LOS ANGELES (AP) — An appellate court Wednesday unanimously upheld the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Michael Jackson’s doctor, determining there was substantial evidence of his guilt presented at trial.
The ruling by the California 2nd District Court of Appeal came less than three months after former cardiologist Conrad Murray was released. He served two years in jail for causing Jackson’s 2009 death.
The 68-page ruling includes lengthy recitations of the evidence against Murray, who was convicted in 2011 of giving Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol in June 2009 while the superstar was preparing for a series of comeback concerts titled “This Is It.”
The six-week trial focused on Murray’s care of Jackson, including nightly doses of propofol to help the entertainer sleep.
In its opinion, the appeals court determined Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor was within his right to impose the maximum sentence of four years.
Murray’s “callous disregard for Mr. Jackson’s health and safety was shown throughout the trial from the manner in which he administered a number of dangerous drugs to Mr. Jackson without the appropriate medical equipment, precautions or personnel in place, and to the manner in which he left Mr. Jackson unattended,” the opinion states.
“The evidence demonstrated that Mr. Jackson was a vulnerable victim and that (Murray) was in a position of trust, and that (Murray) violated the trust relationship by breaching standards of professional conduct in numerous respects,” it said.
Murray was released from jail in October because of a change in California law requiring nonviolent offenders to serve their sentences in county jails and as a result of credits for good behavior.