Return to Transcripts main page
Latest From Michael Jackson Doctor`s Trial
Aired October 13, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Tonight, the Conrad Murray trial continues. I am in presently on Carolwood Drive in Los Angeles, the home where we last witnessed Michael Jackson alive. This is the home where Conrad Murray is alleged to have given Michael Jackson a deadly combination of medications. This is where it happened just behind these gates.
Ryan Smith is with us. Ryan, what`s the latest? P
RYAN SMITH, HOST, IN SESSION: Thanks Drew. I`m Ryan Smith filling in for Doctor Drew tonight. You know we will have more on the Conrad Murray trial in a moment.
Big day in court, but first, the increasingly - in decreasingly desperate search for baby Lisa continues. You know she`s been missing for more than 10 days and as police and the FBI track down over 310 tips, they still had no leads or suspect. But they were curious about a mystery man in this surveillance video. You know it turns out he is baby Lisa`s uncle. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The infant`s mother is seen on this video buying baby supplies from a local market on the day her child went missing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see Deborah Bradley, Lisa`s mother and another man walk into the grocery store about a mile or so away from this neighborhood here. And they walk away, everything looks very calm.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is the baby, seriously. Where is the baby. It makes me so sad, makes you have that feeling in your stomach as time goes by that the outcome is just not going to be good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Baby Lisa`s dad returned home from a late shift at work October four. He told police that he found the house lights on, window tampered with, and his child gone. We have the dispatch tapes obtained by ABC News of the 911 call. But this is a call from the dispatcher, talking to police, talking about little baby Lisa, who they found was now missing. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He noticed his screen is busted and his ten month old daughter is missing. He didn`t witness anything and don`t know how long she`s been gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: So, the questions we`re asking now, is this a child abduction? And why does the mother think that she is going to be arrested? That was part of the theme of what people were talking about recently. And why is a private investigator known as "Wild Bill" assisting in the case?
Joining me tonight, Psychotherapist Robi Ludwig and also CNN correspondent Ed Lavandera who is in Kansas City, Missouri.
Ed, I`ll start with you. Who is this Wild Bill and what does he have to do with this case?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he`s a guy that appeared out of the blue a couple nights ago. But Bill Stanton is a somewhat high profile private investigator, former New York City police officer. He was on the cover of ""New York" magazine several years ago and a lengthy profile of him several years ago. He goes by the name of "Wild Bill." And obviously, he says that he has been brought in not to, you know, figure out or solve the case but to help out the family. He says he`s here to help, provide a fresh eye, but it has been hard to kind of figure out and ask him a whole lot of questions as to what his motivation is here, but we have been told he is being paid by a well off friend of the family. He`s been brought in here to help them out. And in his words, keep one eye on the family and keep one eye out there on what may have happened to baby Lisa.
SMITH: Interesting. Now Ed, as we look at this other man in this video we saw, now we know that`s the brother of baby Lisa`s mom. What about him? Has he been talked, the police talked to him? Is he now under investigation?
LAVANDERA: Police aren`t telling us exactly who they`re talking to. They kind of talk about it broadly. We asked them have family members been spoken to. They say look, everyone, it is safe to assume everyone with any connection to the family is being talked to. So, based on - it is not a direct confirmation that they talked to him specifically, but you read through the lines of what authorities that been telling us, I think to assume that probably has taken place, especially now that you have seen him with her in the five hours or so before she told police she put baby Lisa to sleep. So, obviously in the state of mind, going up until that initial moment, very important. And you would imagine that`s one of the things officers have been checking on.
SMITH: And Ed, another thing that kind of just seems strange about this case, the mother taking a polygraph. Two questions for you. Has the father take and polygraph, and who insisted on this? Was this the police asking for this?
LAVANDERA: That was my understanding the mother had taken the polygraph. This is based on what she said in interviews last week, she said in the course before the tensions between the police officers and the parents had gotten so intense, and before they, before officers say the parents stopped cooperating with them. She said in that interview police told her that she had failed this polygraph test, and obviously from there they spent two days where both sides weren`t talking to each other. That has since been put to rest. They have been talking to the authorities since Saturday. We have seen authorities going in and out of the house where they`re staying over the last few days.
SMITH: All right. So she took the polygraph test and failed that. You know, the family dynamics here are what kind a make things confusing about the case. Baby Lisa`s aunt Ashley Irwin stirred up some controversy when she went on national television and predicted that Lisa`s mom would soon be arrested, but listen to her reasoning, which prompted swift response from Kansas City police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHLEY IRWIN, BABY LISA`S AUNT: Because it`s what the police do. They don`t have any leads, so they have to pin it on somebody.
