Michael Jackson trial: Start delayed to September
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge agreed Monday to push back the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor until September.
Judge Michael Pastor made the ruling at the request of defense attorneys representing Dr. Conrad Murray.
The attorneys said they could not be ready for trial, which was set to begin with opening statements next week, because of eleventh-hour prosecution experts debunking their theory that the king of pop died by his own hand.
Prosecutors contended the latest medical experts proposed no new theories, and the defense caused the situation by invoking Murray’s right to a speedy trial.
They told the judge last week that one of their experts reached the conclusion that it would have been impossible for Jackson to have caused his own death by orally ingesting the drug propofol, an argument that defense attorneys made during preliminary hearings.
The 171 potential jurors who had filled out lengthy questionnaires about the case in March will be excused, and a new panel will be selected beginning Sept. 8, the judge said.
Pastor said the delay was necessary for “fundamental fairness.”
Murray has pleaded not guilty to causing his famous patient’s death by injecting him with propofol, a powerful surgical anesthetic, and leaving his bedside.
-- Victoria Kim