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Michael Jackson's doctor faces involuntary manslaughter charge

February 8, 2010 | 12:57 pm

Protest 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

Photo: Protesters carry signs at a courthouse near Los Angeles International Airport before the arraignment of Dr. Conrad Murray on Feb. 8, 2010. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images.

More Ministry of Gossip dispatches about the King of Pop:

'Another Day': Sony yanks leaked Michael Jackson song; Lenny Kravitz speaks about the recording

Michael Jackson's white glove brings in $350,000 at auction

Barbara Walters finds Michael Jackson's children fascinating

Papa Joe Jackson wants an allowance from Michael's estate

'This Is It' for Michael Jackson's brothers -- and the Lakers and Clippers

Liz Taylor's review: Michael Jackson's genius drives 'This Is It' 

For complete Los Angeles Times coverage of MJ's life and death,  click here.

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