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Conrad Murray trial: Jury to get case after closing arguments

November 3, 2011 |  8:26 am

Dr. Conrad Murray
Closing arguments are set to begin Thursday morning in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.

The arguments come after the testimony of 49 witnesses in the trial, including 16 defense witnesses in a weeklong case that wrapped up on Tuesday. The defense case rested largely on patients who painted Murray as a competent, caring doctor as well as an addiction expert who testified that Jackson was probably an addict. Their key expert, anesthesiologist Dr. Paul White, suggested that the pop star likely caused his own death by injecting himself with a dose of propofol while his doctor wasn't looking.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, presented a four-week case that suggested that Murray's own words created a Catch-22 in which conviction was the only outcome possible.

FULL COVERAGE: Trial of Conrad Murray

His statement to police, if taken by jurors at face value, contained enough admissions of gross negligence to amount to a manslaughter confession, prosecutors said.

And if jurors decided he lied to police, as numerous scientific experts and others said he must have, his true conduct was even more egregiously criminal, they argued.

The prosecution's star witness, Dr. Steven Shafer, called the defense's main contention that Jackson self-injected the drug "crazy."

The final days of the trial had some drama because Murray had not decided whether he would take the stand to testify. In the end, he decided against it.

The prosecution is expected to use an elaborate Power Point presentation during their summation. After the defense arguments, the prosecution will be allowed a final, rebuttal argument.

Deliberations could begin as early as Thursday afternoon.


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-- Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim in Los Angeles County Superior Court

Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray, surrounded by his defense attorneys, looks on after the defense rested its case in his involuntary manslaughter trial in the death of singer Michael Jackson in Superior Court on Tuesday. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / pool