Photos of Michael Jackson's body shown to court on first day of manslaughter trial

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 3:37pm

The trial of the doctor accused of causing Michael Jackson's death has finally gotten underway.

In opening statements, prosecutors painted Dr. Conrad Murray as incompetent, while the defense suggests the pop star caused his own death. Step by step, prosecutor David Walgren laid out the case against Dr. Conrad Murray.

"Misplaced trust in the hands of Conrad Murray cost Michael Jackson his life," Walgren told jurors.

The prosecution claims Murray, who was being paid $150,000 a month by Jackson, violated the standard of care by giving the pop star the surgical anesthetic Propofol to help him sleep. Walgren also focused on Murray's actions in the weeks and days leading up to Jackson's death, playing a disturbing audio tape of an incoherent sounding Jackson during a conversation with Dr. Murray six weeks before his death.

Records show Murray ordered large quantities of Propofol from April until the day Jackson died. Murray began tearing up as the defense disputed the prosecutions claims.

Defense attorney Ed Chernoff described Dr. Murray as a caring physician who was trying to wean Jackson from Propofol, suggesting Jackson himself administered the fatal dose.

"Against his orders, he did an act that caused his own death," Chernoff said.

Outside the courthouse it was a media frenzy. Members of the Jackson family arrived to dozens of chanting fans, and vowed to be present for every step of the trial.

The trial is expected to last up to five weeks.

The jury will not be sequestered during that time, but the judge has warned them to stay away from any of the publicity surrounding the case.

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