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Death suspends trial of Dr. Conrad Murray

The trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor will not continue Monday, and the delay may last longer. Proceedings are suspended, because the father of the state’s final witness died.

An e-mail sent on Sunday from the Los Angeles Court public information office said, “Resumption of the trial will be announced when further information is available.”

Court wasn’t held on Friday to allow Dr. Steven Shafer to attend an anesthesiologist conference in Chicago. Dr. Shafer never made it to the conference, because his father passed away.

Dr. Shafer is a highly-respected anesthesiologist and pharmacologist and he’s expected to testify about the effects of propofol on the human body. He will likely offer one key piece of testimony to contradict the defense’s theory that Jackson gave himself the fatal 25mg dose of propofol all at once through an I.V. catheter in his leg. Dr. Shafer will likely testify that the amount of propofol in Jackson’s blood was too high to support this argument, and to create those high levels Jackson would have to be infused with a constant I.V. drip of propofol.

Prosecutors said they plan to rest their case after Dr. Shafer finishes his testimony. The defense will then begin to present its case. Dr. Murray’s attorneys estimate that they will call 15 witnesses to the stand. Defense attorney Nareg Gourjian said their case could last until Friday or the following Monday.

Complete courtroom coverage of the Conrad Murray trial airs live on HLN from gavel to gavel. It’s also on In Session on truTV from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET every weekday.

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