Dr. Conrad Murray declines to testify in Michael Jackson death trial
Michael Jackson’s doctor will not testify at his trial for involuntary manslaughter, he said in court Tuesday.
“My decision is that I will not testify in this matter,” Dr. Conrad Murray said.
Had he chosen to take the stand in the downtown Los Angeles courthouse, Murray likely would have faced blistering cross-examination by prosecutors.
Witnesses have testified that he lied numerous times and made egregious medical missteps in the care of the music superstar.
After informing Murray of his dual constitutional rights to testify and to remain silent, Judge Michael Pastor asked the doctor Tuesday, “What is your decision?”
Murray paused, looked to his lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff and then to his left at two other lawyers and said, “My decision is to not testify -- .”
His response was interrupted by a prosecutor who objected to a “narrative answer.” The judge asked Murray again and he replied, “My decision is that I will not testify in this matter.”
The judge asked Murray if his decision was his alone.
“You are making this decision based on your own free will?” Pastor asked.
“Yes,” Murray said.
Chernoff added that he had conferred with his client about the decision “many times” and that the doctor understood his rights “very well.”
Murray has pleaded not guilty and faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical licenses if convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death.
-- Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim at Los Angeles County Superior Court
Photo: Conrad Murray in court Tuesday. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images