crimesider

Michael Jackson doctor's defense case expected to begin Monday

Dr. Conrad Murray sits in a Los Angeles courtroom Friday, Oct. 21, 2011 during his involuntary manslaughter trial. Pool,AP Photo/Reed Saxon

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

(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - Defense attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray, who's charged in Michael Jackson's 2009 death, are expected to begin calling witnesses in their case Monday after they finish grilling a key prosecution expert.

Pictures: Who's who in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray
Pictures: Michael Jackson's Doctor Trial
Video: Dr. Conrad Murray manslaughter trial begins

The defense case will be Murray's opportunity to counter four weeks of testimony about him from 33 prosecution witnesses who have cast him as an inept, distracted and opportunistic doctor who repeatedly violated legal, ethical and professional guidelines.

The defense case is expected to consist of 15 witnesses. 

Murray's attorneys have not publicly revealed whether they will call the Houston-based cardiologist to testify on his own behalf. Jurors have already heard from the doctor through a more than two-hour interview with police, and it seems unlikely that Murray's attorneys would subject their client to what would likely be blistering questioning from prosecutors.

Monday will begin with lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff questioning Dr. Steven Shafer, the prosecution's final witness and an expert in the anesthetic propofol, which Murray had been giving Jackson as a sleep aid. Chernoff's questioning on Friday challenged Shafer's conclusions and comments he had made about colleague Dr. Paul White, who will testify for the defense team.

So far, Shafer has maintained that Murray is solely responsible for Jackson's death and that the cardiologist committed 17 egregious violations of medical practices that each could have either led to Jackson's serious injury or death.

After Shafer is done testifying, Murray's attorneys will likely ask a judge to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter case against the cardiologist. Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor will rule on the oral motion immediately and if he rejects it, the defense case will begin.

Defense attorneys have said they will call police detectives who prosecutors did not call, several character witnesses, White and possibly other experts. They expect their case will last through Thursday.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter, and faces 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

Comments

Follow Us