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Guilty: Jackson's doctor convicted of manslaughter
MICHAEL Jackson's doctor has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter following a trial that painted him as a reckless caregiver who administered a lethal dose of a powerful anaesthetic that killed the pop star.
Dr Conrad Murray sat stone-faced during the verdict and was handcuffed and taken into custody without bail until sentencing on 29 November. He appeared calm as officials led him out of the courtroom.
It was unclear whether the jury determined that Dr Murray had administered the fatal dose of propofol while deciding he was responsible for the death of Jackson.
Prosecutors had said Dr Murray violated at least 17 separate standards of care, a number of which could have resulted in death.
The jury deliberated for less than nine hours. The Houston cardiologist, 58, faces a sentence of up to four years in prison. He could also lose his medical license.
District Attorney Steve Cooley said it would be difficult to achieve an appropriate sentence for Dr Murray because of a new state prison alignment law that allows early release for people convicted of non-violent felonies.
Jackson died on 25 June 2009 with the court hearing that Jackson had been battling extreme insomnia.
Prosecutors portrayed Dr Murray as an incompetent doctor who used the anaesthetic propofol without adequate safeguards and whose neglect left Jackson abandoned as he lay dying.
Dr Murray told police from the outset that he gave Jackson propofol and other sedatives as the singer struggled for sleep to prepare for a series of upcoming performances. But the doctor said he administered only a small dose
on the day Jackson died.
Authorities never accused Dr Murray of intending to kill the star, and it took eight months for them to file the involuntary manslaughter charge against him – the lowest possible felony charge involving a homicide.
There was no law against administering propofol or the other sedatives, however, a prosecution expert witnesses said Dr Murray was acting well below the standard of care required of a physician.
The witness said using propofol in a home setting without lifesaving equipment on hand was an egregious deviation from that standard, describing such a practices as gross negligence - the legal basis for an involuntary
Lawyers for Dr Murray and a defence expert blamed Jackson for his own death, saying the singer gave himself the fatal dose of propofol while the doctor wasn't watching.
Dr Murray told police he had formed a close friendship with Jackson, never meant to harm him and couldn't explain why he died.
Jackson was found not breathing in his own bed in his rented mansion after being dosed intravenously with propofol, a drug normally administered in hospitals during surgery.