- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - With dramatic courtroom testimony, attorneys for Michael Jackson’s doctor have dropped the bombshell they’ve been hinting at for months _ an expert opinion accusing the singer of causing his own death.

Dr. Paul White said Jackson injected himself with a dose of propofol after an initial dose by Dr. Conrad Murray wore off. He also calculated that Jackson gave himself another sedative, lorazepam, by taking pills after an infusion of that drug and others by Murray failed to put him to sleep.

That combination of drugs could have had “lethal consequences,” the defense team’s star scientific witness said Friday.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.


White showed jurors a series of charts and simulations he created in the past two days to support the defense theory. He also did a courtroom demonstration of how the milky white anesthetic propofol could have entered Jackson’s veins in the small dose that Murray claimed he gave the insomniac star.

White said he accepted Murray’s statement to police that he administered only 25 milligrams of propofol after a night-long struggle to get Jackson to sleep with infusions of other sedatives.

“How long would that (propofol) have had an effect on Mr. Jackson?” asked defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan.

“If you’re talking effect on the central nervous system, 10 to 15 minutes max,” White said.

He then said Jackson could have injected himself with another 25 milligrams during the time Murray has said he left the singer’s room.

“So you think it was self-injected propofol between 11:30 and 12?” asked Flanagan.

“In my opinion, yes,” White said.

The witness, one of the early researchers of the anesthetic, contradicted testimony by Dr. Steven Shafer, his longtime colleague and collaborator. Shafer earlier testified Jackson would have been groggy from all the medications he was administered during the night and could not have given himself the drug in the two minutes Murray said he was gone.

“He can’t give himself an injection if he’s asleep,” Shafer told jurors last week. He called the defense theory of self-administration “crazy.”

White’s testimony belied no animosity between the two experts, who have worked together for 30 years. Although White was called out by the judge one day for making derogatory comments to a TV reporter about the prosecution case, White was respectful and soft spoken on the witness stand.

When Flanagan made a mistake and called him “Dr. Shafer” a few times, White said, “I’m honored.”

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