Dr. Conrad Murray's lawyers are split over whether the doc should take the stand in his own defense ... TMZ has learned.
Sources connected with the case tell TMZ Ed Chernoff is adamant -- he does NOT want Murray to testify because he would be crucified on cross-examination.
A Los Angeles jury will probably decide next week whether Conrad Murray is a felon. So we gotta ask ...
The Hiltons have a longtime connection to the Jackson family -- Kathy went to private school with Michael when she was 13 and he was 14.
The families have known each other for decades. Kathy went to the UCLA Medical Center to see Michael and say her final goodbyes. She says she actually rubbed his head, arms, and legs as he lay on the gurney.
Kathy chose today because it will probably be the last day of testimony in the trial. Rick Hilton is also present.
Propofol Expert -- Dr. Paul White Testifies
Updated 1/11/11 at 8:45 AM
** 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.
Addiction Expert -- Dr. Robert Waldman Testifies
Updated 10/27/11 at 8:48 AM
Addiction expert Dr. Robert Waldman -- the defense's penultimate witness -- said Michael Jackson became physically dependent on the pain killer Demerol in the months before he died.
Waldman said Jackson received "unusually large" amounts of the highly-addictive drug during at least 24 visits to his dermatologist between March and June, 2009.
Waldman also said one of the symptoms of withdrawal from the drug is insomnia... a condition MJ was known to suffer from.
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff went over medical records from MJ's dermatologist -- Dr. Arnold Klein -- which showed each time Jackson went in for a botox and anti-perspiration treatments -- relatively painless procedures -- he got a boatload of Demerol.
MJ started his "treatments" in March 2009 ... getting 200 mg of Demerol per visit. By May, he was receiving 300 mg.
During an extremely tense cross examination, Waldman admitted he couldn't say for sure whether MJ was addicted to Demerol ... but he would diagnose him as "dependent."
Dr. Murray's Former Patients Testify
Updated 10/26/11 at 9:00 AM
The defense is trying to make the case ... Dr. Conrad Murray is a great doctor with a pristine reputation -- and to prove their point, they're calling several of Murray's former patients to the stand ... each with glowing reviews.
First up ... a heart attack patient named Gerry Causey -- who told the jury, Murray saved his life. Causey said Murray is "the best doctor" he's ever had.
Interestingly, Causey told jurors he didn't want to be sedated during the operation because he was too scared ... so Murray didn't put him under.
He also said Murray took great care in explaining everything he was doing.
Prosecutors made sure to point out -- Murray's treatment was done in a monitored environment with the help of a large staff.
AEG Live President and CEO -- Randy Phillips Testifies
Updated 10/25/11 at 11:20 AM
Randy Phillips -- the concert promoter who bankrolled Michael Jackson's "This Is It Tour" -- told the jury, when AEG Live announced MJ's first 10 shows ... sales were through the roof.
Phillips said the demand for tickets was so huge, he called Jackson to see if they could add more shows.
Jackson agreed ... under 2 conditions... #1 -- he wanted a 16-acre country estate outside of London with streaming rivers and horses for the kids... and #2 -- he wanted reps from the "Guinness Book of World Records"present at the last 50th concert because he knew "it was a feat thatno other entertainer could beat" (Prince currently holds the record with 21 shows at the 02 Arena).
Randy's testimony could prove Michael Jackson was under extreme pressure to perform at the time of his death -- which eventually pushed the singer over the edge.
* Phillips told the jury when he first heard Jackson wanted his own personal doctor, he tried to convince the singer to hire someone in London, but MJ insisted on bringing Murray.
* Phillips said he had no idea there were issues with MJ's health until he got an email from director Kenny Ortega who told him MJ wasn't focused and was missing rehearsals.
* He then got a call from MJ's manager, Frank DiLeo, asking for a meeting to discuss MJ's health.
* During the emergency meeting -- held on June 20th -- Jackson assured Phillips he was ready to do the show ... telling him, "You build the home, and I'll put the door on it and paint it."
* Phillips said there were no discussions about any drug use and that Ortega was happy with the MJ's response.
