Conrad Murray trial: Prosecution to cross-examine defense expert
Prosecutors in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray will get their chance Monday to cross-examine the defense's star witness, anesthesiologist Paul White, as the trial enters its final days.
White testified Friday that Michael Jackson probably caused his own death by injecting himself with a dose of propofol while his doctor wasn't looking. The defense expert also directly challenged the theory put forth by the government's main medical witness, Dr. Steven Shafer, who spent five days on the stand. Shafer had said that the only plausible scenario was that Murray had let Jackson's IV drip the surgical anesthetic for three hours, even after the pop star had stopped breathing.
His testimony is the first evidence the defense has provided to support the theory that it was Jackson -- and not Murray -- who administered the drug that killed Jackson.
Despite that theory, White conceded that he could not explain Murray's behavior, suggesting that the defense plans on admitting that the doctor made mistakes, but denied that he directly caused Jackson's death.
The prosecution's cross-examination could take all day, but the trial is expected to wrap up this week. White is likely to be the final defense witness unless Murray takes the stand on his own behalf.
Murray, 58, faces up to four years in prison if convicted of the involuntary manslaughter charge.
-- Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan at Los Angeles County Superior Court
Photo: Dr. Paul White, an anesthesiologist and propofol expert, holds up an IV drip in the final stage of Dr. Conrad Murray's defense case on Friday. Credit: Paul Buck / Pool