CAPT. STEVE YOUNG, MO POLICE DEPARTMENT, KANSAS CITY: We`re not offended by it because it is so far from reality. We`re under pressure to find a child. We`re not under pressure to pin this on anybody, or wrap it up, or make an arrest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Robi Ludwig, let me go out to you on this one. You put it out there that Deborah, Lisa`s mom might be arrested then you say well, the police are looking, pointing fingers. The police are saying look, we`re just trying to do whatever we can to find Lisa, that`s our key. But the aunt injecting herself into this, what do you make of this from a psychological standpoint? What`s she trying to do?
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, I mean certainly the mother`s body language and the way she`s been handling the situation appears to be suspicious in some way. Now, I don`t know every single detail about this case, and clearly we all don`t know about the details in this case, and we`re discovering it as we go on.
But I have no reason to believe that the police is looking to arrest somebody right now. They have a missing child at this point. I`m sure they`re doing everything they can to find this child and try to make sense out of what happened. So it is interesting that the mother feels that she`s in danger of being arrested. Does that mean she`s feeling guilty or that`s her wish somehow, that she`ll be punished for something she`s done? That`s the first thought that comes to mind when I hear statements like this.
SMITH: You know, Ed, at one point the family allegedly wasn`t cooperating. We see those statements as well. Is this hampering the police investigation?
LAVANDERA: Well, police weren`t happy during the time it was happening, so that was probably end of last Thursday, Friday, and most of Saturday that they were clearly visibly bothered by what was going on, and you know we`re kind a short, very short statements about look, they`re the ones that live in the house, it is their daughter, they`re the ones that know best what`s going on and what happened, that it is important for them to be at the table.
So, the investigators in this case were clearly very bothered by what was going on. How much of it has hampered the case, hard to tell. Before when they were talking, they didn`t have any strong leads. Even now since they resumed talking, they still don`t have strong leads as to where the baby is. So it has really kind of been at a standstill.
SMITH: Yes. Everybody out there looking for this baby. Police making it a priority. They want to find Lisa. And folks, little baby Lisa breaks your heart. Just take a look at this. This is baby Lisa`s mom heard talking to her daughter on this clip from you tube. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEBORAH BRADLEY, BABY LISA`S MOTHER: Drink your baba. Drink your baba.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: You hear this precious baby, and now she`s missing. Everyone looking for her. Ed, where are they now on the search? Do they feel like they`re any closer? Where do they search today and where do they stand?
LAVANDERA: You know you can really sense they`re exhausting every possible idea that they have. They focused a lot in the area around the home that you see behind me. They have been going, I think at one point they have gone through 300 some homes in the immediate area asking people for permission to come into the home, check it out, making sure nobody is hiding the body of the baby or anything like that. This is you know exhausting, time exhausting work as well. That is found out repeatedly. So, we have seen it in wooden areas around here, the abandoned house about a less than a mile away from here, an abandoned pawn shop that they looked in. So, it is really kind a starting to spread out and move away from this as they check more off the list that they checked. But all of that continues to go on.
SMITH: All right. Ed Lavandera, thank you so much. Police looking everywhere for baby Lisa. And producers, I wonder if we can we put that up her picture one more time? This precious little baby, baby Lisa. Can we put up this picture?
Because folks, here is the thing. Police are looking for her. The critical thing is, if you see her, see any baby resembling her please call local authorities. Kansas City police, they need help. We need to find this little girl and that`s the focus.
All right. The Michael Jackson trial is next. Everything you want to know about what happened in court. And by the way, everything you want to know about it, side issues and articles, I want you to go to hlnTV.com/MichaelJackson. Check it out.
Coming up, has the prosecution saved their best for last? We`re going to talk today about the experts that took the stand and what role they played. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOCTOR STEVEN SHAFER, ANESTHESIOLOGIST: When you maintain a drug effect, is it a drug like propofol, it has to drip in so that every moment there`s a little bit more drug going in, and the reason is because there`s constantly drug being removed by the liver.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Welcome back. We`re nearing the halfway point, maybe past the halfway point in the Michael Jackson death trial today. The prosecution began wrapping up its case with the one, two punch. Sleep medicine and propofol experts testified just a few hours ago. Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conrad Murray played a direct role in causing Michael Jackson`s death. Those of your findings?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The battle of the experts continues as the prosecution master in propofol has taken the stand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, has the prosecution proven its case against Doctor Murray?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re pulling out the big guns right now, talking about the aged of death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That the prescriber Conrad Murray to be characterized as a script doc, as someone who has a private pill mill for Michael Jackson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defense went on the offense, getting out Doctor Klein`s name, Demerol.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do understand that he was treating Mister Jackson with Demerol, yes.
