Michael Jackson autopsy photo shown to jurors during testimony
Jurors in the Michael Jackson case saw an autopsy photo of the singer's body Tuesday as a medical examiner testified that the singer probably could not have given himself the lethal dose of the surgical anesthetic blamed for his death.
The testimony of the medical examiner, Dr. Christopher Rogers, contradicts what attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray have told jurors in Murray’s involuntary manslaughter trial –- that Jackson awoke while his doctor wasn’t looking and gave himself propofol, the anesthetic, causing his own death.
Murray's statement to police that he was gone for a mere two minutes before returning to find Jackson not breathing made it unlikely that the singer administered the drug himself, Rogers said.
"You’d have to assume that Mr. Jackson woke up, although he was at least to some extent under the influence of propofol and other sedatives, he was able to somehow administer propofol to himself," Rogers testified.
Given the time it would taken for the drug to make its way through Jackson's body and take effect, Rogers said that scenario was "less reasonable" than the possibility that Murray mistakenly gave Jackson an excessive dose.
"We did not find any type of precision dosing device, which means the doctor would be estimating how much propofol he was giving," the medical examiner said. "I think it would be easy in those circumstances for the doctor to estimate wrong and give too much propofol."
"And some variation of that scenario you find to be more likely?" Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren asked.
"Yes," Rogers responded.
Rogers also said he did not observe any "white liquid substance" –- which would resemble propofol –- in the singer’s mouth, esophagus or stomach. One of theories advanced by defense attorneys is that Jackson might have drank the drug.
During Rogers’ testimony, an autopsy photo of a gaunt-looking Jackson was briefly shown to the jury. Jackson, although he appeared thin, was in the normal range of weight and in above average health for his age when he died, the medical examiner said.
-- Victoria Kim
Photo: Autopsy photo of Michael Jackson. Credit: KTLA News