P V CM DEC29/10

 

Michael Jackson/Conrad Murray Hearing Notes- 12/29/10 11:00a.m.

• The defendant is not personally present but appears by defense counsel, Michael Flannagan, pursuant to Penal Code Section 977- (NOTE: **This PC 977 is not commonly done/allowed for felonies, usually only for misdemeanors.) No other defense counsel present. Conrad Murray waived his personal presence for today’s proceedings per PC 977, all counsel acknowledge waiver.

 

• Deputy District Attorney Walgren (and one other, a female) are present for prosecution

• Today’s proceedings are re: Defense’s written Motion/Request For Order To Allow Testing Of Evidence, which was filed on 12/17/10. The Prosecution’s written Response was filed on 12/27/10.

• The Court makes a statement that (before today) the Court held proceedings on the record and in chambers.

• The Defense is allowed to address their Motion first:

DEFENSE (SUMMARY OF ATTORNEY MICHAEL FLANNAGAN’S STATEMENTS)

• Defense wants the L.A. County Coroner to perform quantitative testing on 3 pieces of itemized evidence, which he believes should have been done 18 months ago and he indicates that the Prosecution knew about this evidence as far back as then.

• Defense states that the Defense and the Prosecution believes that a neutral laboratory should be selected for the testing and that all counsel tentatively agreed that the coroner is neutral.

• Defense states that only qualitative and not quantitative testing was done back in July 2009.

• The testing that the Defense wants pertains to the means of death (more statements about the means or manner of death versus the cause of death is coming later in these notes)

• Defense cites portions of the coroner’s 4-page written Declaration:

– 1) the [subject] samples (which will be described later in these notes), have degraded over a period of time

– 2) quantities are extremely limited and such testing could consume all of it

• In the coroner’s Declaration, paragraphs 13/14, a procedure that can be used is outlined.

• Defense states that they don’t agree with ALL of the statements in the coroner’s Declaration

• Defense states that the coroner said that they only do quantitative testing when it pertains to the manner of death

• Defense cites that two syringes were found: 1) adjacent to the bed, 2) on the floor; one syringe has an unknown fingerprint on it.

• Defense states that toxicology has not been done since July 2009

• Defense cites that Flumazenil was found in syringe, which is an antidote for Benzodiazampine (**the following excerpt is what I found on the internet for WHAT the Flumazenil is used for** this was NOT stated in court…**)

 

Flumazenil: an antidote for benzodiazepine toxicity.

York Hospital, Pennsylvania.

Abstract: Flumazenil, a specific benzodiazepine antagonist, is useful in reversing the sedation and respiratory depression that often occur when benzodiazepines are administered to patients undergoing anesthesia or when patients have taken an intentional benzodiazepine overdose. Judicious use of flumazenil may provide useful diagnostic information and may obviate the need for mechanical ventilation and other invasive supportive measures. Although some controversy exists regarding the possible precipitation of seizure activity in the setting of mixed tricyclic antidepressant-benzodiazepine overdose, worldwide experience with flumazenil has validated its safety and efficacy.

• Defense cites that one syringe contained Flumazenil, Lidocaine, and Propofol and that the other syringe contained Propofol and Lidocaine.

• Defense says that Conrad Murrays SAYS that he only administered 25 mg (2.5ccs) of Propofol to Michael in the morning

• Defense once again states that quantitative testing is required on those syringes, they want to know the RATIO of the quantity of Propofol to Lidocaine

• Defense cites the Prosecution’s Points & Authorities (P&As) in one of their written documents- page 1- here Defense is accusing the Prosecution of misrepresenting what the Court did on 11/29/10- saying that the Prosecution mistakenly wrote in their P&As that the Court made a ruling on this issue BUT the Defense indicates that it WAS NOT an actual ruling but just suggestions from the Court that stipulations could possibly be reached between the parties on this issue. then in reference to page 3 of the Prosecution’s P&As, Defense says that they have never claimed that the Prosecution has not been providing Discovery.

