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Defense slams Jackson crime scene probe.

Summary: An attorney for Michael Jackson's in-house doctor challenged a crime scene investigator Thursday and suggested she conducted a shoddy examination of the bedroom where the "Thriller" singer stopped breathing in 2009.

LOS ANGELES: An attorney for Michael Jackson's in-house doctor challenged a crime scene investigator Thursday and suggested she conducted a shoddy examination of the bedroom where the "Thriller" singer stopped breathing in 2009.

Jurors in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray also heard from a toxicologist, who said he found the anesthetic propofol in Jackson's blood, liver, urine and stomach. The sedative lorazepam and other medications were also found in his body.

Authorities have ruled that Jackson died of acute propofol intoxication, combined with the sedative lorazepam.

But the day's most confrontational exchange came during the testimony of coroner's investigator Elissa Fleak. Murray's attorney, Ed Chernoff, mounted the defense team's most forceful challenge since the trial began in Los Angeles on Sept. 27.

Murray has admitted to giving Jackson propofol through an intravenous injection as a sleep aid on June 25, 2009. His attorneys say Jackson gave himself an extra, fatal dose of the drug once Murray was out of the room.

Fleak combed through Jackson's bedroom with the police after the singer's death.

"Would you agree with me that you made a substantial number of mistakes in your investigation?" Chernoff asked her.

Fleak denied that suggestion, but acknowledged her original hand-written notes were destroyed when they were transferred into an official report. "I do that in all my cases," she added.

Chernoff questioned Fleak on her assertion that a bottle of propofol was found inside an IV bag.

Investigators found the propofol bottle and IV bag stashed inside a shopping bag in a closet area four days after Jackson's death, Fleak said.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agree Murray's fingerprint was on the propofol bottle.

They also stated that Jackson's fingerprints could not be found on vials of propofol and other drugs retrieved from the bedroom and nearby.

Fleak admitted her original notes did not mention finding the propofol bottle inside the IV bag, and that the first time she placed that in her notes was earlier this year.

But she denied suggestions by Chernoff she had changed her findings to make them fit in with another witness. "I've never talked to prosecutors about another witness," she said.

In one of the more odd moments, prosecutors also showed jurors Thursday a photograph of a toy doll that appeared to have been made of porcelain or plastic and was found on the bed where pop star had been found lying lifeless.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Oct 8, 2011
Words:450
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