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Choreographer tells judge he sent Michael Jackson home just before singer's death

4

January

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Ready for the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, who is accused of killing Michael Jackson with tons of drugs? Too bad, because Tuesday only saw a preliminary hearing in the case, in order to determine if a trial is needed. Testimony from MJ's choreographer saying the singer was too weak to perform just before he died may help that, though.

"He didn't look well at all. Michael was chilled and soft-spoken. ... He wasn't in the kind of condition to be at rehearsal," Kenny Ortega told a judge at the hearing. He said Jackson showed up at the Staples Center in L.A. for rehearsal on June 19, 2009, seeming very out of it, the AP reports.

"He appeared really lost. It was scary. I couldn't put my finger on it. I said, 'Michael, is this the best place for you to be or do you want to go home and be with your family?'" Ortega said. "He said, 'Would you be OK with that?' I said, 'Okay,' and he left."

rsz_tbd-jermainejackson010511.jpgOrtega also said he was told by Murray the next morning that he shouldn't try to be Michael's doctor or psychiatrist, because he was just fine, both physically and emotionally. Of course, MJ then died six days after the missed rehearsal, on June 25.

MJ's personal assistant, Michael Amir Williams, said Tuesday that Murray had called him asking Williams to get the singer's bodyguards, and that he had suffered a "bad reaction" in his bedroom. Williams noted the doctor didn't ask him to call 911, and had asked him to help remove a mystery cream from the house.

Deputy DA David Walgren noted that it took Murray 21 minutes to call 911 and asked a bodyguard to help him clean up evidence that would indicate he had indeed administered too much propofol, the anesthetic that killed the singer. Walgren said he would call several experts who would prove "there are a number of actions displayed by Dr. Murray that show an extreme deviation from the standard of care."

Jackson's mother Katherine, sister LaToya and brother Jermaine were at the hearing, which is expected to last several days. That's great news for us, since it gives us something to fill the page with every day. Too bad for you.

[Photos: AP]

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[Last modified: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 5:48pm]

    

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