After nearly a month of morbid details and photos, endless discussions about Propofol and resuscitation techniques, and the testimony of 33 witnesses, the prosecution finally concluded their case this afternoon in the manslaughter of Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.
For their last witness, the prosecution called Dr. Steven Shafer, an expert on the powerful sedative Propofol, to testify about Jackson's level of exposure to the drug. Shafer said that there was evidence that Murray was improperly administering the prescription drug to Jackson for at least two months. Propofol is often given before surgical procedures, but Murray was using it just to put Jackson to sleep. And on that note, the prosecution handed over the reigns to the defense for what is probably an Everest-sized uphill battle.
Here's a quick refresher of the Murray trial at halftime:
• Meet the 12 People Who Will (Probably) Convict Michael Jackson's Doctor
• Michael Jackson Manslaughter Trial Begins as Morbidly as Possible
• Thanks to the Magic of Televised Trials, The Amp Called Dr. Conrad Murray Today
• Bed or Floor? The Tiny Detail That Could Save Dr. Conrad Murray
• Dr. Conrad Murray Abandoning the 'Michael Jackson Committed Suicide' Theory, Sort Of
• Today at the Michael Jackson Trial: Wild Jackets and Dr. Murray Is Screwed
With only 15 witnesses to call to the stand, the defense will spend significantly less time trying to plant a shadow of a doubt in the mind of jurors. Their argument: Jackson injected himself with a deadly dose of Propofol while Murray left the room briefly to make personal phone calls. (Murray's team was planning on arguing that Jackson swallowed the Propofol, but that scenario proved to be impossible.) They will also have to overcome the fact that Jackson's fingerprints weren't found on any vials, all while making the jurors forget that Murray failed to do CPR properly, call police in a timely manner, or tell paramedics what was in Jackson's system. Their first witness: Dona Norris, a records custodian at the Beverly Hills Police Department. No word yet if officers Billy Rosewood and John Taggart are also on the witness list.
In other Jackson family news, sister Janet has canceled her upcoming Australian tour in order to attend the manslaughter trial's final weeks. "When I planned these shows, the schedule in California was completely different. After talking with my family last night, I decided we must be together right now. This saddens me in so many ways," Janet said in a statement. She also missed last month's beleaguered Michael Forever concert in Wales because she didn't want to miss the trial, though the entire Jackson family's attendance in the courthouse has been lacking the past few weeks. That should change as the trial nears its conclusion.
[Photo: Pool/Getty Images]
- Michael Jackson
- Conrad Murray