Michael Jackson death investigation may be coming to a conclusion
There were growing signs Wednesday morning that the half-year investigation into the death of Michael Jackson could be coming to a conclusion.
L.A. prosecutors continue to decline comment on when -- or if -- they will charge Jackson's personal physician in connection with the pop star's death. But law enforcement sources have told The Times it's possible a decision will come sometime this week.
A lawyer for the Houston-based doctor, Conrad Murray, said Tuesday that his client is in Los Angeles and prepared to surrender if authorities file charges against him.
"I don't have any specific information that leads me to believe he is going to be charged this week," lawyer Ed Chernoff said, "but if he is, we've made it clear he's available to turn himself in."
The arrival of Murray and Chernoff, his lead attorney, from Houston set off a new round of speculation that authorities, who have been mulling a manslaughter case against the doctor since last summer, were about to file charges.
A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office declined to say whether prosecutors planned to file a case against Murray. "All I can tell you is that we have not filed anything. When and if we do, we will let everyone know at one time," spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.
Chernoff said Murray was visiting L.A. on personal matters -- he has an infant son in Santa Monica -- and also planned to attend a strategy session Tuesday afternoon with his criminal defense team, made up of Chernoff, local counsel J. Michael Flanagan and Long Beach attorney Joseph Low IV. Low represents Nicole Alvarez, the mother of Murray's infant son.
Murray acknowledged administering the anesthetic propofol to Jackson shortly before his death on June 25, 2009, according to police affidavits. An autopsy classified Jackson's death as a homicide and said the cause was "acute propofol intoxication" in combination with the use of sedatives.
An attorney who is said to represent members of the Jackson family, Brian Oxman, told CBS News this morning that manslaughter charges against Murray would be troubling. "That is just a slap on the wrist, and a slap in the face, because Michael Jackson was someone who we knew was in danger of being brought to his knees, brought his death, by the use of these medications," Oxman said.
-- Harriet Ryan, Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Mourners at Michael Jackson's memorial service. Credit: Associated Press
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