LOS ANGELES (AP) - A coroner who performed the autopsy on Michael Jackson testified Tuesday that the pop star’s death would have been classified a homicide even if the singer gave himself the final dose of the anesthetic propofol.
Dr. Christopher Rogers, chief of forensic medicine for the Los Angeles County coroner, was questioned by a lawyer for Dr. Conrad Murray, who is charged with causing Jackson’s death by administering a lethal dose of propofol and other sedatives and failing to provide proper care.
Attorney J. Michael Flanagan suggested Jackson could have swallowed the drug, which is meant to be administered intravenously. While Rogers said that seemed unlikely, he said it would not have made a difference in his finding of homicide because of inadequate care by Murray.
Flanagan’s inquiry was the first disclosure of how the defense plans to counter the involuntary manslaughter charge against Murray. The lawyer has suggested Jackson could have injected himself intravenously while Murray was out of the room.
“I believe it would still be a homicide,” Rogers replied.
Asked why, the witness said, “Based on the quality of the medical care, I would still call this a homicide even if the doctor didn’t administer the propofol to Mr. Jackson.”
Rogers said propofol should not have been present in the bedroom because it is meant only for hospital settings and, “If there was propofol there, the doctor should have been prepared for the effects.”
“The care was substandard,” Rogers said. “There were several actions that should have been taken.”
Rogers also testified that Murray was improperly using the powerful anesthetic propofol to treat the musician for insomnia, and that Murray was wrong to leave Jackson’s side while he was under anesthesia before he died.View Entire Story
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