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Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter

January 25, 2011 | 10:19 am

Katherine Jackson at Conrad Murray trial

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician who was attending to Michael Jackson on the day of the pop star's death, entered a plea of not guilty to involuntary manslaughter Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, L.A. Now reports.

Conrad Murray pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson "Your honor, I am an innocent man," Murray said, adding, "Therefore, I plead not guilty," after being interrupted by Judge Michael Pastor.

Katherine Jackson, Michael's mother, was among those in court for Murray's arraignment. Jackson died June 25, 2009, of acute propofol intoxication. 

At a preliminary hearing earlier this month, Dr. Christopher Rogers, a pathologist with the county coroner's office, stated, "I would still call this a homicide even if the doctor did not administer the propofol to Mr. Jackson." Murray's attorneys have suggested that the doctor's defense would include the notion that Jackson self-injected the fatal dose of medication.

Rogers testified that Murray had endangered Jackson by using the powerful surgical anesthetic as a sleep aid in a home setting without proper monitoring, regardless of who gave the final dose.

Prosecutors said there was evidence Murray was on the phone and texting in the hours before he realized Jackson was in cardiac arrest.

Murray invoked his right to a speedy trial, so look for the action to begin by March 2, with jury selection set for March 28. The doctor — whose medical license was stripped Jan. 11, the day the judge decided there was enough evidence for him to stand trial — faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

[For the record, 3:10 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said Jackson died on June 29, 2009. He in fact died on June 25, 2009. Thanks to commenter @HAP for flagging the mistake.]


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Photos: (Top) Katherine Jackson, mother of singer Michael Jackson, arrives for the arraignment of Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician, at Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday. (Middle) Murray, with lawyer Edward Chernoff, pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Credits: Reed Saxon / Associated Press; Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times.