Conrad Murray Preliminary Hearing Day 1 Tuesday 4th January 2011.
by Reflections On The Dance, An Honest Look at Michael Joseph Jackson on Monday, January 10, 2011 at 8:09am
Transcript compiled and typed up by Sharon Longhurst
Katherine,Jackie and Latoya Jackson were in the courtroom.
First witness- Kenneth Ortega.
Mrs Benson gives the oath to Kenny Oretga.
Kenny Ortega has been a director of film and television since the 1970's & 1980's. He first met Michael Jackson in 1991 in a professional capacity. Michael contacted him and asked if they could meet and set up a creative patnership as Michael was interested in him directing his next tour which was the Dangerous world tour which started in 1992. They remained in a working relationship up until Michael's death.
Kenny was involved in the directing and co-creating of This Is It which began in April 2009.
Kenny was asked by David Walgren (the co- prosecutor) how frequently did he see Michael Jackson.
Kenny answered 2 or 4 days a week in the beginning, 4-5 days a week once we got into production. That frequently continued all the way up until June 25th 2009.
Kenny was then asked to describe Michael's demeanor.
Kenny replied that Michael was excited about it (the tour) and that it was really right and exciting and had tremendous potential and that Michael had shared his reasons for doing it.
Walgren then asked about Michael's reasons for doing the tour. Kenny answered saying that Michael felt it was a good time to perform again as his children were of an age where they could appreciate it and Michael also wanted to do it for his fans who were loyal to him over the years and he also wanted to use it as a platform for the people to take care of the planet.
Kenny went on to say that Michael had discussed plans beyond the tour and that at one point Michael had asked Kenny if he had ever been to India. Michael told Kenny that they would go there as he wanted Kenny to see it. Michael also asked Kenny if he had been to Japan and they talked about taking the show to these places.
According to Kenny, after the tour Michael wanted to work with Kenny on directing motion pictures. Michael wanted to develop motion picture ideas.
Kenny was then asked about the various rehearsal locations. He confirmed that Michael was at Center Stage in Burbank,CA and was part of those rehearsals. They eventually transferred to the Forum in June 2009 and confirmed that at this point they were large scale rehearsals.
Then they transferred to the Staples Center but Kenny couldn't remember the exact time from the Forum to the Staples Center, but he did confirm that they had been at the Forum for three weeks and then moved to the Staples Center.
Kenny said that Michael was still displaying excitement about the rehearsals and that rehearsal times were staggered for dancers,band and Michael. Michael's schedule was for late afternoon and it went into the evening hours and that Michael's participation was six hours maximum,approximately four days a week.
Kenny was then asked if some days was Michael performing,dancing and Kenny replied on some days he was and that Michael was involved in every decision creatively on the show. He was the last word creatively on everything.
Kenny was then asked to describe the events of June 19th 2009.
Kenny said that he was at the Staples Center and Michael arrived and did not appear well at all. Kenny observed that Michael was chilled,soft spoken and not well. Kenny was concerned that he was in no kind of condition to perform. Kenny said that when he asked Michael if he wanted to go home Michael didn't want to at first and asked if he could have the choreographer go through the movements and that he wanted to sit in the arena.
Kenny was then asked if this is what happened and Kenny answered "for a while,yes".
Kenny then went on to say that he felt Michael appeared really lost and that he was staring and that he didn't know what was wrong with Michael but that he knew something was wrong and that he was scared.
Kenny then approached Michael again and asked if he wanted to go home. Michael asked if Kenny would be okay with that to which Kenny answered "absolutely" so Michael left.
Kenny said that he had never seen Michael Jackson in that condition before.
There was then a meeting arranged at Michael's home for June 20th 2009 and it was the production manager who called the meeting but Kenny didn't know then what the meeting was about.
Kenny was then asked who was there when he arrived at the meeting. Kenny answers that Michael, Dr Murray, Frank Dileo (Michael's manager) and Randy Phillips was there.
