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Conrad Murray trial to resume with final prosecution witness

October 19, 2011 |  8:31 am

Dr. Conrad Murray

Testimony in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's personal physician, will resume Wednesday with the prosecution's final witness.

Dr. Steven Shafer, a top expert on propofol, took the stand briefly last week, but court was canceled on Monday due to a death in his family.

Full coverage: Trial of Michael Jackson's doctor

The professor of anesthesiology at Columbia University is the prosecution's main medical witness and is expected to testify about the guidelines and proper usage of propofol, the surgical anesthetic that led to the singer's death. He has already testified that a dosage "off by just a little" could make a significant different between a patient taking hours rather than minutes to wake up from sedation.

The trial was delayed again on Tuesday to give Murray's attorneys time to review a new lab analysis turned over by prosecutors. Those lab results challenge a key defense theory that the pop star swallowed eight tablets of the sedative lorazepam, then injected himself with propofol. The mixture caused a "perfect storm" that instantly killed Jackson, they contend.

But on Monday a prosecutor said those conclusions were "artificially inflated" and that the actual level of lorazepam in Jackson's system was significantly lower.


Conrad Murray witnesses: Who's who

Conrad Murray's care of Jackson gross negligence, witness says

Sleep doctor: Treating Michael Jackson with propofol 'inconceivable'

— Victoria Kim at Los Angeles County Superior Court

Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray in court last week during his involuntary manslaughter trial. Credit: Robyn Beck / Pool