Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Judge questions Conrad Murray's hiring of lawyer who once worked for Michael Jackson defense team [Updated]

Dr. Conrad Murray, right, with attorney Edward Chernoff. The judge handling the trial of Michael Jackson’s physician expressed concern Tuesday that the doctor recently hired a lawyer who once worked for a firm that defended the pop star from child molestation charges.

[Updated at 3:19 p.m.: Dr. Conrad Murray added attorney Nareg Gourjian to his defense team for the involuntary manslaughter trial set to begin next month. Gourjian formerly worked for Mark Geragos, who was Jackson’s attorney about seven years ago in the runup to a molestation trial in Santa Maria.]

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said at a hearing Tuesday that he was worried about a possible conflict of interest and would seek input from Jackson’s estate before ruling.

Gourjian said  he was a junior associate who had “minimal” involvement in the Jackson defense and said, “There is no conflict.” The singer changed lawyers before trial.

The defense gave the prosecution a list of more than 90 potential witnesses. The prosecution has already turned over a list of more than 100 names.

Murray could face four years in prison if convicted.


Conrad Murray pleads not guilty

Coroner says Jackson's drug dose amounted to 'homicide'

Security guard says Murray told him to grab evidence before 911 call

-- Harriet Ryan at L.A. County Superior Court

Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray, right, sits with his attorney Edward Chernoff at Los Angeles Criminal Courts on Jan. 25. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (12)

I do NOT understand how Conrad Murray is only facing up to 4 years for murdering Michael Jackson. I also do NOT understand how he is only facing manslaughter charges & not MURDER charges. From what I've heard so far thru news media, Conrad Murray gave Michael Jackson 7 different drugs which they say were ALL lethal doses & could've killed a horse, not to mention giving Michael the drug Diprivan/Propofol which is NOT suppose to be used outside a hospital setting because it can make a person stop breathing. I also heard Conrad Murray say he was not out of the room for more than 2 1/2 minutes when its came out now he was out of the room making numerous cell phone calls for over 96+ minutes. On top of that, Conrad Murray was supposedly using 22 ailses names picking up these drugs & after Michael Jackson passed away I also heard Conrad Murray was trying to dispose of evidence & the drug vials. From news reports, its been said that Conrad Murray didn't even ask anyone to call 9-1-1, a bodyguard called on his own & its also been reported in the news media that Conrad Murray didn't know to put someone on a hard surface to do C.P.R. & that Conrad Murray wasn't sure how to even perform C.P.R. & why did Conrad Murray not wanna sign call Michaels death, he wanted a doctor from the hospital call it. Would you want this guy treating you, your family & your friends? I "WOULDNT"!!!!!!!! Conrad Murray should be in jail for "MURDER" cuz that's what it was.

Gourjian said he was a junior associate who had “minimal” involvement in the Jackson defense and said, “There is no conflict.”

Well, just to be absolutely certain, find another client, Mr. Gourjian.

This guy is going to fry. Someone has to pay and it's this 'Dr'

The DA's office never charged Murray with murder. Although many people equate a killing with murder, not all killings constitute murder. In this matter, the DA's office has simply alleged that Murray's carelessness caused Jackson's death. I think the DA's office recognized that, unless there was something else going on, Murray did not want to kill Jackson (Jackson was going to be his "cash cow"). In the absence of an intentional killing, and given Jackson's penchant for drug abuse, a jury would acquit Murray of murder; but it may find him guilty of involuntary manslaughter

How exactly is Conrad Murray paying for his high priced Legal Team when he is over $700,000 to $1,000,000 in debt and is in arrears for child support for his 6 or 7 kids by who knows how many baby mamas?

And why isn't the news media reporting on this .....?

Also the involuntary manslaughter charge is a joke, and I am flabbergasted that he still has his medical license in 2 states. Texas and Nevada.

Also, it seems to me that the majority of his patients are medicaid patients. So where is he getting the money to pay all of his bills?????

Sorry, it doesn't add up.

Who is paying for Conrad Murray's attorney fees? Hmmmm . . . .

