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Jacko didn't drug himself -- LA coroner

A coroner dealt a major blow to the defence of Michael Jackson's doctor, saying it was unreasonable to believe the pop star could have given himself a fatal dose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol.

Dr Christopher Rogers, who conducted the autopsy on Jackson (50), told a Los Angeles jury it was more likely that Dr Conrad Murray overdosed the singer when he incorrectly estimated how much of the drug he was giving him to induce sleep to fight insomnia.

Dr Rogers said Murray had no precision dosing device available in the bedroom of Jackson's rented mansion.

"The circumstances, from my point of view, do not support self-administration of propofol," said Dr Rogers, chief of forensic medicine in the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.



MILK

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Dr Rogers analysed two possible scenarios for Jackson's death in June 2009.

The first was the defence theory that while Murray stepped away to go to the bathroom, Jackson gave himself an extra dose of the drug he called his "milk".

"In order for Mr Jackson to have administered the propofol to himself, you would have to assume he woke up and although he was under the influence of ... propofol and other sedatives, he was somehow able to administer propofol to himself," Dr Rogers said.

"Then he stops breathing and all of this takes place in a two-minute period of time. To me, that scenario seems less reasonable."

"Less reasonable than what?" asked deputy district attorney David Walgren.

"The alternate scenario would be in order to keep Mr Jackson asleep, the doctor would have to give him a little bit every hour, two or three tablespoons an hour," Dr Rogers said.

He noted that propofol was a short-acting drug that wore off quickly.

"We did not find any precision dosing device, so the doctor would be estimating how much he was giving," the coroner said.

hnews@herald.ie