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Saturday 25 November 2017

Decision time for Jackson jury

After six weeks, jurors in manslaughter case begin deliberating fate of medic

Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles

DESCRIBED during his trial as inept and opportunistic, Dr Conrad Murray's fate was in the hands of a jury yesterday.

After six weeks of listening, the jurors in the involuntary manslaughter case of Michael Jackson's doctor began its deliberations.

They listened intently as prosecutors and defence lawyers argued over whether Dr Murray should be convicted of involuntary manslaughter for Jackson's death in June 2009.

Media were camped outside the courthouse and in the courtroom where the jury's decision will eventually be read.

The jury later ended its first day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.

Court officials said the panel met all day behind closed doors and sent no messages to indicate how they are progressing in the case of Dr Conrad Murray.

The seven men and five women were set to resume deliberations on Monday.

The singer died from a fatal dose of the anaesthetic propofol; Dr Murray has acknowledged giving the singer propofol to help him sleep.

The real reason Jackson died, defence lawyer Ed Chernoff argued, was because he craved the powerful anaesthetic so much that he gave himself a fatal injection when Dr Murray left his bedside.

"They want you to convict Dr Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson," he added.

Prosecutor David Walgren noted that several doctors who testified said they would have never given the singer anaesthesia in his bedroom.

Dr Murray is solely to blame for Jackson's death, Mr Walgren argued, saying Dr Murray had purchased more than four gallons of propofol for Jackson and had been giving him nightly doses to help him sleep.

Mr Walgren described Dr Murray's actions on the day of the singer's death -- including not calling police and not mentioning his propofol doses to doctors -- "bizarre".

"What is unusual and unpredictable is that Michael Jackson lived as long as he did under the care of Conrad Murray in this situation," Mr Walgren said.

The prosecutor repeatedly invoked the singer's children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, and said Dr Murray's actions left them without a father.

If Dr Murray is convicted, he faces a sentence that ranges from probation to four years behind bars, and he would also lose his medical licence.

The sentence will be decided by Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor.

Irish Independent

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