Wednesday 21 February 2018

Jackson doctor 'too big a risk' to get bail

Linda Deutsch in Los Angeles

THE judge who presided over the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor refused to release him on bail yesterday, saying he would be a danger to any community where he might try to practice medicine.

Conrad Murray's lawyer asked for his release pending appeal of his involuntary manslaughter conviction, but Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said he saw little chance that Murray would prevail in getting his case overturned.

The judge made it clear that his view of Murray had not softened since he gave him a tongue-lashing and the maximum four-year sentence for the superstar's death. He suggested Murray hurt his own chances for freedom in a interview broadcast after the trial saying use of the powerful anaesthetic propofol in the home was appropriate.

Mr Jackson died in 2009 of an overdose of the drug that Murray administered in his bedroom as a treatment for insomnia. Expert witnesses testified they had never heard of anyone administering the drug outside a hospital.

"I didn't tell Dr Murray to give an interview for a documentary," the judge said. "When he did, I listened to it and saw it and I was concerned about his attitude toward the use of propofol in the home. ... What he believes scares me."

The judge also believes Murray, who was born and raised in the Caribbean, would pose a flight risk if he leaves jail. He said the doctor could go to a foreign country that might allow him to practice medicine, and anyone encountering him as a patient would be in danger.

"He was raised in Trinidad and has seven children by five women in different parts of the country, which does not reflect well on his stability," Deputy District Attorney David Walgren argued during the hearing.

Defence attorney J Michael Flanagan petitioned for Murray to be released on bail, his own recognisance or under house arrest with an electronic ankle bracelet.

The judge, however, said the defence had not shown there as any substantial legal question likely to result in reversal of the verdict.

Irish Independent

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