LOS ANGELES – It took up to a half-hour for paramedics to be called to Michael Jackson’s home after the singer was found stricken in the bedroom of his rented mansion, an attorney for the firm representing the pop icon’s doctor said Monday.
Matt Alford, a partner in the Houston law firm representing Dr. Conrad Murray, said the physician was unfamiliar with his surroundings and that delayed the call.
“He didn’t know where he was, didn’t know the physical address,” Alford said in an interview with The Associated Press. “There was no land line, no phone in Jackson’s room that would have allowed him to call. It was all happening so fast.”
Alford said he doesn’t know how long Murray performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the singer before rushing downstairs to find someone to call the emergency dispatcher.
The first person Murray encountered was the chef, who then got one of Jackson’s security guards. The security guard went with Murray to Jackson’s room.
Once there, Murray told the security guard to call the emergency dispatcher while he continued CPR, Alford said. Murray “is still performing CPR while the security guard is speaking with emergency services on the phone,” Alford said.
Fire department officials have said it took three minutes for paramedics to arrive at Jackson’s home once they received the call for help. They spent 42 minutes working with Murray on Jackson before transporting the 50-year-old pop icon to UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Alford said it took an estimated 20 to 30 minutes before the first call to rescue crews was made.
“There’s no way anybody in any situation like that can get an exact time on it,” Alford said.
The revelation about the delay in calling for emergency workers came as Murray’s attorneys tried to explain and defend the cardiologist’s actions.
In a series of interviews with national news outlets Monday, attorney Edward Chernoff explained the doctor’s response to finding Jackson on Thursday in his bed, not breathing but with a faint pulse.
Chernoff, who represented Murray during a three-hour interview with Los Angeles police detectives on Saturday, told CNN the doctor performed CPR for several minutes before leaving the stricken singer’s side. He dismissed those who questioned why Murray didn’t follow suggested procedures and move Jackson from the bed to a harder surface to perform CPR.
“His first goal was to resuscitate Michael Jackson,” Chernoff said. “He knows how to perform CPR and he performed it properly.”
The doctor rode with Jackson in the ambulance and assisted emergency room doctors in trying to revive the pop star, Chernoff said. After he was pronounced dead, Murray spoke with Jackson’s siblings LaToya and Jermaine, and spoke briefly with Jackson’s mother, he told CNN.
Jackson’s children asked to see their father after he died and, after a consultation with a psychiatrist, they were allowed to see him, Chernoff said.
Associated Press Writers Juan A. Lozano in Houston contributed to this report.