Prosecutor: Defense will claim Michael Jackson killed himself

Dr. Conrad Murray

Credit: AP

Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor, is escorted by Los Angeles County Sheriffs deputies as he arrives at the Airport Courthouse in February to face charges of involuntary manslaughter in the singer's death.

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by LINDA DEUTSCH

Associated Press

Posted on December 29, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 29 at 5:50 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The defense for the doctor facing trial for involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death will suggest the singer actually killed himself, a prosecutor said during a hearing Wednesday.

"I do think it's clear the defense is operating under the theory that the victim, Michael Jackson, killed himself," said Deputy District Attorney David Walgren.

"They don't want to say it but that's the direction in which they are going."

The statement came at a hearing where a lawyer for Dr. Conrad Murray clashed with the prosecutor over who should test residue from two syringes found in Jackson's bedroom.

Defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan declined to comment on any theories of defense outside court and said lawyers were still investigating the case.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled to begin Jan. 4 after which Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor will decide if there is sufficient evidence to hold Murray for trial. The issue of residue in the syringes is unlikely to be brought up in that hearing, attorneys said.

Jackson died on June 25, 2009, of what was later found to be acute Propofol intoxication, with other sedatives found to have been a contributing factor.

But Flanagan told Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor that a huge amount of the anesthetic Propofol — possibly 150 milligrams — would have had to be present in Jackson's body to reach the level that killed him. He noted that Dr. Murray has said he gave him only 25 milligrams of the drug along with small amounts of benzodiazopines — sedative drugs — to help him sleep.

There have been suggestions that during a brief period when Murray left the room Jackson, possibly desperate for sleep, could have injected himself with more of the Propofol.

Flanagan said a broken syringe was found on the bedroom floor in addition to a syringe in an intravenous medication bag. He said a fingerprint found on the broken syringe hasn't been identified.

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