Jackson's killer put on suicide watch in prison
Published 09/11/2011 | 05:00
CONRAD Murray, the doctor who killed Michael Jackson, has been placed on suicide watch in a Los Angeles prison amid suggestions he could be set to cash in on his crime.
The 58-year-old cardiologist, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on Monday, has been assigned special protection by prison authorities. Nareg Gourjian, a defence lawyer, said Murray was "devastated" by the verdict but confident he will win an appeal.
Following his conviction it emerged that Murray had been co-operating with a documentary team for the British company October Films.
October Films said Murray had been paid only a nominal $1 fee for 'Michael Jackson and The Doctor: A Fatal Friendship' which will be broadcast by Channel 4 later this week.
But the doctor could later profit through interviews and book deals in America.
A Californian law, which had prevented felons profiting from publicity surrounding their crimes, was struck down by the state's Supreme Court in 2002.
When he started work for Jackson, Murray was hundreds of thousands of pounds in debt. He had just been ordered by a court to pay $363,000 for medical equipment at his Las Vegas clinic, and two other lawsuits claiming he owed another $240,000 were pending. Murray faces a maximum sentence of up to four years in jail when he is sentenced on November 29.
The 50-minute documentary explores the relationship between Jackson and Murray. October Films secured exclusive access to Murray in November 2009 -- following Jackson's death on June 25 of that year -- and filmmakers shot footage of the doctor over two years and during his six-week trial.
Although Murray faces up to four years in prison, overcrowding makes it unlikely he'll serve that long. But Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor was harsh in his comments about Murray after the jury left the room on Monday.
"This is a crime where the end result (was) the death of a human being," the judge said. He then ordered Murray taken into immediate custody and held without bail pending sentencing on November 29. (© Daily Telegraph, London)