By Theresa Seiger - email
LOS ANGELES (RNN) - The first man to arrive at the scene of Michael Jackson's overdose testified in court Thursday that he was instructed by Dr. Conrad Murray to take vials and a saline bag out of the room before paramedics arrived.
Alberto Alvarez, a former security guard for the pop star, noticed while he was taking the saline bag away that a small vial containing a milky white substance was inside.
"I thought we were packing - getting ready to go to the hospital," said Alvarez.
The prosecution brought the saline bag, which was recovered from the scene. A slit in the bag was shown to the jury, which Alvarez claimed had not been there previously. Propofol is also administered as a milky white substance.
A bottle of the surgical anesthetic was added to the bag for identification by Alvarez, who testified that the bag looked like the one he had taken from the room.
As the first at the scene other than Murray, who is accused of involuntary manslaughter in relation to Jackson's death, Alvarez was the one to call an ambulance. Alvarez also described Jackson's two oldest children, Paris and Prince, coming into the room in the rush of the moment.
Paris allegedly saw her father, whose head was turned toward her, and screamed, "Daddy!" before the guard could shuffle her away from the room.
Michael Jackson's former chief of security further described this frantic scene after the performer was apparently found dead in his bedroom, according to testimony given Wednesday.
Faheem Muhammad was one of the first people to arrive after Dr. Conrad Murray found the pop star on the floor of his bedroom. The doctor was described as looking "sweaty" as he was apparently giving Jackson CPR.
"His [Jackson] eyes were open and his mouth was slightly open," Muhammad said.
Fellow security guard Alberto Alvarez allegedly jumped in to help perform CPR soon after finding Jackson. Meanwhile, Muhammad shepherded Jackson's two oldest children, Paris and Prince, away from the room, where they were "balled up" and "crying."
The two men testified for the prosecution during day two of the involuntary manslaughter trial. Murray is accused of giving Jackson the fatal dose of propofol, a common surgical anesthetic usually administered in a hospital setting.
Michael Amir Williams, a personal assistant of Jackson's since 2007, also took the stand to reiterate the performer's apparent good health days before his death.
Williams described Jackson as being in good spirits after a rehearsal on June 24, 2009 - the day before his death. It was one of the few times Williams got to watch the performer's set.
"Personally, I thought it was amazing," he said. "Later, he told me he doesn't go 100 percent at the rehearsals, he was going 30 or 40 percent, but I thought it was great."
According to testimony, Williams was the first person Murray called after Jackson overdosed on the surgical anesthetic propofol.
"He said, 'Get here right away, Mr. Jackson had a bad reaction," Williams told the prosecution.
Williams said Murray never requested an ambulance but instead asked for someone to help with the pop star on the second floor of his Los Angeles home.
After arriving at the hospital, Williams said Murray asked him to drive back to the house to help him get rid of a cream that would have supposedly been embarrassing to Jackson should it be found and publicized.
Williams refused, telling Murray that the police had taken his keys.
Williams testimony was meant to support the prosecution's theory that Murray wanted to return to the house to cover up evidence of his medical misconduct.
The testimony comes the day after a disturbing recording of a slurring and incoherent Michael Jackson was played for the jury as part of the prosecution's opening statements.
Wednesday's testimony also focused on Murray's concerns over compensation.
Kathy Jorrie, the lawyer who wrote the agreement for services between Jackson, Murray and AEG Live and Concerts West, who was producing the planned O2 Arena performances, spoke about Murray's concerns over his contract agreement.
Jorrie also testified that Murray repeatedly assured her that Jackson was perfectly healthy after she requested his medical records, as was procedure with obtaining concert cancellation insurance.
Murray allegedly said that he had been caring for Jackson for three of the last requested four years and that he had few problems, so his "medical records would be very tiny," Jorrie said.
Jackson's promoter and producer for the final tour, Paul Gongaware, testified Tuesday that Jackson seemed upbeat and excited about working, adding almost 20 shows to the originally planned 31 at the O2 Arena in London.
However, the pop star was noticeably different after visiting his then-physician, Dr. Arnold Kline.
"His speech was just a little bit, slightly slurred," Gongaware said. "He was a little slower than I know him to be."
The recording, taped on Murray's iPhone in May 2009, depicts Jackson trying to communicate his desires for the tour's audience to come away from his performance awestruck and convinced that he was the best performer in the world.
In the recording, he seems to have trouble articulating basic words.
"When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say 'I've never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go. I've never seen nothing like this. Go,'" Jackson garbled.
According to testimony, Murray asked for $5 million a year to take over Jackson's care. He eventually took the job for $150,000 a month, or $1.8 million a year. He allegedly claimed he needed more money to justify closing his four practices and laying off employees.
The tour's choreographer, Kenny Ortega, testified on Tuesday that during a June meeting on Jackson's health, Murray became agitated at others' supposed interference.
"He was upset that I didn't allow Michael to rehearse the night before and that I sent him home," Ortega said. "He said I should stop trying to be an amateur doctor and psychologist and be the director and (leave) Michael's health to him."
It appears the defense will attempt to place the blame for Jackson's death squarely on the shoulders of the aging pop star.
"Jackson wanted to sleep for 10 hours, was frustrated, unable to sleep, couldn't sleep, needed to sleep, needed to succeed, and his doctor would not give him propofol," said defense attorney Ed Chernoff.
"Jackson swallowed, while he was up and about the room and other rooms and the bathroom, up to eight pills on his own, without telling his doctor; without permission from his doctor."
The trial continues Thursday. If convicted, Murray could get up to four years in prison.