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Jackson doctor 'to face charges soon'

Michael Jackson's doctor could soon face charges over the star's death.

Nearly seven months after Jackson's passing stunned the world, the official investigation is edging toward conclusion.

It is believed prosecutors are now ready to seek an indictment of Dr Conrad Murray on a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

His fate has been the subject of speculation since he found Jackson unconscious in his home in Los Angeles last June.

Jackson was preparing for a strenuous concert comeback in London, and Murray, a cardiologist, had been hired as his personal physician for the tour.

A law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation remains open said that Murray would be prosecuted on a theory of gross negligence alleging that his treatment of Jackson was an extreme departure from the standard of care normally followed by physicians.

Court documents filed last summer concerning a search warrant said police were seeking evidence of manslaughter.

The coroner has ruled Jackson's death at 50 was a homicide caused by acute intoxication by the powerful anaesthetic propofol, with other sedatives a contributing factor.



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Propofol depresses breathing and heart rate while lowering blood pressure, so it is supposed to be administered by an anaesthesia professional in a medical setting.

The singer died after Murray administered propofol and two other sedatives to get the chronic insomniac to sleep, court documents state.

Murray told police he left the room to use the bathroom, and phone records show he also made calls for 47 minutes around the time Jackson encountered problems.

When Murray realised Jackson was unresponsive, he began frantic efforts to revive him, but Jackson never regained consciousness.

The coroner found the propofol was administered to Jackson without any medical need and that recommended resuscitation equipment was missing.

An involuntary manslaughter conviction carries a potential sentence of two to four years in prison. The district attorney's office is waiting for Los Angeles police to turn over the case before presenting it to a grand jury, the source said.

To prove a charge of involuntary manslaughter, authorities must show there was a reckless action that created a risk of death or great bodily injury.

hnews@herald.ie


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