Los Angeles police detective Orlando Martinez testified in Michael Jackson's wrongful death trial on Wednesday, May 1. Martinez told the jury that Conrad Murray, the cardiologist who is convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death, was "in desperate financial straits" when serving as the pop star's personal doctor.
Martinez, who investigated Jackson's death, said Murray had unpaid student loans, credit card bills, home loans, and child support obligations which made a total of nearly $1 million. Martinez revealed that Murray had eight children whom he had to support, and without the big payday from being Jackson's doctor, the cardiologist would be having bigger financial trouble.
"Focusing on the financial aspect may have been important for Dr. Murray's willingness to disregard his Hippocratic Oath for financial gain," Martinez testified, and said that in order to get the $150,000 a month, Murray might "break the rules, bend the rules, to do whatever he needed to do to get paid."
In the trial, Martinez also revealed Murray phoned his girlfriend, Nicole Alvarez, when the doctor was in the ambulance that carried Jackson from the singer's house to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. He later explained to jury that he interviewed Alvarez and found something suspicious when searching at her house.
"I found one piece of paper with Dr. Murray's name -that had fallen behind the door of a cabinet- in the entire apartment [Murray had] been staying at at least two months," Martinez said. "He was living there, and none of his stuff was there." Martinez assumed that Murray asked Alvarez to cover his tracks.
Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, filed the wrongful death suit against AEG Live. She accused AEG Live, the promoters behind Jackson's "This Is It" gigs, of ignoring her son's life-threatening health concerns and for not properly investigating Murray, who was responsible for administering the dose of anaesthetic propofol which killed the "Thriller" singer.