* Defense attorney Ed Chernoff asked Phillips whether Jackson would have been responsible for any production costs had the tour been canceled ... Phillips answered, yes. But Chernoff was not allowed to get into the specifics. Earlier in the day, Judge Michael Pastor barred any discussion about the contract between AEG Live and Jackson noting, "Thisis not a contractual dispute. This is a homicide." Murray's lawyers were hoping to introduce the contracts to show that Jackson had more than just his reputation at stake.
Dr. Conrad Murray's defense team came out swinging today with their first string of witnesses -- including two LAPD detectives, a doctor who treated MJ for 15 years, and one of MJ's nurses.
Detectives Dan Myers and Orlando Martinez told the jury ... MJ's bodyguard Alberto Alvarez never mentioned anything about Propofol until two months after Michael Jackson died -- suggesting Alvarez may not have his story straight.
You may recall -- Alvarez testified in the first week of the trial ... Murray ordered him to stash vials of Propofol in a bag before asking him to call 911.
Murray's lawyers then questioned Dr. AllanMetzger -- who claimed the singer had been struggling with sleeping problems for 15 years, and begged him for IV drugs as early as April 2009.
A nurse practitioner who treated Michael Jackson in 2009 broke down in tears when she told the court she begged the singer not to take Propofol.
Cherylin Lee -- who continued her testimony from Monday -- said she warned Jackson time and time again the drug could kill him.
In a dramatic moment, Prosecutor David Walgren read from Lee's medical records, where shetold the singer, "I understand you want a good night sleep, you wantto be knocked out, but what if you don't wake up?"
Lee told the jury she had no idea what Propofol was at first ... but after doing some research, she realized this was not a drug she was comfortable administering. She told Jackson "nobody who cared or had you best interest at heart is going to give you this."
Lee claims Jackson assured her it was safe as long as he was monitored.
According to Lee, Jackson eventually became frustrated with her holistic remedies -- which included teas and vitamin infusions -- and stopped calling her.
The last time she heard from the singer was on June 21, when his bodyguard frantically called to tell her Jackson wasn't feeling well. She said she could hear Jackson shouting in the background, "Tell her what's happening with me... half of my body is hot and the other half is cold." She said she told the bodyguard to take MJ to the hospital immediately.
Surveillance Specialist -- Alex Supall Testifies
Updated 10/24/11 at 11:21 AM
Lawyers for Dr. Conrad Murray are insinuating ... the LAPD did a sloppy job retrieving evidence from Michael Jackson's surveillance cameras the day the singer died -- failing to make copies of crucial footage before it was erased.
The defense's second witness -- a surveillance specialist for the LAPD named Alex Supall -- just testified, he only handed over a few minutes of surveillance footage to investigators, showing MJ arriving home for the last time at around 12:45AM on June 25th, 2009.
As TMZ first reported, Murray's lawyers have had a big problem with how investigators only recorded a small fraction of surveillance footage from that day -- and demanded to see the entire 24-hour tape.
Specifically, Murray's lawyers want to see who entered MJ's house during that period -- footage that could prove their theory that evidence in the house was tampered with.
Problem is ... the cameras run on a 24-hour loop -- so, Supall testified, if the footage hasn't been transferred ... it's replaced with new footage and cannot be retrieved.
Supall said he only copied those few minutes to establish a timeline of when the singer returned home after his last rehearsal on June 24 -- everything else is gone forever.
The prosecution just rested its case in Dr. Conrad Murray's trial -- now Murray's team will almost immediately attempt to make its case ... that the doc is not guilty.
Lead prosecutor David Walgren and his team called witnesses for almost four weeks before passing the baton to Murray's defense.
Murray's first witness was a quickie -- with Beverly Hills PD Communications Director Dona Norris discussing the 911 call the day Michael Jackson died.
Dr. Conrad Murray made a pretty shocking statement last night, leaving a restaurant in Santa Monica. He said, "I would like to pray for the prosecutor, his associates, and his expert witness."
Sadly, the photog didn't ask why Murray was praying for them ... whether it's because he prays for everyone, be they friend or foe -- or whether he's praying because he believes they are portraying him unfairly/unethically before the jury.
Anesthesiologist -- Dr. Steven Shafer Testifies
Updated 10/24/11 at 8:49 AM
**For today's testimony, click to continue below.**
Leading Propofol expert Dr. Steven Shafer -- the final witness for the prosecution -- told the jury, Dr. Conrad Murray corrupted his patients ... because now, they're all terrified of Propofol.
