Conrad Murray's speedy handcuffing not unusual, lawyers say
At least three legal experts said Monday it was not unusual that Dr. Conrad Murray was handcuffed in the courtroom and led away to jail after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson.
"It is typical in a case with a felony conviction involving homicide to take the defendant into custody. The only unusual thing here is he is a doctor," said Dmitry Gorin, a defense attorney and former prosecutor.
Gorin said the judge referred to the danger to the community and the potential flight risk.
Defense attorney Mark Geragaos said he was not surprised "in the least" by Judge Michael Pastor's decision to take Murray into custody.
"It's standard operating procedure anytime you have a homicide case," Geragos said. "It's not only standard operating procedure, it's a precursor to the fact he won't be granted probation."
Attorney Glen Jonas agreed with the others.
"The decision to remand Dr. Murray into custody was expected," Jonas said.
However, the court over-weighted the need to "protect the community" and Murray's potential as a "flight risk" to reach that conclusion, Jonas said.
Pastor ordered Murray to jail just a few minutes after a jury found the doctor guilty in the death of Jackson.
Murray was ordered held without bail, citing the seriousness of the crime and questions about whether he was a flight risk.
"Dr. Murray's reckless conduct" poses a threat to public safety, he said.
As Pastor was giving his order, a bailiff handcuffed Murray behind his back while he was sitting in his seat. His attorney argued he should remain free until sentencing, noting he had family obligations.
"There is no reason to remand him under these circumstance," he said.
Murray, Jackson's personal physician, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for causing the pop icon's 2009 death by a powerful surgical anesthetic.
The verdict against Murray comes after a jury of seven men and five women deliberated for about nine hours over two days.
The 58-year-old cardiologist, who was charged with the lowest possible homicide offense, faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison and a minimum sentence of probation.
-- Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton
Photo: A bailiff handcuffs Dr. Conrad Murray in court Monday. Credit: Pool photo