Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s personal doctor, broke down in tears on the first day of his court trial. Murray, 58, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson. If convicted, Murray faces up to four years in prison.
Murray was unable to hold back his tears as his defense lawyer began making an opening statement in the court. A preliminary hearing had recorded detailed accounts of several witnesses who described the scene of action at Jackson’s home after he was discovered in an unconscious state by Dr. Murray. The coroner at the Los Angeles County called Jackson’s death a homicide caused due to acute intoxication of Propofol. Propofol is a sedative used as an anesthetic during surgical procedures.
Now it is up to the jury to determine whether the acts of Dr. Murray, during the frenzied efforts to revive Jackson and in the preceding hours, caused his death. Legal analysts opine that to prove criminal guilt, it is not enough to show minimal negligence, but gross negligence on part of the defendant. Forensic evidence may hold the key to determine the extent of negligence of Dr. Murray, if any.
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Many people believe that the case could draw publicity up to the levels witnessed during the infamous murder trial of OJ Simpson in 1995. However, the judge in the present case has rejected a request to sequester the jury, or have them confined to a hotel, in order to shield them from being influenced by the publicity, as they were during OJ’s trial.
On his part, Dr. Murray has defended him vehemently against the involuntary manslaughter charge. He has maintained all along that he did no such thing that could have caused the death of Michael Jackson. The jury in this case is expected to hear testimony from scores of witnesses, including the ones who were the first to arrive at the scene, such as the security guards at Jackson’s home and the paramedics. Medical experts are also expected to be summoned to answer queries on Propofol, which may constitute the heart of the case.