With both sides done questioning witnesses, the end is in sight in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson‘s former doctor, Conrad Murray. On Tuesday (November 1), the judge in the case asked Murray whether he will testify at the trial, and the doctor said he had chosen not to.
» The main action Tuesday involved Judge Michael Pastor asking Murray if he had decided whether he would testify in the case. “My decision is that I will not testify in this matter,” Murray told the judge.
» CNN reported that putting Murray on the stand would have constituted a huge risk for the defense team, especially given the withering cross-examination Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney David Walgren unleashed on defense witness Dr. Paul White on Monday.
» White wrapped up his testimony Tuesday morning, the day after he received a $1,000 contempt-of-court citation for ignoring repeated warnings from Judge Pastor not to refer to two personal conversations he’d had with Murray that were previously ruled inadmissible in court.
» Prosecutors briefly recalled their star witness, propofol expert Dr. Steven Shafer, to the stand Tuesday to address some issues raised by Dr. White. Afterward, following 22 days of testimony, Judge Pastor dismissed the jury until Thursday morning, when both sides are expected to present their closing arguments.
Murray, who was being paid $150,000 a month to care for Jackson, had pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of involuntary manslaughter and is now facing four years in prison. But new sentencing laws in California aimed at mandatorily reducing state prison overcrowding mean that, as a nonviolent offender with no prior record, he could be sentenced to county jail instead. If that is the case, his sentence could be reduced to two years and, because of overcrowding in the Los Angeles County jail, he may be allowed to serve the majority of his time under supervised house arrest.