After three weeks of prosecution evidence against the doctor charged in the death of Michael Jackson, a court has heard witnesses describe him as a thorough and caring physician.Several patients testified that Dr Conrad Murray offered his services free to the poor.
Dr Murray's eyes filled with tears as one elderly patient recalled him founding a clinic in a poor community in Texas in honour of his father. Ruby Mosley said: "If this man was greedy, he never would have come to an area where 75 per cent of the people are poor, on welfare and social security and where he was making less than where he was in Vegas." The 82-year-old witness told the court that the physician never turned away a patient even if they didn't have insurance or couldn't afford treatment. Ms Mosley was the last of five character witnesses that Dr Murray's lawyers called during his trial for involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles. He has pleaded not guilty.
Las Vegas resident Andrew Guest, 48, told jurors: "I believe that Dr Murray is not getting a fair shake. I believe he needs support. I am alive today because of that man." Another former patient, Gerry Causey, said the doctor treated him for a heart attack 11 years ago and remains his best friend. "I know his love, his compassion, his feelings for his patients," Mr Causey said. "He's the best doctor I've ever been to." He had driven to LA from his home in Utah – approximately 580 miles away – to speak up for Dr Murray. After making his statement the witness went up to the physician, shook his hand and kissed his head (below).
Another character witness, Dennis Hix, said the doctor carried out a series of live-saving operations to his arteries, even though his insurance did not cover the cost. "When I went and told him I didn't have the sort of insurance to pay for hardly anything, he did it for me for free. San Diego resident Lunette Sampson also sung his praises – recalling how Dr Murray found out what was wrong with her after she was misdiagnosed by three doctors. "I have never had a doctor who is more caring," she added. All the witnesses stated that the physician was not motivated by money. Prosecutors have argued that he was heavily in debt and initially sought $5 million (£3.1 million) to treat Michael as he prepared for a series of lucrative comeback concerts. He agreed to become the king of pop's personal doctor for $150,000 (£93,775) a month but was never paid because the singer died before the contract was signed. The trial will draw to a close with the final witnesses for the defence – a pair of medical experts meant to respond to claims he acted recklessly by administering the anaesthetic propofol as a sleep aid. It is expected the jury will make their decision early next week.