Michael Jackson hearing: Pharmacist sent large amounts of anesthetic to Dr. Conrad Murray
The owner of a Las Vegas specialty pharmacy testified Monday that he sent large quantities of propofol to Dr. Conrad Murray in the three months before Michael Jackson died from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic.
Pharmacist Tim Lopez said Murray never mentioned the pop star was his only patient at the time and instead led him to believe the 255 vials of propofol he requested were being used for patients at a Los Angeles clinic.
In reality, the four shipments Murray placed, including a final order 10 days before Jackson stopped breathing, went to the Santa Monica apartment where Murray’s mistress and infant son lived.
Lopez said that when he volunteered to personally deliver an order during a trip to Los Angeles, Murray told him not to.
“He said just Fed Ex it the way we normally do,” Lopez recalled.
Lopez took the stand at a preliminary hearing to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to try Murray for involuntary manslaughter. The 57-year-old doctor has pleaded not guilty. He has acknowledged using the drug as a sleep aid for his famous patient, a chronic insomniac.
Jackson usually had Murray work an overnight shift at his rented Holmby Hills mansion, according to other witnesses. Lopez said he created a capsule of three over-the-counter products -- caffeine, ephedrine and aspirin -- for the doctor, who later said it had helped his problem.
Judge Michael Pastor also reviewed data gleaned from Murray’s iPhone. Screen shots of the doctor’s e-mail inbox show he and others involved with Jackson’s planned comeback concert series were discussing the singer’s health in the hours before he died.
In one e-mail displayed in court, a London insurance broker trying to secure a policy in case of cancellation asked Murray to provide details about the singer’s care and to respond to media allegations that Jackson suffered from lupus, cancer and other ailments.
The doctor e-mailed back that he did not have authorization to share the information, but wrote, “As far as the statements of his health published by the press, let me say they are all fallacious to the best of my knowledge.”
-- Harriet Ryan at L.A. County Superior Court