Conrad Murray Trial Recap: Defense Expert Conducted Beagle Propofol Tests
By Jen Heger - RadarOnline.com Legal Editor
Dr. Conrad Murray's lead defense attorney, Ed Chernoff revealed in court Friday afternoon, that their defense witness, Dr. Paul White had conducted oral ingestion of Propofol to Beagle dogs, RadarOnline.com is reporting.
As RadarOnline.com exclusively reported, Dr. Murrray's defense team commissioned a study on Beagle dogs to determine how much Propofol would have to be orally ingested to cause Michael Jackson's death.
One of Murray's lawyers revealed in open court last week that findings from the study revealed that taking Propofol orally would not cause death, and they wouldn't be pursuing the theory that Jackson overdosed by his own hand.
Read PETA's Letter To The USDA Demanding A Full Investigation
Chernoff asked the prosecution's final witness Dr. Steven Shafer, a renowned Propofol expert if he was aware that their expert had conducted a Propofol ingestion study on Beagle dogs.
Chernoff said to Dr. Shafer: "Dr. White in addressing the same issue, you know that he commissioned a study, paid for by the defense involving oral Propofol and Beagles?," to which Dr. Shafer said, "I did not know that."
PETA has demanded a federal investigation into the Propofol testing on the dogs. PETA (the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization), filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday alleging "cruel drug toxicity tests on beagles commissioned by the defense team of Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician now on trial for his alleged role in Michael Jackson's death.
“PETA asserts that if attorneys from Flanagan, Unger, Grover & McCool did commission the tests for the drug propofol - the toxic effects of which have been extensively studied in dogs and humans - those tests were likely conducted in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act's prohibition against tests on animals that duplicate previous experiments. PETA has filed a complaint with the State Bar of California as well."
Read PETA's Complaint To The California Bar
Under further questioning, Shafer admitted to jurors that is was a ‘possibility” that Jackson could of caused his own death.
When asked whether the singer could have overdosed by removing a clamp on an intravenous line of Propofol, Shafer replied: "That's a possibility."
But the medical expert said that hasn't changed his opinion that Murray was culpable in the singer's death.
Shafer explained there is no way to determine whether Murray or the singer were responsible for starting the flow of the drug that dripped into Michael's veins.
Murray's lawyers claim Jackson woke up when the physician left the room and gave himself the drug, but Shafer said this possible outcome was "in no way exculpatory" because Murray would've had to set up the procedure.
Chernoff began cross-examining Shafer by attacking the conclusions he has reached in court during his testimony.
Chernoff said to him: "You understand that everything you said in the last three days was your opinion."
And Shafer replied: "I stated my name, which I think was a matter of fact."
It was a blistering day for the defense, as Judge Michael Pastor ordered Dr. White to appear on November 16, 2011, to determine if he was in contempt of court for calling Deputy District Attorney David Walgren a "scumbag." to E! News. Dr. Shafer will resume testimony on Monday morning.
If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Dr. Conrad Murray could face up to four years in state prison. You can watch the trial live, here on RadarOnline.com.
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