• Defense states that they did not receive toxicology until July 06, 2010 (339 pages) and that **IT WAS NOT UNTIL THAT POINT** that he realized quantitative testing had not been done. (LATER, THE PROSECUTION PROVES THAT DEFENSE IS LYING HERE…)

• Defense mentions a doctor with the last name of Hansen that they tentatively retained to do quantitative testing but Hansen not sure that it could be done. Defense also contemplated having forensic toxicology do the testing.

• Defense mentions that portions of the samples have dried up, some still liquid.

• Defense mentions that there are also other fluid samples in the possession of the L.A.P.D.

• Again Defense suggests that the coroner be allowed to do the quantitative testing

• Defense does NOT agree with splitting the samples in half- with one half going to them and the other half going to the Prosecution- he called that idea ludicrous and reminds everyone of what the coroner is saying about how the CURRENT amounts are risky for testing

• Defense said that the coroner says they will only test for the Propofol and Lidocaine, but NOT for the Flumazenil

• The Court asks Defense attorney if HE has ever seen, in his career, a request for a court order to have the coroner do something and basically Defense replied by saying that he is merely seeking AUTHORIZATION and not really an order, which is why he framed the language in his Motion in such a way that is asking the Court to allow the coroner to do the testing because this Court had already previously ordered them NOT to do anything on/to/with the subject substances. (**hey guys, yeah, I remember that order being made..)

• **NOW the Court starts in on the Defense, indicating that the Defense is basically contradicting themselves by saying: 1) The coroner should have been put on notice about this issue at the time of death (timing not really specified, or I missed it- is he saying literally the actual time of death or the official time of death per the hospital or at time of autopsy.??) ; and 2) Defense THEN says that they don’t fault the coroner for not doing the testing..

• Defense states that the ISSUE is WHO INJECTED the Propofol and then the Court says I don’t know that that’s an issue.

• The Court reminds the attorneys that HE said that he would only sign an order re: this testing if the Defense was willing to acknowledge the contents of the coroner’s 4-page declaration, with the acknowledgment being IN WRITING- AND the Court clarifies that, in requiring this acknowledgement, it does NOT mean that the Defense is accepting the contents of the coroner’s Declaration AS THE TRUTH.

• Defense states that it did not and does not agree with such an acknowledgement requirement because the Court is ONLY requiring it from the Defense and not from the Prosecution. SO THEN the Court asked the Prosecution if they are prepared to acknowledge the content of the coroner’s 4-page Declaration and Deputy District Attorney Walgren answered up, basically saying no not at this time but that he wants to address all of this when it’s his turn to address today’s Motion.

• ONE reason that the Court cites as a basis for his requirement of acknowledgement from the Defense is that later on down the line, Conrad Murray could possibly retain other Defense Counsel/Attorneys and THEY could say that this testing should not have been done or that it was done in a sloppy manner. The Court reminded all attorneys that he addressed this reason and others back on 11/29/10.

PROSECUTION (SUMMARY OF DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY WALGREN’S STATEMENTS)

• Prosecution states that they covered most of what needs to be said today in their Responsive documents.

• Prosecution states that it seems the Defense is running with a theory of suicide even though the Defense won’t flat-out say it.

• Prosecution says that the Defense’s written Motion is full of inaccuracies and cites a few issues that they dispute in terms of what Defense included in their Motion:

•  Prosecution says that they have NEVER objected to testing, as Defense Motion indicates

• Regarding the issue of not receiving the toxicology discovery before July 06, 2010: The Prosecution states that ALL pages of Discovery are numerically numbered in order and that an in-person written acknowledgement is required at the time that the Discovery is hand-delivered to the Defense, and the subject toxicology discovery was hand-delivered to and signed as having been received by attorney Flannagan himself BEFORE July 06, 2010 AND the Prosecution reminds Defense that NO DISCOVERY is required to go to and would not have gone to the Defense prior to the filing/existence of a case- AND reminding Defense that the arraignment was not until February 08, 2010 so NO exchange of Discovery with the Defense was mandated prior to that date…

• Discovery was provided to the Defense on February 16, 2010, just 8 days after arraignment AND the toxicology was included, which DID indicate that NO quantitative testing had been done so Defense KNEW well before the July 06, 2010 date he claimed was the date he found out about this issue of no quantitative testing.

