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Jackson's Doctor Pleads Not Guilty
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  • http://english.dbw.cn銆€銆€ 2010-02-10 09:08:43
     

    Dr. Conrad Murray, personal physician for Michael Jackson, speaks in a video posted on YouTube by his attorneys August 18, 2009. Murray states in his first public statement since Jackson died June 25, "I have told the truth and the truth will prevail." [Photo: Xinhua/Reuters]

    Late pop superstar Michael Jackson's personal physician pleaded not guilty to the felony charge at a brief arraignment hearing Monday afternoon shortly after he was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

    Conrad Murray entered his plea inside a packed courtroom at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles. Among those in the audience were some of the singer's family, including his parents Joe and Katherine; brothers Randy, Jackie, Jermaine and Tito; and sister LaToya.

    Earlier on Monday, prosecutors filed charges against Murray in connection with the pop superstar's death from an overdose of a powerful prescription sedative. The charge carries a potential four-year prison term.

    According to the criminal complaint, Murray "did unlawfully, and without malice, kill Michael Joseph Jackson ... in the commission of an unlawful act."

    Murray, 56, was taken into custody at the end of the arraignment hearing, but he was expected to post bond and be released.

    His bail was set at 75,000 dollars -- above the 25,000 requested by defense attorneys but less than the 300,000 requested by the District Attorney's Office.

    Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith L. Schwartz ordered Murray to surrender his passport and told Murray he may not administer any heavy sedatives to patients -- particularly propofol, the powerful sedative that killed Jackson. He will still be allowed to write prescriptions for other medications.

    Schwartz scheduled another court hearing for April 5, when a preliminary hearing date will be set. Murray's next hearing will be held at the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles.

    After posting bail, Murray was expected to return to either Las Vegas or Houston, where he has a medical practice. The state medical board has filed a motion to have Murray's medical license revoked.

    A group of Jackson's fans, some carrying signs and a large banner reading "The King of Pop: Michael Jackson Gone Too Soon," gathered across the street from the Airport Courthouse. One Jackson fan waved a sign that read, "Conrad Murray is a murderer. Arrest him in handcuffs."

    Authorities have been mulling a manslaughter case against the doctor since last summer.

    Murray was working as Jackson's personal physician while the singer was preparing in Los Angeles for a series of London concerts before his death.

    The Los Angeles County's coroner's office blamed Jackson's death on "acute propofol intoxication" from an overdose given by Murray.

    The powerful sedative is normally administered by an anesthesiologist in a hospital setting.

    But Murray has insisted that he didn't give Jackson anything that should have caused the singer's death.

    The doctor also said he left the pop star for just a couple of minutes to go to the bathroom, and that Jackson was not breathing when he returned.

    Based on cellphone records, investigators suspect he left Jackson unattended for as long as 45 minutes.

    Murray had been expected to surrender to authorities Friday, but his appearance was canceled amid accusations by his attorney that local authorities wanted him handcuffed and escorted to the courthouse for a "photo op."

    Both the District Attorney's Office and Los Angeles Police Department denied the accusation by attorney Ed Chernoff.

    Author锛? 銆€銆€銆€Source锛? xinhua 銆€銆€銆€ Editor锛? Wu Qiong
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