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Conrad Murray’s defense employed ‘junk science,’ D.A. says

November 3, 2011 | 12:58 pm

David Walgren
A prosecutor in the trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician told jurors on Thursday that the testimony a renowned anesthesiologist gave in Dr. Conrad Murray's defense was "junk science."

The harsh rebuke of the testimony of Dr. Paul White, a leading expert on the surgical anesthetic propofol, came near the conclusion of the prosecution's closing argument. A defense attorney for Dr. Conrad Murray was expected to begin arguing before the jury in the afternoon.

White, who was among the first scientists in the U.S. to study the drug, testified over four days in Murray's defense and said Jackson probably injected himself with the drug and caused his own death.

FULL COVERAGE: Trial of Conrad Murray

Pointing out an early opinion White gave in the case that the pop star may have drunk the propofol that killed him, something he later conceded was impossible, Walgren said the expert, a retired University of Texas professor who wrote textbooks on the subject, should not be believed.

"It was garbage science," the prosecutor said. "What Dr. White came in [to court] and did was sad for science, and sad for truth-seeking."

Walgren said White, whom he called "a very notable person in the field of anesthetics," appeared to be consistent only in making one point: that Jackson died by his own hand.

"However he stretches the science ... he's going to find a way to blame this on Michael Jackson," he said.

Walgren told jurors that they should instead rely on the scientific opinions of the government's medical expert, Dr. Steven Shafer, a longtime colleague and friend of White's. Shafer testified that the most plausible scenario was that Murray gave Jackson 40 times more of the drug than he admitted to police.


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-- Victoria Kim at Los Angeles County Superior Court

Photo: Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren speaks during rebuttal testimony in the final stage of Conrad Murray's defense in his involuntary manslaughter trial earlier this week. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / pool