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Lawyers: Michael Jackson had financial woes

In this Nov. 8, 2007 file photo, pop star Michael Jackson poses on the red carpet. (Danny Moloshok)

April 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A defense lawyer for Michael Jackson's doctor said the singer's desperation over his finances led to his death.

The statements by attorney Edward Chernoff came during a pretrial hearing in the case of Dr. Conrad Murray on Wednesday.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death.

Chernoff was asking to see Jackson's financial records to prove a theory he said was the crux of the defense.

The prosecution denounced the theory, calling it an attempted sideshow to distract jurors and smear Jackson's reputation.

The judge refused to grant the subpoena saying it was overbroad, irrelevant and invaded Jackson's privacy.

Lawyers were ordered to return Thursday to continue screening prospective jurors with written questionnaires.