Conrad Murray jurors to begin deliberating
Jury deliberations begin Friday in the trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray, who faces up to four years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the pop star's death from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol.
An attorney for Murray told jurors Thursday his client would never have been put on trial were it not for the pop star’s celebrity.
“Somebody’s got to say it: If it were anybody else but Michael Jackson, if it were anybody else, would this doctor be here today?” defense attorney Ed Chernoff told jurors during closing arguments.
The case was officially submitted to the jury late Thursday.
In its closing arguments, the defense accused prosecutors of playing on the emotions of jurors by repeatedly showing them a photo of Jackson’s children, a device Chernoff said was designed to paint Jackson as a victim.
“It’s heartbreaking to see those kids; you know that and I know that. That’s why they showed those kids,” Chernoff told jurors. “There’s this tremendous desire to paint Dr. Murray as this perfect villain.”
A prosecutor told jurors Thursday that the testimony of a renowned anesthesiologist in Murray's defense was "junk science."
The harsh rebuke of the testimony of Dr. Paul White, a leading expert on the surgical anesthetic propofol, came near the conclusion of the prosecution's closing argument.
White, who was among the first scientists in the U.S. to study the drug, testified over four days in Murray's defense and said Jackson probably injected himself with the drug and caused his own death.
-- Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan at L.A. County Superior Court
Photo: Conrad Murray, center, stands with defense attorneys J. Michael Flanagan, second from left, and Ed Chernoff, right, before the start of Thursday's court proceedings. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Pool