LOS ANGELES -- One of Michael Jackson's bodyguards had barely stepped into the singer's bedroom when he heard a scream. "Daddy!" Jackson's young daughter cried.
A few feet away, the singer lay motionless in his bed, eyes slightly open. His personal doctor, Conrad Murray, was trying to revive him when he saw that Jackson's eldest children were watching. "Don't let them see their dad like this," Murray said, the first of many orders that bodyguard Alberto Alvarez testified Thursday that he heeded in the moments before paramedics arrived at Jackson's home in June 2009.
What happened next is one of the key pieces of prosecutors' involuntary manslaughter case against Murray.
According to Alvarez, Murray scooped up vials of medicine from Jackson's nightstand and told the bodyguard to put them away. "He said, 'Here, put these in a bag,'" Alvarez said. Alvarez complied. He placed an IV bag into another bag, and then Murray told him to call 911, Alvarez said
On the third day of the trial, prosecutors tried to show that Murray, who has pleaded not guilty, delayed calling authorities and that he was intent on concealing signs that he had been giving the singer doses of the anesthetic propofol.
Alvarez said he thought Murray might be preparing to take the items to the hospital, but didn't question him. The bags never made it to the hospital, and prosecutors claim Murray repeatedly lied to emergency personnel and did not tell them he had been giving Jackson doses of the drug as a sleep aid. If convicted, Murray, 58, could face up to four years in prison.
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff questioned whether there was enough time for Alvarez to shield Jackson's children, survey the room and stow away the drugs in the brief period phone records show he was in the home before calling emergency responders. The bodyguard insisted there was, telling the attorney, "I'm very efficient, sir."