Jackson Doctor Convicted in Star's 2009 Drug Death

By: Linda Deutch, Associated Press
By: Linda Deutch, Associated Press

Los Angeles, CA -- November 7, 2011 --

A jury has convicted Michael Jackson's doctor of involuntary manslaughter in the singer's 2009 drug death.

The jury reached its verdict Monday after deliberating less than
nine hours. Prosecutors depicted Dr. Conrad Murray as a reckless
physician who abandoned Jackson while he was under the effects of
the powerful anesthetic propofol.

Attorneys for the Houston-based cardiologist countered that
Jackson was addicted to the drug and self-administered the fatal
dose when Murray left his bedroom.

Murray agreed to become Jackson's personal physician as the
singer prepared for a series of comeback concerts in 2009.

Murray did not testify during the trial but previously acknowledged to police that he gave Jackson propofol and other sedatives on the morning the singer died.

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Case Against Michael Jackson's Doctor Goes to Jury

Los Angeles, CA (AP) - The trial of Michael Jackson's doctor was transformed Thursday into a contest between the superstar and the physician, with a prosecutor saying Dr. Conrad Murray killed his patient and a defense lawyer blaming Jackson for his own death.

Prosecutor David Walgren called Murray a liar and an opportunist who put his own welfare before that of Jackson.

Defense lawyer Ed Chernoff cast Murray as a victim of Jackson's celebrity, saying he would never have been charged with wrongdoing if his patient was someone other than Jackson.

"If it was anybody else, would this doctor be here today?" Chernoff asked during his closing argument at the involuntary manslaughter trial of Murray.

The case later went to the jury, with deliberations set to begin Friday.

Chernoff said prosecutors hadn't proven that Murray committed a crime by giving Jackson doses of the anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid in the singer's bedroom.

"They want you to convict Dr. Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson," Chernoff said.

Earlier, during his closing argument, Walgren projected images of Jackson's grief-stricken children on a giant screen and told jurors that Murray took away their father.

With Jackson's mother and siblings watching from the courtroom gallery, Walgren showed a photo of Jackson at his last rehearsal before the picture of the three Jackson children - Prince, Paris and Blanket - at their father's memorial.

He also reminded jurors of the scene in Jackson's bedroom when Paris came upon Murray frantically trying to revive her lifeless father and screamed, "Daddy!"

"For Michael Jackson's children this case goes on forever because they do not have a father," Walgren said. "They do not have a father because of the actions of Conrad Murray."

The prosecutor repeatedly called Murray's treatment of Jackson bizarre and said there was no precedent for the cardiologist giving the singer the powerful anesthetic to help him sleep.

Still, Jackson trusted him and that eventually cost the singer his life, Walgren said.

"Conrad Murray looked out for himself and himself alone," the prosecutor said.

Walgren, in a carefully structured argument enhanced by video excerpts of witness testimony, spoke of the special relationship between a doctor and patient and said Murray had corrupted it in the treatment of his famous client.

Murray violated his medical oath to do no harm and "acted so recklessly that it caused the death of Michael Jackson," the prosecutor said.

Walgren portrayed Murray as a greedy opportunist who was more concerned with earning $150,000 a month as Jackson's personal physician and traveling to London for his "This Is It" concert than with the welfare of his patient.

He cited evidence showing Murray did not call 911 after finding Jackson unresponsive. Instead he called Jackson's personal assistant, a decision the prosecutor said was just one of the doctor's bizarre actions on the day the singer died.

He suggested Murray delayed the call until he could hide medical equipment and bottles that might incriminate him.

Evan after paramedics arrived, the doctor made no mention of giving Jackson propofol because of "a consciousness of guilt," Walgren said.

Walgren ridiculed the defense theory that Jackson injected himself with the fatal dose of propofol and denounced the testimony of defense expert Paul White who blamed Jackson for his own death.

"What you were presented by Dr. White was junk science. It was garbage science," Walgren said.

