Propofol Expert Claims Michael Jackson Gave Himself Fatal Injection

Dr. Paul White testified that he believes pop star gave himself fatal injection.

ByABC News
October 28, 2011, 11:35 AM

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 28, 2011 — -- The final defense witness in the manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor was an expert in the anesthetic propofol who told the court today that he believes the pop star gave himself a fatal injection of the drug.

Dr. Paul White also said he saw no evidence of the prosecution's theory that Jackson died from an overdose of propofol adminstered through an IV drip that was set up by Conrad.

But he also said that Murray should not have left the room with Jackson under the influence of propofol.

White was the last witness for Conrad, who the prosecution blames for Jackson's death by giving him too much propofol and not properly monitoring Jackson while administering propofol.

The defense team contends that Murray was trying to wean Jackson off of propofol. They allege Jackson wanted propofol because he was suffering from insomnia brought on by withdrawal from the painkiller Demerol.

At the time of his death, Jackson was preparing for his "This is It" world tour, and exhaustion from that preparation also allegedly contributed to his insomnia.

White is not through testifying, though. He is expected to be called back to the stand and aggressively cross examined by prosecutors when the trial resumes Monday morning.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating on Wednesday.

White, said today that the level of propofol Murray claims he gave Jackson on day of his death June 25, 2009 was "not at all" dangerous.

"It would produce a little anxiety relief and little sleepiness," he said.

And he did not see evidence of Jackson getting a high amount of propofol through an IV, which he said would leave a white film in the IV bag and the line. White said he did not find anything like that in the bag and line used by Jackson that day.

White said the amount of propofol found inJackson's body, about 25 mg, suggests it was injected and he concluded that Jackson would have been able to inject himself in the short time that Murray left him alone.

"Would a person who had an IV in place and was conscious be capable of injecting the bolis of 25 g of propofol?" White was asked.

"Yes, of course," he replied.

When pressed again with the question, "You think it was a self-injection of propofol near 11:30 or 12 [p.m.] that...." defense lawyer J. Michael Flanagan asked, finishing the question with hand and face gesture to indicate Jackson's death.

"In my opinion, yes," White replied.

The defense hopes White was be able to put reasonable doubt in the minds of at least some jurors as to whether Murray is responsble for Jackons's death.

Early in White's testimony, which began Thursday, he denounced the prosecution's premise that Murray administered a fatal dose of propofol to Jackson on the morning of his death.

"I read all these documents and was perplexed that the determination had been made that Dr. Murray was infusing propofol, because in my examination of the documents and evidence, it wasn't obvious to me," White said.

"The defense is in a tough spot," said ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams. "When all you have to do is hope that at least one juror thinks that there's reasonable doubt, the defense still has hope -- at least on cause of death, rather than negligence."

Earlier in the week, Murray's legal team brought in a series of witnesses who testified how Jackson would beg them to provide him with propofol, the only drug that he said would allow him to sleep.

But prosecution asked each of those doctors and nurses whether they agreed to provide Jackson with the drug, and each said they had refused. That left Murray as the only physician who agreed to administer propofol to Jackson.

"He kept telling me that doctors said he'd be safe [taking the propofol]," said Cherilyn Lee, a nurse practitioner who consulted Jackson on holistic health care. "I said, 'No one who cares about your will give you propofol to sleep.'"

Abrams said those witness statements are damaging to the defense.

"Their witnesses, who claim that Michael Jackson was effectively shopping around for a doctor or nurse who'd give him drugs, are also saying they never would have done what Murray did, and that they actually refused," said Abrams, "I don't think there's a chance that [the jury] won't agree that he was grossly negligent."