As police ramp up their investigation of Michael Jackson's death, a felony charge of manslaughter or even worse seems like an inevitability for Dr. Conrad Murray.
The best (or only) defense for Jackson's personal physician, a number of legal experts believe, may be a total smear campaign against the deceased music star.
Police are currently tracking Propofol shipments sent to Murray at the time he treated Jackson, believing the anesthetic to be the drug that killed the singer.
Mark Geragos, who successfully represented Michael Jackson during his 2004 child molestation trial, and most recently defended Chris Brown, spoke to E! Thursday, explaining why he rejected an overture to defend Dr. Conrad Murray.
Geragos thinks the doctor may wind up charged with murder, and that the embattled Murray will be forced to employ a scathing criticism of Jackson as a strategy.
"Ultimately, that may be what the defense is, to say things about Michael that I'm just not going to say," Geragos said. "Whatever is required by somebody who is going to defend the doctor, is not something I can do ethically."
Or personally. "I've been approached," he said of the possibility that he would defend Dr. Conrad Murray. "But clearly I have a conflict of interest."
"I have represented Michael Jackson and I would not ever want to be in a position where I was deprecating Michael in any way, shape or form."
Rehashing Jackson's drug addictions and alleged doctor shopping - reports claim the singer sought prescriptions under 19 aliases - is one angle.
Three prescription drugs, including Xanax, were found in Jackson's system at his time of death, and Geragos suspects efforts at tracking down the drugs' source s the reason for the indefinitely delayed Michael Jackson toxicology results.When the results do finally come in, expect major finger-pointing.
"I can see 10 different lawsuits coming out of this," Geragos said, adding that someone will be "blamed" and a wrongful death lawsuit would not be unexpected.
"Whether it's against doctors, whether it's the Jacksons against AEG, or AEG against the estate ... anytime you've got the kind of money that's at stake here, there will be lawyers, and where there's lawyers, there's lawsuits."
And where there's Dr. Conrad Murray, there's likely a criminal charge, but not, Geragos thinks, involuntary manslaughter, which he is under investigation for.
Instead, Geragos believes attorneys may have the upper hand if they try to nail him for murder: "It's one of the most bizarre things," he said.
"It's literally easier if you look at the jury instructions, to get a jury to convict on second-degree (murder) than involuntary manslaughter."
As for Jackson, the attorney has high hopes for his legacy. When asked what he hoped people would remember most about the star, Geragos said he wanted people to think of "all the greatness ... and forget all the weirdness."
One can't deny how much of each there was.