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Prosecutors seek to tell jurors about Dr. Conrad Murray's relationships with three women

They say in court papers that details of Murray's relationships with the women should be allowed at trial because it is 'relevant to show Dr. Murray's level of inattentiveness' while he responsible for Michael Jackson's care.

April 15, 2011|By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times

Prosecutors want jurors at Dr. Conrad Murray's manslaughter trial to hear about how, in the hours leading up to Michael Jackson's death, the singer's physician was talking to one woman on his cellphone and texting another while a third repeatedly called him.

In papers filed Thursday, Deputy Dist. Attys. David Walgren and Deborah Brazil wrote that the details of Murray's relationships with the three women should be allowed at trial because it was "relevant to show Dr. Murray's level of inattentiveness and distraction while he was responsible for the care of Mr. Jackson."

In his statement to investigators about events leading up to the pop star's death, Murray never mentioned the phone calls, prosecutors wrote. Prosecutors said they want to present as evidence of the nature of the relationships a $500 check Murray wrote for a Houston cocktail waitress and a $1,100 receipt from a Las Vegas gentleman's club on which he left his phone number for a dancer.

Murray's defense filed papers last week asking the judge to keep out evidence of the doctor's relationships and children, saying the information was irrelevant and would only be used "to inflame the passions of the jury." Defense attorneys also protested when prosecutors had two former girlfriends and a mistress testify at preliminary hearings, calling the move "prejudicial."

Prosecutors, however, contended in court papers that the romantic histories between Murray and Sade Anding, Michelle Bella and Bridgette Morgan would show the inadequate standard of care the physician was providing his famous patient before Jackson died from the effects of a powerful surgical anesthetic.

Murray was on the phone with Anding, the cocktail waitress, for 11 minutes shortly before Jackson became unresponsive around midday on June 25, 2009. He also sent a text message that morning to Bella, the dancer, according to the court papers. Also that morning, Morgan, who met Murray at a Las Vegas club, called his cellphone twice, the papers state.

Phone company records presented at a preliminary hearing show Murray made 11 calls in the window of time prosecutors say he should have been paying attention to Jackson.

Prosecutors also said the women will testify that Murray told them he was caring for Michael Jackson, showing his willingness to breach patient-doctor confidentiality for his own benefit.

The women "had no legitimate interest in the information other than to be impressed by Dr. Murray's association with Michael Jackson," prosecutors wrote.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charge, for which he faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

Murray's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

victoria.kim@latimes.com

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