Witnesses who took the stand Friday included medical-equipment expert Bob Johnson; Robert Russell, a former patient of Murray’s; paramedics Richard Senneff and Martin Blount; and ER doctor Richelle Cooper.
Johnson’s testimony proved to be particularly interesting in that he claimed the device Murray was using to monitor Jackson’s pulse and blood oxygen level, a pulse oximeter, was an inferior model that did not feature an alarm that would have alerted Murray to Jackson’s cardiac arrest the moment it occurred. The alarm feature is a point of contention for the prosecution because they intend to prove that Murray showed gross negligence in administering a dose of the highly potent anesthetic propofol and then leaving Jackson in a room alone, attached to a device that lacked the proper monitoring capabilities.
Johnson was followed by Russell, a patient who Murray operated on twice after he suffered a heart attack and had to have several stents placed in his heart. Russell testified that while he was pleased with the results of his surgeries, Murray became unresponsive and distant in June 2009, when he canceled two follow-up appointments with Russell. The last time he had any contact with Murray was via a voice-mail the doctor left claiming Russell’s heart was “repaired” and that he was leaving on sabbatical. The message was left approximately 30 minutes before Jackson’s bodyguard Alberto Alvarez called 911.