Chernoff countered that Dr. Steven Shafer, a propofol expert who testified that evidence showed Murray killed Jackson, was wrong and overstepped his role as a scientist by becoming an advocate for Murray's conviction.

He said Shafer ignored Murray's statement to police in which the physician said he gave the singer a small dose of propofol and left the room after the drug should have worn off.

"It doesn't matter, Dr. Murray did not kill Michael Jackson," Chernoff said.

The prosecutor played statements of several doctors who testified that they would never have agreed to give Jackson propofol for insomnia in a private home.

"The setting represents an extreme violation of the standard of care," Walgren said. "No one ever did it until it was done to Michael Jackson. It is gross negligence and it is a cause of Michael Jackson's death."

At one point, Walgren suggested Murray was conducting "an obscene experiment" on Jackson.

With only Jackson and Murray present in the singer's room on the day he died, there will be things that are never be known about his death, Walgren said. But he said it was clear that Murray, untrained in anesthesiology, was incompetent.

"Conrad Murray is criminally liable," he said. "Justice demands a guilty verdict."

---

AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.


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  • by confused on Nov 8, 2011 at 02:36 PM
    I just cant get past the fact that this man was convicted for giving drugs to an addict who asked for them and who was old enough to make his own decisions but yet Casey Anthony was not convicted and she killed a child who was not old enough to make decisions for herself and was helpless. MJ was not helpless in this situation. quite interesting if you ask me. Along with that if this doctor didnt give him the drugs he would have gotten them somewheres else since he had tons of doctors who he saw and got meds from. I dont know still cant get past that we convicted this man but not Casey Anthony. But okay thats america for you.
  • by gus on Nov 8, 2011 at 05:45 AM
    Considering this man did something our justice system couldnt do because of MJ's buying off of the families with his millions...I say he deserves an award, a statue, and a steak dinner.
  • by me Location: here on Nov 8, 2011 at 04:45 AM
    Sad that MJ died "young"...I'm just thankful for the obvious....
  • by john Location: quincy on Nov 8, 2011 at 03:47 AM
    I liked Micheal in his younger days ,,,but not after he began a feak,,,and child molester
  • by Unknown Location: Thomas county on Nov 7, 2011 at 08:47 PM
    Michael Jackson was someone's child, brother, uncle, cousin and father! He was a human being just as we are! Let him rest in piece. You nor I should judge him or anyone else!
  • by Oh my on Nov 7, 2011 at 08:38 PM
    A professional is found quilty after a death of someone who did some really freaky stuff to get/draw attention to himself, while someone who is scum, Casey Anthony, winds up killing an innocent kid and is sent off free. Go figure. Thier is our legal system for you. Go Government, Rah Rah Rah
  • by good guys finish last Location: ga on Nov 7, 2011 at 07:43 PM
    i feel sorry for the doctor his life is ruined. but he done it to himself. he should not have gave the drug addit that. i am glad he cant get anymore than 4 years. michael was 50 years old people die all the time at 50.
  • by val Location: tallahassee on Nov 7, 2011 at 04:07 PM
    I am not a fan of Jackson, but the doctor was in the wrong. He took the job and should be held accountable for his actions
  • by STEVE on Nov 7, 2011 at 03:26 PM
    The King of Pop was a child molesting drug addict. The Doctor was at his beck and call. The Doctor should have walked on this one. If the Doc had refused him he would have been fired and another hired.
  • by cc dad Location: Al. on Nov 7, 2011 at 03:03 PM
    was Michael ,,black or white .....was he a male or female ,,,,he was wanting to be all the above ,,,pure freak ,,plus a child lover who pay off the girls family
    • reply
      by Jane on Nov 7, 2011 at 05:54 PM in reply to cc dad
      Jackson molested BOYs, not girls.
      • reply
        by granny on Nov 7, 2011 at 07:39 PM in reply to Jane
        do you know this for a fact? or hear say?
        • reply
          by dc on Nov 8, 2011 at 03:44 AM in reply to granny
          where you been ,,it was all over the news and they even talked with the family of the boy
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