[artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist]'s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was charged on Monday (February 8) with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the pop star's death on June 25, The Associated Press reports.
Murray, who was with the singer during his final hours, is alleged to have acted "unlawfully, and without malice [to] kill Michael Joseph Jackson," according to the criminal complaint filed by prosecutors. Murray is expected to surrender to authorities later today. If convicted, Murray faces a maximum of four years in prison.
"We'll make bail, we'll plead not guilty and we'll fight like hell," Ed Chernoff, Murray's lawyer, told reporters before the charge was filed.
Following a lengthy investigation into Jackson's death by Los Angeles police officials and the findings of the county coroner's office, the involuntary manslaughter charge was long predicted. The charge was expected to be filed last week, but negotiations between Murray's lawyers and prosecutors broke down over the issue of Murray's plans to surrender. An announcement that charges would be filed on Monday was made last Friday (February 5).
Murray, who was treating Jackson as the singer geared up to launch a series of comeback concerts in London, told investigators that he administered the surgical anesthetic propofol, as well as other tranquilizers, to Jackson several times in the hours leading up to his death. The coroner has ruled that the singer died of lethal levels of the drug. Murray obtained propofol legally, according to the AP, but is accused of negligence in the administration of the drug, a stance prosecutors came to after speaking with more than 10 medical experts.
The complaint says that Murray told investigators he gave Jackson propofol at 11 a.m. on the day of his death and then left the room to use the bathroom. The chain of events that followed are disputed. While Murray told officials he returned from the bathroom to find Jackson no longer breathing and that he tried to revive the singer, a call to 911 was not made until 12:21 p.m. During that time, Murray made many non-emergency calls. Murray's lawyer, however, says that Murray misspoke during his interview with prosecutors and that the doctor did not discover Jackson until about 12 p.m.
Murray is expected to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. PT. According to TMZ, bail will be set at $25,000. Murray is expected to arrive before the arraignment with lawyers and a bail bondsman.