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First day of testimony comes to a close in Michael Jackson trial

by Shannon Harris on September 28, 2011

The trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, who is facing charges relating to the death of Michael Jackson, got underway on Tuesday, and featured emotional testimony and a packed courtroom that included much of the late-singer's family, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Prosecutors allege that Murray continued to supply Jackson with drugs even when he knew he was in a weakened state. Perhaps the most shocking moment occurred when lawyers played an audio recording of a barely-understandable Jackson as he mumbled about the prospects of his upcoming "This Is It" tour.

"Michael Jackson literally put his life in the hands of Conrad Murray," Deputy District Attorney David Walgren told the courtroom, the Times reports. "That misplaced trust cost Michael Jackson his life."

Murray's defense team contends that Jackson took too many tablets of the sedative lorazepam before giving himself the anaesthetic propofol, which he used as a sleep aid. Lawyer Ed Chernoff claims that Jackson did this while Murray was out of the room and that there was no way for him to have prevented it.

The trial will pick up where it left off on Tuesday, with testimony from Paul Gongaware, the co-CEO of AEG, which was promoting Jackson's upcoming concert tour. According to ABC News, Gongaware had said that he noticed something different about Jackson's deameanor in the weeks leading up to his death.

"He was a little bit off. His speech was just very slightly slurred and he was a little slower than I'd known him to be," Gongaware said of the meeting, the news source reports.

Murray is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, and if convicted he could serve up to four years behind bars.

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