SMITH: And here is another question we`re asking. Did Doctor Conrad Murray lie in his taped interview when he said he comforted the Jackson children after their father died?
Now, if you heard the tapes, Conrad Murray talking over and over again about how he comforted the family, how little Paris talked to him. Well, now there`s a report coming in saying this scenario never happened. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONRAD MURRAY, DEFENDANT: Hug them all, give comfort to Paris, comfort to Prince, comfort to Blanket. (Inaudible). Whenever they were sick, they would always ask for Doctor Conrad. Please call Doctor Conrad, you know. I give them comfort. After they cried and cried and cried, the daughter offered words of happiness, she didn`t want to be an orphan. Real sad. She`s like my daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Let`s get right to my guests, Lauren Lake is criminal defense attorney. She is with us. Also, Doctor John Dombrowski, an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist. And Darren Kavinoky is a criminal defense attorney as well.
Hey guys, let me give you a little background on to this because this is very interesting. You see Katherine Jackson, the day Michael Jackson died, she was taken to the hospital by her nephew. His name is Trent. And Trent spoke to CNN`s Allen Duke about what he heard these tapes.
And apparently according to this discussion, according to Allen Duke in is discussion with Trent that the children had said that what Doctor Murray was saying about comforting Paris, about comforting Katherine Jackson, none of that was true. All of that was made up.
See, according to Trent, the children were outside at different parts. Doctor Murray did not have contact with the children, with Katherine Jackson in the way that he posed it. So there`s a lot of questions that come up in all of this, right? Doctor Murray, is he lying on these tapes? The other thing is, will the children take the stand to contradict what he said?
So, let me go straight to you, Darren. I got to tell you, I wonder if the jurors will ever hear this, will ever hear the children saying hey, what Doctor Murray said on those tapes, no. They`re even saying, by the way, Paris making this statement that Doctor Murray, I know you did the best you could, that never happened.
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, generally speaking, trials don`t devolve into all of the logical sub issues, right. We don`t want a mini trial about whether or not what Doctor Murray said on those tapes. It`s true and we don`t ordinarily get to call a lot of extrinsic (ph) witnesses to be able to explore those issues. What I find so interesting is at this point, as we draw to the logical conclusion of the prosecution`s case. Obviously there`s a lot of theater involved in a trial as much as it is a search for justice. Clearly, they`re out to end with a bang and not a whimper. And if there are additional witnesses that they can put on that would tend to impeach Doctor Murray who I doubt we`ll see on the stand and instead just have only heard from through the tapes, obviously that could be very, very powerful material.
SMITH: But the children, putting the children on the stand. Katherine Jackson took them out of the country and somewhat say she did that to make her to stay away from this. You want to do all of that and expose them at the trial?
KAVINOKY: Yes. And at some point if you`re the prosecutor, you have to ask yourself, do I need this? Putting children on the stand, all is involved inherent risk. And at this point, you don`t want to spike the football in the end zone. A lot of courtroom observers think that the prosecutors have done an outstanding job of doing exactly what they need to do. Perhaps the best reasoned view is leave it be.
SMITH: Alright, Lauren Lake, you know there`s a concept in the law, and you and I both know this that, hey, they tell the jurors you know witnesses have taken the stand, you can choose to believe some of what they said, you can choose to believe none of what they said. You could believe all of what they said. What do you think about this?
Put on your prosecutor hat. I know you`re a defense attorney. Put on your prosecutor hat and tell me what you think. Do you call the children and others to try to expose this if in fact Doctor Murray never had these conversations, never comforted the children or Katherine?
LAUREN LAKE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely not. Leave it be. Leave those children out of the courtroom and off of the stand because it is not just about the direct examination, Ryan, it is also about the cross examination and it`s just too much.
And just like Darren said, they don`t really need it. Their issues lie in proving causation and they still have those issues whether or not Doctor Murray gave somebody a daisy or a rose or a tulip. That doesn`t matter.
SMITH: OK. All right. You know it will be interesting to see how this plays out. It is pretty explosive if in fact and talks about Doctor Murray. Same things on tape that he didn`t really do. I wonder how they handled this.
Now, today`s expert on sleep medicine said Doctor Murray`s use of propofol to treat Jackson insomnia was disturbing, unethical, inconceivable. And the prosecution summed up this testimony with this powerful question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this case, specific to this case, if we assume it is true that Michael Jackson requested that he be given propofol, and you as a qualified doctor knows that is not only inappropriate but life threatening, you have a professional, moral and ethical obligation to say no, correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s absolutely right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Doctor Dombrowski, very powerful statement from the expert. Do you think it has a big impact?