When asked if prior to the meeting had Kenny met the doctor before he said yes he had met him at Michael's house before and was introduced to him and that this took place sometime around April or May 2009 soon after he started working on the show. Kenny was introduced to Dr Murray at the house by Michael.
He was then asked what happened at the meeting. Kenny answered that "it quickly became clear that the meeting was about me and that the doctor was upset that I had sent Michael home and didn't allow him to rehearse the night before and because I had voiced concerns about Michael's health that evening. Dr Murray told me that this was not my responsibility and to not act like a doctor or a psychologist and to leave Michael's health to him".
Kenny was then asked Dr Murray's demeanor towards him and Kenny replied that it was scolding.
Kenny was then asked how he responded to Dr Murray.
Kenny replied saying that he tried to explain that it wasn't about preventing Michael from going on stage that it was a choice they had made together and that he thought it was a concern about Michael's health and that it was Michael's choice to leave.
Kenny was then asked by Walgren if Dr Murray elaborated at all in what role Kenny's was and what role Dr Murray's was to Michael Jackson.
Kenny was told by Dr Murray that it was better for all that Kenny concerned himself with the show and that Michael was fine.
Kenny was then asked following this meeting June 20th,was there rehearsal that day? Kenny replied there was and that Michael was bold and participating in the entire production. Kenny went on to say that he and Michael had a conversation and they had two wonderful days of rehearsals. According to Kenny, Michael was feeling good,confident and was very happy. Michael apparently said in the room that he felt very good and appreciated everything and to tell the crew and everyone that he really appreciated everything.
Kenny said that for the following day (25th June) Michael was very excited as he was going to rehearse an illusion.
Michael said goodnight and they finished shortly thereafter.
On the 25th June 2009 at some point Kenny learned that something had happened to Michael. He received a telephone call while rehearsing.
Kenny was then cross examined by Ed Chernoff.
Kenny was asked by Ed Chernoff if he had a good reputation as a choreographer to which Kenny answered yes.
He was then asked whether the survival or success of the show This Is It would effect or enhance his reputation and whether it was fair to say it was a good show, Kenny replied "sure". He was then asked if it was a bad show that would also effect your reputation and Kenny replied "I highly doubt it".
Ed Chernoff then went on and asked about the meeting that took place on June 20th 2009 at Michael's home. Kenny was asked if he knew who called the meeting and Kenny replied that he didn't know. Kenny told Chernoff that Randy Phillips was there at the meeting and that Randy Phillips was the promoter for AEG.
Chernoff then asked Kenny about Michael's condition and whether he had observed Michael as sweating and cold.
Kenny replied "not sweating.Chilled"
Kenny also said that "For the most part I think we were headed for greatness and that Michael's vision would have been accomplished. There was a period of time when Michael Jackson didn't show up. This created anxiety for me. The show at times couldn't move forward without Michael's involvement. I didn't know at times why Michael Jackson didn't show up".
Kenny was then asked by Ed Chernoff about the 19th June rehearsal. Kenny repeated that Michael was cold and soft spoken.
Kenny was then asked if there was anything else he observed and Kenny replied saying "He seemed sort of quiet in himself. He seemed to be in a state. Not present".
Chernoff then asked Kenny if Michael seemed in pain and whether he was nauseous. Kenny replied he didn't know and that he was confused by his state.
Chernoff went on to talk about the meeting which took place on the 20th June 2009 at Michael's home and said to Kenny that there were alot of people at the meeting including AEG to talk about Michael's condition and asked if this was correct and whether Kenny had been called to the meeting due to Michael missing several rehearsals.
Kenny replied saying that Michael had missed a number of rehearsals in a period but it was later in the rehearsing period that he missed.
Chernoff went on to ask whether there was a lot of concern over this and Kenny said that from his perspective, yes.
Kenny was then asked if he had any experience of someone on drug withdrawals, Kenny answered no.
