Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s personal physician was on Monday found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of the pop musician by a jury in Los Angeles. Murray, 58, will be sentenced on November 29 and he faces up to four years in prison while it could also mean the end of his medical career. He is to be remanded in custody and was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
It took the jury about nine hours of deliberation to arrive at the unanimous decision.
Michael Jackson, the famed King of Pop died on June 25, 2009 after an anaesthetic was administered on him. In the course of the trial, medical experts, household employees and Murray’s former girlfriends and a number of others testified. Prosecutors displayed a large picture of the singer’s lifeless body on a hospital gurney and played the sound of his drugged, slurred voice, as recorded by Murray just weeks before the singer’s death.
In the recording, Jackson talked about plans for a fantastic children’s hospital and his hope of creating a legacy that would be more popular than Elvis Presley and even The Beatles. He was also heard speaking about his “This Is It” concert scheduled to take place in London, Jackson said “we have to be phenomenal…when people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, `I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go. I’ve never seen nothing like this. Go. It’s amazing. He’s the greatest entertainer in the world.”‘
Jackson was found dead on his bed in his mansion after being dosed intravenously with propofol, a drug normally administered in hospitals during surgery.
The coroner ruled that it was a homicide and the blame would go to Murray, who was the last person to see the singer alive.
Murray had given up his practices in Houston and Las Vegas and agreed to travel with Jackson and work as his personal physician indefinitely as his comeback concert in London drew close.
The court was told that for six weeks, as Jackson undertook strenuous rehearsals, Murray infused him with propofol every night, the doctor told police. He later tried to wean Jackson from the drug because he feared he was becoming addicted.
Jackson planned to pay Murray $150,000 a month for an extended tour in Europe. In the end, the doctor never got paid because Jackson died before signing the contract.
According to the testimonies taken in the court, on the night of the singer’s death, Murray gave him intravenous doses of the sedatives Lorazepam and Midazolam. Jackson also took a Valium pill. They however did not seem to work in bringing sleep to the popular musician. Murray told the police that he eventually gave the singer a small dose of Propofol (25 milligrams) that seemed to put him to sleep. The doctor said he felt it was safe to leave his patient’s bedside for a few minutes, but by the time he returned, Michael Jackson had stopped breathing.