Michael Jackson’s doctor faces involuntary manslaughter charge
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Conrad Murray, the personal physician who was attending to Michael Jackson at the time of the singer’s death last year, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after a seven-month investigation.
Murray is expected to enter a not guilty plea shortly in a Los Angeles court, outside which fans had gathered Monday in protest, hand-made signs clearly expressing their anger and opinions.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison (voluntary manslaughter maxes out at 11 years; a murder conviction can bring a life term).
The coroner ruled Jackson’s June 25 death a homicide caused by acute propofol intoxication in conjunction with effects of other sedatives. Jackson suffered from insomnia and had been using the anesthetic as a sleep aid.
Two personal physicians for Anna Nicole Smith last week got a court date for their trial (along with Howard K. Stern, Smith’s attorney-turned-lover) on felony charges connected to the actress’ fatal overdose in 2007. They have entered not guilty pleas.
Both cases are likely to have an effect on celebrities’ future doctor-patient relationships.
-- Christie D’Zurilla
More Ministry of Gossip dispatches about the King of Pop:
For complete Los Angeles Times coverage of MJ’s life and death, click here.