DOCTOR JOHN DOMBROWSKI, ANESTHESIOLOGIST: Of course it has a big impact. We have been talking about this all week, how this is incredibly inappropriate to use propofol to help someone sleep with insomnia. Any physician that is going to use this kind of medication must know what he`s going to use this medication for appropriately and that`s to anesthetize a patient, not to help with insomnia. And if you are going to use this medication, you must be ready to rescue the patient because there`s no antidote for this medication. The only antidote that is out there is the physician himself to manage the patient, to breath with the patient, to make that patient live.
SMITH: All right. You know what folks, as you look at this, you hear what came out today. Did Doctor Murray do what he said he did on the tapes? The anesthesiologist, the powerful experts, you want to weigh in, go to hlnTV.com/MichaelJackson. You can get all of the information you need and weigh in on what you think about this.
And coming up next, expert witnesses accuse Conrad Murray of gross negligence. But were his actions so egregious that they`re indefensible? We`ll talk about that when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOCTOR ALON STEINBERG, CADIOLOGIST: A second deviation is that checking, putting propofol, giving someone propofol in someone`s home unmonitored without the proper equipment, medical personnel or backup was also an extreme deviation from the standard of care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: That man right there, Doctor Alon Steinberg, one of the most powerful witnesses so far for the prosecution. And you know what, because he broke down the issues of gross negligence. Now, legal experts are saying that hose six points of gross negligence highlighted in the trial testimony may seal Conrad Murray`s fate. Let`s look at some of those points. And this is really what the prosecution is trying to get into and show the jury what happened here and why Conrad Murray is responsible according to them.
Number one, use of propofol to treat insomnia. Number two, administering propofol in Michael Jackson`s home. Number three, failing to plan for an emergency. And Doctor Dombrowski, want to bring you in on this one. All of these things just for a layman, if think about this, you`re at home, have a doctor taking care of you, all of them sound terrible. But which one to you stands out the most?
DOMBROWSKI: Well, the first thing is, you have to plan for the emergency. If you decide to do something as silly as what was occurring, you always have to prepare for the, you know, untoward event. This thing, right here, could have saved Michael Jackson`s life. Essentially just being able to breathe for the patient. This is an Ambu bag. You see it in emergency rooms, ERs all over. You just simply put this on the patient`s face, breathe for them. This is simple as ABC, airway, breathing and circulation. You always have to have that plan to save that patient`s life. That`s what a big critical error here.
SMITH: And some would argue because a lot of people would argue that`s why Doctor Murray was there, if you even argue that Michael Jackson had an issue or not, this is about standard of care, and that becomes really significant in this case.
Now, let`s look at the other three. Number four, not following appropriate protocol - not following, excuse me, appropriate protocol when Jackson went into respiratory arrest. Number five, failing to summon emergency help when necessary, that`s that call to 911, right? And number six, failing to maintain proper medical records. Doctor Dombrowski, there`s so much here but Doctor Dombrowski, I got to have to ask you about the medical records.
SMITH: Have you ever seen a scenario where a doctor is caring for a patient for months and caring for him often and doesn`t keep medical records?
DOMBROWSKI: No. That is part of the story that we as physicians must tell. We have to document everything in terms of if I am passing my care onto another individual or say Mister Jackson going someplace, I need to relay notes for those physician who is going to care for him. That`s incredibly important just like anything for medical care. Very important.
SMITH: And Darren Kavinoky, how does the defense handle this? Because if you look at this and I think the layman even says how could this happen.
KAVINOKY: I think this goes back to what I consider to be the most important part of the trial, which is jury selection. If you`ve got jurors that are receptive to the prosecution`s viewpoint, they`re going to look at the six items, and when we get to closing arguments, we`re going to see those things blown up and highlighted in yellow, underlined in red.
From a defense perspective, you want jurors that are going to be receptive to the idea that it was Michael Jackson who was responsible through his own addiction, through his own issues, if you will.
SMITH: Alright, w e got to talk about that. I tell you what, still a standard of care case. You know what, we are going to be right back.
By the way, you want to know what`s coming up next week, check us out at hlnTV.com/MichaelJackson.
SMITH (voice-over): Michael Jackson`s doctor on trial for the singer`s death. The doctor, the drugs, and six degrees of deviation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six extreme deviations from the standard of care.
SMITH: Prosecutors amass hours of damning testimony.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is absolutely incomprehensible and unacceptable.
SMITH: Can Conrad Murray`s defense scale the mountain of evidence and get an acquittal?
And later, what if, do Murray`s lawyers dare put him on the stand, a dangerous, desperate move or the only way left to assert his innocence?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: I am standing outside the home on Carolwood in Los Angeles where Michael Jackson received the fatal dose of medication that led to his death. If only Conrad Murray had called 911 as opposed to trying to protect himself, perhaps, Michael Jackson would be alive today. Back to you, Ryan, at the courthouse for the latest in the Conrad Murray trial.
