Witness: Jackson doctor got distracted on call


Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson's mother, leaves court after a hearing for Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, Thursday Jan. 6, 2011 in Los Angeles. Prosecutors called a third witness Thursday who described frantic efforts by Murray, the doctor charged in Michael Jackson's death to gather medication from the floor of the bedroom where the singer died after receiving intravenous doses of a powerful anesthetic. (AP)

Published: Friday, January 7, 2011 at 5:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 7, 2011 at 5:37 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — A former girlfriend of the doctor charged in the death of Michael Jackson testified Friday that he was distracted when he called her on the morning of the singer's death and she heard commotion in the background.

Witness Sade Anding said she realized at one point that Dr. Conrad Murray wasn't paying attention to her. She heard coughing and mumbling but didn't recognize the voice as Murray, she said.

"I heard commotion as if the phone was in a pocket or something," Anding said.

The testimony added details to a timeline being developed by prosecutors at a preliminary hearing where a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for Murray to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities contend Jackson died after Murray gave him a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives in the bedroom of his rented mansion then delayed calling 911 while he collected and bagged medications.

Phone records show Murray called Anding at 11:51 a.m. She said she stayed on the line for five to six minutes, but Murray never got back on the phone.

The records indicate 911 was dialed at 12:21 p.m.

Prosecutors also called Murray's current girlfriend, Nicole Alvarez, and asked about shipments the doctor had sent to her apartment from a Las Vegas pharmacy.

Alvarez acknowledged receiving several packages for Murray but said she never looked inside and didn't know the contents.

Authorities have said in court documents they believe Murray was having shipments of propofol and other medications used by Jackson sent to Alvarez.

It's unusual to send propofol to a private residence but not illegal.

The phone records show Murray called Alvarez from the ambulance that transported Jackson to a hospital, but prosecutors did not ask her about the call that lasted two minutes.

Jackson was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where an emergency room doctor testified Thursday that she found no signs of life in the singer.

Dr. Richelle Cooper also said Murray never said he had given propofol to Jackson.

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