Jacko 'injected killer drug himself'

2011-10-29 11:37
Los Angeles - Michael Jackson likely injected himself with a fatal dose of propofol without his doctor's knowledge, a star witness said on Friday as lawyers for accused medic Conrad Murray wrapped up their case.

The King of Pop probably also took a number of pills of the sedative lorazepam in the hours before his death in 2009, said Dr Paul White, the final witness at the manslaughter trial.

"So you think it was self-injection of propofol .. between 11:30 and 12 o'clock that did it?" Murray's defence attorney Michael Flanagan asked White, after complex testimony about what exactly Jackson could have taken and when.

"In my opinion, yes," said the respected anaesthesiologist, who over two days refuted a string of arguments made by the prosecution about how Murray allegedly gave Jackson an overdose of cocktail of medicines.

Jackson was found to have died of "acute propofol intoxication," combined with sedatives lorazepam and midazolam on June 25, 2009 at his Los Angeles mansion, where Murray was treating him for insomnia.

Extra lorazepam

In a police interview played during the trial, Murray said he gave Jackson two doses of lorazepam and two of midazolam by intravenous (IV) injection, before relenting and giving him 25mg of propofol after a sleepless night.

Murray said he only left the star for two minutes to go to the bathroom, and returned to find him lifeless.

Defence lawyers said at the start of the trial on September 27 that they would argue that Jackson took more propofol himself, as well as eight two-milligram lorazepam pills - enough to put six people to sleep.

White, after being questioned about complex theories to do with levels of drugs in urine and blood, said on Friday that he believed Jackson took extra lorazepam while Murray was out of the room.

The fact that traces of lorazepam were found in his stomach "tells me that Mr Jackson had taken oral lorazepam at some time prior to his demise," he told the court.

White also disputed the findings of a key prosecution witness, Dr Steven Shafer, who told the court last week that he believed Jackson died while being given propofol via an IV drip.

"Do you reject this as being a possibility of occurring on the night Michael Jackson died?" Flanagan asked him.

"Yes, I do," the anaesthesiologist replied, adding that he could not understand how it would be possible for Jackson to have received a three-hour infusion of propofol.

'Caring' attitude

White was the last witness presented by the defence, which began its case on Monday after four weeks of prosecution testimony heavily implicating Murray over Jackson's death at the age of 50.

On Tuesday, a nurse who treated the singer told how he begged to be given a propofol drip two months before he died, saying medics had assured him it was safe.

On Wednesday, a string of former patients of Murray praised his "caring" attitude and denied he was greedy for the $150 000 a month salary he was being paid by Jackson.

On Thursday, addiction specialist Robert Waldman told the court that Jackson was probably addicted to the painkiller Demerol, prescribed by a Beverly Hills dermatologist for months before his death.

After White's appearance on Friday morning, the court adjourned early for the weekend, to give the prosecution time to consider his complex testimony before they cross-examine him on Monday.

The 58-year-old Murray faces four years in jail if found guilty of involuntary manslaughter by a seven-man, five-woman jury.


  • Jo - 2011-10-29 12:08

    It sounds like a difficult case to solve when you have a dead man who has been taking so much "stuff" during his life time. I feel for Dr Murray, whether he will be found guilty or not, as MJ could not have been an easy person to care for.

  • Shirley - 2011-10-29 12:51

    Bottom line he is a doctor and should either have monitored M.J. more carefully and kept meds out of his reach or not have risked giving such a dangerous drug at all. Either way he is liable.

      Winsome - 2011-10-29 18:42

      Shirley, MJ was a man of 50 - how was the Dr supposed to "kept meds out of his reach"? This is such a complex case - I think the Dr was probably just following orders, poor man. I also feel for him, he is in a horrible position.

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2011-10-29 17:41

    A year ago, my dog was given a does of propofol before having her teeth out at a Vet hospital in Bothasig, Roxy died 7 days later, never really regaining concisiones, even though the Vet said that the drug was harmless. It should be taken off the market, and never used for human or animal, It kills.

      Silvana - 2011-10-30 16:34

      I think you had a bum vet. It makes me mad when good drugs are banned because a bunch of losers become addicted to them. Let them kill themselves and let those who need it benefit from them.

  • George - 2011-10-29 19:35

    MJ would have been better off just skipping all the medics and buying heroin off the street. He would have slept like a baby and eventually killed himself or ended up somewhere blown out like every other addict.He is fully to blame dragging these physicians down with him with the money he offered. These guys should can the case and let it be. The man was dead long before he died.

  • lynettevoostrum - 2011-10-29 20:53

    150 000 USD a month!! Is this not a bit extravagant? Maybe the good doctor looked the other way as he did not want to be sent away! Maybe his judgement was clouded by his remuneration package!

      Mathilda - 2011-10-30 04:27

      Many professionals (physicians, masseuses, hypnotists, psyciatrists) working for celebrities exclusively, earn $100 000 or more per month. Personal hair stylists can make up to half that much if they work for a top celebrity. It's all relative.....how much is the celebrity willing to pay to have this person be available to them 24/7..... I don't believe the doctor's judgement was clouded by his remuneration package at all. MJ could not have been the easiest of clients, and was, ultimately, responsible for whatever he decided to pop into his own mouth. he was not coerced into taking meds that he didn't ask for.

  • Silvana - 2011-10-30 16:29

    I have an immense respect for Michael Jackson as an artist. Prosecuting Murray is pointless because people with a dependency will Use numerous doctors to get their presciptions. What Murray should have done is encourage him to go rehab/councelling.

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