SMITH: Thank you, Dr. Drew. I`m sitting in for Dr. Drew tonight. Thank you so much. And I`ll tell you what, there have been a number of incredible key moments for the prosecution in the Conrad Murray trial, so far. You know, this clip sums up what the defense may be up against.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conrad Murray was grossly negligent in multiple instances, and that gross negligence directly caused the death of Michael Jackson, correct?
DR. NADER KAMANGAR, PULMONARY/SLEEP EXPERT, UCLA MEDICAL CENTER: Absolutely did, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Oh, direct and damning, and the prosecution is wrapping things up. The state has been deliberate and on point, they really have it together. Now, they`re starting to tie together everything that was confusing in the beginning. They`re starting to tie it all together, try to make it clear for the jury. Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was Michael Jackson savable when Dr. Murray found him, is that what you`re asking me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Absolutely. When you give propofol, you have to always access the sedation level, and you do not leave a patient unmonitored.
KAMANGAR: Extreme is when this is just something that we just would never expect to see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In either scenario, Conrad Murray played a direct role in causing Michael Jackson`s death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would I talk on the phone? I would wake Mr. Jackson up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Makes logical sense to call 911. He doesn`t have any of the appropriate equipment, any help. He needs to get help. You call 911 first.
SMITH: Wow. And that`s from a cardiologist, a guy in his own field, an expert in that field. Listen to all of that against Dr. Murray right now. So much to deal with for the defense. So, let`s dissect it. Let`s talk about how the prosecution has done so far, what`s coming ahead. Dissect the past three weeks.
Two criminal defense attorneys, Darren Kavinoky, Mark Eiglarsh. Mark, I`ll start with you. You tell me. How is the prosecution doing so far?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Ryan, this is one of the best prosecution teams I`ve seen over the past several decades. I enjoy watching them. They are organized. They know every single issue that`s supposed to be raised. I`m impressed, and I`m looking for challenges.
The other side of the coin, however, is the defense. They`re doing a great job, however, what I`m seeing and what I saw today and yesterday from Flanagan asking open ended non-leading questions, I tell my law students you don`t do that. Why? Look at the highlights that you`re running.
Most of the highlights of this trial that are against Conrad Murray happened on cross-examination. You get in, you get out, you ask leading questions, and you don`t give their experts another opportunity to just go all over your client and highlight why he`s guilty.
SMITH: And Mark, that`s the shocking undercurrent of all of this. I`m glad you brought that up, because it almost seemed, Darren Kavinoky, like the defense was doing a direct, because they kept asking this open ended questions, allowing especially Dr. Steinberg as powerful witness, this cardiologist, to say over and over again, he should have called 911. Over and over again, he failed in so many ways.
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: My good friend, Mark Eiglarsh, is 100 percent correct on this. Number one rule of cross- examination, leading questions only. It`s not leading questions if you feel like it or if the mood strikes you, leading questions only, period. Cross-examination should be the defense lawyer making a statement. The witness saying yes or no and that`s it.
And actually, cross-examination is the defense lawyer stock and trade. You get more points by cross-examining the other side`s witnesses than you ever do by putting on your own. The jurors always expect that your witnesses are going to be favorable to you. It`s the good stuff, those nuggets you get from the other guy`s witnesses that turn cases.
SMITH: So, maybe they dropped the ball on this one. But you know what, there`s a lot to talk about in the prosecution`s case. There were few things in this case left few people shaking their heads about the prosecution`s strategy. Do you remember this, the prosecution putting up that tape of Michael Jackson slurring his voice? Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL JACKSON, MUSICIAN: I love them because I didn`t have a childhood. I had no childhood. I feel their pain. I feel their hurt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: See, Mark, I wonder if this is going to back fire on the prosecution because as I hear this, I could see some jurors, and I just want to remind everybody, there are four jurors on this jury that have been touched with addiction in some way, two that lost a father, father-in-law, two others that have children who have some sort of connection to drug abuse.
I wonder if people will hear this, and say, you know, I see that Conrad Murray did a lot of things wrong, but you know what, Michael Jackson very well could have taken that propofol himself and ended his own life.
EIGLARSH: Ryan, I see it the exact same way you do, but keep in mind, prosecutors are sharp. They know that it cuts both ways. But if they don`t introduce it, they know the defense will. And as a former prosecutor, the one thing I would -- what I do as defense lawyer, as I say, why did we have to introduce it? What are they hiding?
