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Closing arguments underway in Jackson trial

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Updated: 9/24/2013 4:38 pm
LOS ANGELES (NBC News) -- After 5 months of detailed testimony from nearly 60 witnesses and displays of countless videos of the king of pop, closing arguments began Tuesday in the Michael Jackson wrongful death civil trial.

"We didn't know until he was gone that someone like him comes around only every so often," said Jackson family attorney Brian Panish.

Panish set the tone for the start of closing arguments by quoting scripture, while portraying the singer's life , and death, as life-changing events.

Then, Panish launched into the heart of his argument: that it was concert promoter AEG Live who hired Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician in whose hands Jackson died.

"... So we hired him," said AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips.

"The family's lawyer is very effective. Hammering away at the theme. They should pay the price now," said legal analyst Royal Oakes.

The lawsuit was filed by Jackson's mother and his 3 children, who say AEG Live's negligence in hiring Murray, and failure to supervise him, was what led to the singer's death.

AEG Live's attorneys, however, say they had no say in who Jackson chose to be his doctor, and that they couldn't have possibly known what was going on in the singer's private home.

"M.J. picked Dr. Murray and M.J. insisted on using propofol. So the jury may be conflicted at who's really at fault," said Oakes.

If at least 9 members of the jury decide to side with Jackson's family AEG Live may have to pay out millions if not billions of dollars.

AEG Live claims the lawsuit is nothing more than a "shakedown."

The defense takes its turn in closing arguments on Wednesday.

-- Jinah Kim reports




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