Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Jackson 'injected propofol himself'

Lawyers for Michael Jackson's doctor dropped the bombshell they had been hinting at for months - an expert opinion accusing the legendary singer of causing his own death.

Dr Paul White, the defence team's star scientific witness, said Jackson injected himself with a dose of propofol after an initial dose by Dr Conrad Murray wore off.

He also calculated that Jackson, 50, gave himself another sedative, lorazepam, by taking pills after an infusion of that drug and others by Murray failed to put him to sleep.

That combination of drugs could have had "lethal consequences", the researcher said.

Murray, who had been hired as the singer's personal physician for his This Is It tour, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter over Jackson's death in June 2009.

Dr White showed jurors at Los Angeles Superior Court a series of charts and simulations he created in the past two days to support the defence theory. He also did a courtroom demonstration of how the milky white anaesthetic propofol could have entered Jackson's veins in the small dose that Murray claimed he gave the insomniac star.

Dr White said he accepted Murray's statement to police that he administered only 25 milligrams of propofol after a night-long struggle to get Jackson to sleep with infusions of other sedatives.

The witness, one of the early researchers of the anaesthetic, contradicted evidence by Dr Steven Shafer, his long-time colleague and collaborator. Dr Shafer earlier said Jackson would have been groggy from all the medications he was administered during the night and could not have given himself the drug in the two minutes Murray said he was gone.

"He can't give himself an injection if he's asleep," Dr Shafer told jurors last week. He called the defence theory of self-administration "crazy".

The prosecution asked for more time to study the computer programme Dr White used before cross-examining him. Judge Michael Pastor granted the request, saying he too was baffled by the complicated simulations of Jackson's fatal dose. He recessed court early and gave prosecutors the weekend to catch up before questioning Dr White on Monday.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph