Michael Jackson case: Judge blasts ‘bogus’ information about sealed jury questionnaire
This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
The judge presiding over the trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician blasted a website Thursday for posting what he described as "bogus" information about a questionnaire prospective jurors are filling out.
In an apparent reference to a TMZ.com article that purported to detail questions proposed by Dr. Conrad Murray's defense, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said, "Not one of the questions from that questionnaire posted online is part of this court's questionnaire."
The judge had earlier ordered the questionnaire sealed until after the entire jury pool completed it and said he was worried that the TMZ story and a "tongue-in-cheek" questionnaire posted on a second website might affect the answers prospective panelists provide.
About 160 potential jurors were sworn in Thursday morning, marking the official start of Murray's trial. The cardiologist is accused of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly giving the pop star a fatal dose of the surgical anesthetic propofol. Murray's defense contends that Jackson administered the drug himself.
Testimony in the case is scheduled to get underway next month.
[For the record, 11:47 a.m.: A previous version of the post incorrectly implied that the questionnaire was sealed by the judge Thursday.]
-- Harriet Ryan at Los Angeles County Superior Court