Jury can see two Jackson autopsy photos
LOS ANGELES — A judge hearing the Michael Jackson manslaughter case says prosecutors can show jurors two images from the singer”s autopsy.
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Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor ruled Thursday that prosecutors trying Dr. Conrad Murray can show what Pastor described as benign photos that are not graphic or gruesome.
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren says he intends to introduce photos during the upcoming trial that will be carefully displayed.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Authorities have accused him of giving Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol in the bedroom of his rented mansion in June 2009.
Murray”s attorneys have suggested in recent months that the singer may have given himself the fatal dose.
Prosecutors can also show limited clips of Jackson”s final rehearsals during the trial, the judge ruled.
The decision came after Deputy District Attorney David Walgren argued the footage from the film “This Is It” shows Jackson was highly engaged in preparing for his comeback tour and was not desperate to make it a success, as defense attorneys for Murray have claimed.
Prosecutors plan to show Jackson performing “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Earth Song” while director and choreographer Kenny Ortega testifies about the pop star”s demeanor before his death.
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Defense attorneys objected to showing the film footage, claiming it was edited to show Jackson in the best light. They noted that not all of the footage was shot in the two days before Jackson”s June 25, 2009, death and should be excluded.
Pastor ruled prosecutors can only show footage from Jackson”s rehearsals on June 23 and June 24. He also said the footage must be edited to remove some of the special effects and visuals, particularly images of whales, polar bears, a “cute little girl” and other “flora and fauna.”
Pastor said showing the footage wasn”t meant to be entertainment, and it didn”t matter if the entire songs were shown.
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff sought an opportunity to review raw footage of Jackson”s rehearsals, but prosecutors said they do not have it. They suggested that Murray”s attorneys subpoena it from Sony Pictures, which purchased rights to the footage after the singer”s death.
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