A key prosecution witness in the trial of Conrad Murray, the doctor accused in Michael Jackson’s death, has left the country.
Pharmacist Tim Lopez, who claimed he sent large amounts of a powerful anesthetic drug to Dr. Murray’s girlfriend in the weeks before Jackson’s death in June 2009, has moved to Thailand.
Lopez left the U.S. without telling the authorities and now prosecutors want to use his testimony at an earlier hearing as part of their involuntary manslaughter case against Dr Murray.
The unusual development was revealed yesterday in the Los Angeles courtroom of Judge Michael Pastor. He will make a decision next week.
Lopez’s friends and family have either been unable or unwilling to shed light on his disappearance, according to the website TMZ.
Lopez had testified in January that Dr Murray bought 255 vials of propofol in the three months before the singer died from a lethal combination of the drug and other sedatives.
Dr. Conrad Murray purchased four shipments between April 6 and June 10, 2009, said Lopez, owner of Applied Pharmacy Services in Las Vegas, where Murray has a clinic.
Murray bought 130 vials of propofol in 100 millilitre doses and another 125 vials in the smaller dose of 20 millilitres, said Lopez.
A coroner’s investigator previously testified that 12 vials of propofol were found in the bedroom and closet of the singer’s rented mansion after his death.
Lopez said Murray asked him to ship some of the propofol to an address in Santa Monica. The address belongs to the doctor’s girlfriend, although Lopez testified that Murray told him it was one of his clinics.
Murray also bought other sedatives from Lopez, according to the testimony.
The doctor could face up to four years in prison if convicted.