On Monday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office formally charged Dr. Conrad Murray with one count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson. Murray, 56, the former personal physician to Jackson and the last person to see the star alive, could serve up to four years in prison if convicted.
Update: With Murray (without handcuffs) at his side and members of the Jackson family in attendance, lawyer Ed Chernoff entered a plea of "not guilty" in an L.A. Superior Court Monday afternoon. The judge increased Murray's bail amount from $25,000 to $75,000. in addition, the judge has restricted Murray's medical license — prohibiting Murray from prescribing or administering any sedatives. Murray was remanded into the custody of the sheriff's department to be booked and processed. UsMagazine.com has also learned that the Attorney General's office of California has filed a motion to revoke Murray's medical license altogether.
In the charge filed, the D.A. alleges that Murray "did unlawfully and without malice kill Michael Joseph Jackson."
Jackson died in his L.A. mansion on June 25, 2009 at age 50; he suffered cardiac arrest as a result of lethal amounts of propofol administered by Murray. Propofol is a powerful anesthetic usually only used in hospitals and other medical settings. Murray admitted to giving Jackson (who suffered from insomnia) the potent drug, but has previously denied any culpability in the pop star's death. "Please don't worry," he told supporters in a YouTube message this past August. "I will be fine. I have done all I could do. I told the truth."
But Brian Oxman, a lawyer for the Jackson family, said on CBS' The Early Show last Wednesday that Murray deserves a "second-degree murder charge…I think the family will be very, very upset."
Although many have speculated that Murray had planned to surrender himself to authorities, his attorneys have not yet replied to the D.A.'s charges. His arraignment is scheduled for later Monday afternoon.