• The Prosecution disputes Defense’s claim that the Court made NO findings on this issue on 11/29/10- Prosecution says that the Court did make certain findings, that the Defense DID acknowledge the contents of the coroner’s 4-page Declaration BUT stated that they (the Defense) DID NOT WANT TO GO ON THE RECORD AS SAYING SO. AND the Defense did not want to go forward with the Order that the Court was willing to offer on this issue- the offer being to allow testing with the Defense officially going on record as having acknowledged the contents of the coroner’s Dec., etc., ..(**NOTE: the coroner’s Dec indicates that the subject testing procedure would be experimental and that it could exhaust the samples.)

• Prosecution states that, despite the case law on splits, the Prosecution was/is willing to do the one-half split of the samples to the Defense and one-half for Prosecution BUT with the same acknowledgement condition that the Court is seeking from Defense IN WRITING, (with Prosecution stating that the Defense should be acknowledging certain things in writing going forward.)

DEFENSE (SUMMARY OF ATTORNEY MICHAEL FLANNAGAN’S STATEMENTS-Continues after D.A.)

• Defense references Prosecution’s exhibit E, page 279, arguing that NOWHERE does it state that quantitative testing was NOT done.. So the Court asks Defense why he didn’t come in to court back THEN with the concerns, to ask for a split, to ask for the quantitative testing.. And Defense answers that he still wasn’t completely sure that it had NOT really been done.

• Defense accuses the Prosecution of being disingenuous in this matter of offering to split the samples in half. stating that the Prosecution should not compromise their situation by proposing the split with the knowledge of the coroner already stating their concerns about testing the CURRENT very small amount of samples as a whole, let alone splitting it in half..

Judge’s additional statements at the conclusion of Hearing:

• The Court states that it is ready to issue an Order to allow the split and testing of samples- by a neutral independent lab (and by coroner?? Not really clear on this part- if it’s BOTH the coroner AND another neutral independent lab OR either/or.., gotta see transcript because he said it so fast), BUT an Order is only to be issued with the condition Court has been stating all morning- ONLY from the Defense- re: acknowledgement of coroner’s Dec (content of Dec & risks/limitations of such testing)

• **An Order is not issued today.

• Per the inquiry of the Court, both sides state that they will be ready to proceed with the Preliminary Hearing currently set on 01/04/11.

• Judge/Court states that the Public Relations Office will be providing written information to the Media and to the Public audience for the Preliminary Hearing on 01/04/11.

• Court anticipates a daily start time of 09:00a.m., with a full day of proceedings to take place, with time/scheduling adjustments to be made if necessary on any given day.

• Court makes a statement about ruling on the current bail status- (**meaning the Court can modify Conrad Murray’s current out-of-custody status by addressing the current bail/bond amount (lowering or raising) or doing an O.R. (Own Recognizance) status or maybe even a Remand order- ALL depending on the outcome of the Preliminary Hearing.. He mentions the Attorney General and Medical Board requests from a few months earlier and his ruling about not touching/changing Judge Schwartz’s Orders on this issue- BUT AFTER the Prelim, he states this issue will be re-addressed.. I’m paraphrasing here..

• Per the Court’s inquiry, the Prosecution provides an approximate 8 court days estimate for the Prelim. There is mention by the Prosecution of approximately 35+ possible witnesses….

• The Court states that there will be an overflow courtroom for the Media- department 110 for the dates of 4th thru 7th; and department 109 for dates 10th thru 13th. I think this was the breakdown.

tmj