Michael Jackson's personal physician could be offered a deal
Sunday January 9,2011
By Mike Parker in Los Angeles
MICHAEL JACKSON’S personal physician could be offered a deal that would help him escape up to four years in jail, a leading prosecutor believes.
Lawyer Truc Do says Dr Conrad Murray is being “pushed towards” admitting guilt over the singer’s death.
The heart specialist, who is on £48,000 bail, is halfway through a pre-trial hearing on a charge of involuntary manslaughter, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Dr Murray, 57, admits he supplied the hospital anaesthetic Propofol to Jackson but insists the singer gave himself the overdose that killed him.
Ms Do, who secured a murder conviction against record producer Phil Spector in 2009, yesterday claimed that the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office chose a two-week hearing rather than a two-day version to prompt Dr Murray into accepting a deal.
She said: “They are hoping an overwhelming display of evidence might push him into considering a plea deal. Hearing all the evidence in advance can be a reality check.”
Ms Do said Dr Murray could feel “so overwhelmed” by the end of a second week that he accepts a plea deal rather than face a jury trial. If convicted by a jury, Dr Murray could face up to four years behind bars, the maximum under California law for involuntary manslaughter. If the cardiologist accepts a plea deal, however, he could escape jail completely with a suspended sentence.
Witnesses have already challenged Dr Murray’s version of events on the day Jackson, 50, died in a rented LA mansion in 2009.
Richard Senneff, the first paramedic to see the star’s body, said he believed the cardiologist was lying about what drugs Jackson had taken, adding: “What he said just didn’t add up.”
Whether or not he accepts a deal, Dr Murray is almost certain to face medical disciplinary proceedings.A source close to the Jackson family said: “Ideally, they want to see Dr Murray punished with prison time but Michael’s mother Katherine is beginning to warm to the idea of him doing a deal.
“That would ensure Michael’s oldest child, Prince Michael, does not have to go through the nightmare of testifying under oath in front of a jury.”
As the Sunday Express has revealed, Michael, 13, is likely to be called to give evidence in the next few days.
The family source added: “He’s a brave kid but it will be an ordeal.”