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Michael Jackson case: Dr. Conrad Murray's lawyers face $1,500-a-day fines

February 28, 2011 | 12:21 pm

A judge threatened Monday to hit Dr. Conrad Murray’s lawyers with $1,500-a-day fines for failing to share evidence with prosecutors before the physician's trial next month in the death of Michael Jackson.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor told lawyers for the pop icon’s personal physician that he would impose the fines or other sanctions Wednesday unless they met their legal obligation to turn over witness statements and expert reports to prosecutors.

“I am extremely distressed about the state of this case and whether in fact the defense is ready for trial,” Pastor said.

Murray is set to go on trial March 24, but prosecutors have repeatedly asked the judge to delay the case, saying the defense is not ready for trial because it has not shared materials concerning its witnesses.

Murray has refused to waive his right to a speedy trial, as most defendants do, to preserve his right to practice medicine. Pastor stripped him of his California medical license, but authorities in Texas and Nevada, where he practices, have agreed to await the conclusion of the trial to make their decisions, his lawyers said.

Murray, 57, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and has pleaded not guilty. Jackson died in 2009 from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol.

-- Harriet Ryan