Nightly News   |  September 29, 2011

Bodyguard: Murray asked him to remove vials

Prosecutors say Dr. Conrad Murray was negligent, pumping Michael Jackson with drugs that killed him. On Thursday, one of Jackson's bodyguards took the stand as a key witness in the prosecution’s case. NBC’s Jeff Rossen reports.

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>>> good evening. it may say a lot about health care for rich folks in america. michael jackson hired his personal physician for a flat fee, $150,000 a month to care for him. it's now pretty clear that as a celebrity patient he expected a certain kind of medical treatment . some contend that meant whatever he wanted. his former doctor is in trial in california following the death of michael jackson . and, today, jurors and viewers around the world heard from a man who was there in the room when michael jackson died, ending a life that was more troubled than we all first thought, if that's possible. nbc's jeff rossen starts us off from the courthouse in l.a. tonight. jeff, good evening.

>> reporter: hey, brian. prosecutors in los angeles say dr. conrad murray was negligent by pumping michael jackson with drugs that ultimately killed him back on june 25 , 2009 . years later, dr. conrad murray is now on trial and prosecutors called their key witness to the stand, michael's own body guard who says after michael jackson stopped breathing, dr. murray made a stunning request.

>> does this appear to be the bottle that you saw on june 25 , 2009 ?

>> it appears to be, yes, sir.

>> reporter: alberto alvarez says he and dr. conrad murray were the only people there as michael jackson died inside the pop star 's bedroom. alvarez told the jury when jackson stopped breathing, murray wanted to clean up.

>> he reached over and grabbed a handful of vials. then he reached out to me and said, here, put these in a bag.

>> reporter: prosecutors say dr. murray was trying to hide the medication before calling 911.

>> at the bottom of the bag there was what appeared to me like a milky white substance , sir.

>> reporter: prosecutors say it was propofol, a powerful anesthetic. dr. murray is accused of administering a lethal dose to jackson to help him sleep.

>> this is clearly the most damning evidence so far. the intent is to show the jury that he had consciousness of guilt.

>> reporter: and they did. on cross-examination saying murray did ask him to call 911 immediately.

>> is it possible, mr. alvarez , that you are confused about the timing of these particular events? is that possible?

>> no, sir.

>> reporter: the defense argument that michael jackson was desperate for sleep.

>> reporter: desperate to make his comeback tour work.

>> he was apparently willing to do whatever he needed to do to find rest.

>> reporter: and your contention is he would have done anything including giving himself propofol and lorazapam.

>> without question. that's why michael jackson isn't here today,.

>> reporter: there was an emotional moment late in the day in court. alvarez was talking about michael jackson 's kids as michael was dying in his bedroom. alvarez said he looked up and saw paris and prince in the doorway looking on. he said paris was crying and simply screamed, daddy.