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D.A.: Conrad Murray unlikely to serve 'appropriate' sentence

November 7, 2011 |  3:01 pm

Murray verdict

It is unlikely that Dr. Conrad Murray will serve a lengthy stint behind bars, L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said Monday after the physician’s conviction in the death of Michael Jackson.

Cooley said legislation that calls for some state prison inmates to be returned to county jails will probably mean that Murray -– who was handcuffed and taken into custody after his conviction -– will probably not serve “an appropriate sentence.”

Murray faces a maximum term of four years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 29.

FULL COVERAGE: Trial of Conrad Murray

As he met the press after the case ended, Cooley was defensive when asked whether the conviction was a vindication for the district attorney’s office, which in past years has lost several cases involving celebrities, including O.J. Simpson.

"I can’t really recall any high-profile losses,” Cooley said. “This is another in a string of high-profile victories."

Cooley also revealed that his office had “examined carefully” whether to file second-degree murder charges against Murray but ultimately decided that involuntary manslaughter was the most appropriate.

PHOTOS: Conrad Murray trial

The district attorney also cited the fact that prescription drug overdose deaths now outnumber traffic accidents.

"To the extent that someone dies as a result of their being a so-called Dr. Feelgood, they will be held accountable," Cooley said.

Cooley said it wasn’t true that the case against Murray was actually a medical malpractice that had been elevated to a crime because of Jackson’s celebrity.

Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren, who prosecuted the case, added that Jackson was "not a pop icon but a son and a brother, and that's most important to keep in mind today."


Jackson family reacts to verdict

Judge sends Conrad Murray to jail

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-- Victoria Kim and Steve Marble

Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray is handcuffed after verdict. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times