7:00 PM EST, January 11, 2011
LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- A judge on Tuesday ordered Michael Jackson's physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter.
The ruling was issued by Los Angeles Superior Judge Michael Pastor after a six-day preliminary hearing that included more than 20 witnesses who mostly detailed Murray's actions during Jackson's final hours.
Prosecutors contended the Houston-based cardiologist was on the phone and distracted after administering a powerful anesthetic to Jackson.
They also presented evidence the singer was dead by the time Murray summoned help.
Murray is accused of giving Jackson a lethal dose of propofol mixed with other sedatives. He has pleaded not guilty.
His lawyers did not call any witnesses during the hearing.
The hearing, which began last week, has included a significant amount of prosecution evidence against Dr. Conrad Murray.
Among the witnesses was a security guard who said he was told to place vials of medicine in bags before calling 911.
Alberto Alvarez was the first security guard to reach the bedroom where Jackson lapsed into unconsciousness. Alvarez said he was frozen at the sight of Jackson on the bed with his eyes and mouth wide open.
He testified that Murray was using one hand to pump on the singer's chest as he lay on the bed. Prosecutors say CPR should be done on a hard surface, not a bed.
Alvarez says Murray ordered him to place pill bottles, an IV and vials into a brown bag before he was told to call 911.
"He just grabbed a handful of bottles, or vials, and he instructed me to put them in a bag," Alvarez said.
While waiting for paramedics to arrive, Alvarez says, Murray asked if anyone knew CPR and admitted that he had never performed the life-saving procedure before.
A paramedic sent to Jackson's rented mansion testified that he saw Murray scoop up three bottles of lidocaine from the floor and place the vials in a bag during efforts to revive the pop star.
Martin Blount testified that he was surprised to see the bottles since the doctor told paramedics he hadn't given Jackson any drugs.
Blount says Murray at one point also wanted to use a hypodermic needle on the King of Pop, which he and fellow paramedics refused.
Dr. Richelle Cooper said Jackson was dead long before he was wheeled into the emergency room at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Cooper testified she authorized paramedics to pronounce Jackson dead at 12:57 p.m., but they declined at Murray's request and because of the singer's celebrity.
After an ambulance ride trailed by paparazzi and more than an hour of efforts in the ER, Cooper officially pronounced Jackson dead at 2:26 p.m. on June 25, 2009.
Prosecutors testified during opening arguments that Jackson was already dead when Murray called for help.
They say Murray waited at least 9 minutes to call 911, possibly longer, and failed to mention the propofol to paramedics and doctors at UCLA Medical Center.
The defense was expected to argue that Jackson killed himself by injecting more of the sedative.
The hearing, which is expected to last 7 or 8 days, will determine whether Murray will stand trial in the pop star's death.
Both sides have clashed over who should test residue from two syringes found in Jackson's bedroom. Liquid in one of the syringes has already dried up and was now "salt," according to attorneys.
Defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan said he would not comment on any defense strategy and said lawyers were still in investigating the case.
Flanagan, however, did tell the judge the syringe may have been used by someone other than the doctor to administer the powerful anesthetic that caused Jackson's death June 25, 2009.
Defense attorneys want tests to be performed on the syringes and an IV bag found in the singer's mansion after his death, saying they are rapidly deteriorating and could provide vital information in the case.
A judge has approved a plan to allow defense lawyers to test the syringes and the IV bag.
Flanagan has alleged that coroner's officials should have done "quantitative" analysis of the items to help determine "the means of who injected Jackson" with the powerful drugs that killed him.
Flanagan said a huge amount of the anesthetic propofol was found in Jackson's body but his client has said he gave him only 25 milligrams on the drug.
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren suggested that the defense will claim Jackson killed himself by injecting more of the drug into himself.
Quantities of substances in the syringes and IV bag could be crucial to explaining how the singer died, according to lawyers. The testing could determine the quantities of drugs in the items, which the cardiologist's lawyers say is crucial information for trial.
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff says substances in one broken syringe found at the mansion had dried up since June 2009, when the judge ordered the evidence preserved. The tests sought by Murray's attorneys will destroy the samples and can only be performed once.
Tissue samples in Jackson's body were tested for levels of various substances and led to the coroner's determination that the pop singer died in part from acute propofol intoxication.
The anesthetic is supposed to be administered in hospital settings, but Murray told investigators he had been providing it to Jackson as a sleep aide and had been trying to wean him off the drug.
Chernoff has said the doctor did not give Jackson anything that should have killed him.
The tests are likely to be conducted by the Los Angeles County coroner's office.