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Michael Jackson jury pools knows all about the case against Dr. Conrad Murray

Dr. Conrad Murray, right, in Los Angeles Superior Court, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011. AP Photo/Irfan Khan

(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - Not surprisingly, it seems pretty much everyone knows about the involuntary manslaughter case against Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray.

A new group of 140 prospective jurors has reported for duty in the Los Angeles case, and all them indicated they're familiar with the case.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor summoned a third panel of prospects Thursday to make sure there will be enough people to choose from when in-depth questioning begins next month.

Panelists who say they can serve on a two-month trial are filling out questionnaires. Those who express strong opinions about Dr. Conrad Murray's guilt or innocence could be dismissed for cause before they reach the jury box.

A group of 147 prospects has already been cleared to face the next phase of questioning on May 4.

Murray, who has pleaded not guilty, was introduced to prospective jurors along with lawyers.

On Wednesday, defense lawyers disclosed a new component of their case - a claim that Jackson was on the brink of financial ruin and feared he would be unable to fulfill his commitment to a concert tour because of severe insomnia.

Attorney Edward Chernoff posed the theory that Jackson was so distraught over his inability to sleep that he took "desperate measures."

Defense lawyers previously suggested the pop star might have self-administered an overdose of the anesthetic propofol while Murray was away from his side.

While seeking access to Jackson's financial records, Chernoff added that the singer was in anguish over his financial situation and faced ruin if he failed to perform during the upcoming tour.

"The crux of the defense is going to be that Michael Jackson engaged in a desperate act and took desperate measures that caused his death," Chernoff told the judge. "We believe at the time Michael Jackson died he was a desperate man in relation to his financial affairs."

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren accused Chernoff of trying to distract from the main issue of the trial - whether Murray acted with gross negligence when he gave Jackson propofol and other sedatives on the day he died.

"This is an irrelevant sideshow designed to take issues away from the jury and smear Michael Jackson," Walgren said. "It has nothing to do with the case on which Dr. Murray is being prosecuted."

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He is accused of gross negligence in administering propofol, an anesthetic not intended for home use or as a sleep aid. Jackson died of an overdose of that drug and other sedatives. 

Complete coverage of the Michael Jackson-Dr. Conrad Murray case on Crimesider

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