A man who testified earlier that he shipped large amounts of the surgical anesthetic propofol to Dr. Conrad Murray in the weeks before Michael Jackson's death apparently moved out of the United States and cannot be located for this month's trial, prosecutors told the judge Thursday.
Officials believe Las Vegas pharmacist Tom Lopez moved to Thailand.
DEA agents raided Applied Pharmacy Services in August 2009. They seized computers, hard drives and other documents relating to prescriptions for controlled substances written by Dr. Conrad Murray for Michael Jackson and shipping information regarding drugs that may have been sent to Dr. Murray. "The evidence from the pharmacist really is an important part of the prosecution's case because it shows such a huge volume of propofol that was shipped to Dr. Murray. So this is a real disadvantage if he (pharmacist) stays over in Thailand," says NBC4 News Legal Analyst Royal Oakes.
The coroner ruled that Jackson died on June 25, 2009, as the result of an overdose of propofol combined with other drugs.
The prosecution is now scrambling for alternatives.
"The prosecution is going to try to get the judge to say, well if the pharmacist won't come back from Thailand, at least let us read his testimony. But the defense has an argument that that wouldn't be fair, they wouldn't have a chance to cross examine him in front of the jury so the judge might keep the evidence out," says Oakes.
The judge scheduled two additional hearings for next week.