BY ELIZABETH LEE – A Los Angeles jury on Monday found Michael Jackson’s physician, Conrad Murray, guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of the pop singer. The decision came after a six week trial. It took jurors less than nine hours to convict Dr. Murray. Our reporter in Los Angeles bring more details about the verdict and how the public is responding to the decision.
“We, the jury, in the above entitled action find the defendant Conrad Robert Murray guilty of the crime of involuntary manslaughter,” pronounced a county clerk.
Michael Jackson’s personal doctor, Conrad Murray, sat expressionless as the court clerk read the jury’s decision. Murray was then handcuffed and taken into custody.
Outside the courtroom, cheers erupted as news of the verdict quickly reached Jackson’s fans.
“I’m just so glad that justice has been served,” said a fan. “Thank God. I’m so happy for the Jackson family, his children, the entire Jackson fan base. We are elated; justice has been served.”
Conrad Murray’s supporters say there was overwhelming pressure to convict Jackson’s former doctor, making Murray a scapegoat in the singer’s death.
During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Jackson’s personal physician as incompetent and who used a powerful anesthetic, propofol, as a sleep aid without proper the equipment that could have saved the singer’s life. They said Murray was negligent by giving Jackson the drug without monitoring him. Several witnesses said the drug was not approved for use as a sleep aid.
Murray invoked his Constitutional right not testify in his defense. His lawyers blamed Jackson for his own death. They said the singer gave himself the fatal dose of propofol without Murray’s knowledge. Jackson suffered from insomnia and had Murray give him sedatives to help him sleep. Murray said he gave Jackson only a small dose of propofol the day he died.
Under the law, involuntary manslaughter is the lowest possible felony charge involving a homicide. Murray faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license. Sentencing is scheduled for later this month.