Michael Jackson suddenly awoke at 4:30 a.m. on April 19, 2009, stood on his bed and exclaimed "I told you I cannot sleep all night!"
Jackson's frustration, just as rehearsals for his comeback concerts were gearing up, marked the beginning of the end for the pop icon, a deterioration documented by emails, photographs and testimony presented in the wrongful death trial of concert promoter AEG Live.
Nurse Cherilyn Lee, who had been giving Jackson IV infusions of a cocktail of vitamins for two months to help him sleep, sat at his bedside. "It kind of scared me," Lee said. "It really startled me when he stared at me with his big brown eyes."
Jackson asked Lee to help him find an anesthesiologist to infuse him with the surgical anesthetic propofol because he was convinced it was the only cure for his insomnia, she testified.
Jackson had made the same request of Dr. Allan Metzger when the doctor, who had treated him for 26 years, visited his Los Angeles home a day earlier, according to Metzger's testimony.
Metzger and Lee testified that they refused, warning Jackson that it was unsafe to use the IV anesthetic outside of a hospital or clinic.
Jackson told Lee that doctors had assured him it was safe as long as he was properly monitored. She testified that she told Jackson that any doctor who would give him propofol at home didn't care about him and was just doing it for the money.
Jackson died 65 days later from an overdose of propofol, a drug that Dr. Conrad Murray told investigators he infused into Jackson almost every night for two months to put him to sleep.
Murray is a month away from being freed from jail after serving two years for an involuntary manslaughter conviction in Jackson's death.
Closing arguments begin Tuesday in the five-month-long trial to decide if AEG Live shares responsibility in Jackson's death for the negligent hiring, retention or supervision of Murray.
The 83 days of testimony that ended Friday included startling revelations about the pop icon's fatal search for sleep.
Burden of proof
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos instructed jurors Monday that Jackson's mother and three children have the burden of proving that their case is "more likely to be true than not true." Unlike in a criminal case, they do not have to prove it "beyond a reasonable doubt," she said. A verdict requires just nine of the 12 jurors to agree -- not a unanimous decision.
The Jacksons' lawsuit contends AEG Live is liable for damages in the singer's death because its executives hired Murray to serve as Jackson's personal physician for his "This Is It" tour and that they were negligent in hiring, retaining or supervising him.
Jurors will have a verdict form with 16 questions to answer during their deliberations. A "no" answer to any of the first five would end their deliberations and the trial immediately. Beyond that, they would decide what damages, if any, AEG Live would pay the Jacksons.
Question No. 1
Did AEG Live hire Murray?
Lawyers for the concert promoter argue that it was Jackson who chose and hired the doctor. Murray had treated Jackson and his children for minor illnesses for about three years while they were in Las Vegas. AEG Live Co-CEO Paul Gongaware began negotiations to hire Murray only at Jackson's insistence, they say.
A final contract between Murray and AEG Live -- with a third-party signature line for Jackson -- listed Murray's starting date as May 1, 2009. But it was not sent to Murray until just days before Jackson's death. Murray signed and returned it, but no AEG Live executive signed it after Jackson's death the next day. Neither Jackson, nor any of his representatives, ever saw the contract, according to testimony.
Jurors will have to decide if AEG Live's negotiations and actions, documented by several emails, constituted Murray's hiring in the absence of a signed contract.
Paul Gongaware, who was the top producer of Jackson's tour, wrote in an email on May 6, 2009, that it was a "done deal" that Murray was being hired for $150,000 a month to serve as Jackson's full-time physician.
Murray sent an email to AEG Live on May 15, 2009, saying he was "already fully engaged" in treating Jackson.
Jackson lawyers consider another Gongaware email sent 11 days before Jackson's death to be a smoking gun to show that AEG Live considered Murray to be under their control, not Jackson's. "We want to remind (Murray) that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him," the AEG Live co-CEO wrote.
Question No. 2
Was Murray unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired?