Pop star Michael Jackson’s former doctor, Conrad Murray, has been sentenced to four years in prison for his death—the maximum term for involuntary manslaughter. Murray was lambasted by Judge Michael Pastor for his treatment, adding that a slurred voice recording of the King of Pop helped put Murray behind bars. Jackson died on 25 June 2009 after a two-month period in which Murray had signed on as his personal physician, as the star prepared for a concert tour.
Sentencing Murray, the judge said: “I find that Dr Murray abandoned his patient who was trusting him; his patient was vulnerable under those circumstances, having been administrated potentially dangerous drugs by his medical provider.”
During the trial, many questions were raised over Murray’s use of an operating room anaesthetic to treat the superstar’s chronic insomnia.
Murray told detectives he had been giving the singer nightly doses of propofol to help him sleep as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts. Propofol is used in hospital settings and has never been approved for sleep treatment, yet Murray acknowledged administering it to Jackson, and then leaving the room, the day the singer died.
Though Murray declined to testify during his trial, he participated in a documentary in which he stated that Jackson had entrapped him into administering the doses and he didn’t blame himself for the death. The doctor is on ‘suicide watch’ at LA County Jail, as he has said he wants to kill himself.
Requests by the prosecution that Murray pay more than $100 million in restitution to Jackson’s family have been set aside for a later hearing.
Michael’s mother, Katherine, has said that the punishment is “not enough for someone’s life”.