After being found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of pop megastar Michael Jackson, Dr. Conrad Murray was sentenced today in a Los Angeles County court.
Conrad Murray will be serving time and paying fines for his role in the death of Michael Jackson. The Los Angeles County court sentenced him to four years in prison. Murray was convicted on November 7th for involuntary manslaughter.
It's being reported Murray may serve half his sentence under house arrest due to overcrowding at California jails.
Judge Michael Pastor said during the sentencnig that Murray's actions were not of ordinary negligence: "It was a criminal homicide case". Pastor felt it was a series of circumstances created by Dr. Murray that led to Jackson's death and it was not just a one-off occurence that killed him.
Pastor explained that while Murray was eligible for probation, he did not feel it was suitable for him. "You can't have probation when there isn't any acknowlegement of rehabilitation or responsibility."
Murray was hired by Jackson and AEG entertainment to monitor his health while he prepared for the “This Is It”, 50-show performance in London. Murray treated Jackson’s insomnia with Propofol, a surgical-grade anesthetic. Jackson overdosed and went into cardiac arrest while Murray was outside his bedroom, talking on the phone with a girlfriend. Defense lawyers have argued that Murray’s sentence should be minimal since Jackson had a previous substance abuse problem and Murray had no ill intent to kill Mr. Jackson.
“Mr. Jackson’s self-destructive tendencies played a role in the damage suffered in this case and should be regarded as a contributing factor,” defense lawyers Ed Chernoff, J. Michael Flanagan and Nareg Gourjian wrote.
However, prosecuting attorneys noted that Murray’s demeanor and gross negligence warranted a maximum sentence.
“Even worse than failing to accept the slightest level of responsibility, the defendant has placed blame on everyone else, including the one person no longer here to defend himself, Michael Jackson,” Deputy Dist. Attys. David Walgren and Deborah Brazil wrote.
They also believed Murray should pay the Jackson estate $100 million in lost earnings from Jackson's death.
Judge Pastor acknowledged that he considered Murray's prior medical accomplishments before handing the sentence. However, Pastor also stated that he considered Murray's deceptive practices of lying to pharmacists in order to gain large amounts of Propofol. He also noted that Murray's recording of Michael Jackson's slurred speech discussing the need for more Propofol was not done in earnest, saying it was done as "insurance" just in case something bad happened to Jackson.
Murray's defence team is expected to appeal his conviction.