Conrad Murray Found Guilty in Michael Jackson Trial

Los Angeles (CNN) — Dr. Conrad Murray was found guilty Monday of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.

Sentencing is set for November 29, 2011

Murray served as Jackson’s personal physician as he prepared for his comeback concerts, giving him the surgical anesthetic propofol to help him sleep nearly every night for the last two months of his life, according to testimony.

Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009, was caused by “acute propofol intoxication” in combination with two sedatives, the Los Angeles County coroner ruled.

The verdict followed about nine hours of jury deliberations, which began Friday morning in the downtown Los Angeles County courthouse.

Fans gathered outside of the courthouse ahead of the verdict with signs of support for Jackson including one banner that read, “We miss Michael.”

The seven men and five women on the jury heard 49 witnesses over 23 days, including Murray’s girlfriends and patients, Jackson’s former employees, investigators and medical experts for each side.

The prosecution, in closing arguments on Thursday, argued that Murray was responsible for Jackson’s death because his reckless use of propofol to treat the pop icon’s insomnia in his home was criminally negligent.

Defense lawyers contended the matter was a negligence case that should instead be heard by the state medical board.

“If it were anybody else but Michael Jackson, would this doctor be here today?” lead defense lawyer Ed Chernoff asked in his closing.

Jurors were left to decide if the propofol overdose was infused into Jackson’s blood by a steady intravenous drip, as the prosecution contended, or if Jackson injected himself using a syringe left nearby by Murray, as the defense argued.

“He was just a little fish in a big, dirty pond,” Chernoff said, pointing the finger at other doctors who treated Jackson, and Jackson himself.

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren attacked the defense for trying to blame “everybody but Conrad Murray, poor Conrad Murray.”

“If allowed more time to argue, I am sure they would find a way to blame Michael’s son, Prince,” Walgren said in his closing rebuttal.

Walgren painted Murray as a selfish doctor who agreed to take $150,000 a month to give Jackson nightly infusions of propofol in his home, something an ethical doctor would never do because of the dangers.

Source: CNN

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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.

Dr Murray’s lawyers argued that Jackson self-administered a lethal dose of the drug while he was out of the room.

Dr Murray sat silently, shifting in his seat as the verdict was read out.

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.

‘Drug addict’

During the six-week trial, 49 witnesses and more than 300 pieces of evidence were presented to the court.

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.

Source: BBC

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