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Death Of Michael Jackson Comes Under Scrutiny As Trials Continue In California

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

The death of Michael Jackson comes under further scrutiny as multiple trials continue in California, including a wrongful death suit filed by his mother Katherine Jackson against AEG Live - the concert promotion company responsible for organizing and executing the This Is It concert series - for reportedly failing to "properly investigate the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death." According to the Associate Press, Katherine Jackson also alleges "that its executives missed signs that the singer was unprepared for the comeback shows."

The trial thus far has included testimony from assistant concert director Travis Payne who reported, "I thought he was thinner than he was in the past, but I didn't have any reason to be alarmed," and Jackson's choreographer Stacy Walker, who stated:

"I just never in a million years thought he would leave us, or pass away."

Those statements support AEG's argument that Jackson appeared to be in good health prior to his death. The potential melodrama encouraged by the AEG trial is only exacerbated by an appeal from Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death. The argument in defense of his appeal is being heard in a courtroom down the street from where the other trial is playing out. The disgraced former cardiologist suggests that the conviction he received was a result of a trial where certain evidence and information was omitted, including details of Jackson's finances. Supervising Deputy Attorney General Victoria B. Wilson dismissed the necessity of that information to the outcome of the trial, siding with the judge's estimation that such an inclusion would have turned the trial into a media circus and ultimately distracted jurors from focusing on the facts surrounding the circumstances and nature of the pop icon's death. Wilson addressed Murray's request to overturn the verdict in a response to his appeal, which was filed in April:

"Supervising Deputy Attorney General Victoria B. Wilson wrote in a response Monday to Conrad Murray's appeal that the former cardiologist's own lawyers forfeited several opportunities to object to a judge's rulings in the case."

Wilson's filing also states jurors were presented overwhelming evidence that Murray's actions caused Jackson's death and his conviction should be upheld.

Rulings cited by Murray's attorneys as legal errors by Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor were not mistakes, but rather kept the jury focused on whether the physician was responsible for Jackson's June 2009 death, Wilson wrote.

Murray remains jailed after being sentenced to four years behind bars for providing Jackson with the anesthetic propofol, which the singer overdosed on in his bedroom. According to Wilson:

"The record shows that (Murray) was playing Russian roulette with Mr. Jackson's life over the course of several months"

These proceedings follow the criminal trial of Conrad Murray that began in September 2011 and ended two months later on November 7th, when he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to the maximum penalty of four years incarceration. The conviction stemmed from Jackson's sudden death in June 2009 after the singer ingested a lethal dose of the anesthetic Propofol, which was supplied by Murray. Family, friends and many fans of Jackson consider the sentence an insult to his life and legacy, holding steadfastly to the assertion that Murray murdered Michael Jackson and should have been convicted and sentenced accordingly. The wrongful death suit filed by Katherine Jackson is scheduled to go on for several weeks. No word on a final decision in the state's case against Conrad Murray's formal appeal.

Spotted at BB