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“I don’t have to go there,” he said. “It is what it is right now.”

Murray was not in court for the hearing. He has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the June 2009 death of the superstar from an overdose of propofol.

Flanagan’s disclosure offered a backstage look at possible defense gamesmanship in leading prosecutors to prepare to answer a defense theory that would never be presented.

A defense attorney not involved in the case said it is not an ethical or legal obligation of the defense to keep the prosecution posted on its strategies.

“I don’t personally see a violation,” said attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. “You’re supposed to operate in good faith, but you don’t have to tell them every little strategy you intend to employ … . Maybe this defense team was debating whether to use the issue up to the end.”

In opening statements, defense attorney Edward Chernoff told the jury he would allege that Jackson self-administered drugs but did not specifically mention oral ingestion of propofol.

In other developments, the prosecution said its last witness will be Shafer and his testimony could take a day. The defense said it would call 15 witnesses including police officers, experts and some character witnesses. Attorney Nareg Gourjian estimated that would consume the rest of next week.