Urgent plea for testing Jackson items

Los Angeles: Arguing that evidence is deteriorating, defense lawyers for the doctor charged in Michael Jackson`s death are seeking urgent testing of two syringes and an IV bag found in the singer`s mansion after his death.

Attorneys for Dr Conrad Murray said during a 40-minute closed session with a judge that liquids in one of the syringes had already dried up and was now "salt," according to a transcript of the proceeding obtained yesterday by media.

Quantities of substances in the syringes and IV bag could be crucial to explaining how the singer died, the lawyers said at the Tuesday hearing.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Authorities contend he administered a lethal dose of sedatives, including the anesthetic propofol, to Jackson in the bedroom of his rented mansion in June 2009.

Officials tested what was in the items and found traces of propofol and lidocaine, according to the transcript. But the amounts of the substances were not determined, and defense attorneys contend that may be significant in the case expected to hinge on technical and scientific data.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor declined to order testing on the substances Tuesday because he wanted defense attorneys to confer further with prosecutors.

The judge might order the testing late next week if the two sides can agree on how it will be conducted.


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