A judge on Tuesday ordered Michael Jackson’s doctor to stand trial on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the pop star’s 2009 death by an overdose of the powerful drug propofol.
Judge Michael Pastor gave the order on the sixth day of a preliminary hearing into whether enough evidences exists to hold Dr. Conrad Murray accountable for the death of “Thriller” singer Jackson.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter.
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The member of the Jackson family of singers who is among the best-selling recording artists of all time died on June 25, 2009 at age 50, only days ahead of a series of planned comeback concerts.
Murray had been hired to care for the singer as he rehearsed for the concerts, and has admitted to giving the singer propofol, an anesthetic that is most often used in hospital settings, but which Jackson took as a sleep aid.
Prosecutors claim he was negligent in giving the singer the drug, as well as other medication including the sedative lorazepam, and that his actions on the day of Jackson’s death show he feared he was to blame.
Specifically, prosecutors claim Murray ordered Jackson’s security team to hide evidence of the propofol and spent minutes on the phone calling his girlfriend after he found Jackson not breathing instead of calling paramedics for help.
Murray’s defense attorneys questioned several witnesses during the preliminary hearing asking them if Jackson may have injected himself with the propofol, and they argued that Murray was, in fact, attempting to wean the singer off the drug.
Involuntary manslaughter is defined as an unintentional killing without malice. It is a lesser charge than murder