Just weeks after being sent to jail for four years following a conviction on a felony involuntary manslaughter charge in the death of Michael Jackson, cardiologist Conrad Murray is throwing himself on the mercy of the court.
The doctor had been slated to earn up to $150,000 a month to act as Jackson's personal physician before the pop icon's death in June 2009 from an overdose of the Murray-administered surgical anesthetic propofol. But on Tuesday E! News reported that Murray filed a notice of appeal in Los Angeles Superior Court in which he claimed that he is "indigent and respectfully requests the appointment of counsel on appeal."
Murray, 58, is planning to appeal both his conviction and his sentence, but has not yet filed papers with the California Appeals Court. He had hired two lawyers to handle his manslaughter case, but is now seeking attorneys with appeal experience. One of those former lawyers, J. Michael Flanagan, told E! that he was shocked at how his client is being treated in jail.
"It is crazy and unbelievable how [the sheriffs] are treating" Murray in jail, said Flanagan, who claimed he waited over an hour to see Murray, who was brought out in handcuffs and leg chains. Flanagan was further shocked to see Murray handcuffed to the table for their meeting, something the lawyer said he'd never seen before in the case of a low-level, non-violent offender.
Charles Peckham, who is handling civil cases against Murray, told the Associated Press that his client is under tight security and isolation that is more intense than other inmates at the Los Angeles Men's Central Jail.
"Treating him like Hannibal Lecter is offensive," said Peckham. "This man who saved lives made a mistake, and they're going to [make] him pay like a mass-murderer." Sheriff's officials defended the tight security, saying it was for Murray's safety.