Jackson doctor faces jail time

2011-11-08 07:34

Los Angeles - Michael Jackson's personal physician Dr Conrad Murray faces up to four years in prison after he was convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of the star.

Murray admitted to giving Jackson a small amount of propofol to help him sleep, but not the massive amount of the drug - which is normally only used in a hospital setting, as an anaesthetic - found in his body.

A grim-faced Murray himself gave no reaction when the verdict was announced and judge Pastor ordered him remanded in custody pending a sentencing hearing on November 29.

Murray faces up to four years in jail for his role in Jackson's death, and there is speculation he could end up serving his sentence with an electronic tag, because of California's chronic jail overcrowding.

He could also be banned from practicing medicine - California has already suspended his medical license, while Nevada and Texas said they would consider their action once the trial was over.

Explosion of joy

His defence lawyer Ed Chernoff made no comment about whether Murray will appeal against the criminal conviction.

Murray's convictioin also triggered an explosion of joy and relief from Jackson's family and fans.

Crowds of supporters outside erupted as the verdict was announced, while minutes later judge Michael Pastor ordered the 58-year-old medic handcuffed and remanded in custody, pending sentencing later this month.

Jackson's mother Katherine cried and was hugged by one of his brothers who said "Justice was served," as he and the rest of the family braved huge crowds to leave the building, while sister Rebbie added: "Nothing will bring him back, but I'm happy (Murray) was found guilty."

"VICTORY!!!!!!" tweeted La Toya. "We're Most Proud of The WALGREN team, U did a EXCELLENT JOB N UR quest 2 seek justice 4 Michael & my family," referring to prosecutor David Walgren.

Team Walgren praised

LA District Attorney Steve Cooley praised his deputy David Walgren, who was widely praised for his masterful prosecution of the case, against a defence which some observers thought ended the trial in tatters.

"They put together a compelling case based upon competent evidence. Their presentation of the evidence in the court was superb," Cooley said.

Walgren himself added: "Our sympathies go out to the Jackson family at this time, for the loss that they have suffered. Not a pop icon but a son and a brother. That's most important to keep in mind today," he told reporters.

Outside the court vuvuzelas blared and fans danced to the thudding groove of Beat It after the verdict was handed down.

LA local Lawrence Kolb was gathered with others around an iPad outside the courthouse, watching the verdict on live television. "Everyone just screamed," he said. "Everyone was jubilant."

Closing arguments

In his closing arguments last week, Walgren said Murray caused the star's death through negligence and greed, depriving Jackson's children of their father and the world of a "genius".

The defence, meanwhile, argued that Jackson was a desperate drug addict who caused his own death by taking more medicines while Murray was out of the room at the star's rented mansion in Los Angeles.

Chernoff claimed that Murray was "a little fish in a big dirty pond", alleging that key witnesses conspired to agree on a story after Jackson died.

Shortly before the verdict was announced, Jackson's former dermatologist broke his silence to deny the singer was a drug addict, or that he had given him massive doses of painkillers in the months before his death.

"Michael was not a drug addict. (...) Michael Jackson did not have a problem with painkillers," said Dr Arnold Klein, whose office Jackson visited several times a week in the months before his death.

Back at the courthouse, La Toya Jackson thanked fans who had gathered over the last six week, adding that her brother loved them - and was watching over the trial.

"He was in that courtroom and that's why victory was served," she said.

Comments

  • Preshen - 2011-11-08 07:37

    He is a smooth criminal

      Deon - 2011-11-08 09:41

      It was stupid of him to kill his cash cow, but it was not planned.

  • George - 2011-11-08 08:20

    The jurors and the judge listened to all the experts testify and you hereby assert that they got it all wrong despite the evidence they scrutinised. The problem with SA semi illiterate bloggers is that they dont have a culture of accepting valid court rulings. You guys are trapped in some sort of lynch vigilante mentality where court evidence and finding does not matter except your own silly perverted coach potato findings. Conrad was found guilty in a competent court of law. What is disturbing is that you sort of band together io some dillusionary fools paradise while peddling your unproven theories.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2011-11-08 08:29

      George, it is possible that your remark can be seen as relevant to the general comments, but what has it to do with this article? I only see Preshen and your comment......or did the editor removed some?

      thulebona.zulu - 2011-11-08 08:36

      "You guys are trapped in some sort of lynch vigilante mentality where court evidence and finding does not matter except your own silly perverted coach potato findings." <<< this has become my all-time News24 quote... So true! I also loathe armchair critics...

      tommy.wakefield1 - 2011-11-08 17:17

      YOU MEAN THE JUDGE AND JURY LISTENED TO ALL THE HYPE AND WERE DAZZELED BY IT, AND THE DOCTOR DID NOT STAND A CHANCE

  • thulebona.zulu - 2011-11-08 08:34

    "Jackson doctor faces jail time" ... as he should... As a professional, he should have known better than to support a junkie. I have asked my doctor to do many unethical things and in the interest of my health and professionalism she told me to go JUMP!!! This man right here should have told Mr Jackson the same instead of holding on to an unethical $150k-a-month job ...

  • Facts - 2011-11-08 08:46

    Finding Michael's body next to a human size doll I think Dr Murray made the world a better place.

  • Delano - 2011-11-08 08:58

    Personally I don't think Murry deserves this. If it was someone else it would never have been such a big thing. I loved MJ's music. It's legendary, but really he had access to meds himself so how does one prove Murry actually gave it to him?On the other hand, Murry offered a service to his client. He should've been more careful though yes.

      atomasicchio - 2011-11-08 09:27

      Delano, by your very statement "he should have been more careful", you are agreeing that he did something wrong. As a doctor he should have known better (involuntary manslaughter). He admitted that he gave the drug to Michael Jackson, a drug which is only suppose to be used in hospital. He even mentioned that Michael called it his "milk". Totally irresponsible and definitely guilty of involuntary manslaughter. It just shows you that money buys everything even its a crime!

  • Kameel - 2011-11-08 09:29

    The good doctor should be given a medal for taking out this child abuser scum.

  • Kedibone - 2011-11-08 12:05

    Now the docter will sufer the miserable life of another person....justice is unfair..

  • tommy.wakefield1 - 2011-11-08 16:25

    jacksons doctor was only doing what his patient wanted, which he had done before with no problems, this means that no doctor will want to treat those big shot stars (just in case they die)this could only happen in star struck America

  • tommy.wakefield1 - 2011-11-08 16:53

    there is something sinister behind that doctor being found guilty for Jacksons death, or maybe it was just the american starstruck jury, it was not justice, that George guy is obviously a blinkered Jackson fan- i am a fan of justice, anyone can see justice was not done.

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