*Prosecutors have been granted permission to show jurors two images from Michael Jackson’s autopsy during the involuntary manslaughter trial of the pop star’s doctor, according to a judge’s ruling Thursday.
Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said the photographs, one of which shows Jackson clothed and another one with him nude, are relevant to the case and described them as benign photos that are not graphic or gruesome, reports the Associated Press.
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said he is aware the singer’s family will be in the courtroom during the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, adding that the images will be carefully displayed.
The prosecutor said the images will bolster its case that the singer was healthy overall, and that they would also show puncture marks on Jackson’s body.
Defense attorneys objected to the photos being displayed during trial, arguing that coroner’s officials and experts can describe Jackson’s condition without showing the images.
Murray, a Houston-based cardiologist, 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.
The judge also ruled that prosecutors can show limited clips of Jackson’s final rehearsals for a planned series of London comeback concerts.
Walgren argued the footage from the film “This Is It” shows Jackson was engaged in preparing for his comeback tour and not desperate to make it a success, as Murray’s attorneys have claimed.
Prosecutors planned 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.
Defense attorneys objected to showing the film footage, claiming it was edited to present Jackson in the best light. They noted that not all of the footage was shot in the two days before Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009.
Pastor said prosecutors can only show footage from Jackson’s rehearsals on the two days before the star’s death. 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” in the video.
The judge 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 did not have it. They suggested that Murray’s attorneys subpoena Sony Pictures, which purchased rights to the footage after the singer’s death.
Pastor also ruled that prosecutors can have several of Murray’s mistresses testify during the trial, but that they should omit some salacious details. For instance, Pastor said he didn’t want to hear any references to the strip clubs or gentlemen’s clubs where Murray met some of them.
Opening statements are scheduled for May 9.