Dr. Conrad Murray‘s defence lawyer, Edward Chernoff, claimed during a pretrial hearing on Wednesday that Michael Jackson committed suicide because he was worried about his financial situation. Murray, who was Jackson’s physician and was inside the house when Jackson died in June 2009, is charged with involuntary manslaughter. “The crux of the defence is going to be that Michael Jackson engaged in a desperate act and took desperate measures that caused his death,” Chernoff told Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor. “We believe at the time Michael Jackson died he was a desperate man in relation to his financial affairs.” However, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren accused the defence of smear tactics in order to distract the trial away from the main goal of deciding whether Murray acted with gross negligence when injecting Jackson with sedatives such as Propofol. “This is an irrelevant sideshow designed to take issues away from the jury and smear Michael Jackson,” Walgren protested.