Washington, Nov 8 (IANS) A court jury in Los Angeles Monday found pop superstar Michael Jackson’s personal physician Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the singer’s anaesthetic-induced death.
The 50-year-old Jackson died June 25, 2009 at his Holmby Hills estate in Los Angeles when he was preparing for his comeback series of 50 sold-out London concerts. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office ruled the “King of Pop” died of “acute propofol intoxication”.
Prosecutors accused 58-year-old Murray of failing to properly monitor Jackson after giving him a lethal dose of propofol.
They contended that the cardiologist repeatedly acted with gross negligence, repeatedly denied appropriate care to his patient, and that it was Murray’s repeated incompetence and unskilled acts that led to Jackson’s death.
Murray was a little bit shocked by Monday’s decision, Xinhua reported.
He was handcuffed after the verdict was read and was immediately remanded to custody in county jail without bail pending his sentencing Nov 29.
At the conclusion of the six-week trial, the seven-men, five-women jury read the long-expected verdict, which found Murray guilty of one count of involuntary manslaughter for Jackson’s death.
Murray, who faces up to four years in prison, remained stone-faced as the verdict was announced, showing no visible reaction.
The jury deliberated for about eight and a half hours before reaching a verdict.
When the verdict was announced, some cries of “yes” could be heard from the courtroom audience. Jackson fans were seen celebrating when the news spread outside the courthouse.
Jackson’s parents, Katherine and Joe, were among those in the audience, along with his brother Jermaine and sister LaToya.
Droves of fans gathering outside the courthouse were elated by the news. One man, who asked not be named, said this was a victory for Jackson and his family. “Murray is guilty because he failed to call 911, this is negligence for a doctor”, he said.
Another Jackson fan said he could not be “happier”.