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People vs. Dr. Conrad Murray

Propofol Expert:

Michael Jackson Killed Himself

10/28/2011 5:17 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Propofol Expert -- Dr. Paul White Testifies
Updated 1/11/11 at 8:45 AM
1027_mj
** Scroll to bottom for today's testimony **

Anesthesiologist and Propofol expert  Dr. Paul White -- the defense team's final witness -- told the jury today, he believes Michael Jackson killed himself by self-injecting Propofol.

The prosecution has argued ... Murray had MJ on a Propofol IV drip the day he died, resulting in an accidental overdose that killed the singer.

But Dr. White testified, there was no evidence -- either on the scene or in Murray's police interview -- that Murray hooked MJ up to a Propofol IV drip the day he died.

It's worth noting -- Murray admitted during his police interview that he had previously administered Propofol to Michael using an IV drip in the weeks before the singer's death.

According to White, the evidence on scene suggests Murray was only responsible for a small, non-fatal Propofol injection -- and he believes MJ was the one who injected the final and fatal dose.

Other highlights:
* Last week, defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan addressed what he called the "elephant in room," asking Dr. White whether he could justify administering Propofol, and then leaving the patient. White answered, "Absolutely not."
* White told jurors the amount of Propofol that Murray said he gave MJ the day he died was barely enough to reduce anxiety and cause a bit of sleepiness.

1028_propofol_demonstration
* Not to be upstaged by the prosecution ... White did his own Propofol demonstration on Friday, showing it was not only easy but "perfectly safe" to administer Propofol via injection.
* White said he believed Jackson gave himself a dose of Propofol around 11:30 am -- and that, combined with the Lorazepam and the 25 mg Murray gave him earlier, is what killed him.
* During an aggressive cross-examination yesterday, prosecutor David Walgren got Dr. White to acknowledge that Murray deviated from the standard of care when he gave MJ Propofol.
* White told Walgren he's been paid $11,000 for his testimony so far. He said his usual fee is $3,500 a day.
* White also said it's acceptable for a doctor to leave his patient's bedside after 15 to 30 minutes when administering a "small dose" of 25 mg of Propofol.
* During a particularly contentious moment, Walgren asked White whether Murray had an obligation to report all the drugs he administered to MJ. White said sometimes, in cases of emergency, details are "overlooked." Walgren then asked whether Propofol was "a detail that was overlooked." White answered, "Obviously it was overlooked"...  Walgren shot back, "Not obviously... It could also be a lie." White acknowledged that yes, it was possibly a lie.

103111_propofol

* White acknowledged he would have never agreed to administer Propofol as a sleeping aid ... saying, "no amount of money" could persuade him to do it.
* Judge Michael Pastor warned White to stop mentioning personal conversations he had with Murray ...  which could allow the defense to introduce statements by Murray without subjecting him to cross examination. At one point, White suggested Jackson had his own private stash of Propofol... Finally Pastor lost his patience, and excused the jury so he could read White the riot act.
* After the trial resumed, White told jurors it's possible MJ climbed out of bed, found a syringe containing Propofol that Murray left behind and injected himself with the fatal dose.
* Walgren asked White if he thought Jackson intended to kill himself. White answered, "I don't think he realized the potential danger."
* After the defense rested its case, prosecutors recalled Propofol expert, Dr. Steven Shafer, to address a few points raised by Dr. White. White argued that high amounts of unchanged Propofol found in MJ's autopsy urine suggest the singer most likely died from a quick injection rather than a slow drip. But Shafer introduced a 2002 study that showed patients who received Propopfol through a drip in the OR had nearly the same levels.
268 COMMENTS

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1.
2.

Bubba    

Its Doctor Puppy Killer!

1071 days ago
3.

Maria    

Dr. White is putting his whole career on the line for a murderer!He will soon regret it. He backed from his words about oral consumption of propofol after Dr.Shafer proved him wrong. Dr. White can't be trusted because he doesn't trust his own words either.

1071 days ago
4.

magentapyramid    

Can someone please clarify who Paul White called a "s***bag"? There seems to be differing reports - some saying it was Shafer, others claiming it was Waldgren. A little clarity, please.

1071 days ago
5.

Maria    

in respond to "magentapyramid " , Dr. White apparently called Shafer a "s*** bag" after Dr. Shafer demonstrated to jurors how he believes Murray set up an IV drip .
This was so very unprofessional of Dr. White to make comment like that. I believe Dr. White is very much jealous of Dr. Shafer.

1071 days ago
6.

Just Reading    

It's the question Flanagan didn't ask which is the real elephant in the room..and that is "could he justify infusing profopol to a patient in a home enviroment without the necessary monitoring equipment, assistance or even the disciplined training of an anesthesiologist."

1071 days ago
7.

Amy    

I can't wait for Mr. Walgren to get his hands on Dr. White.

Maria, I agree with your comment. Dr. White has sold his soul to the devil.

1071 days ago
8.

marta    

This defense team of sleeze-bag attorneys are really pulling out the stops on defense of a murderer. Is this all they could come up with for countering a very strong prosecution case. If this jury does not see through all of this smoke-screen of a defense...then there really is NO justice in this country. Justice4MJ!!!!

