LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Michael Jackson’s personal physician was convicted
of involuntary manslaughter today for the pop superstar’s June 25, 2009, death
from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol.
Dr. Conrad Murray, who faces up to four years in prison, remained stone-
faced as the verdict was announced, showing no visible reaction. He was taken
into custody at the conclusion of the hearing, and he will remain jailed until
his sentencing on Nov. 29.
The seven-man, five-women jury deliberated for about eight and a half
hours before reaching a verdict. When the verdict was announced, some cries of
“Yes’ could be heard from the courtroom audience.
Jackson’s parent’s, Katherine and Joe, were among those in the audience,
along with his brother Jermaine and sister LaToya.
The jury heard from 49 witnesses — 33 for the prosecution and 16 for
the defense — during the trial, in which testimony began Sept. 27 and ended
Tuesday. Jurors heard nearly a full day of closing arguments Thursday from
attorneys from both sides and deliberated for a full day Friday.
In his closing argument, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren told the
panel that the evidence “is abundantly clear that Conrad Murray acted with
criminal negligence, that Conrad Murray caused the death of Michael Jackson,
that Conrad Murray left Prince, Paris and Blanket without a father,’ Walgren
said, referring to the singer’s three children. “They do not have a father
because of the actions of Conrad Murray.’
Prosecutors allege that Murray gave the singer an intravenous fatal dose
of propofol on June 25, 2009, then “abandoned’ his patient by talking on
the phone and looking at emails instead of monitoring him.
The 58-year-old cardiologist demonstrated “consciousness of guilt’ by
failing to tell paramedics and emergency room doctors that he had given the
singer propofol and only told police about the drug two days later because he
thought investigators had already found the medication at the singer’s home,
Murray told police he only left Jackson’s side for about two minutes to
use the bathroom after giving the singer a 25-milligram dose of propofol that
was slowly infused over three to five minutes beginning at about 10:40 a.m., in
the bedroom of Jackson’s rented home, where he was staying while rehearsing for
a series of 50 concerts in London.
Murray’s lead attorney, Edward Chernoff, argued that the most reasonable
explanation for Jackson’s death was that the singer self-administered the
fatal dose of propofol. He added that the evidence supports Murray’s statement
to police that he gave Jackson a 25-milligram dose of propofol.
“What they’re really asking you to do is convict Dr. Murray for the
actions of Michael Jackson,’ Chernoff told jurors in his closing argument.
He acknowledged that Murray may not have done everything right on the
day the 50-year-old Jackson died but reminded jurors that the trial had not
been a medical board hearing or about a civil lawsuit but rather about a man’s
“If you’re going to hold Dr. Murray responsible, don’t do it because
it’s Michael Jackson,’ he said. “I hope you do the right thing and find Dr.
Murray not guilty.’
Chernoff argued in court today that Murray should be allowed to remain
free on bail pending his sentencing hearing, saying he was not a flight risk
and had “family obligations that he has to take care of.’
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said, however, that
Murray was convicted of a crime “where the end result was the death of a human
being.’ He said Murray’s “reckless conduct in this case’ proved that he was
a risk to public safety.
Outside the courthouse, Michael Jackson fans cheered when the guilty
verdict was announced. Several people waved signs that said “guilty,’
“Justice for Michael Jackson’ and “4 years is not enough for a life.’
Others held up copies of Jackson’s albums.
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