Michael Jackson's physician has been ordered to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter. Los Angeles prosecutors have ended their case in the preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to try Dr. Conrad Murray. The lawyers finished ahead of schedule - after just six days of testimony from forensics experts, paramedics and former employees of the King of Pop.
In his closing statement, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren told the judge, "Michael Jackson is not here today because of the negligence and reckless acts of Dr. Murray." The defense filed a motion to dismiss on Tuesday, January 11 but that was denied, and Judge Michael Pastor has ruled there is sufficient evidence to warrant a manslaughter trial.
Reports suggest the Deputy Attorney General, who represents the Medical Board of California, has asked the judge to suspend Dr. Murray's license to practice medicine with immediate effect. During the six days of testimony, phone records showed Murray spent hours chatting on his cellphone and texting when he should have been monitoring his heavily-sedated patient, while Jackson's security staff recalled the doctor's inappropriate behavior after finding the King of Pop lifeless in his bedroom.
One security guard, who was called to Jackson's room by Murray, told the court the physician asked him to remove IV bags containing a milky-white liquid, believed to be anaesthetic Propofol, from the pop star's bedside. Jackson died from an overdose of the drug, which a Los Angeles forensics expert declared should never have been in the King of Pop's home in the first place.
If convicted Murray faces a maximum of four years in prison.