At his arraignment earlier today, Michael Jackson‘s personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray, plead not guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter, for his role in the 2009 death of the King of Pop.
“Your honor, I am an innocent man,” the disgraced cardiologist told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor. “Therefore, I plead not guilty.”After the hearing, Pastor set a March 28 date for the start of Murray’s trial, which is expected to take two months, according to Murray’s lawyer, Ed Chernoff. “Dr. Murray is looking forward to telling his side of the story,” Chernoff said at a press conference after the arraignment. “Dr. Murray’s been waiting 22 months for the opportunity to do this, and this is the first chance we have to force the issue.”
The cause of Jackson’s death has been determined to be an overdose of the surgical anesthetic Propofol, which is not intended for home use, along with an assortment of other sedatives. While Murray has admitted to giving Jackson the drug before his death, his lawyers are preparing to argue that Jackson gave himself the fatal dose, suffering from a bout of sleeplessness in the middle of the night. Murray faces four years in prison if found guilty.
Several members of the Jackson family were on hand at the arraignment, including Michael’s mother Katherine Jackson.
The next pretrial hearing is scheduled for Feb. 7. Meanwhile, while Murray’s medical license has been suspended in California, where the alleged crime occurred, he has been allowed to continue treating patients in Nevada and Texas.