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Michael Jackson: The final 24 hours

By Jessi Joseph, Don Lemon, Jeff Reid and Brian Larch, CNN
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Michael Jackson's final hours
  • Michael Jackson spent afternoon rehearsing on Wednesday, June 24, 2009
  • Rehearsal went well, but after returning home, Jackson couldn't sleep
  • Thursday morning, he allegedly asked for propofol from physician Dr. Conrad Murray
  • Jackson pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m., 4 hours after Murray noticed him not breathing

CNN's Don Lemon speaks exclusively with friends and family members about Michael Jackson's last days in "Michael Jackson: The Final Days," 8 p.m. ET Friday on CNN.

(CNN) -- On the one-year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, there are still many questions left unanswered. But older brother Tito Jackson boils it down to one: "Why him?"

"Sometime there's no answers," he added. "And maybe the answers will come later in life."

But some details surrounding the pop star's death have already emerged. Interviews with members of the "This Is It" tour provide insight into his last rehearsal. The timeline from a search warrant affidavit also tells the story of Jackson's final hours.

The affidavit was based on evidence and eyewitness accounts, including that of Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death. However, Murray's attorney disputes its accuracy.

Video: Are MJ's kids overexposed?
Video: Brothers recount Michael's death

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

As the sun rose above the exclusive Los Angeles, California, neighborhood of Bel Air, Michael Jackson began the morning inside his mansion doing what he loved: preparing for a show.

"I would start around about noon or 1 o'clock at his home. We would dance a few hours and stretched," said Travis Payne, Jackson's longtime choreographer. Payne was also associate director for the upcoming "This Is It" concert series, which Jackson was scheduled to begin July 13 at London, England's, O2 Arena.

On the afternoon of June 24, Jackson arrived at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles to rehearse.

"We had done the show from top to bottom for the first time," Payne said. "Michael came in at his usual time after he had his vocal warm-up and everything like that. So, it was mid-afternoon and we were in full swing, realizing everything we had set out to do."

On the surface, Jackson had never looked better.

"He was sharp. There was no indication that there was something wrong. He didn't seem weak. He didn't seem like something was wrong. There was no sign for anyone to go, 'Hmm, I wonder what's going on with Michael,' " said Dorian Holley, Jackson's vocal director. "I think he was in top form. And having done all of his tours for 22 years, it was still difficult for me to focus on what I needed to be doing and not watch him perform."

"This Is It" music director Michael Bearden was also on stage with Jackson during the final rehearsal.

"You could see his confidence growing and you could see [that] physically he was able to do the things that he wanted to do. That was just coming out naturally. It's like the stage is where he grew up and I think he was feeling more comfortable every day," said Bearden. "Michael had a serious glow about him."

Jackson left the Staples Center around midnight.

"Walking by, he gave me a hug and he was just like you know, I love you. I said, 'I love you, Mike' and that was it," said Holley.

"I said 'all right, love you' and he said 'love you more, see you tomorrow.' And I said 'love you too, see you tomorrow,' " said Payne.

But that was Jackson's final goodbye.

According to a search warrant affidavit, Murray told police it was a restless and ultimately drug-fueled night with Jackson battling his chronic insomnia. Jackson allegedly pleaded with Murray to give him the powerful and dangerous anesthetic, propofol.

"I used to always say -- and I still believe -- that Michael would have paid a million dollars for a good night's sleep. And that's not an exaggeration," said J. Randy Taraborrelli, a Jackson biographer and life-long confidant.

"Michael Jackson was plagued by insomnia for years," said "Inside Edition" chief correspondent and former CNN anchor Jim Moret. "He was just plagued with this horrible inability to go to sleep. And he would rely upon doctors to provide him with medications so that he could sleep."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

According to the search warrant affidavit, Murray's efforts to get Jackson to sleep began with a 10-milligram tablet of Valium around 1:30 a.m.

Then, at 2 a.m., Murray allegedly injected the singer with an anti-anxiety drug, Ativan, through an IV.

But, Murray told police, Jackson was still unable to sleep at 3 a.m., so he tried another sedative, Versed.

Jackson later received two additional milligrams of Ativan and two additional milligrams of Versed, but that didn't work either, according to the affidavit.

What Jackson really wanted, according to Murray, was the anesthetic propofol. Murray told investigators that he repeatedly declined to give Jackson the drug, despite his repeated requests.

Murray said he was actually trying to wean Jackson off propofol at the time, because he feared Jackson was addicted.

Murray's attorney, Ed Chernoff, acknowledged that the physician "doesn't have any specialized training in addiction recovery, that's true. But, then again," he added, "who has training in the addiction of propofol? Who, who else is addicted to a drug like propofol? Who? You know? There's no protocol for how to wean someone off a drug like that."

As dawn broke at 100 North Carolwood Drive, Michael Jackson was still awake, restless, and pleading for propofol, according to the affidavit.

"Michael Jackson did not like to be told what to do, and that was a huge issue," said Taraborrelli. "And anybody who worked for Michael and knew Michael will tell you that this was a man who lived on his own terms."

Police investigators say after hours of denying Jackson propofol, Murray finally relented. At 10:40 a.m. he gave the pop legend 25 milligrams of propofol, diluted with the local anesthetic lidocaine, through an IV drip. Jackson went to sleep.

According to the affidavit, at 10:50 a.m. Dr. Murray got up to go to the bathroom. A few minutes later, Murray says, he returned to find his famous patient no longer breathing. He says he then began CPR and injected 0.2 milligrams of Anexate, a drug used to counteract the effects of sedative drugs.

Murray then called Michael Amir Williams, Jackson's personal assistant. He asked Williams for help and asked him to send security upstairs, according to the affidavit.

"The cook at the house told me there were certain things that seemed to happen every day, around 8, 9 in the morning. Conrad Murray would come downstairs for breakfast; he'd often be holding a canister of oxygen," said Moret. "The morning of Jackson's death, he didn't."

According to the search-warrant affidavit, Murray asked Jackson's eldest son, Prince Michael, to come upstairs and then continued CPR.

At 11:18 a.m., police say, Murray made a series of three cell phone calls that spanned 47 minutes. Their timeline suggests that more than an hour had passed since Jackson was found not breathing.

Murray and his attorney fiercely contest the investigators' timeline.

"I think it's clear that what they're doing is hypothesizing about the timeline. That's not what happened and that's not what the doctor told them," said Chernoff.

The time of the 911 call, however, cannot be disputed. At approximately 12:22 p.m., Jackson's security guard Alberto Alvarez dialed 911. Los Angeles Fire Station 71 responded.

"When they got on the scene, it's a large mansion not too far from here, they were directed to the patient that was upstairs in the home and they found their patient was Michael Jackson, later identified to us as Michael Jackson, pulseless, not breathing," said Capt. Steve Ruda, a spokesman for the L.A. fire department.

"Pulseless, not breathing means no heart rate, no breath."

Michael Jackson was officially pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. by a doctor at UCLA Medical Center, nearly four hours after Murray told investigators he noticed the singer was not breathing. Murray, according to the search warrant affidavit, refused to sign the death certificate.

The Los Angeles coroner would rule Jackson's death a homicide. Cause of death: acute propofol intoxication. Murray was later charged with involuntary manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty.