Jackson judge, defense spar over witnesses in case

AP News
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Posted: Feb 25, 2011 5:53 AM
Jackson judge, defense spar over witnesses in case

A judge overseeing the upcoming Michael Jackson trial has questioned defense attorneys about why they are not preparing reports and statements on possible witnesses.

Defense attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray, who has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of Jackson, said at a hearing Thursday they don't plan to prepare any such reports before the trial scheduled to start in late March.

Prosecutors called the move a clear attempt to thwart rules intended to prevent surprises from occurring during trial.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor called the strategy "a recipe for disaster."

A prosecutor asked Pastor to vacate the trial date, but the judge refused.

He ordered attorneys to return on Monday, when potential evidence will be discussed again.