Nightly News   |  October 25, 2011

Rossen: Murray defense paints Jackson as an addict

The prosecution has rested for the day in the trial of Michael Jackson’s former doctor, Conrad Murray, and his defense team is trying to paint Jackson as an addict. NBC’s Jeff Rossen has more from Los Angeles.

Share This:

This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: As we mentioned, there was news today from the trial of Michael Jackson 's doctor in LA. The prosecution has rested. Today was the first full day for Dr. Conrad Murray 's defense, and what we heard today was from Jackson 's nurse, recounting their conversations just before his death. NBC 's Jeff Rossen covering the case for us in LA tonight. Jeff , good evening.

JEFF ROSSEN reporting: Hi, Brian. Good evening. Watching Dr. Conrad Murray -- watching Dr. Conrad Murray 's defense team at work today, and their strategy is really becoming

clear: trying to paint Michael Jackson as an addict who needed drugs to sleep. And right off the bat today there was drama in the courtroom.

Ms. CHERILYN LEE: I'm feeling really, really dizzy.

ROSSEN: First up today, Cherilyn Lee , Michael Jackson 's nurse...

Ms. LEE: This is just a very sensitive for me.

ROSSEN: ...emotional as she told the jury, months before his death, Jackson came to her looking for propofol, brand name Diprivan .

Ms. LEE: He said, 'I know this would knock me out.'

ROSSEN: Defense lawyers claim Michael Jackson was desperate for sleep medication and needed rest for his upcoming tour. So desperate, they argue, Jackson essentially killed himself. Don't blame Dr. Murray . But the concert promoter on the stand today said Jackson didn't seem engaged at rehearsal.

Mr. RANDY PHILLIPS (AEG CEO): There was concern that Michael wasn't really taking it seriously enough or focused.

ROSSEN: Sources close to the case tell NBC News Murray 's lawyers have developed their own timeline of the day Jackson died. One AM , Jackson arrives home from rehearsal. His caravan seen here on surveillance video. He takes a shower and a Valium . Two AM , Dr. Murray gives Jackson two milligrams of the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam. Three-fifteen AM , Jackson falls asleep, but by 3:30 AM he's awake again, now walking around the house aimlessly. Between 7 and 10 AM , Murray 's lawyers claim Jackson enters his private bedroom, where no one is allowed, and swallows eight pills of lorazepam, never telling Dr. Murray . Ten-forty AM , Dr. Murray gives Jackson 25 milligrams of propofol. Murray claims Jackson then wakes up when he isn't looking and gives himself more propofol. Eleven-fifty-eight AM , Dr. Murray notices Michael Jackson has stopped breathing.

Mr. SHEPARD KOPP (Criminal Defense Attorney): The defense is presenting its theory of the case, and all they have to do is show that it's at least as reasonable as the prosecution's theory, and then under the law the jury has to acquit.

ROSSEN: Defense lawyers say they don't need long, just a few days to make their case, which means, Brian , the jury could get this case early next week.

WILLIAMS: Jeff Rossen in LA for us tonight. Jeff , thanks. And