Financial stress in Michael Jackson’s life made his mindset “inconsistent with good judgment,” argues the legal team of Dr. Conrad Murray
Michael Jackson's former personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray — who was sentenced to four years in November for causing the pop singer's 2009 death — wants to be sprung from jail while he works on his appeal.
An according to Murray's attorney, there's a chance that his conviction could be appealed — because Jackson was responsible for his own demise.
In court papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, Murray's legal team argues that he should be freed because, contrary to the prosecution's assertions, he's not a flight risk and doesn't pose a danger to the community.
Also, according to the filing, Murray's appeal will raise a "substantial legal question" that could lead to the reversal of his conviction.
Read the court filing here.
While the filing mentions numerous issues that could be raised on appeal, the most interesting is a section titled "Financial Condition of Michael Jackson." In the section, Murray's attorney points out that Jackson "was in debt approximately $440 million and desperately needed to fulfill a contractual commitment at the O2 Arena in London."
Given the "overwhelming" pressure Jackson was under, the filing argues, Jackson's "motivation and resulting desperation were relevant to show a likelihood or reason to act in a manner inconsistent with good judgment."
During Murray's trial, his lawyers argued that Jackson self-administered the dose of propofol that killed him — an argument that failed to gain traction with the jury and the public at large.
Murray's filing also complains that his defense team was unable to examine Dr. Arnold Klein, who was also treating Jackson, or Klein's staff.
The filing further claims that Murray was further put at a disadvantage because the jury was not sequestered, and news outlets were allowed to run footage from the trial and create negative perceptions, which Murray's team could not address due to a gag order.
"Dr. Murray was put in the worst possible position when the jury was not sequestered, cameras were allowed in the courtroom, and negative media impressions could not be answered," the filing reads.
Murray is currently serving his sentence for involuntary manslaughter in the Los Angeles County Jail. He had faced a four-year prison sentence, but a recent change in sentencing guidelines placed him in jail rather than prison.
Pamela Chelin contributed this report.