Angry judge gives Conrad Murray 4 years in Michael Jackson’s death

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

LOS ANGELES — A judge on Tuesday sentenced Dr. Conrad
Murray to four years behind bars — the maximum punishment possible —
for his part in Michael Jackson’s death, saying the doctor’s role in the
singer’s fatal overdose was “money-for-medicine madness.”

In
blistering and lengthy remarks, Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor
lambasted Murray for failing to express any remorse for the pop star’s
death and suggesting in a recent documentary that Jackson bore
responsibility for his own demise.

“Talk about
blaming the victim,” Pastor said. “Not only isn’t there any remorse,
there is umbrage and outrage on the part of Dr. Murray against the
decedent.”

Pastor denied the defense’s request for probation.

“The
fact remains, Dr. Murray is offended that (his) patient died,” Pastor
said in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. And Murray remains a danger to
the community, he said.

Murray did not speak before Pastor issued his sentence.

Pastor
said that he had been impressed by statements from Murray’s friends and
family, who talked about his treatment of the poor. He said that he
considered the entirety of Murray’s life, something defense attorney Ed
Chernoff had urged him to do.

But he said he had also considered “the book” of Michael Jackson’s life.

“Regrettably,
as far as Dr. Murray is concerned, the most significant chapter as it
relates to this case is the chapter involving the treatment or lack of
treatment of Michael Jackson,” Pastor said.

He called Murray’s treatment a “disgrace to the medical profession.”

“Michael
Jackson died not because of an isolated one-off occurrence or
incident,” Pastor said. “He died because of a totality of circumstances
which are directly attributable to Dr. Murray, not some mistake or some
accident in the early morning hours of 2009.”

He said Murray engaged in a “horrible cycle of medicine.”

Prosecutors had also argued that Murray should serve the maximum sentence, citing his “lies,” “coverup” and “concealment.”

“Conrad
Murray knew perfectly well that what he was doing was wrong,” Deputy
District Attorney David Walgren said. “He knew perfectly well that what
he was doing was risking Michael Jackson’s life.”

Over
a four-week case, prosecutors painted Murray as a deceptive and
incompetent doctor who abandoned his medical judgment in complying with
Jackson’s request to be given a surgical anesthetic to put him to sleep.

Witnesses
testified to many egregious medical missteps — giving propofol in an
unmonitored setting, fumbling at basic resuscitation, keeping no records
— failures that experts said directly led to Jackson’s overdose death.

As
his famed patient stopped breathing and suffered cardiac arrest under
the influence of propofol, jurors were told, the doctor chatted on the
phone and sent and received email and text messages. And in the crucial
moments after he discovered the singer had stopped breathing, he delayed
calling for help and lied to paramedics and emergency doctors,
witnesses said.

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©2011 the Los Angeles Times

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