Kenny was then asked if he remembered yelling at Michael and telling him to get back to the show. Kenny answered no.
Kenny was then asked if he remembered having a conversation with Karen Faye (Michael's makeup artist) after the meeting. Kenny replied saying he didn't remember having a conversation with Karen Faye.
Chernoff then asked if Kenny remembered telling Karen Faye of reading Michael the riot act and whether Kenny remembers telling Karen Faye not to placate Michael.
Kenny states he doesn't know what the word means.
Chernoff then asks whether Kenny had discussed anything with Karen Faye regarding how she should treat Michael.
Kenny replies "I don't recall having any discussion with her"
Chernoff then asked what time did Michael leave the stage on the 19th June.
Kenny replied it could of been 8 or 9pm.
Chernoff then asked if it could of been 12 midnight. Kenny replied no as Michael had only been there for 2 hours.
Kenny was then asked what time the meeting at Michael's home was schedualed to take place at. Kenny replied "late morning or early afternoon I don't remember a time".
Kenny was then asked about the number of shows and that it had increased from 30-50 shows and he was asked whether he had spoken to Michael about the increased number of shows, but Kenny said that he didn't remember exactly.
Kenny was then asked when filming began for the This Is It documentary. Kenny replied saying that they never filmed for a documentary and that Michael had asked to film the rehearsals and that the interviews were done for shows that were to be done in London. He went on to say that they never started to film the documentary and that it was never a plan and that the filming of rehearsals were for their own personal use and to enable them to view rehearsals.
Kenny said that sometimes there was a private camera rolling but it was always done through Michael's request.
Kenny was asked if he himself did any filming and Kenny replied no.
Kenny was then asked questions about how he heard about Michael's passing.
Paul Gongaware had called Kenny sometime in the afternoon while Kenny was on stage rehearsing to tell him that Michael had passed.
Walgren then REDIRECTS.
Walgren goes over what Kenny said about Michael missing rehearsals and says to Kenny that he had said that he missed some shows but it was in a period of time. "It was accumulated dates.It was a week". Early June for about a week Michael Jackson missed a series or rehearsals and that he had met Dr Murray before that.
Walgren then asks about the 20th June meeting.
Walgren then repeats what Kenny had said earlier in that Kenny was asked if he had yelled at Michael and Kenny had answered he did not.
Kenny then replied saying that Michael had said "I know you are concerned about me and I know that" and then Michael gave Kenny a big hug and said "Don't worry, we can do this". Kenny then said "If there was any voices it wasn't yelling, it was caring".
Chernoff then asks Kenny what time was Michael supposed to arrive on the 25th June for rehearsals and Kenny answers 4pm or 4.30pm.
Ortega is then excused and court goes to mid-morning break.
10.45am back inside the courtroom.
2nd Prosecution witness: Michael Amir Williams (Michael Jacksons personal assistant).
District attorney David Walgren asked Michael Amir how long had he been employed by Michael Jackson. Michael Amir answered saying " A little over two years as of June 2009. I played the role of an assistant, personal assistant, arranging day to day operations, hiring media, staff" He said that he spoke to Michael several times a day almost every day.
Walgren then proceeded to ask about the security detail.
Michael Amir explained that there were two men 24/7 hours a day to open the gate and screen everyone who came in.
Michael Amir explained his responsibilites as the following: traveling when needed, he would work with security to do as needed and he would be the liaison between security. At that time Michael Jackson was living at 100 North Carolwood in Holmby Hills.
Michael Amir Williams was involved in rehearsals at the Staples Center arranging security and things of that nature. Michael Amir would call Kenny Ortega or his assistant to find out what time Michael was supposed to be there.
Michael Amir then identifies Dr Murray for the record. He first met Dr Murray back in 2008.
Michael Amir said "I met him, knew of him before, then probably met him in 2008, early 2008. Met him in Las Vegas in 2008, as Michael's personal assistant".
Before June 25th Michael Amir frequently saw Dr Murray at Michael's house.
