Judge chosen for Jackson death case
Published 06/04/2010 | 07:16
The involuntary manslaughter case against Michael Jackson's cardiologist has been assigned to a trial judge in a brief proceeding that drew fans and family members of the late pop star.
Dr Conrad Murray, his attorneys and prosecutors assembled before Supervising Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza, who in moments assigned the case to Judge Michael Pastor and sent them to his courtroom.
Pastor scheduled a June 14 court date to take up remaining procedural issues including the setting of a date for a preliminary hearing and Murray's fight to keep his California medical license.
The state attorney general, representing the state medical board, has moved to revoke Murray's license pending trial.
Earlier, about 50 Jackson fans waved signs and chanted outside the courthouse.
The fans sang We Are the World, wore T-shirts emblazoned with Jackson's picture and the slogan "Justice 4 Michael" and carried placards demanding stronger charges against Murray.
Fans in a courtroom hallway called out "Hi Janet," as Jackson's sister Janet arrived. The late pop star's parents, Joe and Katherine, and brother Jermaine also attended.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison.
Normally, such a procedural hearing would draw few spectators.
But with Jackson's death as the backdrop, crowds of fans and media were expected, and Jackson family members have committed to attending all court proceedings against Murray.