a two-year legal battle over who was responsible for the sudden death of michael jackson came to a dramatic close monday. after about nine hours of deliberation, which began friday morning, a california jury found doctor conrad murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
dr. murray appeared to show no emotion as the verdict was read by court clerk sammi bentson. but latoya jackson, one of the infamous sisters of the late king of pop, let out a loud, but short scream. a loud celebration erupted among jackson's fans outside the downtown los angeles county courthouse, where emotions ran so high one woman fainted.
the clearly startled dr. murray was immediately handcuffed & taken away by deputees after los angeles county superior court judge michael pastor denied bail. explaining his decision to remand murray to police custody pastor said, "this is not a crime involving a mistake of judgment...this is a crime where the end result was the death of a human being. that factor demonsrates rather dramatically that the public should be protected."
sentencing was set for november 29, with dr. murray facing up to four years in prison. defense attorney ed chernoff told cnn the defense team's main job right now is to prepare for sentencing & limit the amount of time dr. murray spends in jail. said chernoff, "what matters most right now is trying to keep dr. murray from taking up a prison cell in this community. that's what we're focusing on right now & we'll deal with an appeal after that."
another of dr. murray's lawyers, nareg gourjan, told cnn monday night the outcome may have been different had the defense been able to introduce jackson's past drug use & "financial condition," as additional evidence. he described his client as "devastated" by the verdict, adding he's trying to stay positive with more legal options ahead of him. said gourjan, "we're hoping that the appeals court will have something to say about this."
dr. murray served as jackson's personal physician as he prepared for his comeback concerts. jackson said the 50-city tour - this is it - would be the final concerts of his illustrious career. according to testimony, dr. murray gave him the surgical anesthetic propofol to help him sleep nearly every night for the last two months of his life. jackson's tragic death on june 25, 2009 was caused by "acute propofol intoxication" in combination with two sedatives, the los angeles county coroner ruled.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.