Walgren asked Michael Amir what was Dr Murray's pattern that he observed. Michael Amir answered that Dr Murray would come if they had a rehearsal and stay the night.
Michael Amir was then shown a photo of Dr Murray's car parked in the drive of 100 North Carolwood and he described the regular procedure to get Michael to the Staples Center and back home. An advance car would go ahead to make sure everything would be set up. Usually there would be fans there at the Staples Center and Michael would always make sure they would slow down so Michael could say hello to his fans. When going back to the house Michael would stop by the fans sometimes to shake hands. There would be an advance car again on the return home.
Michael Amir then went on to describe the routine for dropping off gifts Michael sometimes received from the fans. Michael Amir and the security would leave any gifts that were given to Michael on the steps of his home. He said it was normal for Dr Murray's vehicle to be at the house when they got back from rehearsal and the following morning sometimes Dr Murray's vehicle would still be at the house the next day.
On June 24th Michael Amir said he was involved in the general procedure in transporting Michael Jackson to the Staples Center. He was asked what time they left and he answered "It was in the evening around 6pm no later than 7pm".
They drove with Michael to rehearsal. Michael Amir sat in the front seat. Faheem Muhammad (head of Michael Jackson security) was the driver and they drove straight to the Staples Center.
Walgren then asked Michael Amir what Michael Jacksons general spirit or demeanor was. He replied that "he had a great spirit that evening. He was punctual, he wanted to make sure he got there on time. Sometimes Michael asked for a heater,saying he was cold".
Walgren then asked if Michael Amir had observed the rehearsal. He answered "It was him, yes, dancing and singing. I thought it was extraordinary personally. I thought personally it was great".
Walgren then asked how long the rehearsal lasted. He replied saying "It was close to midnight, past midnight when we finished".
Walgren then asked if they followed the same procedure to go home as before, same vehicle, same driver.
Michael Amir said that Michael was in the back seat and they drove back to the Carolwood residence. They had security outside the gate as there were fans there.
He was then asked if Dr Murray's car was there when they arrived he replied "yes it was".
After they arrived Michael Amir said he did not see Dr Murray and it was the same procedure in taking everything (items from the car and fan gifts) to the stairs. It was late so everyone just went their own way and went home.
Faheem and Michael Amir debriefed at the security station and went over the ride, just security stuff ,and then Michael Amir left and returned to his residence. He was back on duty the next day.
Michael Amir Williams account of June 25th 2009.
At some time prior to returning to work Michael Amir received a phone call from Dr Murray. He got a call at 12.13pm. There was a voice mail message. He listened to the message and it was Dr Murrays voice. It was a frantic voice. "It was, call me right away,hurry,call me right away!"
Michael Amir's phone was an iphone, he made a video of retrieving the voice mail.
He was then shown several photos and identified the photo of his phone retrieving his message.
After he retrieved the voice mail that he described as frantic he immediately called Dr Murray back. He called Dr Murray directly. He spoke to him at that time. Dr Murray asked where Michael Amir was and he replied "I'm at home." Dr Murray then said "You need to get here right away, Michael had a bad reaction. Had a bad reaction. Get here right away"
Walgren then asked Michael Amir if Dr Murray had asked him to call 911. He answered "No".
After Michael Amir got off the phone from Dr Murray he called Faheem Muhammad (head of security). Faheem said that he had left the property and was at the bank. Michael Amir then called someone else on the security detail, he called Roberto Alvarez.
When on the phone to Alberto Alvarez he told him to get to the house. Michael Amir then said he heard Dr Murray's voice in the background and then Roberto Alvarez hung up.
Michael Amir drove straight to Carolwood. He recalled there were people outside and the ambulance was there and he proceeded straight into the property and Kai Chase opened the door.
Walgren then asked if Michael Amir ever went upstairs. He replied "No sir".
Then Walgren asked if people were allowed to go upstairs and he answered "NO. No staff was allowed in his room. Maybe housekeepers to clean but as far as security people, no they wern't allowed upstairs".