So, I think that, in part, the prosecutors know that they`re going to get some benefit out of it, like why is Conrad Murray even allowing drugs near a person who sounds like that. But then, they`re also taking the sting out of the potential defense argument, why did we have to introduce it in our case? What are they hiding? That`s why I think they put it in their case.
SMITH: All right. Well, that makes sense. I mean, you do have to -- it`s one of those things, right? If you think it`s going to hurt you, you put it up. You admit your faults, Darren Kavinoky, and you let it out there, and you show in some way that it can benefit your case, but I got to ask you this.
There`s another part of this, because now the defense, in the beginning, we all got the indication that the defense would try to say, Michael Jackson, may have drank that propofol. But now, they dropped that argument. Now, the jury doesn`t know this because the jury wasn`t in the courtroom to hear that. But still, when you see that, what does that tell you about the defense?
KAVINOKY: Well, it tells me that there may be some problems going on there. You don`t want to be making those kinds of decisions during the game. You want to work all that out in your dress rehearsals, in your practice sessions. You should be really, really crystal clear when you get in there about what your game plan is going to be. Now, that said, trials are very fluid thing, and sometimes, you do need to make these kinds of adjustments.
But, I`d be lying if I said I wasn`t concerned when I heard about the idea of abandoning a particular line of defense. Although, clearly, they`re still going with the self-administration thing, and I think they do have some running room with the slurred speech tape. So, there`s some stuff here. I`m staying tuned. I`m excited to see what the defense is going to offer.
SMITH: And you know, they were crafty in their opening statements, because they never said that Michael Jackson drank propofol. They said he administered it. That gave them a lot of wiggle room. But Mark Eiglarsh, I look at this. And -- OK, here`s what I see right now in the defense`s theory.
Michael Jackson injected himself with propofol and took lorazepam pills. Where does the defense go with this? Do you think they actually get out there and try to prove a theory or do they simply try to debunk with the battle of the experts, they bring up their own anesthesiologists, their own experts on sleep, and they leave it at that?
EIGLARSH: Well, my friend, Darren Kavinoky, was way too kind to the defense. Bottom line is, Darren wouldn`t start a trial nor would I with a clear defense theory and then abandon that theory midway. You do that if you get the case a week before and you kind of are just winging it.
I mean, when you promise in defense opening statement that you will hear scientific evidence to prove this is how it happened, and all of a sudden, you`re changing your direction, something is really wrong.
SMITH: But they never promised he drank it. They never promised he drank it, mark. They never said he drank it. It was almost as if they were leading themselves room to maybe change, and the jury doesn`t know anything about them dropping the theory.
EIGLARSH: I`m with you, but let me just tell you this. Credibility is everything. You come out with a clear vision on how this is going to go down from the defense perspective. Obviously, you can`t deny that Conrad Murray was there, and in some way, had something to do with this, but clearly, he wasn`t the cause of death has to be the argument.
This did happen on his watch. But again, he wasn`t the cause. And with that tape, the slurring of the speech, what they`ve done is devalued Michael Jackson`s life to some extent. It really is unfortunate.
But, hopefully, they`re getting at least one juror to possibly say, well, maybe it`s not his responsibility. Boom! You`ve got a hung jury, and then, maybe they work something out or they don`t retry him.
SMITH: OK. Darren, last word.
KAVINOKY: But if either side writes checks in opening statements, that they can`t cash with evidence during the trial, the other side is going to make them pay. When we get to closing, we`re going to hear a lot of stuff about promises not delivered on. That`s powerful stuff.
SMITH: Everything is going to come out on closing. That`s what it all summed up. That`s why we got to keep an eye on everything that goes on. Prosecution ending its case. Defense probably starting theirs very, very soon as early as Monday of next week.
Now, coming up, would it be in Dr. Murray`s best interest to take the stand or keep silent? This is a big discussion right now because of what`s happened in the last couple of days.
I want to hear what you think about this. Go to hlntv.com/michaeljackson to weigh in on this one, and keep it right here.
SMITH: At the top of the hour, stay tuned for Joy Behar. She`s got the latest on the search for Baby Lisa, plus the latest on the Murray trial. That`s Joy Behar coming up at 10:00 p.m. eastern.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. CONRAD MURRAY, DEFENDANT: I have done all I could do. I told the truth, and I have faith the truth will prevail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: That was Dr. Conrad Murray in a YouTube statement to his supporters. He said he did all he could to save the King of Pop, but the question is, did he really do all he could? Should he take the stand and defend himself? Now, some of the witness testimony has been pretty damaging. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ALON STEINBERG, CARDIOLOGIST: What he should have done was first, called 911.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not only is that a moral and professional obligation, it`s basic common sense, isn`t it?
KAMANGAR: That`s absolutely right. I mean, that is putting your patient first.
