DA: Conrad Murray played ‘Russian roulette’ with Jackson’s life
Dr. Conrad Murray should be sentenced to the maximum of four years in state prison in the death of Michael Jackson, prosecutors argued Tuesday.
Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren said it wasn't simply the events on June 25, 2009, that led to the pop star's death -- but the events before, during and after that amounted to careless and reckless behavior.
"This was not a solitary mistake of judgment or one solitary lack of attention," Walgren said. "This was a consistent pattern of behavior exhibited by Conrad Murray."
Shipments of propofol -- the surgical anesthetic that caused Jackson's death -- began arriving at least two months before he died, Walgren said.
Murray was playing "Russian roulette with Michael Jackson's life every single night," Walgren said.
Walgren also reminded the judge that Murray did not call 911. He was, at the time, on the phone with his girlfriend, Walgren said.
He cited Murray's "lies," "coverup" and "concealment," as well as the lack of medical equipment at Jackson's home, where he was being treated by Murray.
"Conrad Murray knew perfectly well that what he was doing was wrong," Murray said. "He knew perfectly well that what he was doing was risking Michael Jackson's life."
Walgren also cited Murray's owns words from a documentary in which he says he does not feel guilty about Jackson's death. "I did not do anything wrong," Walgren quoted Murray as saying in the documentary.
That statement is additional evidence, Walgren said, that Murray must receive a four-year prison sentence because he is not remorseful for his actions.
Murray, 58, has been held in jail since his Nov. 7 conviction for involuntary manslaughter. The conviction carries up to four years in prison and prosecutors have asked Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor to impose the maximum sentence.
It is unlikely, however, that Murray would actually serve that sentence. Under new statewide policies designed to ease inmate overcrowding, certain nonviolent offenders are held in county jails.
In Los Angeles, jail terms are routinely slashed because of jam-packed county facilities. Murray's lawyers have asked for the most-lenient sentence — probation — in papers arguing that the physician has already been punished enough with the loss of his medical license and public contempt.
-- Harriet Ryan and Kimi Yoshino
Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray listens as Judge Michael Pastor sentences him to four years behind bars for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson. The image is a screen grab from pool video in Los Angeles. Credit: Pool