Michael Amir said he immediately went to Michael's children. The paramedics were upstairs. He got the children Prince, Paris and Blanket and put them in a vehicle; in the Escalade.
Michael Amir said that he remembered the paramedics bringing the back board, while he was tending to the three children with their nanny Rosalie.(sp?) He remembered seeing Dr Murray, paramedics and it being just a horrible, crazy experience with a lot going on.
It was Michael Amir who opened the door to the EMT's. He said we already knew Michael was dead but Dr Murray wouldn't call it.
He was then asked by Walgren whether Dr Murray was with them or near by when Michael was on the gurney by the paramedics. He said that Dr Murray was there but there was a lot of commotion going on.
Michael Amir then got into the car with the children and followed the ambulance.
Walgren asked "did you observe Dr Murray? Did you notice anything?"
Michael Amir replied saying that "He was sweating. I got into the car with the children...and followed the ambulance".
Walgren then asked him what the demeanor of the children was like. He answered "They didn't know what was going on so it wasn't too bad".
Walgren next asked Michael Amir to describe the scene at UCLA. He described the scene as "chaos. People with cameras, we were trying to do what we could to cover things up. Trying to do what we could with the children, to cover their faces up".
Once the children were inside they were with Rosalie the nanny and the security detail were in front of the room. Michael Amir and the security went back to where Michael's body was and they were working on him. Michael Amir then went to the bathroom to wash his face because he was crying. They were working on Michael behind a curtain as he wasn't in a private room.
Michael Amir remembers after a while Dr Murray walking out, the doctors walking out and saying to the adults that Michael had died and that he had been taken to a private room and they needed someone to tell the children what was going on with their dad.
Walgren then asked if he was there when the children were told.
"Frank blurted out that Michael was dead. Prince was saying make sure you tell them Daddy's allergic to this, to that. Frank (dileo) said your daddy had a heart attack and died. Dr Murray said, "Oh, no don't tell them that, we don't know".
Walgren then asked if Dr Murray had approached Michael Amir with a request and what did he say.
Michael Amir said that Dr Murray was making small talk about Michael and that Dr Murray asked him a question. He said that "Mr Jackson had some cream that he didn't want the world to know about. Would you or one of the guys take me back to the house to get it?".
Michael Amir said "It was just an odd question that he wanted to go back to the house and that was the thing I just couldn't do, so I said let me check with one of the guys".
He went and spoke to Faheem about Dr Murrays request and Faheem said we can't go back. Faheem had said that to avoid confrontation as it wasn't true. So they decided to tell Dr Murray that the police had their house keys because the police needed them.
Then Doctor Murray reapproached later about getting food. Michael Amir and Faheem told him that they couldn't take him anywhere. Dr Murray said he hadn't eaten and he wanted to go and get some food. Amir couldn't remember the exact time this took place but the family were there.
Walgren asked if Michael Amir had contacted the security at the residence and he answered "I told them to make sure they lock the house down and don't let anyone in, don't let anyone out".
Walgren then said "Following these requests by Dr Murray did you see him again that day?"
Michael Amir replied "No"
Walgren then asked "Did he ever contact you and say goodbye?" "No,detectives came in and asked his whereabouts and I just gave them Dr Murrays phone numbers".
Cross by Ed Chernoff.
Chernoff starts by saying to Michael Amir "You said that one of the jobs was to coordinate security?" Michael Amir replies "Yes sir"
"You were instrumental in the hiring of security?" asked Chernoff. "Yes sir" replied Michael Amir.
The security that was in place was by a company called Security Measures based in LA.
Chernoff then asked who were the people working for Security measures in June?
Alberto Alveraz. Faheem Muhammed,they wern't hired by Security Measures. Patrick Mohamed SM. Issiam (sp?) Mohamed SM, Larry Tolbert?
Michael Amir then says that he doesn't know if Larry Tolbert is Larry Mohamed.
