*Lawyers for Dr. Conrad Murray are trying to keep photos of Michael Jackson’s dead body from being shown in court, arguing in legal documents that the “gruesome” may unfairly sway jurors.
The warning came after Murray’s attorneys renewed their claim that Jackson accidentally killed himself with an overdose of a powerful sedative in June 2009, saying he was desperate due to financial problems.
In the latest documents, released as both sides prepare for the trial starting May 9, the lawyers argued that jurors seeing the pictures of Jackson’s corpse would prejudice Murray’s chances of a fair trial.
“These photographs are graphic, gruesome and highly prejudicial,” said Murray’s lawyers Edward Chernoff and Nareg Gourjian, in a motion filed this week.
“Admission of these photographs to the jurors will jeopardize Dr Murray’s right to a fair trial because of the significant risk that the jury will base their decision not on the evidence presented, but on emotional grounds which play no part in a criminal action,” they added.
Prosecutors allege that Murray, 58, “abandoned his patient” after administering the sedative propofol to help Jackson sleep, and then tried to cover it up after the singer’s death.
Murray acknowledged that he had used propofol, but insisted that on the day of the 50-year-old singer’s death he administered only a small amount of the drug that should not have been fatal.
His defense team has suggested that Jackson could have effectively killed himself by administering an extra dose of propofol while Murray was out of the room.
Murray could face up to four years in jail and permanently lose his doctor’s license if convicted.