If convicted, Dr Murray, 58, could face four years in jail and the loss of his medical licence.
The proceedings will be televised and broadcast online.
Focus on final hours
Hundreds of Jackson fans gathered outside court on Tuesday for the start of the trial, which is beginning with opening statements from defence and prosecution.
ackson choreographer Kenny Ortega was set to be the first prosecution witnesses to take the stand.
Mr Ortega was expected to lead the court through some footage from Jackson’s final rehearsals as the 50-year-old star prepared for a series of comeback concerts.
That video eventually became part of a documentary, This is It, directed by Mr Ortega.
A judge has blocked some details of both Jackson and Dr Murray’s lives from being discussed at the trial.
Jackson’s history with drugs and financial troubles, as well as Dr Murray’s debts and personal affairs, will not come out in court.
Both sides were expected to focus on Jackson’s last hours.
Multiple witnesses, including security guards, paramedics and emergency room doctors are to be called.
The prosecution also plans to play a recording of Dr Murray’s police interview two days after Jackson’s death, in which the doctor says he gave the singer propofol for his insomnia.
The disclosure led to charges being brought against Dr Murray in February 2010.
Propofol is usually administered intravenously, often during surgery. Medical experts are expected to testify about the drug’s effects, as well as how a trace amount of the drug was found in Jackson’s stomach.
Defence lawyers are putting forward the theory that Jackson drank or somehow administered an extra dose of propofol after Dr Murray left.
The prosecution, meanwhile, will try to prove that Dr Murray was grossly negligent by administering too much of the drug and doing so outside of a hospital setting, without life-saving equipment nearby.
The trial is expected to last several weeks.
The jury comprises seven men and five women, one African American, six whites and five Latinos.