The actual owner of Security Measures is from the Nation of Islam.
Michael Amir then says that he knew the owner and that he tried to pick some of the guys.
Chernoff then asks if Patrick Mohamed is connected to Nation of Islam. Michael Amir answers "yes sir".
Chernoff then mentions the following names "Alberto Alveraz? Nation of Islam? Patrick Issaic? Nation of Islam?
Michael Amir replies saying that he knew the nanny,he knew her personally as his mum was a good friend of hers.
Chernoff then proceeded to ask whether she was Nation of Islam or is there anyone there who were?
Michael Amir answered saying "The housekeeper's, or about three or four security were not Nation of Islam.
Chernoff then asked who was working on the morning of June 25th?
Michael Amir answered saying there were three shifts. There were two men on the property 24/7. Larry and Phillip and Lewis Williams. Lewis Williams is Michael Amir Williams brother.
Michael Amir knew Lewis was working that day.
Chernoff went on to say "You said the first person you called was Faheem Muhamed? You said the reason you said that was because he was always hanging around, he was always over there.
Michael Amir answered saying "He worked the day shift so I knew that he was there".
Chernoff went on to mention about Faheem working the night before and whether it was fair to say that Faheem Muhammed was at the residence more than any other other security guard. Michael Amir answered saying that Faheem did work the day shift.
Chernoff then asks Michael Amir if he had reviwed his phone records before he testified today?
He answers "No sir".
Chernoff then asks if Michael Amir remembers making another call before Faheem?
"No I don't. My attorney told me about my phone records.." replied Michael Amir.
Chernoff asks if he had told him prior to making his third statement to the police and asked if he had made a statement to police at the hospital?
"If it was, it was only for a few minutes" said Michael Amir.
Michael Amir had spoken to officers back at the residence.
Chernoff then went on that Michael Amir made a third statement to police on August 31st 2009 and asked if him and his lawyer didn't go through his phone record prior to today?
Michael Amir responds saying "We never went through the record who I called that day. I'm being honest with you".
Judge Pastor then says "I hope your being honest all the time".
Chernoff then asks if he remembers making a phone call prior or after Roberto Alvarez and when he spoke to the police on the 31st August if he had a specific time and if he remembers that today and asked if his phone records would reflect better than his memory.
Michael Amir replied "Yes Sir".
Chernoff then asked "When you called Roberto Alvarez, are you sure you called him and he didn't call you?
Michael Amir replied saying "I think I remember calling him and I remember asking where he was".
Michael Amir Williams is excused.
Next to testify is Faheem Muhammed (Head of Michael Jackson's security).
Faheem Muhammed told the court that he had been alerted to some kind of emergency back at the house by Michael Amir Williams.
He then began to describe what he saw as he entered Michael's home and bedroom.
On entering the bedroom he saw Michael just laying there with his eyes and mouth open..
He observed Dr Murray attempting to attend to Michael Jackson. Faheem told the court that he gave the others in the room a look of shock when Dr Murray asked if anyone knew how to do CPR. Dr Murray was clearly in a panicked state.
Faheem said "I looked at Alberto Alvarez because we knew Dr Murray was a heart surgeon, so we were shocked".
At some point Faheem looked up and saw Prince standing in the bedroom doorway and Paris was on her hands and knees in the hallway crying.
Upon seeing the children, Faheem called the nanny and asked her to get the children out of the room and to make sure that the children were put in the car.
Faheem Muhammed also said that Dr Murray had complained to him about feeling hungry and that he wanted to leave to get something to eat. Faheem said he told Dr Murray that he couldn't leave and to get something to eat at the hospital but he left anyway.
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff asked Faheem Muhammad whether Dr Murray had asked for help because he was tired and Faheem replied saying "The way that he asked it is as if he didn't know CPR".
Court ended approx 4.30pm.
and from Ustream where Erin Jacobs was giving updates from the Court. Thank you Erin <3