Defense lawyers for Conrad Murray met Wednesday’s deadline for handing over documents to prosecutors in the involuntary manslaughter case, clearing the way for the start of the trial in twenty-nine days.
Dr. Conrad Murray, who is charged with causing Michael’s death two years ago, was not present at Wednesday morning’s hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
If jury selection stays on schedule, opening statements would probably be delivered during the last week of September, Judge Michael Pastor said.
Wednesday’s hearing revealed the previously secret defense witness list. The list revealed that a former office assistant for another doctor may testify about alleged drugs Michael was given during his final months.
Jason Pfieffer, who worked as office manager and personal assistant for Dr. Arnold Klein, filed a legal action last week accusing the Beverly Hills dermatologist of supplying Michael with prescription drugs during the last months of his life.
Klein previously sued Pfieffer in federal court, accusing him of embezzling millions of dollars while he worked for him.
Defense lawyer Ed Chernoff told the court Wednesday he intended to interview Pfieffer either Thursday or Friday of this week.
One hindrance to the trial starting on time was removed Wednesday when Deputy District Attorney David Walgren told the judge that the defense has provided a “much greater level of detail as to the status of the witnesses.” Walgren had previously complained that information about seventy-six of the one hundred and three witnesses on the defense list had not been disclosed.
Judge Pastor made it clear that September 8th is still the date for the start of jury selection, with opening statements sometime during the week of September 26th. The trial would end around Thanksgiving, based on previous estimates by lawyers.
Several hundred potential jurors will be screened to determine if their personal lives would allow them to sit through a two-month trial. Those who pass that test will be given a questionnaire with more than one hundred questions to determine if they are qualified to be jurors.