The doctor who was with Michael Jackson when the singer suffered cardiac arrest at his Los Angeles home has hired an attorney.
Dr. Conrad Murray has hired the Houston law firm of Stradley, Chernoff & Alford, NBC News reported.
The doctor was with Jackson at his Holmby Hills home when the star went into cardiac arrest and died on Thursday afternoon.
According to the 911 call that alerted authorities to the singer’s dire condition, “just the doctor” had been with the star when he fell unconscious.
The call further stated that the doctor performed CPR on Jackson, who was unresponsive, before the arrival of the paramedics.
Firm associate Michael Alford told NBC News that Dr. Murray was now at an undisclosed location with attorney Edward Chernoff, and that the Los Angeles Police Department considered the doctor a witness – not a suspect – and wanted to talk to him to fill in some gaps.
On Thursday night, authorities impounded Dr. Murray’s car from Jackson’s rented residence because it potentially contained medications or other evidence, an act the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to Access Hollywood.
The LAPD also confirmed on Friday that they had spoken with a then-unidentified doctor – Murray – living with Jackson, but were looking to speak with him again for a more in-depth interview.
Alford told NBC News that Dr. Murray had provided care to the singer for a couple of months, and described his relationship with the pop star as a friendship.
According to a source at AEG, the concert promoters behind Jackson’s “This Is It” London shows, which were set to begin in July, Dr. Murray was the doctor the star insisted upon and was on the tour payroll.
In May, AEG CEO Randy Phillips told Billboard that Jackson had passed a physical prior to the tour announcement with “flying colors.”
But on Saturday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called Dr. Murray’s involvement at the scene suspicious – and the New York Times reported that the doctor has had a number of personal difficulties.
Dr. Murray filed for personal bankruptcy in 1992 in California and has “five tax liens against him,” totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Times reported. Further, the newspaper reported that the doctor is not board certified in either of his specialties, internal medicine and cardiology. However, that is not legally required to practice.
With no foul play discovered in Jackson’s Friday autopsy, many reports have speculated that the pop star’s death may have been due to prescription medications.
According to TMZ, a member of the Jackson family has claimed that the star received a daily injection of Demerol, a morphine-like narcotic, and was given too much on Thursday, leading to his death.