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NEW: Michael Jackson's chef alerted Prince, but not security, that Murray wanted help
Murray gathered up drug vials before 911 was called
Murray apparently didn't know how to do CPR, a Jackson guard testifies
Michael Jackson’s chef Thursday defended her decision not to alert a security guard that Dr. Conrad Murray needed help in Jackson’s bedroom after Murray frantically asked her to do so.
It wasn’t until about 10 minutes later that a guard in a trailer a few feet away from chef Kai Chase’s kitchen was ordered upstairs to the bedroom where Murray was trying to revive Jackson, according to testimony in Murray’s involuntary manslaughter trial.
Murray “was very nervous, and frantic and he was shouting,” when he ran down a staircase near the kitchen where Chase was preparing Jackson’s lunch, Chase testified Thursday afternoon.
“Get help, get security, get Prince,” Chase said Murray screamed.
The chef’s response was to walk into the nearby dining room where Jackson’s oldest son, Prince, was playing with his sister and brother, she said.
“I said ‘Hurry, Dr. Murray needs you. There may be something wrong with your father,” Chase said she told Prince Jackson.
She then returned to the kitchen to continue lunch preparation, she said.
“He’s asking for help, he’s asking for security,” defense lawyer Michael Flanagan said during cross-examination. “Did you think that a 12-year-old child was going to be able to assist this doctor with a problem with Michael?”
“I did what I was told and I went to get Prince,” Chase answered.
Murray’s lawyers are laying the groundwork to argue that Murray should not be blamed for the delay in calling for help because he relied on the chef to alert security, who then could call for an ambulance.
The prosecution, meanwhile, contends that a delay in calling 911 for an ambulance was Murray’s fault and one of the negligent acts that make him criminally responsible for Jackson’s death.
The Jackson employee who called 911, at least 10 minutes after Murray’s plea to the chef for help, testified earlier Thursday that Murray told him to help gather up drug vials around Jackson’s deathbed before he asked him to place the emergency call.
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren blamed Murray for Jackson’s death, saying he abandoned “all principles of medical care” when he used a makeshift intravenous drip to administer the surgical anesthetic propofol to put Jackson to sleep every night for more than two months.
The coroner ruled that Jackson’s June 25, 2009, death was the result of “acute propofol intoxication” in combination with sedatives.
Alberto Alvarez, who served as Jackson’s logistics director, showed the court Thursday how he saw an empty vial of propofol inside a torn IV bag that was hanging on a stand.
During questioning by the defense, however, Alvarez indicated it was another IV bag with a clear saline solution, not propofol, that was attached by a tube to Jackson’s leg.
Alvarez testified that when he first rushed into the bedroom where Murray was trying to revive Jackson, the doctor asked him to help put drug vials into bags.
“He reached over and grabbed a handful of vials, and he asked me to put them in a bag,” Alvarez testified.
Prosecutors contend that Murray was trying to gather up evidence of his criminal responsibility for Jackson’s death, even before asking that someone call for an ambulance.
Under cross-examination, defense lawyer Ed Chernoff led Alvarez slowly through his steps during a half-minute period, apparently trying to show that his memory is wrong about the sequence of events.
When Chernoff asked him whether all of the events he described could have happened in the 30 seconds, Alvarez answered, “I’m very efficient, sir.”
Chernoff also hinted that the defense would argue that Alvarez altered his account of events two months later after conferring with other witnesses.
Alvarez described how Jackson’s two oldest children, Prince and Paris, walked toward their father, who was lying still on a bed with his eyes and mouth open, facing toward them.
“Paris screamed out ‘Daddy!’ ” and she started crying, Alvarez said.
“Dr. Conrad Murray said, ‘Don’t let them see their dad like this,’ ” Alvarez said. “I turned to the children, and I told them, ‘Kids, don’t worry, everything’s going to be OK.’ “
After helping Murray place the vials in bags, the doctor asked him to call 911. The recording of the call was played in court Thursday.
“He’s pumping his chest, but he’s not responding to anything,” Alvarez told the emergency dispatcher.