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Michael Jackson died instantaneously, doctor's lawyer says

September 27, 2011 | 11:45 am

Michael Jackson death

Michael Jackson died instantaneously from a combination of tranquilizers and surgical anesthetic he took without his doctor's knowledge, the physician's lawyer said in an opening statement Tuesday.

"He died rapidly, so instantly, he didn't even have time to close his eyes," defense lawyer Ed Chernoff said as he began his address.

Live video: Full coverage of Conrad Murray's trial

The lawyer told jurors scientific evidence would show Jackson swallowed eight tablets of lorazepam –- "enough to put six of you to sleep" –- and then self-administered propofol. He said Murray was out of the room at the time.

At the defense table, Murray wiped away tears as his lawyer described him as a hard-working and dedicated doctor who spent his career working in the poorest neighborhood of Houston.

Murray, 58, faces the loss of his medical license and up to four years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter.


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

Photo: Michael Jackson fan Bristre Clayton of Las Vegas holds signs outside an L.A. court during the trial of Conrad Murray on Tuesday. Credit: Jason Redmond / Associated Press