Conrad Murray has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of Michael Jackson. A jury took less than nine hours to decide the verdict following a six-week trial in which prosecutors painted Murray as a reckless physician who plied Jackson with irresponsible amounts of the powerful anesthetic propofol.
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After a lenghty explanation of the factors of the case, Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor announced that Murray would be remanded into custody of the Sheriff until sentencing, which was set for Nov. 29. "The public should be protected," Pastor told a stunned-looking Murray. He faces a sentence of up to four years in prison.
Murray was handcuffed and escorted out of the court.
He is expected to appeal, and several factors, including prison over-crowding and new laws in California, hint that if Murray receives jail time, he will spend his sentence in a county jail. There have also been rumors that he could receive house arrest because he has no prior crime record.
Members of Jackson's family, including his parents and several of his brothers, were in the court room. Earlier, sister LaToya Jackson said on Twitter that she was "shaking uncontrollably" in anticipation of the verdict.
As the verdict was read, a muffled yelp came from the direction of the rows where the Jackson family was seated.
SENTENCING: NOV. 29
-- It's in Judge Michael Pastor's hands. A convicted defendant is supposed to be sentenced in 20 days, but Murray can waive that time while his attorneys prepare a motion for new trial, appeal.
-- Because of a new California law, Murray probably would not go to state prison. He would most likely serve a in the county jail because of prison overcrowding. There has been speculation that he would be allowed to serve house arrest.
-- The judge can consider that Murray is a defendant with no prior criminal record, a circumstance that might mitigate in favor of probation.
-- No more medical license.
Outside the court building, a circus atmosphere developed, and supporters burst into a chorus of cheers after the verdict was read. For most of the day, live feeds from the scene have broadcast people repeatedly shouting "Guilty! Guilty!"
Murray did not testify during the trial, but he previously acknowledged to police that he gave Jackson propofol and other sedative on June 25, 2009, the day the singer died. His attorneys argued that Jackson was addicted to the drug and gave himself the fatal dose when Murray was not in the room.
The Houston-based doctor was hired to be Jackson's personal physician in the run-up to the legendary King of Pop's comeback concerts.
Throughout the trial, Jackson family members watched from the spectator gallery, fans gathered outside with signs and T-shirts demanding, "Justice for Michael," and an international press corps broadcast reports around the world. The trial was televised and streamed on the Internet.
Prosecutors portrayed Murray as an incompetent doctor who used the anesthetic propofol without adequate safeguards and whose neglect left Jackson abandoned as he lay dying.
Murray's lawyers sought to show the doctor was a medical angel of mercy with former patients vouching for his skills. Murray told police from the outset that he gave Jackson propofol and other sedatives as the star struggled for sleep to prepare for his shows. But the doctor said he administered only a small dose on the day Jackson died.
Lawyers for Murray and a defense expert blamed Jackson for his own death, saying the singer gave himself the fatal dose of propofol while Murray wasn't watching. A prosecution expert said that theory was crazy.
Murray said he had formed a close friendship with Jackson, never meant to harm him and couldn't explain why he died.
The circumstances of Jackson's death at the age of 50 were as bizarre as any chapter in the superstar's sensational life story.