Lawyers representing Dr. Conrad Murray have urged a judge not to delay the upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial into Michael Jackson's death - because they "don't have the budget" for lengthy court proceedings.
The medic stands accused of administering the drug Propofol which killed the King of Pop in June 2009. The case is scheduled to begin on March 24 , but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor could push back the start date of the trial after prosecutors called for a later hearing, according to the Associated Press.
Speaking on Monday, February 28, he said, "I am extremely distressed about the state of this case and whether the defense is prepared for trial and its obligations to Dr. Murray." But Murray's legal team have appealed to Judge Pastor to keep March 24 as the start date - as they are running out of cash.
Defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan pleaded, "We need to go to trial right away. We don't have the budget that would let us draw this out." Reports suggest prosecutors are objecting to the trial start date because they are entitled to receive discovery of defense evidence 30 days before trial starts - a deadline which has already passed. The judge threatened Murray's lawyers with hefty fines for failing to share evidence with prosecutors.
He told the attorneys for the pop icon's personal physician that he would impose the fines or other sanctions on Wednesday, March 2, unless they met their legal obligation to turn over witness statements and expert reports to prosecutors. Meanwhile, the judge has ordered Deputy District Attorney David Walgren to turn over digital photos from Jackson's autopsy as well as all of the surveillance tapes recorded at his home on the day he died.