*Testimony ended today in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors said they have called their final witnesses after 22 days of testimony. Court adjourned early to allow both sides to prepare their closing arguments, which will begin Thursday morning at 9 a.m. PT.
The final witnesses presented to jurors were a pair of anesthesia experts who had different theories on how Jackson died unexpectedly on June 25, 2009. The panel did not hear from defendant Dr. Conrad Murray, who told a judge he would not testify in his own defense.
Authorities contend Murray gave Jackson a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol, but defense attorneys claim Jackson gave himself the fatal dose. Murray has pleaded not guilty and could face up to four years behind bars and the loss of his medical license if convicted.
Monday’s proceedings featured hours of intense grilling by a prosecutor of Dr. Paul White, an anesthesia expert who has said he believes Jackson injected himself with the fatal dose of propofol when Murray left his bedside on June 25, 2009.
After asking only eight questions Monday morning, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren had gotten White to acknowledge that Murray had repeatedly violated the physician’s standard of care.
Throughout the day, White also told jurors that he would have never done what Murray was doing — giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid.
“I wouldn’t even consider it,” White said. “It’s something no amount of money could convince me to take on.”
The retired professor and researcher had a bad day outside the presence of jurors, with a judge warning him not to mention his conversations with Murray since being hired as a consultant on the case. When White told the jury that there were things he would like to tell the jury but the judge wouldn’t allow it, Pastor threatened to fine him $1,000 and told the doctor he would consider the punishment during a contempt hearing on Nov. 16. White said he had already been paid $11,000 and was unsure how much more he would receive.
White also distanced himself from medical simulations that he used to illustrate his conclusions that Jackson self-administered the drug, saying another researcher had crafted them the night before White began testifying.
This morning, prosecutors recalled Dr. Steven Shafer to the stand as a rebuttal witness for White’s testimony. He said that Jackson didn’t necessarily die at noon, and that it could have easily been earlier.
“Michael Jackson could have died at any time with the drug contraception continuing to be high in his blood…The serious risk from propofol is you stop breathing. That is the main cause of injury of propofol.”
He also, once again, rebutted the hypothesis that Jackson could have self-administered the fatal dose.