Pharmacist: Jackson Doc Bought 255 Propofol Vials

The preliminary hearing is expected to last up to four more days

A pharmacist testified Monday that Dr. Conrad Murray bought 255 vials -- about four gallons -- of a powerful anesthetic during the three months before Michael Jackson died.

Pharmacist Tim Lopez testified Monday at a preliminary hearing that Murray purchased four shipments of propofol between April 6 and June 10, 2009.

Murray, the physician who was with Jackson at the time of his death, returned to court Monday for the second week of the hearing. Murray, 57, is accused of administering the powerful  anesthetic propofol to the singer to help him sleep on June 25, 2009, then  failing to monitor him.

Jackson, 50, died of acute propofol intoxication,  according to the coroner's office.

The pharmacist testified that the propofol was among a number of drugs  ordered by Murray, who advised that he had a clinic in the Los Angeles area. Murray never disclosed the names of his patient or patients, according  to the pharmacist.

Last week, a woman with whom Murray had a son in March 2009 testified  that Murray received some packages at her Santa Monica apartment while he was  staying there at various times between March 2009 and June 2009.

"He always informed me if there was something coming," Nicole Alvarez  testified Friday, noting that she understood the packages were not for her and  that there was no reason for her to examine them.

Hearing Could Last Through Week

The preliminary hearing is expected to last three to four more days,  including testimony from 20 to 30 prosecution witnesses. Los Angeles Superior  Court Judge Michael Pastor will then decide whether there is enough evidence  for Murray to stand trial on the involuntary manslaughter charge, which could  land him in prison for four years.

Earlier Monday, a judge ruled data from the cell phone of the doctor can be admitted as evidence in a preliminary hearing.

Murray's defense attorney, Ed Chernoff, described some of the data as brief voicemails. He also said there were 12 screenshots found on the phone that may be used as evidence.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor made the ruling before testimony was to resume at the hearing of Dr. Conrad Murray. Pastor said some of the information is protected by attorney-client privilege, but most is not.

A prosecutor said he intended to use some of the information, which was disclosed to attorneys handling the case late last week, when he calls his first witness of the day.
Last week, prosecutors presented  witnesses who testified that Murray and security personnel at Jackson's  rented Holmby Hills estate collected drug vials before calling 911. Paramedics  who eventually responded to the home and doctors at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical  Center -- where the singer was pronounced dead -- testified that Murray never  told them he gave Jackson propofol, which doctors said is normally used only in  a hospital setting.

Other witnesses said Murray made a series of telephone calls the day  Jackson died, including several after he administered the propofol.

Los Angeles police Detective Dan Myers testified that Murray -- who had  two cellular phones in his name -- had made or received 11 calls totaling just  under 90 minutes between 7:01 a.m. and 11:51 a.m. June 25, 2009. Prosecutors  contend that Murray administered propofol to Jackson at the singer's rented  home between 10:40 and 11 a.m.

Myers said the doctor's phone calls that morning included a 32-minute  call to his practice in Las Vegas. They also included an 11-minute call made  just before the doctor called Jackson's personal assistant at 12:12 p.m. to  report that the singer had a ``bad reaction,'' according to cell phone records  presented by Myers.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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