Michael Jackson's doctor faces involuntary manslaughter charge
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.
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For complete Los Angeles Times coverage of MJ's life and death, click here.