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
    +11

    Comment number 259.

    There is something wrong with a society that idolises a drug addled pop star with a possibly deviant attitude towards children. From the evidence that I heard about, Murray probably was negligent (leaving drugs in the room of an unattended addict). However, the sight of fans baying for blood and the 'grief' of the Jackson family (who never seemed to care when he needed them most) turns my stomach!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 258.

    The failure of the UKBA has huge implications in a policy area which touches us all. Hopefully, it will lead to high level resignations, and a shake-up of a vital, and apparently failing, organisation. Meanwhile, an important European economy, and neighbour, is on the verge of collapse.

    And for some reason, the news (not just the BBC) is full of a dead bloke the other side of the world...

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 257.

    Jackson invited Murray into his (rented) home 'cos he wa "unable to sleep". We find out that, over some time, at his own request, he was having regular (daily) injections of a hugely powerful drug in order to make him sleep. Murray proved to be a foolish, vain person, clearly enthralled by the Hollywood illusion. His arrogantly timed phone call to a "girlfriend" did for him & Jackson. Misadventure

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 256.

    In America it is not difficult to "employ" a doctor and get virtually any drug you want on tap. All you need is the money. MJ certainly had that.
    As a cardiologist, Murray would not be completely ignorant about the effects of propofol. Was he so stupid that he OD'd MJ and then left him?
    My guess is MJ took it himself and was a raging addict. That's why he paid Murray who is now the scapegoat.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 255.

    Murray was a scapegoat. That was a lynch mob waiting outside the courtroom for the verdict. If Murray had walked free they would have strung him up from a lamp post. The verdict tells us all we need to know about the US legal system. We should not under any circumstances EVER extradite any British citizen to such a corrupt jurisdiction.

  • 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
    +3

    Comment number 253.

    Ok now Jackson family can get the insurance money because it was someone else's fault that he died.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 252.

    Conrad Murray was paid to do his masters bidding. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

  • Comment number 251.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 250.

    he was a junkie. ok a rich junkie but still he would have got a hold of drugs whatever or whoever was in his way.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 249.

    it is absurdity that Dr.Murary,who never be sued for malpractice,guilty of manslaughter of star and lost practising license.Apparently,he has been a scapegoat in demise of pop star.how we rated this verdict as justice

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 248.

    Just saw some idiot on this mornings's breakfast saying that 'he didn't realise what drugs he was taking. He was so child like that he only one that it made the pain go away' Really? MJ was a bizarre freak, who was quite possibly one of the worst parents I have even seen and who pursued an unwholesome relationship with children. The world is better off without him in it.

  • 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
    +1

    Comment number 246.

    Immensely rich individuals are, in effect, tyrants over their families and employees, and get what they want. Conrad Murray was corrupted by Jackson, by the staggering money on offer by the star. Murray is the victim of Jackson. I think the verdict is unfair.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 245.

    Where were the Jackson Family when he needed them most, amazing how suddenly they are all in court blaming someone else (not saying verdict is wrong) for his death, the family should have been helping him a long time ago, they should be ashamed !!!!!!

  • 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
    +6

    Comment number 243.

    Having seen the hysteria surrounding this trial, I can safely say I'm against televised court rooms. The whole thing was like a pantomime, with a mass of deranged fans gathered outside chanting "guilty". I find it hard to believe that a jury isn't influenced by public opinion, regardless of efforts to isolate the jury from such influence.

    I find televised court rooms belittle the justice system.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 242.

    Conrad Murray was convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter. No matter how much money was paid to him, as a doctor, he should have been acting in the best interests of his patient.

    A scapegoat he may be, but his medical negligence lead to the death of another human being and whomever that person was, it was the correct verdict.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 241.

    #1 news story on BBC at 08.00 drug raddled has been pop star and his doctor this is important news? Europe in meltdown, Italy now on the brink come on get your priorities right.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 240.

    Is he any more guilty of Jackson's death than anyone else? Jackson's fame and eccentricity paved the way to his end. He was not ignorant and helpless. He chose to live like that, instead of getting the kind of help he actually needed. Murray was just one of many hangers on, milking him for all he was worth before the money ran out. For that he is guilty, but I am not sure he should be singled out.

 

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