Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s doctor pleaded not guilty. Murray, 56, a Houston cardiologist who was with Jackson when he died June 25, entered his plea just hours after he was charged.Several people shouted “murderer” as Murray walked past a corwd of hundreds of reporters and Jackson fans on his way to a courthouse adjacent to Los Angeles International Airport.
Prosecutors had been seeking $300,000 bail for Murray, who was taken into custody by deputies but not handcuffed in public. He was expected to be released later in the day.
The judge told Murray he could travel throughout the United States after posting bail but must surrender his passport and not leave the country.
Murray appears to have obtained the drug legally and its use is not in itself a crime. To show the doctor was negligent in his care, detectives spoke to more than 10 medical experts to see if his behavior fell outside the bounds of reasonable medical practice.
Murray was not called an ambulance until 12:21 p.m. and he spent much of the intervening time making non-emergency cell phone calls, police say. The nature of the calls, which lasted 47 minutes, is not known.
At the time of his death, Jackson was in relatively good health and had no illegal drugs in his system, according to the autopsy report obtained by The Associated Press. Jackson had a strong heart and his kidneys and most other major organs were normal, according to the autopsy.
Jackson’s most serious problem was a chronic inflammation of the lungs that reduced capacity and may have left him short of breath. But the autopsy said it would not have been a direct or contributing cause of death.
Legal experts said the autopsy findings bolstered the case for prosecution and would block a potential defense that Jackson hid serious conditions that increased risk of death from drugs he willingly took.