After deliberating for eight hours, the jury in the Dr. Conrad Murray trial voted to convict the physician for involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson.
As the verdict was read, Murray sat stoically while only a slight yelp of emotion came from one unidentified courtroom attendee.
The jury of seven men and five women sat through 49 witnesses and 23 days of testimony before rendering their decision Monday (Nov. 7). Jackson died June 25, 2009 from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic Propofol combined with Lorazepam and Midazolam.
Jurors were likely swayed by extensive expert testimony, including cardiologist Dr. Alon Steinberg. Dr. Steinberg testified he believes Dr. Murray directly contributed to Jackson’s death because of gross negligence.
While on the stand, Steinberg said, “Giving Propofol in unmonitored setting without personnel, without appropriate monitoring, without appropriate equipment, not being prepared, not appropriately reacting to a [cardiac] arrest, not calling 911 on a timely fashion, all directly impacted his life…If these deviations were not to happen, Mr. Jackson would have been alive.”
In his closing argument, prosecutor David Walgren echoed this sentiment. He said, “I ask that you return with a verdict of guilty because Conrad Murray caused the death of Michael Jackson. He abandoned Michael Jackson. Conrad Murray gave him Propofol. Justice demands a guilty verdict.”
The defense countered that Jackson was directly responsible for his own death.
One of their star witnesses was Dr. Paul White, the Director of Research in the Department of Anesthesiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. White testified that, in his opinion, Jackson injected himself with the lethal dose of the drug.
However this testimony took a hit when, under cross examination, Dr. White said he didn’t agree with Dr. Murray’s procedures after finding Jackson unresponsive.
“I would have done things differently. I would have called for help, called 911 and initiated CPR,” White said on the stand.
Murray’s defense team also brought out a series Dr. Murray’s past patients who spoke to his professionalism and caring nature.
In defense attorney Ed Chernoff’s closing statement, he said, “Prosecutors tried to crate a drip that never existed. They wont tell you what they really want. They want you to convict Dr. Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson.”
But it was clear this didn’t resonate with the jury. As a result, Dr. Murray was found guilty.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29, 2011. Murray could face up to four years in prison and lose his medical license.