Conrad Murray guilty of Michael Jackson manslaughter

 

Dr Murray looked sombre as the verdict was read out in court

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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.

At the scene

When the verdict was announced there was a stifled scream in the courtroom from the Jackson family entourage and a huge roar from the fans packed on to the pavement outside.

Police had to corral the crowds and shepherd the media from the main road as they gathered for the lunchtime verdict, crushed outside the court and clutching phones and touch pads to watch the announcement streamed live on the internet.

Some of the die-hard fans were in floods of tears as they celebrated the "relief" that "justice had been done".

The jury of seven men and five women took less than a day and a half of deliberations to find Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Murray was the man Michael Jackson entrusted as his personal doctor and the man who provided him with propofol - the anaesthetic drug he was using to get to sleep.

The die-hard Jackson fans will have nothing to do now the trial is over, after having gathered each day in tribute to the king of pop and taken part in a daily lottery for a seat in the public gallery.

But they'll be back at the end of the month when Dr Murray will appear again for sentencing - he faces a maximum of four years in jail.

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.

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.

'Drug addict'

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 O2 arena in London.

LaToya Jackson: "Justice was served .... Michael is watching over us"

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.

However, lawyers for Dr Murray dropped a key argument midway through the trial - that the pop superstar had drunk the propofol. But they continued to argue that Jackson had somehow dosed himself otherwise.

Each side of the trial called their own expert witness on the anaesthetic drug.

There is no law against administering propofol, but the prosecution's case rested on the argument that Dr Murray was grossly negligent by doing so outside a hospital setting and without the proper monitoring equipment.

In some of the more shocking moments of the trial, the jury heard a recording of Jackson, sounding incoherent and slurred, speaking about his upcoming concert series, as well as viewing a photo of a lifeless Jackson on a gurney.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 254.

    Any doctor practising should follow code of honour and practising rules, this doctor however much MJ pestered and pressured him should not have given him propofol in the first place let alone continued to, and looking at the evidence brought to the court room he appeared very guilty throughout. I think we should respect MJ and leave him to peace.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 247.

    A doctor's role is to act in the best interests of their patient, not cow-tow to their demands. The fact that MJ was obviously a troubled sedative addict exacerbates Murray's actions, not excuses them.

    Any decent doctor would have told MJ where to go when faced with his requests, regardless of whether his/her services would have dispensed with as a result.

    No, I'm not an MJ fan.

  • rate this
    +13

    Comment number 244.

    So much distaste at the triumphalism of the Jackson family. From early on it was clear that the family had bought into the idea that MJ was a damaged innocent, adrift on the sea of life. Someone who had trusted a professional to look after him, and had his trust betrayed. The betrayer found guilty = triumphalism. So much easier for them than facing up to their part in MJ's train wreck of a life.

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 236.

    In a world where poverty and war affect millions who really gives a damn

    Aside from those who think the shallow lives of celebrities are worth the unbalanced amount of media coverage currently given to them

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 202.

    Jackson could not sleep. So he took drugs. In the courtroom evidence was presented that he was an addict.

    So he contributed to his own death.

    The doctor was also in the wrong, though. He put cash before patient and basically gave Michael what he wanted. Michael would probably have killed himself in the end, but that does not mean the doctor was right to administer these drugs.

 

Comments 5 of 6

 

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