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Court Report

These are the words of Dr Shafer: “Dr Murray’s actions in setting up the IV stand in Michael’s bedroom led to Michael’s death. He is responsible for every drop of Propofol in that room, every drop of Larazepam in that room.”

His testimony continued today for a few minutes, with brief questions about the infusion apparatus he had set up yesterday. He was asked if it would have been possible for Michael to wake up and manipulate the line and he agreed it was possible. He was also asked if he thought Murray had left the room and he agreed that he thought so, based on the April 15th report. Then he was asked if Michael could have woken up and opened the clamp on the IV line. He agreed that it could have happened, but changed nothing, it was still abandonment.

At this time Ed Chernoff began his cross examination. He questioned the witness about the evidence he had already given, and about Propofol in particular, but also Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics, introducing a new factor…TIME. The doctor spoke of the computer programmes he had helped to construct determining such events as dosages from concentrations, specifying that good models would supply a range of possibilities centered around the mean, or average, and based on humans, who would also vary. In Michael’s case, he had no recorded dosages to establish an answer, and it would be impossible to write a programme which would give every single possible dosage.

Moving on to the erection of the IV stand as seen in Michael’s room, he had stated that he had never seen a Propofol bottle propped into an IV bag before. He stated again that that was what he thought had happened in Michael’s case. There followed a discussion about various types of tubings with and without venting apparatus. Murray had tried to purchase some with venting previously but his credit card had been refused.

Without an air-vent the Propofol stays in the bottle. The vented bag was necessary for Murray to ensure that the air in the bottle would force the Propofol to drip out. Chernoff stated that Dr Shafer’s argument was just an opinion, but the doctor said “It’s my opinion as a physician.”

A discussion followed on the Lidocaine/Propofol administered to Michael by Murray, using a syringe. Murray had said in his statement that he delivered an injection of 25mls of Lidocaine and 25mls of Propofol to Michael into the Y connector on the IV tubing. Chernoff continued questioning Dr Shafer robustly about his previous day’s “chemistry lesson,” asking why he had cut the IV bag open if he had not seen the bag before he came to court. The doctor had seen pictures of the bag, he explained, but only actually saw it that day. He said it had piqued his curiosity because he had never seen anything like that before. Chernoff asked him how he knew Murray had cut it, and he replied that it was the only IV bag found at the scene and produced in evidence.

Next Chernoff checked that Dr Shafer had studied all the witness statements, including the statement made by Dr Larsen. He had seen them but had not based his conclusions on them. He had never met or spoken to Alberto Alvarez, but believed that he was telling the truth about the Propofol bottle in the IV bag. He was referred to a statement he had made that it was not a good idea for a scientist to make a statement without proof, he answered “I said: extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof.”

Chernoff then turned his attention to his work and friendship with Dr Paul White who will testify for the Defense. A career long relationship, beginning in 1983, existed between the two men and Dr Shafer’s wife, Audrey. All three were involved in complex papers on their subject, anaesthesia, preparing experiments, studies, analyses and preparing computer modelling.

Then the discussion turned to the present case, and Dr White’s invitation to work for the Defense, while Dr Shafer worked for the prosecution. Chernoff’s questions became rather tiresome and both attorneys were asked by the judge to “Be courteous.” It transpired that Dr White had performed testing on beagles who were given Propofol orally, and Dr Shafer had performed the Chile testing of Propofol on humans. Both series of tests proved negative – Propofol had no bio-availability..

Chernoff asked Dr Shafer; “You knew that Dr White was not going to say here that Michael Jackson drank it {Propofol},” to which Dr Shafer replied; “I didn’t know, and I still don’t know what Dr White will say!”

Chernoff then queried some of Dr Shafer evidential simulations, but the witness answered that simulations were necessary as there were no actual medical records kept by Murray and the goal was to provide information on what may have happened, using what information he did have, insisting he had no other agenda!

A further discussion on simulations took place, and was followed by a repeat of information on infusion rates and bio-availability.

Chernoff asked what the level of Propofol was in the brain according to the autopsy. There was no record of it on the Coroner’s report.

At this point the judge decided enough was enough, and court recessed until Monday at 8.45a.m.

Source: MJWN

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