Michael Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray will stand trial for the singer’s involuntary manslaughter, an LA judge ruled yesterday.
Murray is accused of administering Jackson a lethal dose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol in June 2009.
The judge decided 57-year-old Murray will face a jury after listening to six days of evidence from 20 witnesses during a preliminary hearing.
Superior Court judge Michael Pastor suspended Dr Murray’s licence to practice in California “in the interest of public safety”.
The doctor claims the singer threatened to cancel his comeback concerts in London unless he was given his “milk” – the singer’s pet name for propofol.
Murray’s lawyer Joseph Low claimed Jackson took the drug himself and claimed that Murray should not be implicated in the death.
“He couldn’t breathe life back into him,” Low said. “Sometimes when it’s your time to go, there’s nothing you can do.”
But Dr Christopher Rogers, the coroner who performed Jackson’s autopsy, testified that even if the singer had given himself the final dose of propofol, the case would still be classified as homicide because of inadequate care by Murray.
Orlando Martinez, the lead detective in the case, said that during a three-hour interview Murray told him he had been giving Jackson doses of propofol six nights a week for two months.
But the doctor said he had been trying to wean the King of Pop off the drug after becoming worried his patient was becoming addicted.
To make matter worse for Murray, prosecutors also claimed that phone records show that when Jackson showed signs of being in trouble, the doctor made a series of other calls before dialling 911 much later.
During the hearing, one of Murray’s girlfriends Sade Anding testified to being on the phone with Murray the day Jackson died.
She said Murray suddenly disappeared from the call and she heard a commotion and then “coughing and voices.”
Phone records indicated the call was made at 11:51 AM PT and Sade testified the call lasted five minutes. Murray didn’t call 911 until 12:21 PM PT.