Michael Jackson's doctor can keep medical license, judge rules
A doctor accused of administering a lethal dose of a strong anesthetic to pop icon Michael Jackson last year will keep his California medical license for now, a Los Angeles judge ruled Monday.
L.A. Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor rejected a request by the state's medical board to suspend Dr. Conrad Murray's license to practice medicine. In his ruling, Pastor noted that another judge at Murray's arraignment earlier this year restricted the physician's use of the drug propofol and other strong anesthetics as part of his bail conditions.
Pastor said the law did not allow him to change Murray's bail terms unless there was a change in circumstances. He said nothing had changed since the arraignment. Pastor left open the possibility of reconsidering Murray's bail -- including whether he could practice medicine -- after he hears testimony in the case at a later preliminary hearing.
He said his ruling did not prevent the medical board from seeking to suspend Murray's license at an administrative proceeding.
Murray, wearing a dark suit and yellow tie, sat silently during most of the hearing in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom packed with reporters and fans of the singer. He spoke briefly only to waive his right to a speedy preliminary hearing.
Also in the audience were members of the Jackson family, including the pop star's mother and father.
-- Jack Leonard