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LOS ANGELES — A jury in California on Monday afternoon convicted Dr. Conrad Murray of involuntary manslaughter in the drug death of pop star Michael Jackson. He faces up to four years in jail.
Murray, 58, appeared exhausted but showed little emotion as the jury’s verdict was read out in a Los Angeles courtroom. “We, the jury …, find the defendant, Conrad Robert Murray, guilty of the crime of involuntary manslaughter,” the court clerk said as she read out the verdict.
Jackson’s sister La Toya screamed as she heard the guilty verdict. Cheering was also heard outside the courtroom where hundreds of Jackson fans had gathered. Supporters of Conrad who were hoping for a not guilty verdict had also gathered outside the court building.
Jackson, recognized by the “Guinness World Records” as the most successful entertainer of all time, died on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50. He was found unconscious in bed at his rented mansion in Los Angeles and was pronounced dead at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled his death a homicide, mainly caused by the powerful anaesthetic Propofol which was given to him by Murray, Jackson’s personal physician. He was subsequently charged with involuntary manslaughter.
During the trial, which began on September 27, prosecutors argued that Murray was grossly negligent by administering Propofol to help “The King of Pop” sleep as he prepared for 50 concerts to be held at The O2 Arena in London as part of his major comeback.
Defense attorneys claimed Jackson gave himself the fatal dose of Propofol, but Dr. Steven Shafer, who wrote the drug’s guidelines, told jurors it was impossible for the pop star to have caused his own dead by swallowing the drug.
Murray, who was taken into custody after the conviction, is scheduled to be sentenced on November 29. He faces up to four years in county prison and could also lose his medical license.