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Published: Monday, 4/18/2011

Prosecutors say Michael Jackson’s doc changed story when talking to experts who will testify


LOS ANGELES -- The doctor charged in the death of Michael Jackson tried to change his story about his actions involving the pop star, telling his own experts in the upcoming trial a different story than he told police, prosecutors said Monday.

Deputy District Attorneys David Walgren and Deborah Brazil filed a motion asking a judge to bar new claims made by defendant Dr. Conrad Murray.

They said he apparently made the new assertions in conversation with two doctors who will testify on his behalf in the case.

The accounts were revealed in letters from the experts, Dr. Paul White, an anesthesiologist, and Dr. Joseph Haraszti, a psychiatrist and hospital director.

Prosecutors believe Dr. Murray spoke to the experts after a preliminary hearing in January that focused on his statements to police after Jackson’s death in June 2009.

The motion quoted Dr. Murray as telling the experts he left Jackson’s bedroom to make a phone call, even though he initially said he left Jackson to go to the bathroom.

Experts also said Dr. Murray claimed to have experience using propofol the powerful anesthetic that killed Jackson as a sedative, even though Dr. Murray didn’t make such a claim in police interviews.

The motion also says Dr. Murray claims for the first time that Jackson took propofol in fruit juice while the doctor wasn’t looking. The prosecutors said that was speculation.

J. Michael Flanagan, an attorney for Murray, wqs not immediately available for comment on the motion.

Dr. Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. A coroner found that Jackson died of an overdose of propofol and other sedatives.

Prosecutors called the new statements about Dr. Murray’s actions “a backdoor attempt to introduce the defendant’s new, self-serving statements without being subject to cross-examination.”

“Such information conflicts with what the defendant told the police in his prior interviews,” the motion states.

The only way the statements would be admissible, prosecutors said, is if Dr. Murray testifies in his own defense and is subject to cross-examination. They said the reports from both doctors contain numerous examples of new statements in conflict with Murray’s previous accounts.

A hearing on motions is scheduled for Thursday. Jury selection resumes on May 4.

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