After nearly six hours of deliberation, the jury in the involuntary manslaughter trial against former Michael Jackson doctor Conrad Murray was unable to reach a verdict Friday (November 4). Judge Michael Pastor dismissed the five-man, seven-woman jury in the late afternoon, with deliberations scheduled to resume Monday at 11:30 a.m. ET.
The only news to come out of Friday’s deliberation was that at one point, the jury requested to see evidence, which was brought to them in a box just before their lunch break.
With regard to where the case stands now, and whether the prosecution fared better than the defense, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether the verdict will be guilty or not guilty. The jury must now sift through 22 days of testimony from 49 witnesses, including some of Jackson’s former employees, a number of Murray’s girlfriends and patients, medical experts, police investigators and ER workers, to come up with their ruling.
In closing arguments Thursday, prosecutor David Walgren told the jury the evidence the state presented was “overwhelming” and showed that it was “abundantly clear” that Murray caused Jackson’s death by acting in a negligent manner in providing the singer with the surgical anesthetic propofol in a non-hospital setting.
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff countered with arguments that investigators were sloppy in collecting evidence and that it was Jackson, not Murray, who was to blame because, according to the defense, the 50-year-old singer self-administered the fatal propofol dose that took his life on June 25, 2009.
Murray, who was being paid $150,000 a month to care for Jackson, had pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of involuntary manslaughter and is now facing four years in prison. But new sentencing laws in California aimed at mandatorily reducing state prison overcrowding mean that, as a nonviolent offender with no prior record, he could be sentenced to county jail instead. If that is the case, his sentence could be reduced to two years and, because of overcrowding in the Los Angeles County jail, he may be allowed to serve the majority of his time under supervised house arrest.
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