Criminal Law Lawyers Washington DC
People of the State of California v. Conrad Robert Murray was the criminal trial of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor, Conrad Murray, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of the King of Pop, who died from a massive overdose of the general anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009.
The trial, was held in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, was presided over by Judge Michael Pastor and started on September 27, 2011.
In their opening statement, prosecutors David Walgren and Deborah Brazi argued that “misplaced trust in the hands of Murray cost Jackson his life.”
Meanwhile, Murray’s defense counsel, which consisted of Edward Chernoff, Matthew Alford, J. Michael Flanagan and Nareg Gourjian, claimed Jackson took eight tablets of the sedative lorazepam prior to his death.
Chernoff claimed, “When Dr. Murray left the room, Jackson self-administered a dose of propofol that, with the lorazepam, created a perfect storm in his body that ultimately killed him. The whole thing is tragic, but the evidence is not that Dr. Murray did it.”
During the trial, testimony revealed that the private doctor stayed with Jackson at least six nights a week and that the popstar, who suffered from insomnia, regularly begged him to be put him to sleep with the help of his “milk.” Propofol, which has a creamy white aesthetic, is often referred to as milk of amnesia.
On Day 9 of the trial, Murray said on the stand that he was trying to help the singer sleep for at least a few hours. He stated, “I didn’t want to hurt him, he was my friend, didn’t want MJ to fail, I cared about his writing and his producing, I tried to wean him off, MJ was a bit restless, but it was working.”
On Day 12 of the trial, Steven Shafer, a professor of anesthesiology at Columbia University since 2007 and adjunct professor of anesthesiology at Stanford University since 2000, took to the stand to testify about his review of the Murray case, based on Murray’s police interview. Shafer testified that he’d found seventeen “separate and distinct egregious violations” of the standard of care, four of which were “unconscionable.”
On Nov 7, 2011, which was the 24th day of the trial, Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The judge ordered Murray taken into custody without bail. On Nov. 29, 2011, Murray was sentenced to the maximum penalty, which was four years of incarceration.
Two years later, Murray was released on Oct. 28, 2013. His early release was due to California prison overcrowding and good behavior.
According to the Associated Press, “Murray’s medical licenses remain suspended or revoked in three states where he previously practiced medicine.”
Joe Jackson, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Murray in 2010, but eventually dropped it in 2012.