- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Prosecutors have called a cardiologist as an expert to testify against the doctor charged in Michael Jackson’s death.

They called Dr. Alon Steinberg to explain to jurors the role of a cardiologist and explain how Dr. Conrad Murray’s treatment of Jackson deviated from general standards.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Authorities contend he gave Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol, but Murray’s attorneys claim Jackson gave himself the fatal dose.

Steinberg is one of three expert witnesses who are expected to wind down the prosecution’s case against Murray, who faces four years behind bars and the loss of his medical license if convicted.

Steinberg told jurors he is not an expert in anesthesiology, sleep treatment or addiction.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Prosecutors plan to wrap up their case against the doctor charged in Michael Jackson’s death by calling three experts intended to help jurors make sense of the complex medical evidence they have been presented.

Prosecutors told a judge overseeing the involuntary manslaughter case against Dr. Conrad Murray that their remaining witnesses will include experts in cardiology, pulmonary and sleep issues and a leading researcher on the anesthetic propofol, which is blamed in the pop star’s death, a transcript shows.

The government’s case against Murray may conclude late this week or early next, although an exact timetable remains unclear. Murray’s defense attorneys are likely to vigorously challenge the experts, especially Dr. Steven Shafer, a researcher and Columbia University professor who will be called upon to explain propofol and its effects.

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren told a judge he plans to call Shafer as his final witness.

Murray’s attorneys are expected to present a defense case that includes their own witness on propofol.

Authorities say Murray gave Jackson a fatal dose of the surgical anesthetic in June 2009. Murray has pleaded not guilty in the case. The Houston-based cardiologist’s lawyers say that Jackson gave himself the fatal dose.

The other experts are Dr. Alon Steinberg, a cardiologist, and Nader Kamanger, an expert in pulmonary and sleep issues.

Prosecutors hope the trio’s testimony will support their contentions that Murray acted recklessly by giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid in the singer’s bedroom.

The outside experts’ testimony comes a day after a medical examiner told jurors that it was unreasonable to believe that Jackson gave himself the fatal dose of propofol when Murray left the room for only two minutes.

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