Dr. Conrad Murray's emails and other documents will be closely scrutinized, experts say

By Howard Breuer
Updated July 23, 2009 07:55 PM
Houston Chronicle/AP; Globe

E-mails and correspondence seized by investigators during Wednesday’s raid on the Houston clinic of Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, could help substantiate the manslaughter case being considered against him, legal experts tell PEOPLE.

“The e-mails are key: What did Dr. Murray say to other people after Michael Jackson died? And was it he that ordered the drugs” that may have killed him, explains Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson. “The paperwork always wins these cases and the e-mails are critical.”

During the raid, investigators seized various documents and two computer hard drives. Murray was in Nevada at the time, where he has another office, his representatives said. The doctor has already been interviewed twice by police and has denied wrongdoing.

“Based on Dr. Murray’s minute-by-minute and item-by-item description of Michael Jackson’s last days, he should not be a target of criminal charges,” Murray’s attorney Ed Chernoff said in a statement.

Levenson predicts it will take about a week for experts to pull all of that computer evidence. “By this time next week, we’ll have a better idea” of what was found, Levenson says.

Drugs Taken From Doctor’s Office

Experts say that the warrant gave a strong clue that investigators already know from preliminary toxicology reports which drugs, and which doctors, they are likely to blame for Jackson’s June 25 death because it noted that the search was part of a manslaughter investigation.

The warrant, filed in Harris County District Court, says authorities were looking for “items constituting evidence of the offense of manslaughter that tend to show that Dr. Conrad Murray committed the said criminal offense,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

An inventory of items taken from the doctor’s Houston office included vials of two drugs: 27 tablets of phentermine, a prescription appetite suppressant; and one tablet of clonazepam, a muscle relaxant. Investigators also confiscated a computer, a Rolodex card with Federal Express information, and e-mails from one of Murray’s former employees, the newspaper also reports.

Doctors ‘Will Go Down,’ Expert Says

And while Murray has been under the most scrutiny because he was the last doctor to see Jackson before his death, as many as 10 to 20 doctors might ultimately be charged or indicted in connection with the investigation, predicted former Los Angeles prosecutor Robin Sax.

“There’s a lot of doctors we will see go down on this case,” says Sax.

The raid also shows that police are treating the case very seriously, experts added.

“It’s a high profile case, and they’re under pressure to make sure they’re doing everything correctly since everyone’s watching,” says Steve Sitkoff, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney.