BEL AIR—Michael Jackson died in Holmby Hills in June of 2009, and immediately after paramedics were called to his rented Bel Air mansion on Carolwood Drive, his fans have demanded justice for his death, which L.A. County prosecutors are saying is at the hands of his personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray. After weeks of testimony from witnesses, including four of Dr. Murray’s mistresses, other physicians and speculation that the prosecutors would put Jackson’s eldest son Prince Michael or his daughter Paris Jackson on the stand, they decided to end the state’s case with Propofol expert Dr. Steven Shafer, who is known as an expert in the anesthetic drug Propofol.
Dr. Shafer testified for the prosecution for days, and his testimony was riveting to court watchers, while jurors took few notes but paid close attention to the physician who point blank blamed Dr. Murray for the death of the King of Pop Michael Jackson. Dr. Steven Shafer, probably the last witness before the prosecution rests in Dr. Murray’s involuntary manslaughter trial, said Murray should have realized Jackson had stopped breathing about 11:45 a.m. on June 25, 2009. He went on to say, “When you're there, you see it, you know it.” He was speaking on the fact that in Dr. Murray’s statement to police just days after Jackson was pronounced dead at nearby Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, that he had in fact left the room to relieve himself after he had hooked Jackson up to an IV drip using the powerful anesthetic drug.
Prosecutors however have presented witnesses and Dr. Murray’s own cell phone records, which allegedly shows the doctor had been out of the room with Jackson for close to 45 minutes, while talking on the phone with several of his girlfriends. The married doctor’s personal character was paraded out two weeks ago when reality-TV star wannabes and strip club employees were called by the prosecution to testify against Murray. One mistress even stated that she heard a cough, then heard Dr. Murray put his cell phone in his pocket, and she stated that he never came back on the line after that. The prosecution has pinpointed this very time as the moment Dr. Murray realized his patient (Michael Jackson) had gone into cardiac arrest and had stopped breathing.
Dr. Steven Shafer’s testimony was powerful. He testified not only as an expert in the powerful drug Propofol, but stated to the jury and a packed and stunned courtroom that Dr. Murray’s actions directly caused the death of the singer. “Had Conrad Murray been with Michael Jackson during this period of time, he would have seen the slowed breathing and the compromise in the flow of air into Michael Jackson’s lungs, and he could have easily turned off the Propofol infusion," Shafer said.
Earlier testimony during the trial from paramedics and emergency room doctors said Jackson was clinically dead by the time an ambulance arrived at the singer’s home nearly a half-hour after Murray realized there was a problem. The final prosecution expert witnesses testified about the science aspect in the case.
After the defense cross-examination of Shafer on Friday afternoon, the defense portion in the manslaughter case began. If Dr. Conrad Murray is convicted, he faces up to a 4-year prison term. State officials however feel that Murray would possibly be sentenced to an at-home term, because of California’s prison overcrowding.
Dr. Murray previously pleaded not guilty, and plans a rigorous argument against the state’s case.
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