Conrad Murray has been sentenced to four years in jail for involuntary manslaughter in connection with Michael Jackson’s 2009 death.
On Tuesday morning, Judge Michael Pastor handed down the maximum sentence possible for the charge. It is unclear how much of the four-year sentence Murray will actually end up serving in Los Angeles County Jail, but he was credited 46 days for time served and good behavior.
Prosecutor David Walgren had sought incarceration because he argued that Murray submitted Jackson to a “pharmaceutical experiment” and “the defendant was playing Russian roulette with Michael Jackson’s life every single night.”
He also focused on one of the comments Murray made in a documentary that aired after the trial. In it, according to Walgren, nine days before he was convicted, Murray was asked if he felt guilty for what he had done and he responded, “I don’t feel guilty because I did not do anything wrong.”
A statement read by a representative for Jackson’s family at the sentencing requested a “sentence that reminds physicians that they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder.”
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff focused on Murray’s life prior to his two months as Jackson’s personal physician, pointing out all of the other people he helped and saved during his career in medicine. He submitted 35 letters of recommendation and support from friends, family and former patients.
“Does any of that matter to the court at all?” Chernoff asked.
In delivering the sentence, Pastor said that Murray’s treatment, or lack of treatment, of Jackson is more significant than the good deeds he did prior to that. He said one piece of evidence that stood out to him was the recording Murray made of Jackson apparently under the influence of drugs that was played early in the trial, which he called a “horrific violation of trust.”
He also said it did not appear from Murray’s comments that he had any remorse about what happened and that makes him “dangerous.”
“Why give probation to someone who is offended by the whole idea that that person is even before the court?” he asked.
He said the maximum punishment was necessary because the “experimental medicine” and “money-for-medicine madness” that Murray engaged in with Jackson cannot be tolerated.
The issue of restitution to Jackson’s family will be dealt with at a later hearing because the judge and defense wanted more information about the more than $100 million that prosecutors were seeking.