An example of involuntary manslaughter would be, a person who runs a red light and hits someone crossing the street and the person dies. There is no intent to kill and the resulting death would not be considered murder but involuntary manslaughter.

The Jackson preliminary hearing which is expected to last for 2 weeks has heard several prosecution witnesses. ER doctors, Dr. Richelle Cooper and her colleague Dr. Thao Nguyen both testified that Murray did not indicate he had given Jackson propofol, a powerful anesthetic generally administered in hospital setting for sedating patients. In fact, Cooper testified that staff “will often use propofol for some kind of procedure—to fix a broken bone or a dislocated joint.” She further added that “I’ve never seen it used in a home setting.

Murray only indicated to Cooper that he gave Jackson the anxiety medication Iorazepam. Nguyen testified that Murray had no concept of time. In fact, this was Murray’s exact words to Nguyen when speaking to her about Jackson. Prosecutors offered a timeline leading to Jackson’s death to show that before Murray realized that the 50-year old singer had stopped breathing, he was not paying attention to him, but in fact, was making phone calls.

The Paramedics who treated Jackson also were called in by the prosecutors. One of them describes Jackson as “lifeless” when he first saw him. He states that Murray claimed he was treating the singer for dehydration and exhaustion and he just passed out. But the paramedic Richard Sennef did not belief him. He stated, Jackson’s legs were cold and limp and his eyes dried out, while his hands and feet were turning blue. He said, he looked more “like a hospice patient than an international pop superstar about to embark on a series of concerts.”

Prosecutors attempt to show that Murray, negligently administered an overdose of the sedative propofol to help Jackson sleep and then tried to cover it up. They have set out a timeline which besides not monitoring Jackson, he waited at least 21 minutes before Murray sent for paramedics.

The prosecutors also made Murray’s private life an issue by summoning to the witness stand 3 mistresses-2 former and one current. Their testimonies suggested that the prosecutors may link the financial costs of Murray’s romantic life with his desire to keep the $150,000-a-month job with Jackson. Most critical, however, is Sade Anding’s testimony. She was on the phone with Murray at the time he found Jackson stricken in bed. She testified that Murray had stopped responding to her and heard a “commotion, as if the phone was in a pocket or something,” followed by coughing and a “mumbling of voices she did not recognize.”

Jackson died on June 25, 2009 after going into cardiac arrest. The coroner determined that he died from a combination of the propofol and several sedatives. Murray denies “abandoning his patient” after administering the drug sometime between 10:30 am and 11:00 am. If the judge holds Murray to answer (the legal term) that the judge will use if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial, and if convicted, he could face up to 4 years in prison and lose his license to practice if convicted.

CategoryCriminal Law