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November 3, 2011

Gallery: Inside Michael Jackson's autopsy file

Posted: 01:12 PM ET

Michael Jackson's appearance has been cause for speculation over the years.  Plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Romo analyzed Jackson's autopsy report and theorized what the pop star may have done to his body. Click here to dive into the autopsy report.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Court docs • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Uncategorized


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October 31, 2011

Defense expert: What is 'standard of care?'

Posted: 02:58 PM ET

Defense expert Dr. Paul White seemed confused on the stand Monday about what precisely 'standard of care' means.  However, he did admit he thinks Dr. Conrad Murray did deviate from the standard of care while treating Michael Jackson.  Click here to read about prosecutor David Walgren's intense cross examination of Dr. White.
Complete courtroom coverage of the Conrad Murray trial airs live on HLN from gavel to gavel. It’s also on In Session on truTV from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET every weekday.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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October 28, 2011

Judge: Trial is taking too long

Posted: 02:47 PM ET

The judge apologized to jurors Friday for delays in the trial before releasing them for the weekend.

"We are past the date I told you your services would be over," Judge Michael Pastor said. "But I know all of you understand that things happen in cases... I recognize the sacrifices you're making. So please continue to hang in there and enjoy your weekend."

During a chambers meeting with lawyers on Thursday, prosecutor David Walgren asked the judge for more time to consider new evidence submitted by the defense. The evidence includes new simulations from defense expert Dr. Paul White, which show the possible effects of the drugs that were in Michael Jackson's system the day he died.

Walgren called the graphs of the new simulations, "hieroglyphics."

Judge Pastor acknowledged Walgren's concerns, but said he's worried about changing the schedule because the jurors have lives and commitments outside of the trial. Walgren said that losing jurors to scheduling conflicts is a risk the state is prepared to take.

Judge Pastor granted the state to begin their cross examination of Dr. White on Monday, giving them the weekend to examine the new defense evidence.

Once Dr. White's testimony is concluded, we expect that the defense will rest. After the defense rests, the prosecution will likely present some sort of rebuttal case.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Evidence • Testimony • Witnesses


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October 24, 2011

Your guide to the defense's case

Posted: 04:42 PM ET

The defense case will be much quicker than the state's case. It took prosecutors 16 days, they called 33 witnesses and they displayed or marked more than 200 exhibits. In contrast, the defense is expected to take just a few days and finish presenting its case Thursday.

Lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff advised the court last week that they expect to call a third expert in addition to anesthesiologist Dr. Paul White and toxicologist Michael Hanson. While Chernoff did not say who his third expert would be, Dr. Stephen Pustilnik is on the witness list. He's a medical examiner from Texas and could contradict some of the testimony given by the Los Angeles county medical examiner who conducted Micheal Jackson's autopsy.

Here is a list of possible witnesses for the defense's case:

-Dona Norris, Evidence Manager for Beverly Hills Police Department

(Norris finished testifying Monday)

- Alex Supall, a police surveillance specialist with the LAPD

(Suppall will continue with his testimony when court resumes after lunch)

-Randy Phillips, President of AEG

-Dr. Paul White, Anesthesiologist

-Michael Hanson, Toxicologist – Analyzed Jackson's stomach contents

-LAPD detectives Orlando Martinez and Dan Myers

-Amir Dan Rubin, former Chief Operating Office of UCLA Medical Center

-Dr. Stephen Pustilnik

-4 character witnesses

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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The prosecution's case in 6 & 1/2 minutes

Posted: 03:42 PM ET

Can you believe we're now on Day 16 of Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial? Doesn't really seem like a lot of time when you consider all of the evidence we've seen and heard.

Remember the audio tape prosecutors played of a slurring Michael Jackson (recorded by Murray)? Or all of the girlfriends who paraded out on the stand (one said she recieved shipments of propofol for Murray, another said she was on the phone with him the day Jackson died)? And who could forget the shocking autopsy photo or the hours and hours of medical testimony showing how propofol should be used.

If you've been living under a rock for the last few weeks or if you suffer from a bit of short term memory and can't remember that far back, then we've got you covered. All you need is six and a half minutes. Don't think we can cram the whole prosecution's case in that short of a time? We DARE you to watch:

Complete courtroom coverage of the Conrad Murray trial airs live on HLN from gavel to gavel. It’s also on In Session on truTV from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET every weekday.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Court docs • Drugs • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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Defense plays nice with Dr. Shafer

Posted: 01:35 PM ET

After Friday's combative testimony between defense attorney Ed Chernoff and state's witness Dr. Steven Shafer, we expected more fireworks in the courtroom. But it seems Chernoff left the boxing gloves at home Monday and stuck mainly to Dr. Shafer's drug calculations.

