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Doc is Charged in Michael Jackson’s Death

Posted Feb 8, 2010 4:10 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Updated: As predicted by his own lawyer, Dr. Conrad Murray, who served as personal physician to Michael Jackson, was charged today with involuntary manslaughter in the pop singer's death last year.

If convicted, he could get as much as four years in prison, reports ABC News.

Murray, 56, a Houston cardiologist who also has offices in Las Vegas, pleaded not guilty, and was released after posting $75,000 bail, reports the Associated Press.

“He’ll be back in Vegas this week, he’ll open his medical practice,” said his lawyer, Ed Chernoff.

However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz warned Murray that he isn't to use general anesthesia on patients while awaiting trial.

Previous ABAJournal.com coverage provides more details about the facts of the case, which centers on the powerful intravenous anesthetic propofol that Murray reportedly gave Jackson prior to his death, and what would be required to prove involuntary manslaughter.

Although the physician has stated that he neither prescribed nor administered anything to Jackson that should have caused his death, an autopsy report released today lists acute propofol intoxication as the cause of Jackson's death.

Court documents say Murray told police he gave Jackson an injection of propofol at around 11 a.m., then left to go to the bathroom, the AP reports. When he returned, Murray says, he found Jackson was not breathing.

An anesthesiologist who reviewed the autopsy report for the coroner, Dr. Selma Calmes, said Jackson had a level of propofol in his body that would be expected for major surgery. Ordinarily, as discussed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, propofol is administered in a hospital setting, and a breathing tube and monitoring by an anesthesiologist is also customary at such dosages.

“The standard of care for administering propofol was not met,” Calmes wrote.

Additional coverage:

MTV News: "Michael Jackson Doctor Conrad Murray Faces An Uphill Battle, Expert Says"

Last updated at 8:00 p.m. include information from AP coverage.

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