Society

Dr. Conrad Murray Found Guilty in Michael Jackson's Death

| by Michael Allen

Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor, was convicted Monday of involuntary manslaughter in the death of the pop superstar. There was a yell in the courtroom when the verdict was read, and a crowd erupted in cheers outside the courthouse, however, Dr. Murray sat stone-faced and showed little reaction.

The jury deliberated less than nine hours. Dr. Murray never took the stand in his own defense.

Dr. Murray, a Houston cardiologist, 58, faces a sentence of up to four years in prison. He could also lose his medical license. Prosecutors said Dr. Murray was an incompetent doctor who used the anesthetic propofol recklessly and whose neglect caused Jackson's death on June 25, 2009.

Dr. Murray's lawyers tried to portray him as a medical angel of mercy with former patients vouching for his skills. Dr. Murray told police from the outset that he gave Jackson propofol -- what Michael Jackson used to call "my milk" and other sedatives as the star struggled for sleep to prepare for his shows. But the doctor said he administered only a small dose on the day Jackson died.

Lawyers for Dr. Murray and a defense expert claimed Jackson gave himself the fatal dose of propofol when Dr. Murray wasn't watching, thus causing his own death, but the jury didn't buy it.

The most shocking moments, however, came when prosecutors displayed a large picture of Jackson's dead body on a hospital gurney and played the sound of his drugged, slurred voice, as recorded by Dr. Murray just weeks before the singer's death.

"We have to be phenomenal," he said about his "This Is It" concerts in London. "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 died on June 25, 2009.

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Murray was not released on bail after the verdict was read. Rather, he was taken from the courtroom in handcuffs. Because of this, most observers feel the judge will indeed give Murray a jail sentence, which could be as much as four years.