The nearly six-week involuntary manslaughter trial against former Michael Jackson doctor Conrad Murray ended Monday afternoon (November 7) with a guilty verdict. Judge Pastor announced that Murray would be taken immediately into custody and held without bail until his sentencing hearing, scheduled for November 29.
Moments after the verdict was read, MTV News spoke with Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney Mike Cavalluzzi for his expert opinion regarding Murray’s conviction on one felony count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.
“I’m not at all surprised by the verdict,” said Cavalluzzi, who is not associated with this case. “I think the prosecution did an excellent job of laying out their case, and I think that there was so much overwhelming evidence of guilt that the defense didn’t really have much of a chance. This is a very fair verdict, mainly because it isn’t a verdict that calls for any intent or any malice on the part of Dr. Murray. This is about criminal negligence, gross negligence on his part, and I think it’s a fair verdict.”
Cavalluzzi also wasn’t surprised by the amount of time — nine hours — it took the jury to reach their decision. “This is about how long one would think it would take given the amount of evidence the jury had to go through,” he said. “It seems to me that perhaps the jury was a little bit media savvy in coming down with their verdict the end of a Monday morning so it would be announced early Monday afternoon. It allows them to reach the full week of the news cycle and hit all the major magazines. So it seems to me like someone on that jury knew about Us [Weekly] magazine.”
Looking ahead, Cavalluzzi said more jail time isn’t necessarily in Murray’s future after the November 29 sentencing.
“It’s a little bit early to tell what a fair sentence would be for Dr. Murray now. That’s the most difficult part of the process for Judge Pastor, in which he will have to seriously consider all of the mitigating factors which would lean toward Dr. Murray not doing any jail time and all of the aggravating factors that would lead toward him going to state prison,” he said. “It seems to me, at first blush, that any jail time wouldn’t be appropriate in this case given the fact that Dr. Murray has no criminal record and there truly was no malice, no intent to actually harm Michael Jackson at all. What he was really doing was succumbing to the wishes of a patient, and unfortunately, that patient was not a person whose wishes should have been succumbed to.”
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