Prosecutor: Jackson “paid with his life” for Dr’s actions
Reuters US Online Report Entertainment News
Nov 03, 2011 14:10 EDT
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Michael Jackson “paid with his life” for the criminal negligence of his personal doctor that also left the pop singer’s three children without a father, prosecutors told a Los Angeles jury on Thursday.
In emotional closing arguments after a six week trial, prosecutor David Walgren said that Dr. Conrad Murray had violated the trust between doctor and patient and that his actions had caused the death in 2009 of the “Thriller” singer.
“The evidence in this case is abundantly clear — that Conrad Murray acted with criminal negligence, that Conrad Murray caused the death of Michael Jackson, that Conrad Murray left Prince, Paris and Blanket without a father,” Walgren told the jury.
Murray, who was hired to care for Jackson as he prepared for a series of planned comeback concerts, denies involuntary manslaughter but did not testify at the trial.
Walgren argued that Murray had breached his ethical and legal duty as a doctor by giving Jackson the powerful anesthetic propofol at his home as a sleep aid.
“Michael Jackson paid with his life” for Murray’s negligence, Walgren said as the singer’s parents Joe and Katherine, both dressed in black, listened in the courtroom.
Jackson was found lifeless at his Los Angeles mansion on June 25, 2009, age 50. He was later ruled to have died from an overdose of propofol, which is normally used in surgery, and sedatives.
Murray has admitted giving Jackson a small dose of propofol. But his attorneys have argued in the trial that Jackson was addicted to the drug and caused his own death — probably by swallowing a handful of sedatives and giving himself an extra fatal dose without his doctor’s knowledge.
The defense is expected to present its own closing arguments on Thursday before the case is handed to the jury.
Trial judge Michael Pastor told the jury on Thursday they could convict Murray even if Jackson may have contributed to his own death, if they believed the physician failed to use reasonable care to prevent that outcome.
But Pastor said the jury could find Murray not guilty if they believed his actions on the day of Jackson’s death were accidental.
Murray could face up to four years in prison if convicted.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)
Source: Reuters US Online Report Entertainment News