He told the jury today -- "I am asked every day I'm in the operating room ... 'Are you going togive me the drug that killed Michael Jackson?'"
In his review of Dr. Murray's conduct, Shafer testified he found 17 "egregious violations" of standard medical care that contributed to the singer's death.
* Last Thursday, Shafer told prosecutors he was hired 20 years ago by the company that produces Propofol to calibrate the correct dosing for the drug.
* Shafer said the exact dosage of Propofol is crucial -- because even a slight discrepancy could be the difference between a patient sleeping for a few minutes, and one sleeping for several hours.
* Jurors then watched a video that showed how Propofol should be used in the OR. The clip showed nurses and doctors successfully reviving a patient -- played by an actor -- suffering from a cardiac arrest. Prosecutors were trying to show the jury Dr. Murray was not equipped to handle an emergency situation when he treated MJ.
* Shafer explained to the jury that Jackson probably died because his tongue blocked the back of histhroat ... but could have been saved with a simplechin lift.
Dr. David Adams -- a Las Vegas anesthesiologist -- treated MJ on 4 occasions, administering Propofol during dental procedures.
Dr. Murray told cops during his LAPD interview that Dr. Adams was one of the docs who gave MJ Propofol just to sleep ... once putting the singer under for 5 or 6 hours while Murray says he was present.
Murray also told cops MJ had asked Adams to be his doctor during the "This is It" tour, and Adams wanted between $1.2 and $1.3 million.
We're told the defense will call Dr. Adams to the stand -- possibly as early as today -- to establish that MJ was a hard-core Propofol user and that other doctors, including Adams, were fueling his addiction.
But here's what we know. Sources connected to Dr. Adams tell TMZ ... Adams will make it clear -- he NEVER put Michael under just to help him sleep, although Adams will say he did administer Propofol for legitimate dental procedures.
But even more important ... Adams wants to tell the jury he strongly believes Michael became a victim to Murray's financial greed. Adams will say Murray actually negotiated with him and cut him out of the tour so Murray would be the sole beneficiary of Michael's medical budget.
If Dr. Conrad Murray is convicted of felony involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to the maximum -- 4 years in state prison -- he will not spend a single day in prison ... and he could end up on house arrest.
A new law went into effect in California on October 1, which says, because of overcrowding, people convicted of non-violent felonies cannot be sent to State prison. Instead, non-violent felons serve their time in county jail.
Law enforcement tells TMZ ... involuntary manslaughter is a non-violent felony, which means if Murray is convicted he'd go to L.A. County Jail.
As for how much time Murray would serve ... L.A. County Sheriff's officials tell TMZ ... Murray would be jailed for half the actual sentence. So if he gets the max -- 4 years -- he would only serve 2.
But there's a twist ... Murray could actually serve way less than 2 years. Because of severe overcrowding, inmates are eligible for house arrest, based on 2 factors -- their prior criminal history, and risk to the community. Murray has a clean record and, as one law enforcement official put it, he poses no risk ... it's not like he's going to go out with a bottle of Propofol and kill people.
So if the jail is filled to the gills, the Sheriff could put him on house arrest with an electronic monitoring bracelet. But one official from the Sheriff's Department told us ... Murray wouldn't be placed on house arrest right out of the box. He would almost certainly do some time before the jailhouse doors would open.
Sleep expert Dr. Nadar Kamangar -- who called Dr. Conrad Murray's treatment of Michael Jackson "inconceivable" -- told prosecutors today ... Murray used MJ as his own personal guinea pig for dangerous medical experiments.
Kamangar -- an adviser for the CA Medical Board -- testified that Propofol was never approved for use as a sleep aid when Murray used it to treat MJ's insomnia ... claiming Murray's treatment amounted to "an experiment."
Murray's attorney J. Michael Flanagan cited a Taiwan research study today from 2010, in which 64 patients with insomnia were successfully treated with Propofol -- but Kamangar pointed out ... the study took place after MJ's death ... in a safe hospital setting.
Sources directly connected with the decision to prosecute Murray tell TMZ ... Murray's 2-hour interview with LAPD detectives at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey gave prosecutors the ammo to charge the doc.
Our sources all say, prosecutors almost declined to file the case, but the police interview made all the difference.