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Paramedic's shock as Jacko's skin turned blue

AFTER just a few moments in Michael Jackson's bedroom, the paramedic dispatched to save the singer's life knew things weren't adding up.

There was the skinny man on the floor, eyes open with a surgical cap on his head. His skin was turning blue. Paramedic Richard Senneff (right) asked the sweating, frantic-looking doctor in the room what condition the stricken man had.

"He said, 'Nothing. He has nothing," Mr Senneff told jurors at the involuntary manslaughter trial of Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray. "Simply, that did not add up to me," Mr Senneff said.

Over the course of the 42 minutes that Los Angeles paramedics tried to revive Jackson, several other things about the room and Murray's responses seemed inconsistent to Mr Senneff.

After repeated prodding, Murray revealed a few details about his actions, saying he had only given Jackson a dose of the sedative lorazepam to help him sleep, Mr Senneff testified.

In addition, there were bottles of medicine on Jackson's bedside table, and Murray finally offered that he was treating the singer for dehydration and exhaustion.



sedatives

Mr Senneff said Murray never mentioned that he had also been giving Jackson doses of the anaesthetic propofol and other sedatives, a key omission that prosecutors say shows he repeatedly tried to conceal his actions during the struggle to save the pop superstar.

Murray (58) has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could face up to four years in prison and lose his medical licence.

Prosecutors contend the cardiologist repeatedly lied to medics and emergency room doctors about medication he had been giving Jackson.

They claim Murray administered a fatal dose of propofol and other sedatives.

Defence lawyers claim Jackson gave himself the fatal dose after his doctor left the room.

Defence attorney Nareg Gourjian asked Mr Senneff whether Jackson's appearance was consistent with a drug addict.

Mr Senneff said that was a difficult determination to make, but he did think the singer "looked like he had a chronic health problem".

Mr Senneff was the first paramedic to reach Jackson's bedroom and said within moments, he and three other paramedics were working to revive Jackson. After trying multiple heart-starting medications and other efforts, Jackson was still lifeless.

Another paramedic dispatched to the room, Martin Blount, told jurors they thought Jackson was dead soon after they arrived. Mr Blount also said he saw three open bottles of lidocaine on the floor of the room but noted that Murray never mentioned giving Jackson the painkiller.

He told jurors he saw the doctor scoop up the vials and drop them in a black bag.

Between the paramedics' testimony, Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor threatened Murray's lawyers with a contempt charge over an interview the law partner of lead defence counsel Ed Chernoff did with The Today Show.

The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie