Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop star Michael Jackson, was released from prison early Monday, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Deputy Mark Pope said.
Murray, 60, was sentenced to the maximum four-year term allowed for his role in the death of Jackson on June 25, 2009, from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which was administered by the doctor.
Under state sentencing rules, Murray was eligible for parole well in advance of the end of his term, but he has nonetheless endured a long ordeal since Jackson’s death, said his attorney Valerie Wass.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Wass said before Murray’s release. “I’m so anxious for him to get out and get on with his life.”
Murray has challenged his conviction, and that effort will continue in the state Court of Appeal, Wass said. He is seeking to have the verdict overturned because of insufficient evidence. Wass also appealed to undo the conviction on other grounds.
A Los Angeles jury this month found that concert promoter AEG Live was not liable in Jackson's death, capping a marathon civil trial that laid bare the troubled singer's health problems, struggles with drugs and fateful attempt at a comeback tour. The issues in court included who was responsible for hiring Murray and overseeing his treatment of Jackson.
The exact timing of Murray’s release was unknown Sunday night. There had been some chatter among those following the case about an early-morning release to avoid heavy media attention. News outlets were taking no chances, choosing to stake out Men’s Central Jail downtown since Sunday evening.
“I expected his release to be during normal business hours,” Wass said.
Regardless of the timing, it’s already too late, she said, to avoid a “media circus.”
[For the Record, 5 a.m. PDT Oct. 28: An earlier version of this post stated that a reversal of Conrad Murray's conviction would entitle him to regain his suspended medical license. A proceeding before the Medical Board of California is a separate administrative action.]
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