1071 days ago
9.

Sherri    

I don't see the case being all that strong for the prosecution or for the defense for that matter. Dr Murray left Michael alone thats clear but Michael could have given himself that final dose. My other problem is why aren't these other Dr's that MJ used in there as well, they started giving him all these drugs why aren't they in there as well. MJ wanted drug dealers he got that not only from Murray but from other Dr's as well, they just got lucky because he didn't die in their care, which he very easily could have. His kids seem to be having the time of their lives though I am glad that they are not shielded as much as they were it seemed MJ was hiding his problems behind them and that is not fare to them. MJ was in need of great help and everyone around him obeyed him instead of someone growing a back bone and telling him no, including his family, Jermaine said they would have swoop MJ out of the country if convicted of molestation, they should have swoop him into drug rehab instead.

1071 days ago
10.

mj fan forever    

THIS OTHER LOSER SO-CALLED EXPERT HAS THE NERVE TO TESTIFY IN MURDERER'S FAVOR IT JUST PROVES HOW INCOMPETENT HE IS NO MATTER HOW MANY RESEARCHES HE DID THEY WERE USELESS FOR THIS INCOMPETENT AND FOR SURE HE CAN'T COMPETE WITH DR SHAFER!!!!! MICHAEL DID NOT DRINK PROPOFOL HE JUST WANTED TO SLEEP AND SO DAMNED UNFORTUNATELY HE TRUSTED MURDERER!!!!! OF COURSE HE SAID HE GAVE MICHAEL JUST 25MG OF PROPOFOL HE LIED ALL THE TIME AND DELAYED THE RELIEF EFFORTS!!!!! SO THINK ABOUT THE HEARING ON NOV 16 HOPING THE JUDGE CONVICT YOU FOR CONTEMPT!!!!! MURDERER NEEDS TO BE CONVICTED AND BURN IN HELL!!!!!! JUSTICE FOR MICHAEL JACKSON!!!!!!!

1071 days ago
11.

Pegasus    

Last defense witness called in trial of Michael Jackson's doctorBy Alan Duke, CNN
updated 8:31 PM EST, Thu October 27, 2011

Expert describes doubt over propofol roleSTORY HIGHLIGHTS
NEW: Defense expert "perplexed" by investigator's conclusions
Addiction specialist testifies Jackson was "probably addicted" to Demerol
Demerol withdrawal could've caused Jackson's insomnia, expert says
Jury deliberations in Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial could begin early next week
Tune in to HLN for full coverage and analysis of the Conrad Murray trial and watch live, as it happens, on CNN.com/Live and CNN's mobile apps.

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Round two of the battle of the propofol experts started Thursday afternoon in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor as the defense anesthesiology expert began his testimony.

When Dr. Paul White continues his testimony Friday, and he is expected to counter the conclusions of prosecution anesthesiologist Dr. Steven Shafer, whose earlier testimony spanned more than a week of Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial.

Dr. White said that after reviewing the reports, evidence and analysis from investigators in Jackson's death he was not convinced Dr. Murray was responsible.

"I was somewhat perplexed at how a determination has been made that Dr. Murray was infusing propofol," White said. "It wasn't obvious to me, I thought there were questions."

Addiction doctor spars with prosecution

Addiction doc talks detox, rehab

Former patient kisses Dr. Conrad Murray

Former patients believe in Dr. Murray A drug-addiction specialist testified earlier Thursday that Jackson was "probably addicted" to a powerful painkiller given him during frequent visits to a Beverly Hills dermatologist in the three months before his death.

Dr. Robert Waldmon was called by the defense in an effort to show Jackson's insomnia the day he died could have been caused by withdrawal from Demerol shots he was given along with botox injections, treatments that Dr. Murray didn't know about.

White, who is the last witness before the defense rests, spent most of the first two hours establishing his credentials as one of the world's foremost experts on the surgical anesthetic propofol, which the coroner ruled was the chief drug that killed Jackson.

The personal and professional rivalry between Dr. White and Dr. Shafer played an odd role in Thursday's testimony.

White's longtime friendship with Shafer has been tested during the Murray trial, including an incident last week that resulted in the judge scheduling a contempt-of-court hearing against White for next month.

At one point Thursday, White suggested someone "tell Dr. Shafer he needs to learn how to spell plasma," because it was misspelled on a graph he created.

White, however, attempted to downplay rivalry with Shafer when the judge mistakenly called White "Dr. Shafer" for a second time. "I take it as a compliment, actually," White said.

Patient: Murray very 'proactive'

Witness: 'Murray was the best doctor'

Jackson's nurse gets emotional

Michael Jackson's nurse speaks to media White and Shafer, who are on opposite sides in this trial, may have a new anesthesia product to develop as a result of their preparations to testify, White said.

Both experts commissioned studies on the possibility that Jackson might have orally ingested the fatal dose of propofol, something they both have now ruled out. But they learned that propofol could be absorbed through the tissues of the mouth, White said.

He and Shafer agreed during courthouse chats while waiting to testify that they might be able to develop a propofol lollipop as a "non-invasive sedation device."

