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Missing witness in Michael Jackson doctor case found

By Alan Duke, CNN
If convicted of an involuntary manslaughter charge, Dr. Conrad Murray could face up to four years in prison.
If convicted of an involuntary manslaughter charge, Dr. Conrad Murray could face up to four years in prison.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Prosecutors say they found the pharmacist who sold the propofol that killed Jackson
  • NEW: Dr. Conrad Murray's lawyers drop plans to call a Texas medical examiner
  • Opening statements in Murray's trial are set for next week
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Joy Behar will interview Jermaine Jackson, who will talk about his new book, "You Are Not Alone," and more Monday night at 10 ET on HLN.

Los Angeles (CNN) -- The missing witness in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor was found over the weekend and will be available to testify, the prosecutor told the court Monday.

Pharmacist Tim Lopez testified at Dr. Conrad Murray's preliminary hearing in January that he shipped more than 15 liters of the surgical anesthetic propofol to the apartment of Murray's girlfriend over the three months before Jackson's death.

The Los Angeles County coroner ruled that Jackson died on June 25, 2009, as the result of an overdose of propofol combined with other drugs.

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren told the court last week that it is believed Lopez, the owner of a wholesale pharmacy in Las Vegas, has moved to Thailand.

A hearing had been set for Monday so Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor could decide if prosecutors could rely on the transcript of his previous testimony. The resolution of that and several other issues made for a short hearing.

"Well, I'd like to believe that I was responsible in some measure, but we have excellent counsel," Pastor said Monday.

The defense announced it was dropping from its witness list a Texas medical examiner who toured the Los Angeles county coroner's lab. Prosecutors had objected to his testimony, calling it irrelevant.

Pastor delayed consideration of the prosecution's request to exclude the testimony of Jackson's makeup artist. The defense wants Karen Faye to repeat statements given in interviews about what she described as Jackson's ill health in the weeks before his death, as he was rehearsing for his comeback concerts.

The prosecution told the judge in a hearing Thursday that much of what Faye has said in the past was based on what she heard others say, not her own recollections.

If convicted on the involuntary manslaughter charge, Murray could face up to four years in prison.

The next hearing is set for Wednesday afternoon, when lawyers for each side will offer their "for cause" challenges of prospective jurors, based on their answers to written questions.

Lawyers will conduct face-to-face questioning of potential jurors on Friday as they choose 18 Los Angeles citizens to hear the case.

Opening statements for the trial, which will be televised, are scheduled for September 27. The judge told members of the jury pool he expects their service will be over on or about October 28.

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