London: Michael Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray, has been charged with killing the singer with huge quantities of anaesthetics injected over weeks, as his trial began on Tuesday.
The doctor has admitted giving the 50-year-old pop star a dose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol as a sleeping aid while he rehearsed for his ‘This is It’ comeback concert.
But the prosecution claims he is responsible for Jackson’s death because he administered it without adequate safeguards and later botched recovery efforts when he found the singer unconscious.
Dr Murray, 58, who denies the charge, could face four years in jail and the loss of his medical licence.
In Tuesday’s opening statement, lead prosecutor David Walgren told the court the evidence would show “Conrad Murray repeatedly acted with gross negligence, repeatedly denied appropriate care to his patient, Michael Jackson”, reports the BBC.
“That misplaced trust... cost Michael Jackson his life.”
Mr Walgren claimed that Dr Murray ordered massive quantities of surgical anaesthetic during the time he worked for the singer.
In an 80-day period, he said, the doctor ordered more than four gallons of propofol – a drug most commonly used as a surgical anaesthetic.
It was enough to inject the insomniac singer with 1,937mg a day – the amount used in major operations.
Jurors were also played a recording of the pop star, so high on drugs, slurring while talking about his planned tour.
Mr Walgren said the audio, aired in public for the first time, had come from a message on Dr Murray’s mobile phone.
The prosecutor said Jackson’s difficulty in speaking on the recording showed that Dr Murray ought to have realised the star should not have taken any more propofol.