Conrad Murray Guilty Of Michael Jackson Manslaughter
Michael Jackson’s personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, has been found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of the star by a jury in Los Angeles.
A panel of seven men and five women took two days of deliberation to reach a verdict. Michael Jackson died on 25 June 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol. Murray, 58, could now receive a maximum prison term of four years and lose his licence to practise medicine. There was a shriek in the courtroom as the verdict was read.
Outside the courthouse, the BBC’s Peter Bowes said that at the moment the verdict was read, the crowd along the street erupted with cheers and chanting. Jackson’s family sat in the courtroom, weeping quietly. LaToya Jackson told the Associated Press news agency the family was overjoyed at the verdict. “Michael was looking over us,” she said.
During the trial, Dr Murray’s lawyers argued that Jackson self-administered a lethal dose of the drug while he was out of the room. Dr Murray was remanded in custody without bail until he receives his sentence, set for 29 November. Explaining his decision, the judge said Dr Murray was now a convicted felon and had considerable ties outside the state of California, meaning he could not guarantee that the doctor would remain in the state.The judge told the court he was remanding Conrad Murray in custody without bail because he was a convicted felon and a flight risk.
Dr Murray sat silently in court, shifting slightly in his seat as the verdict was read out. Court officers began to handcuff the physician as the judge made his final announcements, before leading him away into custody.
Jackson was rehearsing for a series of comeback concerts. The jury – made up of one African American, six whites and five Hispanics – deliberated on Friday and through the morning on Monday. Outside the court, fans of Michael Jackson were cheering and chanting, “Guilty! Guilty!” in the run-up to the verdict being announced.
During the six-week trial, 49 witnesses and more than 300 pieces of evidence were presented to the court. Michael Jackson, who had been out of the public eye for several years, died in 2009 as he was preparing for a series of comeback performances at the 02 arena in London.
In his closing argument last Thursday, the prosecution said Dr Murray had caused the star’s death through negligence, depriving Jackson’s children of their father and the world of a “genius”.
The defence argued that Jackson was a drug addict who caused his own death by giving himself an extra dose of propofol while the cardiologist was out of the room at the star’s rented mansion in Los Angeles.