Shafer testified last week that he concluded the "only scenario" that fits the scientific evidence is that Jackson was on an IV drip of propofol for three hours before his death and that Murray failed to notice when he stopped breathing.

Shafer conceded that it was possible that Jackson, not Murray, could have been the one to open the drip to a fatal pace, but prosecutors contend it would make no difference in Murray's guilt.

The defense hopes the testimony from White and Waldmon, their last two witnesses, will convince jurors that Jackson gave himself the overdose of drugs that killed him while Murray was no*****ching.

The Los Angeles County coroner ruled Jackson's June 25, 2009, death was the result of "acute propofol intoxication" in combination with several sedatives.

The defense theory is that a desperate Jackson, fearing his comeback concerts could be canceled unless he found elusive sleep, self-administered propofol that Murray was trying to wean him off of.

Prosecutors contend Murray is responsible for his death even if he did not give him the final and fatal dose because he was criminally reckless in using the surgical anesthetic to help Jackson sleep without proper precautions.

The defense contends Jackson became addicted to the painkiller Demerol through frequent visits to the Beverly Hills dermatology clinic of Dr. Arnold Klein in the months before his death. Murray was unaware of the addiction, and therefore unable to understand why he could not help Jackson sleep, the defense contends.

During Thursday morning's testimony by Dr. Waldmon, the addiction specialist, defense lawyer Ed Chernoff displayed Dr. Klein's medical records for Jackson, kept under the name "Omar Arnold." The showed at least 24 visits from March 12 until June 22, 2009, three days before his death. The defense previously said Jackson was given 6,500 milligrams of Demerol at Klein's clinic during those visits.

Jackson received 900 milligrams of Demerol at Klein's clinic over three days in early May, the records showed.

Dr. Waldmon called the shots "stiff doses."

Waldmon testified that from his review of those medical records and "based on what is known of his public behavior that he was probably addicted" to Demerol.

"Six weeks of very frequent high-dose use would develop opioid dependence in any of us," Waldmon said.

The defense also sought to connect the Demerol shots to Jackson's poor health at some rehearsals for his comeback concerts and at other times when he complained of being being hot and cold at the same time.

Patients describe opioid withdrawal as like "the worst case of influenza they ever had," Waldmon said.

While Demerol was not found in Jackson's blood or body during his autopsy, the defense contends it played a major role in his death. His inability to sleep, which Murray was trying to resolve the day he died, could have been a direct symptom of his withdrawal from the drug.

"Anxiety, restlessness and insomnia" are "very common" symptoms of Demerol withdrawal, Waldmon said.

Jackson's personal assistant, Michael Emir WIlliams, testified earlier that Jackson's visits to Dr. Klein were "very regular" in his last months of life.

"There were times he would go almost every day" to Klein's office, and Jackson often appear intoxicated when he left, Jackson's security chief Faheem Muhammad testified.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor ruled earlier that while the defense could use Klein's medical records, they could not call the doctor or his staff to testify in the trial.

1071 days ago
12.

janicebyrne    

This is an "expert"??? Wow!..."MJ drank the Propofol"...oh no, I've changed my mind, MJ DIDN'T .! Make up your confused mind Mr so-called expert White. The Defence witnesses have all been embarrassingly awful and only add to the prosecution case at all times. The Prosecution case is SOOOOOOO strong, and foolproof and the two Prosecution people are excellent. They work as a professional team unlike the rag bag mix of amateurs on the defence side.Old Conny the quack is going through his repertoire of the sad, puppy eyed look, the mock croc tears, the little smiles(see what a nice guy I really am!) Maybe in the past, Conny was a decent enough cardiologist, maybe in the past he wasn't motivated by greed but that was THE PAST. When he met MJ, he was starstruck and his ethics changed. He saw only $ signs and without a backward glance, he immediately dumped and abandoned all his adoringly stupid former patients and was following the yellow brick road littered with loads of $$$$$$$$$$$. Why would Conny tape MJ under sedation? One answer only..........BLACKMAIL!! I hope Conny does take the stand. Walgren will demolish him in seconds.

1071 days ago
13.

SarahT    

Defense attorneys base their entire case on "plausible suggestion" no matter how outrageous or knowingly untrue. This trial is not about Michael Jackson's drug history. Conrad Murray was his live-in doctor who allowed MJ access to a multitude of narcotics, one of which he infused in MJ daily and ultimately killed him. Don't blame the victim.

1071 days ago
14.

estellawelch    

To belie the greed charge, Ruby Mosley disclosed that Murray treated sick people at Acres Homes, a poor community with 75 percent of its residents on welfare and Social Security. http://bit.ly/vmy8jJ

1071 days ago
15.

Ashley    

The defense has no case. The prosecution did an outstanding job of explaining how Murray acted so rephrehensibly, and even the defense witnesses Dr. Metzger and Nurse Cherilyn Lee pointed out that they wouldn't have given the drug as Murray did.

The character witnesses like the ex-patients mean nothing to the case. They were not involved June 25, 2009, and they didn't die while under Murray's care. Defense is just trying to distract the jury from the heart of the matter, which is that Murray was WRONG.

1070 days ago
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