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Conrad Murray stays away from witness stand as trial testimony ends

The fate of Michael Jackson’s doctor will soon be in the hands of the jury as the trial testimony ends.

Murray during today's court session.
Murray during today's court session.
Image: Kevork Djansezian/AP/Press Association Images

PROSECUTORS AND DEFENCE lawyers rested their respective cases today in the trial of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor, Conrad Murray.

Murray has not testified in his own defence and stated today that he would not be taking the stand. He is accused of the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson.

The decision not to testify comes after months of speculation about whether he would remain silent or not.

Asked whether he understood his rights in the case, Murray said his decision was to not testify.

“The court finds the defendant has knowingly, freely and explicitly waived his right to testify,” the judge replied. “I certainly will respect that decision.”

The jury has heard from Murray through his police interview. It is understood that he may have been swayed in his decision by expecatations of a tough cross-examination by the prosecution.

Closing arguments in the case, which has been ongoing for six weeks, will begin on Thursday. The jury, which has been dismissed until Thursday, will then be asked to deliberate.

Prosecutors have argued Murray gave Jackson a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol in the bedroom of the singer’s mansion. The defence claim Jackson self-administered the dose when Murray left the room.

According to the LA Times, Dr Steven Shafer – a government expert – was the final witness in the trial. The prosecutions star witness reiterated his earlier testimony that it was likely Murray left an intravenous drip of the drug running into Jackson’s veins after his heart stopped.

Defence experts said his theory was wrong by Shafer refuted this today, stating the study used by Dr Paul White was outdated.

White has testified for the defence that the singer caused his own death. However, he has also said he would not have followed the same procedures that Murray did.

Overall, 49 witnesses have testified in the 22-day trial.

Murray has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces four years imprisonment and the loss of his medical licenses.

-Additional reporting by AP

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