Jackson Doctor Ready to Surrender to Police, Say Lawyers
Michael Jackson’s doctor is ready to surrender to authorities in Los Angeles if they file charges against him over the pop icon’s death, lawyers confirmed.
Investigators are mulling possible manslaughter charges against Conrad Murray, the personal physician who treated Jackson in his final hours and administered powerful prescription drugs to the star.
Murray arrived in Los Angeles earlier this week to attend to personal matters and hold a meeting with his legal team here.
The Houston-based doctor’s presence in California triggered intense speculation in US media that the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office was preparing to file a formal manslaughter charge against Murray.
Murray’s lawyers have said they are unaware of any charges being prepared while local prosecutors refused to comment on reports.
“We have not filed anything,” district attorney’s office spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.
A lawyer for Murray told the Los Angeles Times that the doctor was ready to surrender to authorities, noting that the physician had repeatedly made himself available for questioning by investigators since Jackson’s June 25 death.
“I don’t have any specific information that leads me to believe he is going to be charged this week,” attorney Ed Chernoff told the Times. “But if he is, we’ve made it clear he’s available to turn himself in.”
Chernoff told the Times that Murray was visiting Los Angeles for personal matters and for talks with his criminal defense team. The doctor has an infant son who lives in Santa Monica, California.
Murray, 56, has acknowledged that he administered the powerful anesthetic propofol only after trying many other medications to help Jackson sleep after the singer’s “repeated demands/requests” for the drug.
Jackson then went into cardiac arrest within 20 minutes of that injection, while Murray had stepped out for a bathroom break, the doctor told authorities in an interview a few days after the death.
By Murray’s own account to police, he did not call for help until 12.22pm, more than an hour after he realized Jackson wasn’t breathing.
Propofol is a powerful anesthetic used to render patients unconscious before major surgery. Medical experts say it should only be used and administered by trained staff under hospital conditions.
Unsealed court documents which included a review of toxicology results found that Jackson died because of “lethal levels of propofol.”
The circumstances surrounding Jackson’s demise have renewed attention to the issue of prescription drug abuse by celebrities, which was also blamed for the 2007 death of former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith.
Smith’s boyfriend and two doctors are currently facing trial in California, accused of conspiring to provide the sex symbol with prescription drugs.Filed under: Arts & Entertainment