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Jury finds AEG not negligent in Michael Jackson wrongful death trial

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(CBS) LOS ANGELES – Jurors found concert promoter AEG was not negligent in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who administered an overdose of anesthesia to singer Michael Jackson.

Brian Panish, attorney for the Michael Jackson family delivers his closing argument to jurors in the Michael Jackson lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live LLC September 24, 2013 in downtown Los Angeles. Final arguments began today in the Michael Jackson wrongful death case which alledges that entertainment conglomerate AEG is liable in the pop star's 2009 death. (Photo by Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images) / Al Seib/Getty Images

The unanimous verdict, which is a defeat for Michael Jackson’s family, brings the case to a close after five months of testimony, three days of closing arguments, and several days of deliberations.

Jackson’s mother Katherine and his three children were suing AEG Live, a company responsible for promoting and producing Jackson’s comeback concerts in 2009, arguing that the company failed to investigate Dr. Murray, the doctor who treated the pop star, because it was concerned about its own fortunes. It was argued throughout the trial that AEG Live was responsible for Jackson’s overdose death in 2009.

Attorneys for the company, who rested their defense Sept.18, argued Jackson maintained secrecy surrounding his medical care, including the treatment Dr. Conrad Murray was providing inside Jackson’s bedroom when the pop star died from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol in June 2009.

A jury convicted Murray in 2011 of giving Jackson a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol. The hospital-grade anesthetic was being administered as a sleep aid. He is currently serving time for involuntary manslaughter in the case.

Michael Jackson’s son ‘Prince’ to testify in AEG Live trial today

AEG has repeatedly denied it hired Murray and its attorneys have said they could not have foreseen the circumstances that led to Jackson’s death at age 50. The company argued in trial that Jackson was responsible for his own death and the decision to hire Murray as his full-time doctor.

In closing remarks this week reported by KCBS/KCAL in Los Angeles, attorney Marvin Putnam told jurors that AEG Live would have never hired Murray if they had known “Jackson was playing Russian Roulette in his room every night.”

“AEG Live didn’t choose him. On the contrary, they tried to talk him out of it. They told him there are great doctors in London with some of the best hospitals in the world. They told him he didn’t need to use his money to bring his doctor with him, but Mr. Jackson was undeterred,” he continued.

“How dare they come up here and accept no responsibility and blame it all on Michael,” Jackson lawyer Brian Panish said in his rebuttal.

Attorneys for the Jackson family told the jury a reasonable compensation for the loss of Michael Jackson would be $85 million for each of Jackson’s three children, and $35 million for his mother, far less than the $1 billion experts in the case had predicted based on projections of what Jackson could have earned if he lived, reports KCBS/KCAL.

The jury could decide AEG is only partially responsible for the singer’s death and assign a percentage of negligence to them.

During the trial, jurors heard from 58 witnesses over 83 days of testimony spanning 21 weeks. The testimony delved into details of Jackson’s drug use and his desire for propofol so that he could sleep. Putnam argued Jackson went “shopping” for doctors that would give him the painkillers he desired.

Panish did acknowledge in closing statements that Jackson was partially responsible for his own death, but said “it’s about shared responsibility.” He said Jackson “never had a problem until Dr. Conrad Murray was working and until Conrad Murray negotiated with AEG Live,” CNN reports.

Katherine Jackson testified in the trial that the purpose of the lawsuit was to find out what really happened to her son.

Article courtesy of CBS News

Michael Jackson’s son ‘Prince’ to testify in AEG Live trial today

Prince Jackson and his girlfriend Remi Alfalah in Beverly Hills, Calif. on June 24, 2013. Credit: Vanessa Pacheco/

Michael Jackson’s son to testify in AEG Live trial (via AFP)

Michael Jackson’s son Prince was set to take the stand Wednesday at his family’s trial against tour promoter AEG Live, a day after fans marked the fourth anniversary of the singer’s death. A family spokesman confirmed that the 16-year-old, the eldest…



Report: Janet Jackson didn’t slap Paris Jackson in the face after all

Janet Jackson wasn’t a nasty girl after all.

