Judge Won't Allow Defense to Call Jackson Doctors

A judge refused Monday to allow the defense to call a  half-dozen doctors who treated Michael Jackson in the years before his June 2009 death during the involuntary manslaughter trial of his personal physician.

Dr. Conrad Murray in Court: Timeline

In a series of pretrial rulings, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor granted the prosecution's motion to exclude the testimony of six doctors, including Jackson's longtime dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, from Dr. Conrad Murray's upcoming trial.

In court papers filed today, defense attorneys Edward Chernoff and Nareg Gourjian alleged that Klein "administered frequent intramuscular injections of Demerol to Mr. Jackson for no valid medical purpose,'' and that Jackson "became physiologically and psychologically dependent on Demerol.''
"I do not think it is relevant,'' the judge said in excluding Klein's testimony.

Pastor also barred the testimony of five other doctors, including two physicians whose names were found on bottles of prescription pills during a raid at Jackson's Neverland ranch in connection with child molestation allegations leveled against him in 2003, and a Miami-based physician who wrote Jackson a letter -- found during the search at Neverland -- that discussed alternatives to Demerol use.

Chernoff argued that Jackson was "addicted to and withdrawing from Demerol'' -- a factor he said was "important to our defense.''

The judge refused to allow the defense to bring up the 2003 search of Jackson's Santa Barbara County ranch, saying it was "irrelevant'' and "proves absolutely nothing'' involving the events of 2009.

But Pastor said he would allow two other doctors -- Allen Metzger and David Adams -- to be called by the defense during the trial.

The defense contends that Adams told police Jackson was so familiar with the powerful anesthetic that he referred to it as "milk.''

Jurors also will be allowed to hear from Cherylin Lee, a registered nurse who treated Jackson in 2009. Lee told police that Jackson complained to her that he had problems sleeping and asked if she could get propofol or knew someone who could, according to the defense's filing.

Jackson died on June 25, 2009, at the age of 50 from propofol intoxication.

Prospective jurors are expected to be brought into court beginning Sept. 8 to fill out what the judge called the "most complete questionnaire that I've ever seen.'' Opening statements are tentatively set to begin Sept. 27.

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