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    Michael Jackson Trial: Surprise! Defense Drops Claim That Star Gave Himself Fatal Dose of Propofol

    UPDATE 3:05 p.m.: Medical Board member and pulmonary specialist Dr. Nader Kamangar testified that anesthesiologists are highly trained specialists and are present in hospitals any time that propofol is administered. Jackson needed constant monitoring, Kamangar said, and Murray was in need of beside assistance. He said that he couldn't conceive of a "reasonable or prudent" doctor giving a patient propofol in his home.

    UPDATE 2:56 p.m.: Steinberg testified that Murray "did not act like a board-certified physician" during his time working with Jackson. During cross, Michael Flanagan asked the cardiologist why he "assumed" that Murray caused Jackson's death. "I didn't assume anything," Steinberg replied. "Those are the facts." On redirect, Steinberg agreed with Deputy District Attorney David Walgren that, even if Jackson had dosed himself with propofol, Murray would still be liable for his death.

    MORE: Get the bombshells from yesterday's testimony!

    UPDATE 12:00 p.m.: Steinberg said that as late as noon on June 25, 2009, Jackson was still "savable"—since he still had blood pressure and, in Murray's own words, was still warm to the touch at that point—had paramedics immediately been called. He also noted that to do so would have been "common sense," adding that every minute he didn't call was a massive deviation from the standard of care. He again made note of Murray's failure to document his treatment. Testimony has broken for lunch and will resume at 1:30 p.m.

    UPDATE 10:51 a.m.: Game on. Cross examination of Dr. Steinberg has begun and he's not messing around. After telling Ed Chernoff, "I don't know a single cardiologist who uses propofol," a somewhat tedious and rather tense argument breaks out between the two men as to whether or not Murray admitted to giving Jackson a drip of propofol the night before he died. The men refer to the transcripts and repeatedly recite, reread and harp on what Murray told LAPD in his interview. "Based on his own testimony, Mr. Jackson was on a drip that night," Steinberg said. "Maybe you can point it out to me," Chernoff countered. "Absolutely!" came Steinberg's reply, going on to note that Murray corrected detectives and said he gave Jackson "a dose and a drip."

    After many, many minutes of back and forth and both men refusing to relent, Steinberg asks, "Can we agree to disagree?"

    UPDATE 10:45 a.m.: And the surprises keep coming. Murray's defense team has dropped their claim that Jackson orally self-administered (in other words, swallowed) a fatal dose of propofol while Murray was out of the room. The decision was made after the defense team determined that the effects of such a dosing would be "trivial," and informed the judge and prosecution this morning behind closed doors and not in front of the jury.

    UPDATE 9:45 a.m.: Steinberg also noted Murray's failure to phone 911 immediately, instead choosing to call assistant Michael Amir Williams, thus costing precious minutes—8 or 9, he estimated—in the fight to save Jackson. Additionally, he failed to follow proper protocol when Michael stopped breathing. He also noted that Murray "did not document a single thing" with Jackson, and that there was no written history, no vital signs documented, and no proof of informed consent. Court has broken for a 15 minute recess, though not before Steinberg said that if the six deviations had not occurred, "Mr. Jackson would still be alive."

    UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: First up on the stand this morning is cardiologist expert, Dr. Alon Steinberg, who conducted the California Medical Board review of Murray in the wake of Jackson's death. He said he found six instances of gross negligence, each amounting to extreme deviations from the standard of care, through Murray's treatment. He's going through each one by one, with the first two already named: Steinberg found that propofol was not medically needed (and should never be used as a sleep aid); and Murray should never have administered propofol in a home, unmonitored, without proper medical equipment, personnel or backup.

    The end is nigh. Not that nigh, but nigh enough.

    Prosecutors in the Michael Jackson manslaughter trial reportedly have just three witnesses left to call to the stand in their case against Conrad Murray, among them experts in cardiology, pharmacology and a propofol expert.

    Last to testify yesterday was Los Angeles County Deputy Medical Examiner Christopher Rogers, who performed the autopsy on Michael and said outright that he did not believe there was any way Jackson could have dosed himself, which is, more or less, the whole of the defense's argument. Needless to say, things got testy and likely will continue to be today, when his cross-examination continues.

    As always, E! Online will be streaming all of today's proceedings live from the courtroom, starting at 8:45 a.m. PT.

    (Originally published on Oct. 12, 2011 at 8:40 a.m. PT)

    —Additional reporting by Baker Machado

    PHOTOS: Michael Jackson Manslaughter Trial

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