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Michael Jackson was unlikely to kill himself: autopsy doctor

(Xinhua)

16:24, October 12, 2011

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Michael Jackson was likely to have died from homicide, said a doctor who worked on his autopsy on Tuesday.

Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray's account that his patient caused his own death by self-administering an extra dose of Propofol did not hold water, Dr. Christopher Rogers told the Los Angeles Superior Court jury as the manslaughter trial entered its third week.

In an audiotape played at the court, which recorded the interview between Murray and police investigators after Jackson's death, Murray said he, at Jackson's request, agreed to give him a 25-milligram dose of Propofol at around 10:40 a.m, which was infused over about three to five minutes.

Murray said then he left the bedroom for two minutes to go to the bathroom. "Then I came back to his bedside and was stunned in the sense that he wasn't breathing," Murray told the police investigators.

His lawyers have claimed that Jackson gave himself a fatal extra dose while Murray was out of the room.

Murray's story did not hold water, Rogers said, considering the amount of time -- two minutes -- it would take for the powerful anesthetic to circulate to the singer's brain.

"In order for Mr. Jackson to administer the Propofol to himself, you would have to assume that Mr. Jackson woke up, although he was at least to some extent under the influence (of Propofol and other sedatives)," Rogers told the seven-man, five-woman jury when he was called to stand.

"The circumstances from my point of view do not support self-administration of Propofol," he said.

Rogers also pointed out that "there was not an appropriate medical indication" for the doctor to give the King of Pop Propofol to treat his insomnia, noting that the home setting -- with no EKG monitor, no precision dosing device, and inadequate resuscitation equipment -- was far from ideal for administering the drug, which should always be used in an acute care clinical setting.

Rogers also talked about the pop icon's overall health before his death, saying that the singer appeared to be in good shape, which was characterized by a body-mass index within the normal range, no signs of heart disease, and no atherosclerosis in his coronary arteries.

The 50-year-old entertainer was "healthier than the average person of his age," Rogers said.

The examiner also showed the panelists a picture of a nude Jackson which was taken on the day when he stopped breathing, to make his point.

Earlier, the court heard the final 45 minutes of Murray's two-hour interview with Los Angeles police investigators which was held on June 27, 2009, two days after the singer's death.

Prosecutors seek to prove Murray, 58, failed to properly monitor Jackson after giving him a lethal dose of Propofol. They contended that the cardiologist "repeatedly acted with gross negligence, repeatedly denied appropriate care to his patient, Michael Jackson, and that it was Dr. Murray's repeated incompetence and unskilled acts that led to Mr. Jackson's death on June 25, 2009."

Defense attorneys argued Murray was weaning Jackson off the medication, but the singer "self-administered" an extra lethal dose. The cardiologist was hired by Jackson to care for him two months before his death.

The trial is expected to last four to five weeks. Murray, who is set free on a bail of 75,000 U.S. dollars, faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical licenses if convicted of the felony charge.

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