Anaesthetic 'stored at Jackson's home'

A coroner’s investigator told a court she found 12 bottles of the anaesthetic propofol in Michael Jackson’s bedroom and an adjacent closet.

A coroner’s investigator told a court she found 12 bottles of the anaesthetic propofol in Michael Jackson’s bedroom and an adjacent closet.

Elissa Fleak said nine of the bottles were found in a bag labelled “Baby Essentials” in the closet.

She said the anaesthetic and other medication were found during a search of the pop megastar’s rented mansion four days after his death in June 2009.

The evidence came during a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles where a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for Jackson’s personal physician Dr Conrad Murray to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say Jackson, 50, died after Murray gave him a lethal dose of propofol and other sedatives in the bedroom then delayed calling emergency services while he collected and bagged medicines.

Earlier, a former girlfriend of Murray said he was distracted when he called her on the morning of the singer’s death and she heard commotion in the background.

Sade Anding said she realised at one point that Murray was not paying attention to her. She heard coughing and mumbling but did not recognise the voice as him, she said.

“I heard commotion as if the phone was in a pocket or something,” Ms Anding told the hearing.

Phone records show Murray called Ms Anding at 11.51am local time. She said she stayed on the line for five to six minutes, but Murray never got back on the phone.

The records indicate the 911 emergency service number was dialled at 12.21pm.

Casualty doctor Dr Richelle Cooper said yesterday that she believed Jackson died in his bedroom. But he was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre, where more than an hour of resuscitation efforts did not change her opinion.

Based on what Murray told her, though, she said she did not know why the singer died.

Dr Cooper said Murray told her he had seen Jackson stop breathing and immediately started CPR, but prosecutors say that is not what happened.

Dr Cooper said Murray never told her he had given propofol to Jackson or mentioned several other sedatives tests later showed were administered.

Murray’s defence lawyer Michael Flanagan asked Dr Cooper if propofol use would be relevant information, since the drug wears off quickly.

Dr Cooper said it would not have changed her efforts to revive Jackson, but knowing the singer had been given several sedatives and propofol would have added to her understanding of why he died.

She said other sedatives could have amplified the effects of the propofol and caused Jackson to stop breathing before his heart stopped beating.

“I would be concerned particularly if there were other medications given, that it would lead to a respiratory arrest, which would lead to a cardiac arrest,” she said.

Deputy district attorney David Walgren has said he will use Murray’s statements to police and testimony to show his actions represented “an extreme deviation from the standard of care”.

Prosecutors also called Murray’s current girlfriend, Nicole Alvarez, yesterday, and asked about shipments the doctor had sent to her apartment from a Las Vegas pharmacy.

She acknowledged receiving several packages for Murray but said she never looked inside and did not know the contents.

Authorities have said in court documents they believe Murray was having shipments of propofol and other medications used by Jackson sent to Ms Alvarez.

It is unusual to send propofol to a private residence, but not illegal.

Phone records show Murray called Ms Alvarez from the ambulance that transported Jackson to a hospital, but prosecutors did not ask her about the call that lasted two minutes.

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