Dr. Conrad Murray has just been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the high-profile trial of Michael Jackson‘s death. Dr. Murray was charged with murder after pills he prescribed for a sleep disorder resulted in the death of the pop superstar on June 25th of 2009. The prosecution argued that the use of powerful anesthetic propofol to treat insomnia was reckless and unprofessional. [tagbox tag="Conrad Murray"]
A guilty verdict means that the jury felt Dr. Murray, “committed a crime that posed a high risk of death or great bodily injury because of the way the act was committed or the defendant committed a lawful act, but with criminal negligence; and the defendant’s acts unlawfully cause another person’s death.” Under California law, negligence can equate manslaughter, and the verdict means that the doctor will face up to four years in prison.
When the verdict was read inside the California courthouse, fans of Michael Jackson who had gathered outside began to cheer. The trial had been going on for six weeks, over which time 33 prosecution witnesses and 16 defense witnesses were brought to the stand. Dr. Murray will serve his time in an LA County facility as opposed to a harsher state penitentiary.
Here’s a shot of Michael’s fans outside the courthouse, from the LA Times: