Murray Defense Prep

A defense lawyer for Dr. Conrad Murray says Michael Jackson was in desperate financial shape and took actions to cause his own death.

Murray, who is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, also faces a gross negligence charge for administering the anesthetic propofol and other drugs just prior to Jackson’s death in June 2009.

Attorney Edward Chernoff was requesting Jackson’s financial records to help prove his case.

“The crux of the defense is going to be that Michael Jackson engaged in a desperate act and took desperate measures that caused his death,” attorney Edward Chernoff told Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor during a pretrial hearing. “We believe at the time Michael Jackson died he was a desperate man in relation to his financial affairs.”

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren reportedly disputed that theory as a mere attempt to distract a jury from the real issue.

“This is an irrelevant sideshow designed to take issues away from the jury and smear Michael Jackson,” Walgren told the judge. “It has nothing to do with the case on which Dr. Murray is being prosecuted.”

Pastor reportedly agreed with Walgren, saying Chernoff’s request for financial records that aren’t already in the public record is “major deep sea fishing.”

Jury selection for the two-month trial is expected to take place May 4.