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Image: Savannah Guthrie and Conrad Murray
Dateline
TODAY co-host Savannah Guthrie sits down with Dr. Conrad Murray in an exclusive interview airing Thursday, Nov. 10, and Friday, Nov. 11.
By
TODAY.com
updated 11/9/2011 12:17:17 PM ET 2011-11-09T17:17:17

Conrad Murray told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie that he didn't call 911 when Michael Jackson stopped breathing because emergency responders would not have been able to get through the gate to the singer's home.

"No one is allowed to come upstairs except for Mr. Jackson," he said.

"You called his bodyguard," Guthrie said to Murray, who was the singer's personal physician when he died in 2009. "Couldn't you have said, 'Call 911, and meet 'em at the gate?"

Murray responded that he didn't want to "leave a full explanation on the phone," and that he didn't think Jackson's employee would return his call. Instead he began giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and a guard at Jackson's rented Los Angeles mansion eventually called the emergency number 20 minutes later.

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Guthrie's interview with Murray will air Thursday and Friday on TODAY. The MSNBC documentary "Michael Jackson and The Doctor" will premiere on MSNBC Friday at 10 p.m. ET.

(TODAY.com is powered by msnbc.com, which is a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

On Monday, Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of the pop star. He is now in jail awaiting sentencing on Nov. 29. He faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.

Story: Conrad Murray jurors yelled, didn't always agree

Murray also told Guthrie that he didn't tell the paramedics on the scene that Jackson had been given propofol because "it was inconsequential" as the effects of the drug would have worn off by that time. When Guthrie asked why not supply the information anyway, he insisted the drug "had no effect."

The doctor has been criticized for leaving the room to use his cell phone while the singer slept, and for making phone calls and sending texts and emails while Jackson was apparently dying. Murray told Guthrie that Jackson had finally fallen asleep and was in no need of his presence.

"Am I gonna sit over him, sit around him, tug on his feet, do anything unusual to wake him up?" Murray said of leaving the singer alone. "No."

Story: Conrad Murray may spend just months in jail

Murray also says he felt that just three days before Jackson's death, the singer was successfully weaned off of the surgical anesthetic propofol upon which he depended for sleep. When Guthrie questioned why he had left the singer in a situation where he might have a chance to inject himself with the drug, something that was suggested by Murray's defense team, the doctor said "that was not a foreseeable situation."

Guthrie also asked Murray why, when he felt he shouldn't be giving Jackson propofol, he didn't walk away from his $150,000 a month position as Jackson's personal physician.

"I should have walked away," Murray said. "But if also I walked away, I would have abandoned a friend."

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Video: Documentary goes inside Jackson’s home

  1. Closed captioning of: Documentary goes inside Jackson’s home

    >>> with the latest on the conviction of michael jackson 's doctor, conrad murray . nbc's kristen dahlgren is in los angeles with more on this story. kristen , good morning.

    >> good morning, ann. dr. conrad murray is in a special area of the l.a. county jail where high profile inmates are kept. he'll find out whether he'll go from there to prison on november 29th . this morning we're learn being his state of mind during the trial and what he says about michael jackson 's death. dr. conrad murray booked into the l.a. county jail just one hour after he was convicted in the death of michael jackson .

    >> -- find the defendant, conrad robert murray guilty.

    >> reporter: murray said nothing as he was land cuffed and led away but in the days before the verdict it was a much more defiant dr. murray who sat down with savannah guthrie for an exclusive interview that will air tomorrow on "today."

    >> is it your theory that he woke up and then somehow in the two minutes you were gone injected himself, gave himself lidocaine so he wouldn't feel the burn? is that your theory in.

    >> what do you think?

    >> what do you think?

    >> something happened when i was not in that room.

    >> murray defends his role in providing the powerful anesthetic.

    >> so you believe it's michael jackson 's fault that he died.

    >> nothing that i gave michael should have ended his life.

    >> reporter: the idea that the pop star himself took a final fatal combination of drugs was central to the defense case.

    >> you cast your fate to the wind .

    >> reporter: cameras were given exclusive access to murray and his team during the six-week trial. the footage for a documentary " michael jackson and the doctor" airing on in the nbc friday. murray gives an up close look at michael jackson 's inner sanctum.

    >> he always had a chamber exclusively his and that was reserved and completely locked out. not even the maids can go in there.

    >> reporter: in another bedroom where jackson died murray says he once had to tell the superstar to call the maids in.

    >> that i had to persuade him eventually to have it cleaned because it did not smell good, there was mildew and i had to get it cleaned.

    >> reporter: but the doctor also saw a more sensitive side to the singer.

    >> i've seen him cry so many times and i told him, it's okay to cry. it's okay. it's okay, michael. you can cry.

