Prosecution rests in Jackson doc's trial

2011-10-24 21:41

Los Angeles - Prosecutors rested their case on Monday in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray, after four weeks of testimony which has heavily implicated him in the singer's 2009 death.

Defence lawyers are expected to call some 15 witnesses to rebut the involuntary manslaughter charge against Murray, who faces up to four years in jail if convicted.

So far witnesses called by prosecutors have given a litany of evidence suggesting Murray was grossly negligent by administering a deadly cocktail of drugs to help the King of Pop sleep, and abandoning him at the vital moment.

Jackson died of "acute propofol intoxication" on June 25 2009 after Murray spent the night unsuccessfully trying to get him to sleep at the star's rented mansion in the plush Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles.

Prosecutors claim Murray gave Jackson an overdose of propofol - a clinical anaesthetic which he was using as a sedative to treat Jackson's insomnia - and abandoned his patient at the crucial moment.

Defence lawyers have claimed that Jackson, desperate to get to sleep to be ready for rehearsals for a planned series of comeback concerts in London, could have administered the drug himself while Murray was out of the room.

But in a seeming admission that defence lawyers were struggling, they said on October 12 that they would no longer claim that Jackson could have drunk propofol while Murray was out of the room.

That leaves open the possibility that Jackson self-injected it through his leg IV - but that was described as a "crazy scenario" by the prosecution's last witness, anaesthesiologist Steven Shafer.

The first witness called by the defence on Monday was Dona Norris from the Beverly Hills police department, who began by answering questions about the 911 call placed at 12:20 on the day of Jackson's death.

Reports suggest that the defence could complete its case by the end of the week, when the jury could be charged with retiring to consider its verdict.