- Associated Press - Monday, November 21, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Just days before sentencing, lawyers for the doctor convicted of causing Michael Jackson’s death want a judge to order independent testing of a vial of the powerful anesthetic that killed the singer.

Attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray will ask a judge at a hearing Monday to release to an independent lab the vial of propofol that authorities contend was used on the morning of Jackson’s death.

Attorney J. Michael Flanagan wrote in a court filing that the testing is necessary to analyze the prosecution theory that Murray placed Jackson on an IV drip of propofol and the painkiller lidocaine then left the room.

Prosecution expert Dr. Steven Shafer testified during the six-week trial of Murray that the only plausible scenario to explain Jackson’s death was that the doctor left the pop superstar on the IV drip.

Shafer said he ruled out all other scenarios, including the defense theory that Jackson somehow gave himself the fatal dose of the anesthetic being used as a sleep aid.

The chemical makeup of the propofol vial “has become relevant to confirm or negate the accuracy of Dr. Shafer’s proposed scenario,” Flanagan wrote.

Publicists for Murray and his lawyers say the results may form the basis of an appeal of the Houston-based cardiologist’s conviction.

Prosecutors and Flanagan were expected to argue about the request during an 11 a.m. hearing.

Murray was convicted two weeks ago of involuntary manslaughter. He remains jailed while awaiting sentencing on Nov. 29 and faces a possible sentence ranging from probation to up to four years.

___

Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP