Drug Ingestion Unfolds
A judge delayed resumption of the trial of the doctor charged in Michael Jackson’s death until Wednesday to give defence attorneys time to analyse new testing that coroner’s officials recently conducted.
Dr Conrad Murray looks on during his trial in the death of pop star Michael Jackson in Los Angeles on October 12.
Testimony had been cancelled yesterday so that the prosecution’s final witness, Dr Steven Shafer, could deal with family affairs after his father died last week.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor agreed to delay the case against Dr Conrad Murray for another day after defence attorneys said they needed time to prepare for how to deal with testing the coroner’s office conducted last week on the level of the sedative lorazepam in Jackson’s system.
Murray’s attorneys have suggested that authorities ignored the effects lorazapam may have had on the pop superstar and said their own testing suggested Jackson had taken eight pills before his death.
Still not guilty
Coroner’s officials determined Jackson died from a lethal dose of the anaesthetic propofol. Authorities contend Murray gave Jackson the fatal dose and other sedatives in the singer’s bedroom to try to help him sleep. Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said the defence lab’s results combine two numbers to make it seem like there was more lorazepam in Jackson’s system than may have been present. He said the coroner’s tests show a much smaller amount was actually in Jackson’s system and are inconsistent with the theory that he swallowed several pills.
Lead defence attorney Ed Chernoff said he had numerous questions about the coroner’s testing and had asked the agency to conduct the same test before the trial began but was told it couldn’t be done. He said he didn’t yet know what impact it will have on how Murray’s defence case is presented.
Defence attorneys are expected to begin calling their own witnesses, including experts, later this week.
Pastor agreed it was an issue that defence attorneys needed time to address. He ordered attorneys to give him an update at a hearing this afternoon.