STEINBERG: What he did do also, which I think is inexcusable, he started doing chest compressions.
KAMANGAR: There was inappropriate access to the appropriate medical equipment, a delay in calling 911, and inappropriate resuscitation that ultimately culminated in his death.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: All right. Mark Eiglarsh is back with us, criminal defense attorney, Lauren Lake joins us as well. Now, I`m going to tell you why everybody is talking about whether or not Dr. Murray will take the stand. You see, Dr. Steinberg did something very interesting. He`s the cardiologist.
Guy was very smooth, got up on that stand, very well known cardiologist, and talked about all the ways in which Dr. Murray failed Michael Jackson. But he did something very clever. This was very clever on behalf of the prosecution. He only analyzed what Dr. Murray said in the police interview. Now, think about that. What that means is Dr. Murray had one story, but the benefit was he never had to be cross-examined, right?
So, he could get his story out. Well, they countered with Steinberg to say, well, based on that story, he failed him in all of these different ways and that leads to involuntary manslaughter. Who is the only person who can defend that? Dr. Conrad Murray. It almost paints the defense into a corner.
So, Lauren Lake, I ask you, do you think Dr. Murray has to get on the stand, and at the very least, defend himself against what Dr. Steinberg said and all those failures of standard of care, not just failures, but extreme failures?
LAUREN LAKE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Ryan, in a perfect world, I wish he could get on the stand and just say what really happened, but that`s not how it works. And we all know that skillful prosecutor can make even an innocent man sound guilty after cross-examination.
I think there are several problems with Dr. Murray. I do think he`s made several misstatements. I think he did a lot of things wrong, and I just don`t think he`s going to hold up under cross-examination, even if under direct, he`s able to tell a story that the jury could possibly relate to. They will annihilate him on cross.
SMITH: Absolutely agree with you, but I don`t know how he contradicts something like this. The cardiologist, Dr. Steinberg, testified yesterday that he would not have given propofol to a known drug addict, and this was on cross-examination. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEINBERG: Are you pointing out that Mr. Jackson was an addict for drugs? And that would make a difference? Because if you`re saying that I`m getting informed consent, I`m going to give you this addictive, dangerous drug, and I know I`m giving you informed consent to an addict, to someone who really wants the drug, that they may agree to it no matter what. Is that your question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
STEINBERG: Then, I wouldn`t be offering it to the person in the first place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: So, Mark Eiglarsh, who`s going to defend against that. Do you think he should take the stand?
EIGLARSH: I tell you why I do, and this is coming from a guy who almost never puts on his clients. I tell all my students do not have -- never. There`s only one time you do that, when you got to. I mean, how does a jury not convict him with this evidence? So, here`s what he brings to the stand. I`m hearing some talk.
SMITH: Go ahead, Mark. You go ahead.
EIGLARSH: All right.
EIGLARSH: What he`s bringing to the stand is more of what we saw when that tear fell down. You`re hoping as a defense lawyer that he gets on the stand, and he humanizes himself, that he actually shows that same emotion that he showed during the trial. At some point, some tears came down. It might have been during opening.
But he gets on the stand, first of all, and he says, and I don`t know if it`s going to work. I mean, this is grasping, but you put him on the stand, and he shows emotion. And they start to care for him, because right now, he looks cold.
He looks like he cared about the money. He didn`t care about Michael Jackson, but you`ve got to humanize him. And with that, maybe they`ll embrace the defense argument which is Michael Jackson caused his own death.
SMITH: All right. Lauren Lake, there you go. You put him on the stand, humanizes this. We saw him on the videotape. We heard him on that other tape, sounded like a great guy, trying to be nice, trying to help police. Why not have him get up there and defend himself. He didn`t do anything wrong in his mind.
LAKE: If this prosecutor was not as good as he is, I`m being very honest, he`s very good. You know, I`m giving credit where credit is due.
EIGLARSH: He is. He`s great.
LAKE: He really is, Mark.
EIGLARSH: That we agree.
LAKE: If he wasn`t as good as he was -- I know. One time, Mark. But, if he wasn`t as good as he was, maybe. But I really believe he will be annihilated on cross. I think too many things have happened between timeline, girlfriend, gross negligence, talking on the phone. There`s just too many things they`re going to be able to bring up on cross that has been presented. It`s just too much.
EIGLARSH: Lauren, if he`s your client, you are so good that you will work with him. You will have excuses. You will have explanations. You would have him even say, no, on that, I wish I could do things differently. However --
LAKE: You know what, Mark? I believe I`m a good attorney, but I`ve got to have to keep it real moment. You know what, I also -- no, no. Let`s have a real keep it real moment. You know what else bugs me, too? I don`t like the fact because he has -- have you noticed the language challenge with his accent.
