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Dr. Conrad Murray was dealt a considerable blow today as the judge in his involuntary manslaughter trial – which begins this fall – ruled that 16 hours of Michael Jackson rehearsal footage is impertinent to Murray’s defense.

Murray’s lawyers claimed that the tapes, taken before Jackson’s ill-fated 2009 This Is It tour, showed him to be in chronically poor, declining health.

The judge disagreed.

Best Dancer Ever?
(AFP/Getty Images)

Dr. Murray’s told it to the judge … who wasn’t buying it.

Dr. Conrad Murray’s lawyers wanted the outtakes to prove Jackson was very ill in the days before his death, and therefore – since he was already dying, or so his theory suggests – Dr. Murray can’t be held responsible for his death.

But Judge Michael Pastor ruled the outtakes were valuable to Sony (which didn’t want to release them and has them protected by armed guards), and also ruled that the videos do not show MJ in noticeably bad health.

Because the hours of video show, in the judge’s opinion, a reasonably healthy MJ, it undercuts Dr. Murray’s theory that MJ was a lost cause.