Earlier in his testimony, the anesthesiologist eliminated all of the scenarios where Michael Jackson could have died by either ingesting or self-injecting himself with propofol.

Dr. Shafer concluded that, based on his calculations and simulations, Jackson could have only died while receiving a constant flow of the anesthetic through an IV drip.

Chernoff focused his questions for Dr. Shafer on what seemed to be arbitrary numbers that Dr. Shafer chose for his calculations. Dr. Shafer even admitted he pulled one number for a simulation out of thin air, but the number in question had no significance in his overall conclusions regarding Jackson's death.

Chernoff also dug into Dr. Shafer's knowledge of addiction and drug interaction. Dr. Shafer conceded that he has no special expertise in the field of addiction.

"I take care of patients who are addicts on a very regular basis," said Dr. Shafer. "As a trained physician, I'm familiar with forms of addiction. But I don't consider myself an addiction specialist by any means."

Complete courtroom coverage of the Conrad Murray trial airs live on HLN from gavel to gavel. It’s also on In Session on truTV from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET every weekday.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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Our 5 biggest moments from last week

Posted: 11:24 AM ET

Testimony in the Dr. Conrad Murray trial is set to resume today at 11:45am ET/8:45am PT (there could be a slight delay due to some motions the attorneys are expected to argue). Here's your chance to get caught up on what you missed last week.

Dr. Steven Shafer dominated the witness stand, providing hours and hours of compelling medical testimony for the prosecution. Here are our top five biggest moments:

#5 — Dr. Conrad Murray was WAY off on his drug calculations.

Dr. Murray told detectives that he only administered a total of 4mg of the sleep medication lorazepam to Jackson the day he died. But Dr. Shafer said that Dr. Murray must be mistaken because — based on the levels of the drug found in Jackson's blood during the autopsy — Jackson had significantly more lorazepam in his system when he died. Shafer says the only way Jackson's blood would have the level of lorazepam observed at autopsy is if he got 10 consecutive injections at double the rate Murray claims.

#4 — Propofol 101: Here's how you're supposed to do it. 

Dr. Shafer walked the jury through a video demonstrating the proper way to administer the anesthetic propofol to a patient. The video also showed the procedures taken when a patient's heart stops beating. It was a stark contrast to the equipment and procedures used by Dr. Murray in Jackson's bedroom.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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October 21, 2011

Pieces falling into place for the prosecution

Posted: 03:31 PM ET

Do you remember earlier in the trial when the state introduced evidence of a propofol vial in an I.V. bag that was found in Jackson’s bedroom? Well at the time we weren’t sure why Dr. Conrad Murray would put a bottle of the anesthetic in an I.V. bag.  It just didn’t make much sense.

On Thursday, the state’s witness Dr. Steven Shafer put the mystery to rest by demonstrating that Dr. Murray may have used an empty I.V. bag to help him suspend the propofol bottle. The I.V. set up Dr. Shafer rigged in open court utilizes gravity to help feed a constant drip of the drug into the body.

The prosecution is arguing that an I.V. drip administered by Dr. Murray is what killed Jackson. But the defense is arguing that Jackson wasn't hooked up to a drip. Instead, the defense says Jackson killed himself by injecting the lethal dose of  propofol through a catheter in his leg.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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October 20, 2011

Demo: Dr. Murray's sloppy I.V.

Posted: 10:22 PM ET

In open court, Dr. Steven Shafer recreated what he believes is the I.V. setup that Dr. Conrad Murray hooked up to Michael Jackson the day he died. It was a dramatic performance that showed an extreme contrast from Dr. Shafer's video presentation Wednesday that showed the proper way to deliver the anesthetic propofol.

Watch Dr. Shafer's I.V. demonstration here:

Complete courtroom coverage of the Conrad Murray trial airs live on HLN from gavel to gavel. It’s also on In Session on truTV from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET every weekday.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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October 19, 2011

Doctor: Sedating a patient is like driving a motorhome

Posted: 07:00 PM ET

It's not a comparison we would have thought to make: Sedating a patient is like driving a motorhome. And what do you do when nature calls?

"You don’t get up, leave the wheel and to go to bathroom," said Dr. Steven Shafer in court today.

Dr. Conrad Murray told police that he gave Michael Jackson a small 25mg dose of the anesthetic propofol and stepped out of the room for a couple of minutes to relieve himself. But Dr. Shafer testified that there's no such thing as a little bit of anesthetic and safety guidelines must be followed every time drugs like propofol are administered.

"It's a slippery slope and every patient is different," said Dr. Shafer.

He also said the varying conditions of each patient creates a need for doctors to plan for the worst case scenario every time they prepare to sedate a patient.

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren walked Dr. Shafer through his review of Dr. Conrad Murray's treatment of Michael Jackson. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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