Conrad Murray was sentenced to four years in jail on Tuesday for involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.
Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor denied a defense request for probation and cited Murray's clear criminal negligence and "horrible medicine" practices that caused Michael Jackson's death as the reason he opted to impose the maximum sentence. Murray declined to speak on his own behalf during the sentencing hearing in downtown Los Angeles. Prosecutors had sought the maximum four-year jail term, which will likely be cut significantly if Murray displays good behavior during incarceration due to prison overcrowding.
Several members of the Jackson family -- including Michael's mother Katherine and siblings LaToya, Jermaine, Randy and Rebbie -- attended the proceedings. A statement read in court by a family attorney cited the huge personal toll Jackson's death has had on the pop icon's parents, siblings and children. The statement also said Murray's sentence should send a message to physicians that they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder.
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Murray, 58, has been in custody since November 7, when a jury convicted him of involuntary manslaughter in the death of the King of Pop.
During the trial, prosecutors depicted Murray as a reckless physician who abandoned Jackson while he was under the effects of the powerful anesthetic propofol the day he died on June 25, 2009. Attorneys for Murray had argued that Jackson was addicted to the drug and self-administered the fatal dose when Murray left his bedroom.
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