Defense attorney Michael Flanagan questioned Dr. Christopher Rogers on the methods he used during the autopsy of Michael Jackson’s body. Flanagan pushed the defense theory that Jackson could have swallowed up to 8 pills of the sedative lorazepam without Dr. Conrad Murray knowing about it, contributing to his own death.
To try and prove the point, Flanagan focused on the contents of Jackson’s stomach which included around 70 grams of a dark liquid that Dr. Rogers conceded was not tested by the toxicologist.
Flanagan asked, “It was just a dark liquid, wasn’t it?”
“Yes . . . it was not obviously blood,” Dr. Rogers replied.
Flanagan said, “But there could have been some blood in it?”
“Yes,” Dr. Rogers acknowledged.
Flanagan then followed up, “And there could have been some fruit juice in it?”
“Yes,” Dr. Rogers replied.
Dr. Rogers also conceded that just because he observed no capsules or pills in Jackson’s stomach contents doesn’t necessarily mean that there were no drugs in his system. The only way to know for sure would have been to do a toxicological analysis, which was not performed.
Flanagan showed an exhibit displaying the concentration of lorazepam in Jackson’s stomach according to testing done by the defense.
He asked, “The concentration in the stomach is about four times that concentration that’s in the femoral artery, isn’t it?”
Dr. Rogers agreed the contents showed a high level of the sedative in Jackson’s stomach.
“Yes . . . I would think there has to be some oral lorazepam taken somewhere along the line,” said Dr. Rogers.
Dr. Rogers' late afternoon testimony might have helped the defense undo some of the potential damage to their case caused by Rogers' earlier testimony. Under direct examination, he undermined the defense's main argument by testifying that Michael Jackson did not self-administer the lethal dose of propofol.