Defense Lawyer Claims Michael Jackson Killed Himself Over Financial Stress

Dr. Conrad Murray say Jackson was worried about money

April 7, 2011 11:35 AM ET
Defense Lawyer Claims Michael Jackson Killed Himself Over Financial Stress
Dr. Billy Ingram/WireImage

The defense lawyer for Conrad Murray, the physician accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, has claimed that the King of Pop accidentally killed himself out of despair brought on by his considerable financial problems. Edward Chernoff presented this theory yesterday during a pretrial hearing in Los Angeles, carefully avoiding the word "suicide" but implying that his fatal overdose of sedatives was self-inflicted.

Photos: Michael Jackson Remembered

"The crux of the defense is going to be that Michael Jackson engaged in a desperate act and took desperate measures that caused his death," Chernoff told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor. "We believe at the time Michael Jackson died he was a desperate man in relation to his financial affairs."

Photos: Michael Jackson's Funeral

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren responded to Chernoff's statements by insisting that the defense's claims had nothing to do with whether or not Murray acted with gross negligence when he supplied Jackson with the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives.

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