Paris (l.) and Janet Jackson have argued over the health and whereabouts of Katherine Jackson, but it did not get physical, according to a new report.

The “Control” singer kept her composure and didn’t slap niece Paris Jackson during a tense confrontation at the Jackson family home last week, despite an earlier report to the contrary.

Celebrity website said Wednesday that it mistakenly reported a physical altercation between Janet, 46, and the King of Pop’s 14-year-old daughter, Paris.

TMZ published an anonymously sourced story July 24 saying Janet smacked Paris across the cheek and called the teen a “spoiled little b—-” on July 23 after the singer tried but failed to grab Paris’ cell phone.

“Although we believed the story to be true when we published it, we have now determined it was not correct,” TMZ said Wednesday. “Janet did not slap or otherwise touch Paris, nor did she verbally abuse her.”

Janet had visited the Calabasas, Calif., house with brothers Randy and Jermaine to speak to Paris and her two brothers during a bizarre public battle over the health and whereabouts of beloved matriarch Katherine Jackson, the entertainers’ mother.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a “family disturbance” at the residence that afternoon and took a report of an alleged assault, a department spokesman told the Daily News. The spokesman said the physical altercation in question did not involve Michael’s kids.

One of Katherine’s lawyers released a statement within hours saying Michael’s siblings “stormed” the house, acting erratically, and TMZ posted surveillance video showing Janet grabbing for Paris’ phone on an outdoor walkway.

The News picked up the TMZ report saying Janet slapped and cursed out Paris and included a denial from a source who spoke to Randy.

“He told me that the incident was nothing,” the Randy source told The News. “I highly doubt Janet said anything like that to Paris. That is not her opinion of her niece. She thinks she’s pretty terrific. No one thinks they’re spoiled. They just want what’s best for them.”

A rep for Janet never responded to multiple requests for comment.

Katherine, 82, returned to Calabasas late last week after a judge suspended her guardianship of Michael’s kids because she disappeared for nine days on an unannounced trip to an Arizona spa organized by Randy, Jermaine, Janet and their sister Rebbie.

While Katherine was away, the four siblings sent a sharply worded letter to the executors of Michael’s lucrative estate accusing them of fraud.

The executors denied the allegations.

Katherine is expected to file court paperwork this Thursday asking for a new permanent guardianship agreement in which she shares responsibility for Michael’s kids with grandson TJ Jackson, the 34-year-old son of Michael’s brother Tito Jackson.


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Katherine Jackson Temporarily Loses Custody of Michael Jackson’s Children

Michael Jackson’s mother says she is “devastated” by a court ruling that temporarily took away her guardianship of the deceased singer’s children.

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Katherine Jackson spoke after a judge on Wednesday appointed the son of Tito Jackson to serve as temporary guardian amid a feud over the pop superstar’s estate.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff issued the ruling because she was in Arizona and hadn’t spoken with the children in several days. He appointed Tito Joe “TJ” Jackson to serve as temporary guardian with the ability to control the hilltop home where the children live and to take on other supervision duties.

Katherine Jackson told ABC News that the court ruling was “based on a bunch of lies.”

“I am devastated that while I’ve been away, that my children, my grandchildren, have been taken away from me, and I’m coming home to see about that, also,” she said reading from a prepared statement.

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She denied the suggestion made in court and in court filings to support TJ Jackson’s appointment that she was being held against her will.

“I am here today to let everybody know that I am fine and I am here with my children, and my children would never do a thing to me like that, holding me against my will,” she said while her children Randy, Janet and Rebbie were seated next to her. “It’s very stupid for people to think that.”

