Associated Press has reported that Judge Pastor has decided that Murray’s defense team need additional preparation time to represent Murray effectively. He therefore delayed his trial until September, even though Murray had demanded a speedy trial. He agreed that jury selection would begin all over again on September 8th. The lawyers estimated that opening statements would begin on September 20th.
On Sunday, Attorneys for Murray filed a motion complaining about the last-minute addition of expert witnesses to the prosecution case and saying they needed at least two weeks to find experts of their own and have them prepare reports.
They also are trying to get footage from Michael’s posthumous concert movie, ‘This Is It.’ Prosecutors plan to use clips to show he was in good health just before he died.
Pastor said he did not think two weeks was sufficient for the defense to accomplish its goals.
Prospective jurors who filled out questionnaires and were to return to court Tuesday will be thanked and told their services are no longer needed, the judge said.
“The court is very mindful of judicial efficiency and the expense that has occurred in this case,” Pastor said. “But first and foremost is justice … The continuance in this case is absolutely essential.”
Pastor said he didn’t like the idea of picking a new jury but said it was “preferable to having this continuing drama.”
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said he had no objection to a delay. He had been urging a later start date all along.
The Murray defense has posed the theory that Michael, who was desperate for sleep, swallowed more Propofol than the doctor gave him. The drug normally is administered intravenously. The prosecution presented new reports last week from two experts who say it’s impossible to overdose by taking the drug orally because it would not be absorbed into the intestines.
Murray, who had been adamant about wanting a trial within sixty days of his preliminary hearing, was asked by the judge if he was giving up that right to allow his lawyers to effectively represent him. “Yes,” Murray said. “I believe it’s in the best interest of all parties.” “But do you feel it is in your best interest?” asked the judge. “Yes,” said the defendant.
Pastor said he planned to keep the case “on a short leash,” and set a progress hearing for June 3rd.