Conrad Murray: 'Michael Jackson threatened to cancel gigs the day he died'

Jackson's doctor administered Propofol to the singer

Photo: PA
Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray told police the singer threatened to cancel his London O2 Arena gigs unless he was given drugs to help him sleep on the day he died, a Los Angeles court has heard.

Detective Orlando Martinez, who interviewed Murray following Jackson's death in June 2009, was giving evidence in a preliminary hearing to determine whether the doctor should stand trial accused of involuntary manslaughter.

The detective said Murray confirmed to him that on the day he died, Jackson had said he would cancel his London gigs unless he was given a dose of the powerful anaesthetic Propofol, reports Sky News.

Martinez said Murray also admitted he had been giving Jackson Propofol six nights a week for two months, but that he had been trying to wean him off the drug as he feared he was becoming addicted to it. The singer is said to have referred to the drug as his "milk".

Describing the night's events, Martinez said Jackson had returned to his Los Angeles home at around 1am (PST) on June 25 after rehearsing for the scheduled summer gigs. He then allegedly asked Murray to give him medication to help him sleep. The doctor told police he gave Jackson sedatives Lorazepam and Midazolam intravenously, as well as a Valium pill.

BBC News reports that Murray gave Jackson a dose of Propofol between 10:40am (PST) and 10:50am on June 25. Martinez said that after Jackson fell asleep at roughly 11am, the doctor then left the room for "two minutes" to go to the bathroom, but when he returned he found that the singer had stopped breathing.

Prosecutors in the case allege that Murray made a series of phone calls between 11am and midday, but that an ambulance was not called until 12:21pm. The doctor told police he was busy trying to resuscitate Jackson, with Martinez adding that Murray told him "he did not want to neglect" the singer.

On January 6 members of Jackson's staff said they saw Murray giving Jackson CPR on the day he died, although he allegedly told them it was the first time he had given mouth-to-mouth aid.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. If the preliminary hearing, which could end this week, does go to a trial and Murray is found guilty, he could face four years in prison.

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