Ortega Will Be First Witness In Murray Trial

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September 26, 2011 | 8:55pm EST

Choreographer-turned-moviemaker Kenny Ortega will be the first witness to take the stand when the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s personal physician gets underway on Tuesday.
Ortega, the brains behind films like Dirty Dancing and High School Musical, was working with the King of Pop on his This Is It comeback spectacular when Jackson died in 2009.

In a hearing earlier this year Ortega told the court Jackson’s physician Dr. Conrad Murray assured him that the pop star was healthy enough to perform when the director voiced his concerns about the Thriller singer’s health.

Prosecutors announced on Monday that Ortega would be their first witness.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, who will oversee the trial, has ruled that Murray’s lawyers will not be allowed to show footage of Jackson at his concert press conference in London.

The defense team requested permission to air the tapes in a bid to support allegations the singer was showing signs of frailty months before his death, but Pastor decided the footage was irrelevant to the case.

Dr. Murray is accused of administering the anesthetic that cost Jackson his life.

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