More than two years after Michael Jackson's death, the man responsible for his health care, Dr. Conrad Murray, was found guilty
by a Los Angeles County jury.
He will be sentenced Nov. 29.
Some of Mr. Jackson's family members, including LaToya Jackson, were present when the verdict was read. Fans outside the courtroom were carrying miniature shrines, posters and displays showing support for the Jackson family and urging the jury to convict Murray.
Conrad Murray was hired by Michael Jackson’s tour production company, AEG, to monitor his health while he rehearsed for the “This Is It” tour. Murray was paid $150,000 a month.
Dr. Murray was present when Michael Jackson died due to an overdose of prescription and medical grade medication. Murray claimed that he was treating Michael Jackson with Propofol, a sedative used for anesthesia during surgeries. Propofol is not normally prescribed for individual use. Murray said he was weaning Mr. Jackson off of an addiction to the medication and had been monitoring him while he slept.
Murray was just outside of the room when Jackson’s heart stopped. The defense claimed that Jackson took additional Propofol while Murray was out of the room and that additional medications found in his body could have contributed to his overdose. Jackson also had previous prescription medication addiction problems. Defense presented a recorded phone call of Michael Jackson with slurred speech asking for additional medication so he could sleep.
According to witness testimony
, Dr. Murray did disclose that Mr. Jackson was being treated with Propofol at the time. Michael Jackson’s bodyguard, Alberto Alvarez, claimed Dr. Murray instructed him to hide vials containing milky liquid in a bag. He stated that he did not believe Dr. Murray had bad intentions and he only thought he was packing a bag to go to the hospital. There was also no medical equipment present in the room to handle an emergency such as a heart stoppage. Expert witness Dr. Steven Shafer, an anesthesiologist with considerable expertise in Propofol use testified that the vial was not opened with a needle but a larger hole, making it easy for an overdose.
Additional evidence suggested that Dr. Murray was on the phone with a girlfriend when he noticed Mr. Jackson’s heart had stopped. Rather than calling 911, Murray called Jackson’s personal assistant and did not indicate that it was an emergency.
Murray did not testify during the trial.