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Michael Jackson’s doctor to stay in jail during appeal

Published:Monday | February 27, 2012 | 9:34 AM

LOS ANGELES, California, CMC – A Los Angeles judge has ruled that Michael Jackson’s Grenadian-born doctor must remain in prison, while he appeals his manslaughter conviction in the American pop icon’s death.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said Dr Conrad Murray was a flight risk and denied him bail.

Lawyers for Dr Murray, who was raised in Trinidad, had requested that their client be released pending appeal of his involuntary manslaughter conviction.

The judge, who had presided over Dr Murray’s trial, said the physician made his prospect of freedom more difficult by telling a television documentary broadcast after the trial that the powerful anaesthetic, propofol, which contributed to Jackson’s death, was appropriate for use in the home.

“I didn’t tell Dr Murray to give an interview for a documentary,” the judge said. “When he did, I listened to it and saw it, and I was concerned about his attitude toward the use of propofol in the home. What he believes scares me.”

Jackson died in 2009 from an overdose of propofol that Dr Murray administered in Jackson’s home as a treatment for insomnia.

Medical expert witnesses told the court that they never heard of anyone administering the drug outside a hospital.

In addition to being a flight risk, Pastor said Dr Murray was a danger to society, and should not be able to practice medicine again.

Court observers say, though Murray received the maximum sentence of four years when he was ruled guilty, he will most likely only serve half of that because of jail overcrowding.

Dr Murray claims that he never had a chance to prove that Jackson killed himself because of stress.

One of the doctor’s lawyers, Valerie Wass, said Dr Murray had become a scapegoat because there was no one else to blame.