Crime and courts

Michael Jackson wrongful death trial begins in Los Angeles

April 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM ET

Michael Jackson passed four years ago, but the legal trials surrounding his life linger. The latest: His mother Katherine is suing AEG Live, the company charged with handling his final tour. Jackson died while rehearsing for that tour, called "This is It," and she claims the tour promoters were more concerned with their bottom line than ensuring he was healthy enough to go on stage. 

TODAY's Diana Alvear reported from the Los Angeles County courthouse Tuesday, where jury selection is set to get underway for the trial.

"The trial is really going to come down to did AEG have sufficient control over Dr. Murray to encourage Dr. Murray to treat Michael Jackson in an improper way," said Professor John Nockleby of Loyola Law School.

Conrad Murray, who served as Jackson's personal physician, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's 2009 death.

Alvear also reported that AEG attorneys are expected to revisit Jackson's child molestation trial from 2005. Jackson was acquitted in that case, but the lawyers are expected to suggest that it could have influenced his emotional and physical state at the time of his death.

While two of Jackson's children (Prince Michael and Paris) are reportedly expected to take the stand in the civil trial, Alvear noted that other potential witnesses could include Prince, Quincy Jones and Spike Lee.

Will Murray also be one of those expected to testify? Reportedly, he'll take the 5th, but since it is a civil trial the rules could be different. Noted Murray's attorney Valerie Wass, "It is possible that he may have to answer questions on a question-by-question basis."

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