*A defense witness in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor was fined $250 on Wednesday, but was spared payment of an expected $1000 for calling another witness a “scumbag,” reports Reuters.
Propofol expert Dr. Paul White was ordered to pay $250 for repeatedly introducing information in his testimony based on his private conversations with Dr. Conrad Murray.
Trial judge Michael Pastor said White’s actions violated a court order, but he lowered the fine from an expected $1,000 after White said on Wednesday he had no idea he was doing wrong.
Pastor said he had decided not to pursue contempt of court action against White in a second matter. White was heard describing a prosecution witness as a “scumbag” during a break in the trial last month but Pastor said on Wednesday he did not consider that a direct act of contempt.
Murray was convicted on Nov. 1 of involuntary manslaughter in the June 2009 death of Jackson after admitting giving the singer a dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid. Murray is due to be sentenced on Nov. 29 and could face up to four years in prison.