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Jackson had pulse when found, doctor's lawyer says

LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson still had a faint pulse and his body was warm when his doctor found him in bed and not breathing, a lawyer for Jackson's personal physician said Sunday.

Edward Chernoff, the attorney for Dr. Conrad Murray, said also that reports that Murray injected the pop star with a powerful painkiller before his death were "absolutely false."

"There was no Demerol. No OxyContin," Chernoff said.

People close to Jackson have said since his death that they were concerned about his use of painkillers. Los Angeles County medical examiners completed their autopsy Friday and said Jackson had taken unspecified prescription medication.

The lawyer, who was present Saturday for Murray's three-hour interview with Los Angeles Police Department detectives, said Jackson was already unconscious when the doctor "fortuitously" entered the bedroom of the performer's Holmby Hills mansion.

The 50-year-old entertainer "wasn't breathing. He checked for a pulse. There was a weak pulse in his femoral artery. He started administering CPR," said Chernoff, a Houston criminal defense attorney.

He described Murray as stunned by Jackson's death.

"He was the one who suggested the autopsy to the family while they were still in the hospital. He didn't understand why Michael Jackson had died," he said.

Family friend the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday that Jackson's family requested a private autopsy in part because of questions about Murray.

A police detective said Friday that investigators had no information that Jackson was given any painkillers.

Such claims "are coming from outside the investigation," said Lt. Gregg Strenk.

Meanwhile, Jackson's father declared in strong terms Sunday that he and his wife have sole authority over the late pop star's affairs.

A publicist read a statement at the BET awards in Los Angeles saying Joe Jackson's and his wife, Katherine, solely have authority over their late son's affairs and his children.

The children, the statement says, are their first priority now.

The statement says the family's lawyer, L. Londell McMillan, is the only person who can speak on behalf of the Jacksons.

It also says the family sincerely thanks everyone around the world for the love and support they've received since Michael Jackson's death Thursday.

Information from the Associated Press and Los Angeles Times was used in this report.

Jackson had pulse when found, doctor's lawyer says 06/28/09 [Last modified: Sunday, June 28, 2009 10:11pm]
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