That's right -- FIND ANOTHER attorney, Dr. Death! You benefitted from a relationship with Michael ENOUGH, you ol' dog!!!!!

It is a conflict of interest and no matter what the facts are the facts. HOW IS HE PAYING FOR THIS STUFF???? I THOUGHT HE WAS BROKE? Please investigate LA Times or TMZ !!!

I am also wondering who is paying for Dr Murray to engage so many defending lawyers. Someone must be supporting him.

If Judge Pastor permits Gourjian's representation for the defense in this case, the trial will be a mockery of justice. The charges against Murray should be 2nd degree murder. The findings presented at the recent preliminary hearings are beyond shocking. The LA police department and district attorney zeroed in on Murray only when in fact he was just the "trigger" in this crime. Too bad they don't have the courage to really delve into what was behind Mr. Jackson's senseless death. But that means going up against entertainment and media giants and others who have tremendous "political" influence.

Don't you find it strange that the media seems abnormally quiet in its reluctance to report on Murray's rather "questionable" personal conduct? If you recall, it didn't matter whether stories were true or not when they involved Mr. Jackson. The press went into "feeding frenzy" to be the first to break an especially salacious lie about Jackson if it generated high ratings. The average citizen still believes he was guilty after his 2005 trial, mainly because the media failed miserably to ACCURATELY report the testimony presented.

Finally, I'm really tired of commentors "publicly" stating Mr. Jackson was a drug addict or a drug abuser without checking the facts. If you would take time to read his autopsy report (public knowledge) you'd see in plain print that his vital organs (liver, kidneys, etc.) were all relatively healthy for a 50-year-old man and that the only drugs found in his system were benzodiazepines (used to treat insomnia and anxiety).

For the defense to try to accuse Jackson himself of administering the lethal dose is outrageous.

If Mr. Jackson could be accused of anything, it was trusting far too many people who didn't have his best interest at heart. What doctor worth his credentials would ever risk the life of his patient by administering Propofol, a powerful anesthetic, in a home situation with absolutely no critical breathing monitoring equipment? To then leave him unattended for close to an hour while he chatted with various individuals via his cell phone, squandering precious seconds before calling 911, is deliberate negligence! Does this sound like involuntary manslaughter? What if your own doctor behaved this recklessly with your loved one?

Honestly, what will this trial prove?

I think at the very least Conrad Murray is guilty of malpractice for his negligent actions in the care he had over Michael J. Jackson. Mr. Murray did not act responsibly in the prescriptions of Mr. Jackson's medications and administrations of them. In addition he failed to contact the emergency hotline if in fact he was not sure Mr. Jackson was dead or not because he did not have the proper knowledge or treatment team or facilities to handle the crisis. His failure to contact someone for help and the improper administration of CPR coupled with the coroner's findings that Mr. Jackson had broken ribs shows his incompetance in the care of Mr. Jackson at that time. The Jacksons should put in a malpractice claim with Mr. Murray's insurance in addition to the suit against his employer. I also question intent because Mr. Murray used several aliases when he treated Mr. Jackson in his residence instead of a proper medical facility with staff...In addition he left Mr. Jackson unsupervised while over medicating him with lethal doses to make personal phone calls. These additional things are not accidents in the care and treatment of Mr. Jackson and homocide can be viewed as a motive. If in fact Mr. Jackson had an addiction problem it was because Mr. Murray aided him with it; and that in itself is unethical. And addiction is not the question at hand, it is why did Mr. Murray overdose Mr. Jackson and leave him totally unattended in a non-medicinal facility then claimed it was 'accidental'.

Look it all boils down to the rich and elite. They can do and get away with what common people cant. Face it Micheal Jackson was hooked on drugs. If this doctor had not given them to him some other would have. The point is Micheal Jackson was addited to pills. He would have gotten them from anyone and with his money he could have hit the streets to get them. Unfortunately we live in a world full of drugs and drug addicts. Unfortunately that one high cost him his life. Now what Dr. would not have been on the staff to treat a man like Micheal Jackson that paid like he did. Dont you know that man lives with him self everyday and has to look in the mirror. That to me is punishment enough and who am I to judge.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: