Dr. Conrad Murray, convicted of involuntary manslaughter on November 7 in the death of Michael Jackson, will be back in court Tuesday to find out how much longer he could spend behind bars.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner ruled Jackson’s death was caused by acute propofol intoxication, and prosecutors believed Murray administered the fatal dose of the anesthetic.
Prosecutor David Walgren has asked Judge Michael Pastor to impose the maximum jail term of four years, and has given the judge guidance that Murray should compensate the Jackson family for their loss. California’s Victims Rights Law says victims are entitled to restitution, but it’s up to the judge to determine how much that is. Walgren has cited Murray's interview, aired after the verdict, where he continued to deny wrongdoing as support for imposing the maximum sentence.
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff asked the judge to give Murray probation and community service, highlighting the fact that Murray has already paid a high price because he may never practice medicine again. The defense filed numerous letters of support from family, friends, and colleagues of Murray attesting to his good work as a doctor and his standing as a family man.
It is possible for the judge to grant probation in this case, but In Session correspondent Beth Karas says the more likely scenario is a state prison term. Karas also says that if Murray is sentenced to prison, a new law aimed at reducing overcrowding means Murray will likely remain in Los Angeles County jail. The sheriff could also place him under house arrest.
During sentencing, the Jackson family can make statements in open court about their loss and the judge can consider those statements when he’s deciding Murray’s fate. A law enforcement source says that, as of last week, the family hadn’t decided whether there would be one family member reading a statement on behalf of the entire Jackson family or whether we’ll hear from several of the Jacksons.
Sources close to the Jackson family say Katherine and Jermaine will be in attendance Tuesday for the sentencing, but that it is “highly doubtful” that Michael’s kids will attend.
In Session will have live coverage of the sentencing beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET. You can follow along with us on Twitter at @INSESSION and by using the hashtag #MurrayTrial.