Beckloff said there was no evidence that Katherine Jackson had done anything wrong but instead it appeared she was being prevented from fulfilling her role as guardian through the “intentional acts of third parties.” He didn’t elaborate but made the decision after reading court filings in which TJ Jackson expressed concern that Katherine Jackson was being prevented from returning

He cited a Monday incident in which Janet, Randy and Jermaine Jackson arrived at the children’s home and told them they could speak with their grandmother but had to leave with them.

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“This was odd and disturbing to me and (the children) and heightened our concern that our grandmother was being prohibited from returning home,” TJ Jackson wrote in a sworn statement. The incident turned into a confrontation between two male adults at the house and sheriff’s officials say it remains an ongoing battery investigation.

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Paris Jackson: ‘I will make whoever did this pay’

Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson’s 14 year old daughter continues to claim she is being kept from her grandmother, authorities said. She reported her Katherine missing over the weekend.

Her twitter posts has also been non stop covering the drama for all the world to see,which is angering some family members.

On Tuesday morning, she tweeted again: “9 days and counting… so help me god i will make whoever did this pay.”

Paris Jackson at age 13 (OTRC Photo)

She also tweeted about her distress about not hearing from her grandmother for more than a week: “8 days and counting . something is really off , this isn’t like her at all .. i wanna talk directly to my grandmother!!<|3″

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Meanwhile, deputies continue to investigate allegations from April that Michael Jackson’s mother was being exploited by family members.

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Jackson wanted normal childhood for kids: daughter

Jackson wanted normal childhood for kids: daughter (via AFP)

Michael Jackson made his children wear masks so they would not be recognized without him, and could have some kind of a normal childhood unlike his own, the late star’s daughter Paris said. In only her second public interview, the 13-year-old said she didn’t understand why she and her siblings Prince…


Conrad Murray gets four years for role in Michael Jackson’s death

The judge voices shock at Dr. Conrad Murray’s lack of remorse and criticizes the physician for recent comments suggesting Michael Jackson ‘entrapped’ him.

Dr. Conrad Murray sits in court in downtown Los Angeles after being sentenced to four years behind bars for involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death. (Pool photo / November 29, 2011

The trial of Dr. Conrad Murray in the drug overdose death of Michael Jackson ended with a resounding rebuke from the trial judge, who lambasted his treatment as “money for medicine madness.”

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, in sentencing Murray to the maximum of four years on Tuesday, expressed shock over the doctor’s lack of remorse and criticized him for recently televised comments suggesting that the singer had “entrapped” him.

“Yipes! Talk about blaming the victim,” Pastor declared before sentencing Murray after the seven-week trial. “Not only isn’t there any remorse, there is umbrage and outrage on the part of Dr. Murray against the decedent.”

The judge described Murray’s use of a surgical anesthetic for insomnia as “horrible medicine” practiced by someone more concerned with collecting his $150,000-a-month salary than following the Hippocratic oath. He said he was astounded to hear the doctor say in a documentary broadcast earlier this month, “I do not feel guilty because I did not do anything wrong.”

“He has absolutely no sense of remorse, absolutely no sense of fault and is and remains dangerous,” Pastor said.

After the angry upbraiding, the judge imposed the statutory maximum — four years behind bars. But under a new state law, Murray will serve that sentence in L.A. County Jail rather than in a state prison. The law, designed to put the state in compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court decision about conditions in state prisons, affects nonviolent offenders such as Murray.

Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the county Sheriff’s Department, said the most time Murray would spend in County Jail is two years under state sentencing guidelines.

Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said Tuesday that he is concerned Murray might actually spend less time in jail if the sheriff is forced to release inmates early because of overcrowding. Sheriff’s officials said they have made no decision on whether there will be early releases.

The 58-year-old cardiologist, convicted Nov. 7, has lost or is in the process of losing medical licenses he holds in three states, and his lawyer mused in court Tuesday about the possibility of his working as a coffee barista or a Wal-Mart greeter. Jailers have classified Murray as “mentally disturbed” and “suicidal,” according to a probation report.

