5 ex-patients testify on Murray's behalf in Jackson trial

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Offline everlastinglove_MJ

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5 ex-patients testify on Murray's behalf in Jackson trial
By Martin Kasindorf, Special for USA TODAY
Updated 25m ago

Dr. Conrad Murray acknowledges a former patient of his that testified as a character witness during Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial in the death of singer Michael Jackson in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Pool photo by Paul Buck, Getty Images
Dr. Conrad Murray acknowledges a former patient of his that testified as a character witness during Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial in the death of singer Michael Jackson in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

LOS ANGELES — Five former heart patients of Michael Jackson's $150,000-a-month personal doctor praised him at his homicide trial Wednesday as capable, caring and anything but greedy.

But prosecutor David Walgren sought to score points against defendant Conrad Murray in scathing cross-examination of the defense witnesses. Walgren attempted to show they were biased and that Murray's care of Jackson was far lower in quality than how he treated them.

STORY: Nurse: Jackson thought propofol safe with monitoring
Lawyers for Murray, 58, summoned the five to testify to the cardiologist's good character in his Houston and Las Vegas medical practice. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Jackson in June 2009 through an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol. Prosecution medical experts had testified that Murray improperly used propofol as a sleep aid and "abandoned" Jackson by leaving him unmonitored in his bedroom while sedated. Murray's legal team contends that Jackson gave himself the fatal propofol in the doctor's absence.

The former patients said Murray had performed operations on them, installing stents to open blocked heart arteries and counseling them through years of "thorough" follow-up visits.

Gerry Causey, 68, of Cedar City, Utah, told lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff that Murray was "the best doctor I've ever been to." Causey said he based his opinion on "the way he cares for you, the way he makes you feel and the love he has for you." Murray would never abandon a patient and is so uncaring about money that "he doesn't charge me my deductible," Causey said.

Andrew Guest, 48, a locksmith at a Las Vegas casino-hotel, nodded to Murray and said "that man sitting there is the best doctor I've ever seen." He called Murray "a great guy."

Lunette Sampson, a heavy-set San Diego resident with diabetes and a long history of heart problems, said "I have never had a doctor that was more caring — never."

Dennis Hix, 66, of Banning, Calif., said that another physician had told him his heart condition couldn't be fixed, but that Murray "said 'I can fix that,' and he did." Moreover, "he did it for me free."

Ruby Mosley, 80, of Houston's low-income Acres Home district, walked into the courtroom on a cane. She said Murray selflessly opened a clinic there in 2006 "in honor of his dad," who had operated a clinic in the neighborhood for 37 years until his death in 2003.

If Murray had been greedy, the woman said, "he never would have come to Acres Home, where 75% of the people are poor, on welfare and Social Security, where he was making less than where he was in Vegas."

On cross-examination, Walgren got Causey to acknowledge telling defense lawyers that Murray was "my best friend." Murray didn't treat Causey for a sleep disorder that involved a "drug dependency issue," as he had treated Jackson, Walgren established. And when Murray operated on Causey, four health care professionals were in attendance with sophisticated monitoring equipment — unlike the scene in Jackson's bedroom where doctor and patient were alone with minimal equipment, Walgren also established.

Causey then told Chernoff he had given news media interviews on Murray's behalf because "I just don't think he did what he's accused of, and I wanted to help."

Walgren took another turn at Causey, asking: "I want you to assume that Conrad Murray acted with gross negligence and caused the death of Michael Jackson. You would still be here, giving that testimony, for your best friend?"

"I would still be here," Causey replied.

Walgren asked Guest: "Dr. Murray never gave you propofol in your bedroom, did he?" Guest answered, "No, sir."

Chernoff asked Guest why he gave CNN a pro-Murray interview. "I believe that Dr. Murray is not getting a fair shake," the witness said. "I believe he needs support."

Walgren asked Sampson if she knew about a disciplinary letter that Las Vegas' Sunrise Hospital sent Murray in 2005, lambasting him for not coming to the hospital to consult about a patient with blood-clotting risk until three hours after he was first telephoned. The witness said she knew nothing about it — but the jury heard Walgren read the blistering letter.

Hix told Walgren that the letter Murray sent his patients when he left his practice to treat only Jackson mentioned he was taking a "sabbatical," making no mention of the celebrity. Asked by Walgren when he learned that Murray was going to be Jackson's doctor, Hix laughed and said, "I didn't even know it until I seen it on TV."

Mosley told Walgren she knew Murray only from clinic appointments, not in his personal or social life. Asked by Walgren if she had ever met "one of his female friends, Sade Anding," Mosley said no. Anding, a Houston cocktail waitress, was one of four girlfriends of Murray who testified as witnesses for the prosecution.

Jurors were excused for the day by 10:30 a.m. Tuesday because of problems scheduling the next defense witnesses. Murray's lawyers said they expect to call two scientific experts, possibly recalling a third scientific witness, when they wrap up their case Thursday. The lawyers didn't mention Murray as a witness.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor told Murray that before the defense rests its case, he will formally advise him of his "absolute constitutional right" to testify or not testify, despite what counsel may be advising. Pastor asked the defendant if he understood this right. "I do," Murray murmured.

The case could reach the jury of seven men and five women early next week, after any prosecution rebuttal witnesses and closing arguments by the attorneys


5 ex-patients as character witnesses on Murray's behalf. Why not character witnesses on MJ's behalf? Not exactly fair, is it?
And why 5 EX-patients? I suppose Murray has patients as well, why don't we see just 1 of them? Weird. 

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Offline voiceforthesilent

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Thank you for sharing this with us.

While I was listening to the witnesses talk about how great Dr Murray is, how he saved their lives, how unselfish he is and how he treated them and made them well whether they had money to pay for their treatment or not, I couldn't help but think about what people have said about Michael.

In fact, when Murray broke down and cried (I think he was mostly acting) I got the feeling that it somehow portrayed Michael's feelings over people who have stood up on his behalf and spoke about the kind of person he really is instead of what he has been falsely accused of doing.

The parallels can't be ignored.

I'm proud to be a child of God and a member of MJ's Army of L.O.V.E.
"Press coverage of my life is like [watching] a fictitious movie...like watching science fiction. It's not true." ~Michael Jackson (2005)

"You should not believe everything you read. You are missing the most important revelations". Craig Harvey 3-15-2012

Offline bec

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Didn't Macauly Culkin testify for MJ as a character witness? I was always under the impression that they did allow a few character witnesses for MJ.
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