Expert: Murray Gave Jackson 40 Times More Sedative Than He Told Police
Defense to present case on Friday.
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Dr. Conrad Murray is accused of involuntary manslaughter (Getty Images)
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Dr. Steven Shafter was the last witness called before the prosecution rested it case against Murray.
The Columbia University professor testified that Murray left the drug running into Jackson's veins even as his heart stopped beating,
Based on his calculations, Shafter says the levels of the drug found in Jackson's body contradict Murray's statement that he gave only a single 25-milligram dose of the drug shortly before Jackson's death.
Shafter says the only plausible scenario was that Murray hooked Jackson up to an IV containing 1,000 milligrams of the drug, and never realized Jackson stopped breathing.
"Had Conrad Murray been with Michael Jackson during this period of time, he would have seen the slowed breathing and the compromise in the flow of air into Michael Jackson's lungs, and he could have easily turned off the propofol infusion," Shafer said.
Murray could have then easily cleared Jackson's airways and restored his breathing by lifting his chin, he said.
Shafer demonstrated for the jury how he believed Murray set up the propofol infusion by hanging a 100-milliliter vial from a stand with tubing attached that would have led to a catheter port in Jackson's left leg.
"This is the only scenario that I could generate" that would produce the high level of propofol found Jackson's blood during his autopsy, Shafer said.
"This fits all of the data in this case, and I am not aware of any data that is consistent," he said.
Shafer examined and ruled out other scenarios, including Jackson injecting himself with propofol or Murray administering a fatal dose with a syringe. Computer model projections could not identify a scenario that would duplicate the high blood levels found, he said.
Although Murray told police he used an IV drip to give Jackson propofol on previous nights, the defense contends that he did not use it the day Jackson died. Instead, they say, Murray put Jackson to sleep about 10:40 a.m. with a single injection.
Sometime after that, Jackson woke and used a syringe to inject himself, the defense contends,
Shafer said the theory makes no sense.
"People just don't wake up hell bent to grab the next dose in a syringe, draw it up and shove it in their IV again," Shafer said. "It's just a crazy scenario."
Shafter also said that Jackson's veins were so deteriorated that it would have been difficult for him to inject the drug with a needle.
He said the more likely scenario was that Murray had set up an IV propofol drip, then left the room to make phone calls.
According to Shafter, Jackson likely stopped breathing while Murray was out of the room, and the propofol continued to flow into his body via the IV.
Murray has admitted giving Jackson a dose of propofol and four milligrams of lorazepam to help him sleep.
However, Shafter said that Jackson had more lorazepam in his blood stream than Murray admitted giving him.
Shafer said that based on the timing of when Murray said he gave Jackson the lorazepam, those doses would have amounted to only 10 percent of the amount of the drug actually found in Jackson's blood stream at autopsy.
"It's only 10 percent of what was measured, so this did not happen," Shafer said.
Murray, who has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter, faces up to four years in prison if convicted.