In court Tuesday, Murray blew kisses toward his girlfriend and mother in the spectator’s gallery but stared impassively as the judge dressed him down.

Jackson’s relatives opted not to address the judge, but Brian Panish, an attorney for matriarch Katherine Jackson, read a statement on the family’s behalf describing the impact of the performer’s 2009 death and saying they wanted justice but not revenge.

“As Michael’s parents, we never have imagined we would live to witness his passing. It is simply against the natural order of things,” the statement read.

“As his children, we will grow up without a father, our best friend, our playmate and our dad,” it continued.

Katherine Jackson, 81, sat near four of her surviving children with her head bowed for much of the proceedings. In an interview with a probation officer collecting information for sentencing, she asked for the maximum penalty. “She noted that every morning he is the first thing she thinks about,” the official wrote.

Prosecutors had requested a state prison sentence, although they conceded to the judge that the new state law makes a jail term the only possible sentence. Cooley later said his office was contemplating an appeal of the sentence as a broader challenge to the new law.

“This is going to be the first of many high-publicity cases where the public is going to realize they were let down” by state legislators, he said.

Lead prosecutor David Walgren told the judge that rather than making one mistake, Murray had been “playing Russian roulette” with Jackson for two months leading up to his death. With the doctor’s nightly administering of propofol “in that reckless, obscene manner, Michael Jackson’s life was put at risk,” Walgren said.

Murray’s defense unsuccessfully argued for probation. Attorney Ed Chernoff urged the judge to consider the “book” of Murray’s life rather than the single chapter of his work for Jackson. Highlighting the doctor’s rise from poverty in Trinidad and his charity work, he asked, “What about the rest of his life, what about before Michael Jackson asked for propofol, what about that?”

The judge said he was not persuaded by the lawyer’s arguments or 35 letters sent on Murray’s behalf by patients, family and friends. Pastor seized on the defense’s own metaphor, saying, “Regrettably the most significant chapter as it relates to this case is the chapter regarding treatment or lack of treatment of Michael Jackson.”

“It should be made very clear that experimental medicine is not going to be tolerated, and Mr. Jackson was an experiment,” he said. Addressing a claim put forth throughout the trial by the defense, the judge said of the singer, “The fact that he participated in it does not excuse or lessen the blame of Dr. Murray, who simply could have walked away and said no, as countless others did.”

Pastor repeatedly spoke of failures in Murray’s character and said the piece of evidence that “stuck out the most” was a surreptitious recording the doctor made of a drug-addled Jackson.

“I have repeatedly asked myself: Why did this happen and for what reasons?” Pastor said. One conclusion, he said, was that Murray kept the recording to blackmail Jackson in case they had a falling-out. “That tape recording was Dr. Murray’s insurance policy.”

Prosecutors had asked the judge to order Murray to pay Jackson’s heirs $100 million in anticipated earnings from canceled concerts. The judge said he needed more information about the estate’s calculation to make a decision.

News Source:

LA Times,0,4755417.story?track=rss

Michael Jackson Nude Death Photo Shown on Television

In a shocking moment during the televised Dr. Conrad Murray manslaughter trial, a photo of a nude and dead Michael Jackson was shown briefly on television Tuesday.

The image was taken hours after the singer died.

Read more on the Michael Jackson’s wrongful death trial.



Michael Jackson Children “Boycotts” Murray’s Manslaughter trial

According to TMZ, Michael Jackson’s children have decided to boycott the trial of Conrad Murray. Sources shared that the manslaughter trial “is just too painful to relive — especially for Prince and Paris, who witnessed the demise of their dad firsthand.” TMZ also reports that Grandmother/Guardian Katherine is relieved the kids don’t have the kind of curiosity that would drive them to the screen, especially after prosecutor David Walgren displayed the body of Michael Jackson in the first graphic during opening statements.

Read more on Dr. Murray’s Trial –