LOS ANGELES (AP) — A defense lawyer for Michael Jackson’s doctor says the singer was so anguished about his deteriorating finances in his final days that he took desperate actions that caused his own death.

The statements by attorney Edward Chernoff came during a pretrial hearing Wednesday in the case of Dr. Conrad Murray, who has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death.

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

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eThe prosecution denounced it as an attempted sideshow to distract jurors and to 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.

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