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Witness: Murray gave Jackson 40 times more of the drug than he told police

October 20, 2011 |  3:49 pm

Dr. Steven Shafer
Dr. Conrad Murray probably gave Michael Jackson 40 times more of the surgical anesthetic than he admitted to police, and left the drug running into the singer's veins even as his heart stopped beating, a leading expert on the drug testified Thursday.

The testimony of anesthesiologist Steven Shafer is the most direct refutation yet of Murray's account of what happened in the hours leading up to his famous patient's death.

FULL COVERAGE: The Conrad Murray trial

Shafer, a Columbia University professor, said mathematical modeling based on levels of the drug found posthumously in Jackson's body debunked Murray's statement that he gave only a single 25-milligram dose of the drug shortly before Jackson's death.

The only plausible scenario he found, Shafer said, was that the physician gave as a drip an entire bottle of propofol, containing 1,000 milligrams of the drug, and never realized Jackson stopped breathing.

"Is this the explanation that best fits all the data in this case?" Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren asked.

"This fits all the data in this case and I am not aware of a single piece of data that is inconsistent," Shafer said.

Shafer, the prosecution's final and main medical witness, is in his third day of testimony. He said his calculations ruled out any possibility that Jackson injected himself with the drug.


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

Photo: Dr. Steven Shafer testifies Wednesday during the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. Credit: Reed Saxon / Pool