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Expert resumes testifying for Jackson doctor
LOS ANGELES (AP) - An anesthesia expert testifying for the doctor charged in Michael Jackson’s death on Friday challenged some of the prosecution’s theories about the events leading up to the singer’s death.
But Dr. Paul White has yet to address the crux of the defense’s case _ its theory that the pop superstar gave himself a lethal dose of a powerful anesthetic.
The drug, along with another sedative, was cited as a contributing factor in Jackson’s June 2009 death, which was blamed on propofol intoxication. White is an expert in the anesthetic propofol and is expected to be the final defense witness.
Dr. Conrad Murray has acknowledged he was giving the singer propofol as a sleep aid.
White showed jurors a model he helped create that contends Jackson took some oral lorazepam in addition to an injection of the medication that Murray acknowledged giving the singer. In opening statements, Murray’s attorneys claimed Jackson may have taken several lorazepam pills without his doctor’s knowledge.
White’s testimony disputes a theory presented by prosecution expert Dr. Steven Shafer that Jackson would have had to receive several injections of the sedative to reach the level of lorazepam found in his blood after his death.
White’s testimony will likely be vigorously challenged by prosecutors, who spent four weeks laying out their case that Murray is a greedy, inept and reckless doctor who was giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid in the singer’s bedroom.
The anesthetic is not intended as a sleep aid and, medical groups say, should be administered only in a hospital or surgical setting with advanced monitoring equipment.
Cross-examination of White will be delayed until Monday to give prosecutors more time to review a new analysis prepared by the defense based on recently conducted tests of samples taken during Jackson’s autopsy.
The judge hearing the case, which ends its fifth week Friday, reluctantly agreed to delay the cross examination and said he is concerned about losing jurors. Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, however, noted the panel has remained rapt throughout the trial.
“Every single member of that jury and all the alternates are paying extraordinary attention to every witness,” Pastor said.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
White will likely challenge Shafer’s theory that the only scenario he believes explains Jackson’s death is that Murray placed Jackson on an IV drip and left the room after he thought the singer was sleeping peacefully.
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