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Jackson doctor's defense challenges key propofol expert

Anesthesiology expert Dr. Steven Shafer (left) and Dr. Conrad Murray (right)Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, in downtown Los Angeles. Pool,AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Anesthesiology expert Dr. Steven Shafer
Pool,AP Photo/Reed Saxon

(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - The lead attorney for the doctor charged in Michael Jackson's death challenged a key prosecution expert Friday about his contention that the physician was responsible for the death of the singer.

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Attorney Ed Chernoff cross-examined Dr. Steven Shafer, who previously testified that the only plausible explanation for the death was that Jackson had been hooked up to an IV drip of the anesthetic propofol then was left alone by Dr. Conrad Murray.

"That's a bold claim, isn't it," Chernoff asked.

"It's an honest statement," Shafer replied.

Chernoff also questioned the Columbia University researcher and professor about his IV demonstration for jurors on Thursday.

The defense attorney suggested Shafer had drawn conclusions that weren't necessarily supported by the evidence. Chernoff said the type of IV line that Shafer used in the demonstration was never found at Jackson's house.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He could face up to four years behind bars and the loss of his medical license if convicted.

Complete coverage of the Conrad Murray - Michael Jackson case on CBS News

  • Crimesider Staff

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