EIGLARSH: Oh, sure. Sure.
LAKE: You know what I`m saying? As a --
SMITH: Why is that a problem, Lauren? Go ahead. Go ahead.
LAKE: Because it`s very difficult sometimes. You don`t know how other people will perceive his accent and sometimes the way he mixes words.
EIGLARSH: But Lauren -- Lauren.
LAKE: He says fate instead of faith. I`m telling you, people get annoyed. They can dislike him because of it.
EIGLARSH: They get annoyed more that he didn`t call 911. They get annoyed that he didn`t do the things --
SMITH: Guys, I got to step in. Guys, I love you. I got to step in. We got to take a break, but I`ll tell you what, two defense attorneys, you`re seeing folks, disagreeing on whether he takes the stand. That`s how tough this decision is going to be.
And we`re going to examine Dr. Conrad Murray`s police interview. Remember this, did it help, did it hurt? And there`s a lot to talk about with that one.
And remember, you can follow the trial on hlntv.com/michaeljackson. Keep it right here.
SMITH: I`m Ryan Smith, sitting in for Dr. Drew. There`s city hall. Soon, you`re going to see the courthouse where Dr. Murray is facing trial in the death of Michael Jackson. But you know, we got defense lawyers fighting about this one. Should Conrad Murray testify? And here`s another one for you. Will the police interview he did two days after Michael Jackson died hurt his credibility?
Now, back with me, Dr. Robi Ludwig. She`s a psychotherapist, and we`ve also got Lauren Lake, Mark Eiglarsh.
Dr. Ludwig, I can`t get off this point of, will he testify. What do you think? Do you think his ego, he had enough ego to go there two days after and talk about what he thought happened, even though we now find out some of that just doesn`t seem to sound right. Do you think he ends up taking the stand and saying, you know what, I want to tell my story?
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: No. No way! It`s one thing to have an ego. It`s another thing to be suicidal. That is just suicide for this man. He will be ripped apart by the prosecuting attorney, and he just won`t survive it. So, no, and I don`t think his defense attorney would want him to do it. I think that there are other ways to, perhaps, try to make this man look sympathetic, but putting him on the stand is just a no go. I can`t see it happening.
SMITH: All right. You know, we`ll have to wait and see on that one. I certainly understand both points around that. But, Lauren Lake, there`s another factor here, and this is something, again, people are talking about it. Two days after he goes to the police station with his lawyer to talk about everything that happened.
Remember, the police, at this point, don`t even know what propofol is. They don`t know about what pills were given to Michael Jackson. There`s so much they don`t know. Dr. Murray fills in the blanks. Do you think that was the biggest mistake? Because, essentially, he gave them everything they needed to point the finger at him.
LAKE: Ryan, there`s some Kool-Aid that these defense attorneys are drinking that I`m just not quite sure why they made a couple of moves. I don`t know why he ever had that interview. I can`t figure it out. I go through the whole thing about if he`s innocent, he just wanted to tell the story, but he gave them so much more to work with, and the fact he still had misstatements that they`re going to have to try to work with later.
I don`t like it at all. And lastly, I mean, it`s just the leading questions that they were failing to ask on cross. There`s just two issues here with the defense that I`m concerned about. I think there`s holes in the prosecutor`s case all over the place, and I don`t want the defense attorneys to lose it for themselves.
SMITH: Oh, wow. Now, Mark Eiglarsh, I can understand the part about them going down to the police station with him, maybe they thought he did nothing wrong. Why not show good faith and just explain this to the police, and you know what, everything will be just fine, but should that have happened?
What should they have done? Couldn`t the lawyers go down without Dr. Murray and explain everything and you just move from there, let the police do their investigation?
EIGLARSH: Absolutely. The first thing I do is I find out, well, listen, is my client going to be stripped of his liberty? I try to find out whether they`re going to arrest him. They`re going to do it no matter what, then, OK, forget about it, we`ll surrender him. Obviously, the cops are like, well, we`re still deciding.
So, the next thing I would do is I prepare a proffer. I`d write down in detail exactly what my client would say if he would testify. I give it to him. That way it can never be used against him. If the cop says, no, that`s still not good enough, I want to hear from him, well, then we have a decision to make.
And, obviously, you can`t say it was Tito who did it. I mean, obviously, it`s going to be Conrad Murray, and probable cause is a very low standard. So, you`re thinking, there`s a chance that he can talk his way out of it. You can explain this, and if he does it --
SMITH: All right. Mark, Robi, Lauren, thank you so much.
Folks, I want to let you know, Dr. Drew is going to be back tomorrow. Thanks, Drew, for letting me fill in for you. And thank you all for watching tonight. Have a --