LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors played a recording Wednesday in which Michael Jackson is heard discussing his plans to build a hospital for children in a rambling, slurred conversation with the doctor charged in his death roughly six weeks before the entertainer died.
The recording was significantly longer than the clip played for jurors in opening statements last week. It ends ominously, with defendant Dr. Conrad Murray heard asking Jackson whether he was OK after his voice trailed off.
“I am asleep,” Jackson is heard saying.
Forensic computer investigator Stephen Marx told jurors hearing the involuntary manslaughter case against Murray that the audio was recorded May 10, 2009.
Jackson is heard telling Murray that he wants to build the hospital after his planned series of comeback concerts. The singer tells the doctor that he is attempting to accomplish something that Elvis Presley and The Beatles did not.
“That will be remembered more than my performances,” Jackson is heard saying. “My performance will be up there helping my children and always be my dream. I love them. I love them because I didn’t have a childhood … I feel their pain. I feel their hurt. I can deal with it.”
Earlier, Marx said he found evidence that Murray was checking emails on his phone in the hours before the singer’s death.
Marx, an investigator with the Drug Enforcement Administration, also testified that he found emails and attachments sent to Murray containing medical records filed under the Jackson alias “Omar Arnold.”
Prosecutors are trying to show that Murray was distracted and juggling multiple tasks when he should have been monitoring Jackson on June 25, 2009. Jurors heard Tuesday from several women who called and texted the Houston-based cardiologist that morning.
Marx said he also retrieved a voicemail message from Jackson’s former manager, Frank Dileo, left five days before Jackson’s death. Dileo said Jackson had an “episode” the previous night but didn’t elaborate.
“I think you need to get a blood test on him,” Dileo said. “We’ve got to see what he’s doing.”
Marx’s testimony came as Murray’s trial moves into its “CSI” phase, when jurors will hear from investigators and detectives.
The panel also will hear from Murray himself, though it will be through a more than two-hour interview that police conducted with the doctor two days after Jackson’s death.
Murray has pleaded not guilty. He could face up to four years behind bars and the loss of his medical license if convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Authorities contend he gave Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives in Jackson’s bedroom. Murray’s attorneys say Jackson gave himself the fatal dose.
The government’s case against Murray so far has featured dramatic testimony about frantic efforts to revive Jackson.
Witnesses in the past two days included several of the doctor’s mistresses and his current girlfriend, Nicole Alvarez, who prosecutors say received shipments of propofol at her apartment on Murray’s behalf. She said she never knew what was being sent.
Another woman, Sade Anding, told jurors that Murray called her at 11:51 a.m. on the day Jackson died but stopped paying attention to her during the call.
“I pressed the phone to my ear and I heard mumbling and voices. Like the phone was in his pocket. I heard coughing,” she said.