Conrad Murray trial: Michael Jackson's doctor says 'I will not testify'
Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, does not plan to testify in his trial, which is on its 22nd day and is nearing its end after more than three weeks.
The physician's lawyers told the judge on Tuesday, November 1, that the defense has rested. Prosecutors then recalled Steven Shafer, an expert on propofol, for a short rebuttal. The jury has been excused until Thursday, November 3, when attorneys are expected to present their closing arguments.
NOTE: You can watch the proceedings online: OnTheRedCarpet.com is hosting a LIVE STREAM of the Conrad Murray trial, which began on September 27.
In early October, the jury heard a recording by Murray, made during an interview he gave police detectives after Jackson's death, but have not heard from the doctor in person. On Tuesday, Murray told the judge: "My decision is that I will not testify in this matter."
Autopsy results have shown that Jackson died at age 50 on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of propofol, which he called his "milk," and other sedatives. The singer had suffered a cardiac arrest at his rented Los Angeles home and was pronounced dead at a hospital. Murray had administered the drug to Jackson in the hours before he died and has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors have criticized Murray for giving Jackson propofol outside of a surgical setting. Murray faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted. His attorneys maintain Jackson consumed propofol and other sedatives while the doctor was away from his bedside and that the dose of propofol Murray gave him was too small to be fatal.
Also on Tuesday, Jackson's brother Tito and sister Rebbie said they were aware the singer had a drug problem and that he had tried to intervene but added that they were unable to get close to him because of his security team, the Associated Press reported.
Paul White, an expert on propofol, was the final witness called to testify by Murray's lawyers. He said earlier this week that he believed Jackson could have injected himself with the drug while Murray was away from his bedside, as the doctor's lawyers have claimed. The prosecution's key propofol expert, Shafer, had criticized Murray's treatment of Jackson.
Murray had told police in an interview following Jackson's death that the singer had complained about insomnia and requested that he order propofol and give it to him on a nightly basis. Records presented to the jury in recent weeks show that the doctor ordered more than 4 gallons of it for him.
Murray had told police that Jackson "begged" for the drug on the day of his death to help him sleep, after being unable to do so for hours. He said that during the two months prior to Jackson's death, he gave the singer propofol "30 days a month, roughly every day" and that he "handled it fine," adding: "(Jackson) explained to me that he had taken it multiple times. He used it frequently on his tours. it was given to him by multiple other doctors."
Among the witnesses who have testified by request of prosecutors include Jackson's security guards, private chef and "This Is It" tour co-director Kenny Ortega. The defense team summoned witnesses such as Murray's past patients, who praised his treatment, as well as a doctor and nurse who had treated Jackson in the past.