Michael Jackson case: Prosecutor says defense isn't sharing information, asks for delay of doctor's trial
A prosecutor asked Thursday that the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor be delayed because of what she said was the failure of the defense to share information about its planned case, including the findings of its star forensic witness.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor left the scheduled March 24 start of Dr. Conrad Murray’s trial in place, but said he shared the prosecution’s frustration and reminded defense attorneys that they could be fined or barred from calling witnesses if they did not comply with legal obligations to turn over the materials.
“Dr. Murray is entitled to have a speedy trial, but it’s not trial by lack of information,” Pastor said.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Deborah Brazil complained that with only a month before trial, Murray’s lawyers have not handed over a report or notes about the expected testimony of Dr. Paul White.
The defense acknowledged in court that White, a Dallas anesthesiologist with an expertise in propofol -- the drug that killed Jackson -- is its most important witness. But defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan insisted the expert had not prepared a report and had communicated his findings verbally. Those findings, Flanagan said, included the opinion that Jackson was addicted to Demerol and that Murray did not cause Jackson’s death.
Pastor urged Murray’s lawyers to provide more information about White's testimony to the prosecution.
“I’m just finding it very difficult to believe that a renowned forensic expert in any subject is going to take the stand without having documentation in front of him,” the judge said.
Murray, 57, is accused of involuntary manslaughter in the June 2009 death of the pop icon. His lawyers have suggested that Jackson self-administered the fatal dose of propofol.
-- Harriet Ryan