It’s been 27 months since the public first learned the name of the man who will forever be tied with one of music’s most celebrated stars. Today, Dr. Conrad Murray gets his day in court. The 58-year-old cardiologist is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009. He has pled not guilty to the charge. The Grenada-born physician is accused of administering the anesthetic propofol to help the sleep-deprived singer rest, then failing to monitor him properly. Jackson was in the midst of rehearsals for a series of comeback concerts when he died suddenly. He was 50 years old.
Murray, who was hired by promoter AEG Live to tend to Jackson’s needs, says he did nothing wrong. His attorneys are expected to argue that Jackson self-administered the dose of propofol that led to his sudden death when Murray stepped out of the room where he was keeping an eye on resting singer. Murray’s attorneys are reportedly trying to present Jackson to the court as a drug addict who caused his own death. They earlier asked to include footage of Jackson’s concert announcement to show the singer may have been drunk at the press conference just months before his death. However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor ruled against including the footage at trial.
Opening statements in Murray’s trial are scheduled to begin today with the trial expected to last between four and six weeks. The 12-panel jury is comprised of seven men and five women. Murray could face up to four years in prison if convicted.