Entertainment News

  • 16 January 2014, 13:11

Conrad Murray Conviction Upheld By Court

A court has unanimously upheld the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray.

The ruling came less than three months after the former cardiologist was released from prison after serving two years for causing the singer's death in 2009.

Murray was convicted in 2011 of giving Jackson a lethal dose of the anaesthetic propofol while the star was preparing for a series of comeback concerts.

The six-week trial focused on Murray's care of Jackson, including nightly doses of the drug to help the entertainer sleep.

The California 2nd District Court of Appeal determined that Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor was within his right to impose the maximum sentence of four years.

Murray's "callous disregard for Mr Jackson's health and safety was shown throughout the trial from the manner in which he administered a number of dangerous drugs to Mr Jackson without the appropriate medical equipment, precautions or personnel in place, and to the manner in which he left Mr Jackson unattended," the court's opinion states.

"The evidence demonstrated that Mr Jackson was a vulnerable victim and that (Murray) was in a position of trust, and that (Murray) violated the trust relationship by breaching standards of professional conduct in numerous respects," it said.

The former physician was released from jail in October due to a change in California law requiring non-violent offenders to serve their sentences in county jails and as a result of credits for good behaviour.

In his appeal, Murray argued that the judge who oversaw the case improperly excluded jurors from hearing key evidence and should have sequestered jurors.

The appellate court disagreed and said it found no errors in the judge's rulings, including one allowing the trial to be televised.

Murray's trial lawyers attempted to introduce evidence of Jackson's financial difficulties and his treatment by other doctors, but Judge Pastor ruled testimony on those issues would be irrelevant.

Lawyer Valerie Wass, who represented Murray in the appeal, said she was disappointed but not surprised by the ruling and is carefully reviewing it to assess the next steps.

She said she has not spoken to Murray since the opinion was issued but his intention has been to challenge his conviction to higher courts if necessary.

On Monday a judge rejected an attempt by Jackson's mother Katherine for a new trial in her lawsuit claiming AEG, the promoter of her son's ill-fated comeback concerts, was negligent in his death.

AEG's lawyers argued that there was no mistake in the verdict form and the motion for a new trial should be denied.

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