Conrad Murray trial: Prosecutors did 'masterful' job, experts say
Legal experts said they were not surprised by the guilty verdict in the case of Michael Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray.
"The D.A. did a masterful job in prosecuting the case, presenting compelling evidence that Murray violated the standard of care and acted with gross negligence by using a powerful drug outside the hospital setting, failing to monitor the patient, not having monitoring equipment, failing to call 911 timely, and failing to keep records of treatment," said former Deputy Dist. Atty. Dmitry Gorin.
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.
Gorin, who now works as a defense attorney, said prosecutors were smart by focusing on a cover-up by Murray. The jury had an overwhelming case of guilt presented and reached a verdict in a relatively short period of time, considering the trial lasted over a month and had hundreds of exhibits, he added.
"The best decision made in this case by the district attorney’s office was in charging the case," said Glen Jonas, a veteran attorney. "Many cases are over-charged, resulting in jury confusion which creates an opening for the defense. Here the district attorney’s office resisted that temptation. This enabled the prosecution to present a clean, focused and organized case."
Over a four-week case, prosecutors painted Murray as a deceptive and incompetent doctor who abandoned his medical judgment in complying with Jackson's request to be given a surgical anesthetic to put him to sleep.
Witnesses testified to many egregious medical missteps -– giving propofol in an unmonitored setting, fumbling at basic resuscitation, keeping no records –- failures that experts said directly led to Jackson's overdose death.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray listens to the guilty verdict in his involuntary manslaughter trial for Michael Jackson's death in 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol. Credit: Pool photo