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Conrad Murray trial: Defense given more time to prepare

October 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The trial of Conrad Murray resumes on Wednesday with the final witness for the prosecution, an expert on propofol. But jurors will have another break when he is done testifying because the court is giving the defense more time to prepare.

For 12 days, jurors have heard the prosecution's case against Michael Jackson's doctor and allegations that Murray committed acts of criminal negligence that led to the singer's death.

Get complete coverage of the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The defense will take over on Friday, and the jury will hear Murray's version of what killed the King of Pop.

"How would anybody be doing if they're facing the charges that he's facing? It's a tough situation. His whole life is in the balance here," said defense attorney Michael Flanagan.

The defense is scrambling to isolate the scientific evidence they believe could neutralize the prosecution's case. Behind the scenes in the past week, the defense and prosecution ordered more specific toxicology tests, but the two labs came up with different numbers.

Follow @abc7MurrayTrial on Twitter to get the latest updates on the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray.

Both sides are seeking analysis of how much of the sedative lorazepam was in Jackson's stomach, which added to the effects of the sedative propofol. It was a highlighted point in the prosecution's opening statement.

"The coroner also found that levels of lorazepam were pharmacolgicaly significant, and that they played a contributing role in the death of Mr. Jackson," Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said.

The prosecution claims the defense results were flawed, showing lorazepam that had built up in Jackson's body for days, not what he took hours before his death.

Defense attorney Ed Chernoff told the court during a hearing on Tuesday that they need more time to consult with their experts and to retest a gastric sample, as they try to isolate lorazepam pills they believe Jackson took when Murray was not looking. It's a shift from the defense's original theory that Jackson drank a lethal dose of propofol.

Referring to the prosecution's analysis of lorazepam from the coroner's lab, Chernoff said, "We know the process by which it was tested, and we know how this lorazepam was metabolized. What we don't know is how it got into his stomach."

The judge agreed to give the defense Thursday to prepare.

The defense has disclosed some of the witnesses they will call. They include Randy Phillips from AEG, two detectives and four people who will vouch for Murray's character.

Murray is on trial for involuntary manslaughter for Jackson's sudden death on June 25, 2009, at the age of 50. Prosecutors allege Murray tried to hide the fact that he had been giving propofol to Jackson.

Murray, 58, has pleaded not guilty and has denied any wrongdoing. If convicted, he could face up to four years in prison and lose his medical license.

The trial is expected to last five weeks, with Oct. 28 being the estimated last day.

View photos from the involuntary manslaughter trial of Conrad Murray.


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