    >> jackson's family will have the option to speak at murray 's sentencing later this month. so far no word on whether or not his children will participate.

    >> such a tragedy. kristen dahlgren thank you so much. we're going to have much more of that exclusively interview with dr. conrad murray tomorrow and friday on "today."

Photos: Michael Jackson death trial

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  1. Making a statement

    Fans show off T-shirts emblazoned with "Thriller Killer" before the sentencing hearing of Dr. Conrad Murray on Nov. 29, 2011. Murray was sentenced to four years behind bars after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of his patient, Michael Jackson, on June 25, 2009. (Jason Redmond / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Remembering Michael

    A Michael Jackson fan carries a placard outside the Los Angeles courthouse where the sentencing of Dr. Conrad Murray took place. (Mike Nelson / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Cheering for Michael

    Michael Jackson fans react to the guilty verdict in the Dr. Conrad Murray involuntary manslaughter trial outside the Los Angeles Criminal Courts building. (Mike Nelson / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Delight at the Apollo

    Jackson fans outside the Apollo theatre in the Harlem section of New York react to the reading of the verdict in Murray's trial in Los Angeles. (Mike Segar / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Ready for the verdict

    Jackson's parents Joe and Katherine Jackson arrive at the Los Angeles Criminal Courts building in downtown Los Angeles to hear the verdict in the case involving their son's death. (Nick Ut / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Her verdict is already in

    A fan of Jackson holds a sign outside the Los Angeles Criminal Courts building during the first day of jury deliberations on Friday, Nov. 4. (Toby Canham / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. LaToya's arrival

    LaToya Jackson arrives with Rick and Kathy Hilton, the parents of Paris Hilton, rear, for the reading of the verdict in Murray's trial in Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 7. (Jason Redmond / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. King of Pop's court

    Fans mingle outisde the Los Angeles Criminal Courts buillding on Friday, Nov. 4. (Toby Canham / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Caped crusader

    Michael Jackson supporter Jetset Hudson stands outside the Los Angeles Criminal Courts building during Dr. Conrad Murray's trial in the death of pop star Michael Jackson in Los Angeles on Thursday, Sept. 29. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Her faces of death

    A woman holds placards outside the courthouse ahead of the third day of the trial of Murray on Thursday, Sept. 29. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Sky high message

    An airplane tows a banner over the Los Angeles Criminal Courts building on Thursday, Sept. 29. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Judging him to a tee

    A demonstrator stands outside the courthouse during the opening day of Murray's trial in the death of Jackson in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Sept. 27. The trial is attracting the usual media and fan spectacle associated with high-profile court proceedings in L.A. (Danny Moloshok / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. The star's parents

    Jackson's parents, Katherine Jackson, left, and Joe Jackson, right rear, arrive at the Los Angeles Criminal Courts building to hear opening statements on Monday, Sept. 27. (Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. No sunny disposition

    Michael's sister La Toya Jackson leaves the courthouse on Monday, Sept. 27. "Michael was murdered, and although he died at the hands of Dr. Conrad Murray, I believe Dr. Murray was a part of a much larger plan," La Toya has said. (Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Missing Michael

    Jackson fan Bristre Clayton of Las Vegas stands outside court during the trial of Murray. The doctor has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted. (Jason Redmond / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. For his brother

    Michael's brother Jermaine Jackson arrives at the courthouse in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Sept. 27. "I just feel like it took so long to arrest this guy," Jermaine complained last year about the legal action against Conrad Murray. (Jason Redmond / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Lasting impression

    A demonstrator with tattoos of Jackson stands outside the Los Angeles Criminal Courts building during the opening day of Murray's trial. (Danny Moloshok / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. In the doctor's corner

    Beatrice Fakhrain, left, and Michelle Shaw read bible verses during the opening day of Murray's trial. (Danny Moloshok / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Tough day in court

    Michael's sister and brother -- Janet and Randy Jackson -- leave the courthouse on Monday, Sept. 27. When asked this past February on TODAY if she still believed Murray was culpable, Janet replied, "Mmm-hmm. And that's all I'm going to say. I do. I really do." (Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Seeking justice

    Jackson supporters hold signs outside the Los Angeles Criminal Courts building on Monday, Sept. 27. (Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. No replacing Michael

    A fan dressed as the King of Pop makes a peace sign outside the Los Angeles Criminal Courts building where the trial of Murray is expected to last five weeks. (Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: Fans show off their t-shirts before the sentencing hearing of Dr. Conrad Murray in Los Angeles
    Jason Redmond / Reuters
    Above: Slideshow (21) Michael Jackson doctor trial
  2. MICHAEL JACKSON
    AP
    Slideshow (16) The face of change
  3. Michael Jackson in a Butterfly Collar Shirt
    Henry Diltz / Corbis
    Slideshow (33) Michael Jackson’s life and career

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