5 Oct 2011

Jackson's doctor 'ordered gallons of anaesthetic'

6:00 pm on 5 October 2011

Michael Jackson's doctor had packages of the powerful anaesthetic propofol sent to his girlfriend's home while he was caring for the singer in the spring of 2009, a Los Angeles court has heard.

Conrad Murray is on trial for causing Jackson's death on 25 June 2009 from an overdose of propofol and sedatives.

Prosecutors told jurors last week that Dr Murray received 255 propofol vials at the apartment of his girlfriend, Nicole Alvarez, containing a total of more than four gallons of the substance.

Ms Alvarez testified that he was living with her in the beachside city of Santa Monica and treating Jackson at the singer's rented Los Angeles mansion.

She acknowledged receiving packages from a pharmacy in Las Vegas but said she did not know what they contained.

"I do remember receiving shipments... every now and then," Ms Alvarez said in a sometimes testy exchange with prosecutors.

The former owner of Applied Pharmacy in Las Vegas, Tim Lopez, testified that he sent propofol by express delivery to the Santa Monica apartment after Dr Murray, who had practices in Texas and Nevada, told him it was the address for his medical office in California.

According to authorities, Dr Murray did not have a medical office in the state.

The defendant admits giving Jackson a small dose of propofol as a sleep aid but denies involuntary manslaughter.

Defence attorneys claim Jackson, 50, caused his own death by giving himself an extra dose of the anaesthetic without Dr Murray's knowledge.