Jackson doctor ordered fatal anaesthetic, says witness

Monday, January 10, 2011

LOS ANGELES - Michael Jackson’s doctor ordered hundreds of vials of the anaesthetic propofol in the months leading up to the pop singer’s death, a witness said.

Pharmacist Tim Lopez made the statements Monday at the start of the second week in the preliminary hearing for Conrad Murray, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter of Jackson in June 2009.

Jackson died from an accidental overdose of propofol, which was mixed with a cocktail of other drugs. Jackson, 50, was taking the hospital grade anaesthetic as a sleeping aid in contravention of standard medical practice.

Prosecutors maintain that Murray did not use a minimum level of caution in his care of the frail singer. Last week witnesses told the court that Murray delayed calling emergency responders, ordered Jackson’s aides to remove propofol from his room and failed to tell doctors what drugs Jackson had been taking.

Murray, 57, was Jackson’s personal physician who was hired by concert promoter AEG to look after Jackson during the legendary performer’s comeback concert tour.

In other testimony Monday, prosecutors introduced an email that Murray sent to a British insurance agent who was considering cancellation of insurance for Jackson’s concerts, rejecting media reports about Jackson’s ill health less than one hour before he died.

Lopez testified that Murray had ordered more than 15 litres of propofol and 80 other vials of injectable sedatives, implying that they were for patients at his Los Angeles clinic rather than for Jackson.

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