LOS ANGELES (AP) - Arguing that evidence is deteriorating, defense lawyers for the doctor charged in Michael Jackson’s death are seeking urgent testing of two syringes and an IV bag found in the singer’s mansion after his death.
Attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray said during a 40-minute closed session with a judge that liquids in one of the syringes had already dried up and was now “salt,” according to a transcript of the proceeding obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.
Quantities of substances in the syringes and IV bag could be crucial to explaining how the singer died, the lawyers said at the Tuesday hearing.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Authorities contend he administered a lethal dose of sedatives, including the anesthetic propofol, to Jackson in the bedroom of his rented mansion in June 2009.
Officials tested what was in the items and found traces of propofol and lidocaine, according to the transcript. But the amounts of the substances were not determined, and defense attorneys contend that may be significant in the case expected to hinge on technical and scientific data.
The judge might order the testing late next week if the two sides can agree on how it will be conducted.
“I want to act as quickly as we can,” Pastor told the attorneys.
Still, defense attorney Ed Chernoff struck an urgent tone, telling the judge, “We are doing it because the house is on fire. We need a hose.”
Chernoff said substances in one broken syringe found at the mansion had dried up since June 2009, when Pastor ordered the evidence preserved. The tests sought by Murray’s attorneys will destroy the samples and can only be performed once.
Prosecutor David Walgren questioned why defense attorneys had not raised the issue sooner.
“There are very technical, complex issues,” he told the judge, adding he thought an agreement on the testing could eventually be reached.
Defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan told the judge his efforts to get the substances tested has been delayed because an expert in the Los Angeles County coroner's office had been on a lengthy vacation. He argued the tests should have been done after Jackson’s death.
“It hasn’t been done yet,” Flanagan said. “It should have been done a year ago.”
Tissue samples in Jackson’s body were tested for levels of various substances and led to the coroner’s determination that the pop singer died in part from acute propofol intoxication.View Entire Story
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