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Witness in Jackson doctor trial fined $250

Defense witness Dr. Paul White testifies during Conrad Murray's defense at his trial in the death of Michael Jackson in Los Angeles
Defense witness Dr. Paul White testifies during Conrad Murray's defense at his trial in the death of Michael Jackson in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A defense witness in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor was fined $250 on Wednesday, but escaped sanction for calling another witness a "scumbag".

Propofol expert Dr. Paul White was ordered to pay $250 for repeatedly introducing information in his testimony based on his private conversations with Dr. Conrad Murray.

Trial judge Michael Pastor said White's actions violated a court order, but he lowered the fine from an expected $1,000 after White said on Wednesday he had no idea he was doing wrong.

Pastor said he had decided not to pursue contempt of court action against White in a second matter. White was heard describing a prosecution witness as a "scumbag" during a break in the trial last month but Pastor said on Wednesday he did not consider that a direct act of contempt.

Murray was convicted on November 1 of involuntary manslaughter in the June 2009 death of Jackson after admitting giving the singer a dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid. Murray is due to be sentenced on November 29 and could face up to four years in prison.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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