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Forensics expert: propofol in Jackson's room 'problematic'

May 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A criminalist testified Monday in a wrongful-death lawsuit in the case of singer Michael Jackson's case. The criminalist found it "very problematic" the powerful anesthetic propofol was given to Michael Jackson at his home instead of in a hospital. Monday's testimony focused on the cause of Jackson's death.

In a civil suit brought by Jackson's mother, Katherine, she accuses concert promoter AEG of negligence in hiring and supervising Dr. Conrad Murray.

Hours after Michael Jackson rehearsed for his comeback tour, he was at home struggling to sleep. According to the autopsy report, he ingested several medications and stopped breathing. His personal physician, Doctor Conrad Murray, was unable to revive him.

Monday, Dan Anderson, a Los Angeles County Coroner's Office criminalist, described a forensic search. Anderson had earlier testified in Murray's criminal case.

Anderson listed six drugs he found in Jackson's body, including lidocaine, a numbing agents used for injections; multiple types of anti-anxiety relaxants called benzodiazepines; and propofol, a sedative used in surgery. Vials of propofol were found in Jackson's bedroom.

"It kind of raised a red flag. It is very problematic when it is found outside a hospital setting," said Anderson in court.

Anderson said that based on laboratory analysis, the levels of propofol in Jackson's body were consistent with those used in major surgery.

AEG's defense focused on the rarity of propofol in overdose deaths. In L.A. County Coroner investigations, Anderson says, it's come up only 21 times in 10 years.

The defense suggested to the jury that AEG managers could not have imagined that their star was demanding injections to fall asleep.

The defense also raised questions about who prescribed all of Jackson's medications.

The names of two other doctors were on pill bottles. Jackson was seeing other physicians besides Murray.

The defense contends that's a sign of Jackson's dependency on meds, and that Jackson's choice to use them was beyond the control of AEG.


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