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Jackson jury to see video of last days, autopsy photos

22 april 2011, 12:25
0
Michael Jackson. Photo courtesy of ohgossip.com
Michael Jackson. Photo courtesy of ohgossip.com
Conrad Murray. Photo courtesy of nydailynews.com
Conrad Murray. Photo courtesy of nydailynews.com
The prosecution at the trial of Michael Jackson's physician will show footage of his final days and autopsy photos it says show he was not suicidal, a judge decided Thursday, AFP reports.

California judge Michael Pastor admitted the evidence into the trial of Conrad Murray, who was with the "King of Pop" shortly before his June 25, 2009 death from a sedative overdose. The trial is to begin May 9.

The state, which has charged Murray with manslaughter, maintains that the footage of Jackson rehearsing before his "This is it" tour show him creatively engaged and the autopsy photos show he was in good health.

The defense, which has said Jackson took an extra dose of the powerful sedative propofol without Murray's knowledge in order to kill himself, argued against showing the images, saying they would inflame emotions.

But Pastor insisted the images were admissible, saying: "They're not gruesome. They're not graphic. They're not inflammatory."

He added that one of the photos depicts a clothed Jackson on a gurney and another shows the body unclothed, adding that "appropriate parts of the torso are blocked out."

The judge will also allow jurors to see clips of Jackson rehearsing "The Way You Make Me Feel" on June 23, two days before his death, and "Earth Song" on June 24, saying they were "relevant to his demeanor."

However, he ruled against any discussion of lawsuits against Jackson, his estate or Murray, saying they were irrelevant and could "turn what should be a focused trial" into a "salacious analysis of personal financial issues."

He will allow testimony from three women who prosecutors say had a "personal and social relationship" with Murray, but accepted a defence request that it not be mentioned that Murray met two of them at strip clubs.

Jackson died at the age of 50 from an overdose of propofol, a powerful anesthetic he used as a sleeping aid.

Murray, who maintains he gave Jackson an appropriate dose of the drug, has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces four years in prison.

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