Dr. Conrad Murray pleads not guilty to Michael Jackson’s death

Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician hired by Michael Jackson to help him prepare for his comeback tour, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges in the singer’s death.

From Yahoo! News:

Dr. Conrad Murray appeared in court in a gray suit as Jackson’s father Joe, mother Katherine, and siblings LaToya, Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Randy watched from courtroom seats behind prosecutors.

Neither Murray nor the Jacksons showed much emotion as Murray entered his plea through his attorney Ed Chernoff.

“We need justice,” Joe Jackson said outside court.

Earlier, several people shouted “murderer” as Murray walked past a crowd of hundreds of reporters and Jackson fans on his way to a courthouse adjacent to Los Angeles International Airport.
Murray, 56, a Houston cardiologist who was with Jackson when he died June 25, entered his plea just hours after he was charged.

Superior Court Judge Keith L. Schwartz set bail at $75,000, three times more than the amount most people face after being charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors had been seeking $300,000 bail for Murray, who was taken into custody by deputies but not handcuffed in public. He was expected to be released later in the day.

At the time of his death, Jackson was using various painkillers — notably propofol — to treat his chronic insomnia. Since propofol can cut one’s breathing and heart rate while lowering blood pressure, only physicians with the qualified training can administer the drug, and in a medical setting no less. The prosecution is stating that Murray illegally obtained the propofol and then was negligent in monitoring Jackson’s use. The charges carry a sentence of up to four years in prison.

Photo from fOTOGLIF