Michael Jackson Doctor, Conrad Murray, May Lose MD License in Wake of Manslaughter Charges

Legal experts say it will be tough for Conrad Murray to get a fair trial in L.A.

January 8, 2010, 3:27 PM

Feb. 9, 2010— -- The California attorney general has moved to revoke the medical license of Michael Jackson's personal physician, one day after he appeared in court to face manslaughter charges in the King of Pop's death.

Dr. Conrad Murray is expected to head back to Texas until his next court appearance in April, but legal experts say he's got a tough and emotionally charged trial ahead of him.

Nevertheless, the case could have been worse, noted defense attorney and former Jackson lawyer Mark Geragos told "Good Morning America." Murray could have easily faced more severe charges that could have sent him to prison for life, Geragos said.

"I think that Dr. Murray caught a break when they did not file second-degree, what's called implied malice murder," he said.

The doctor still faces a difficult legal situation.

"The fight here is going to be on the territory as to whether or not he was doing something that was so outside the realm of what was approved by giving the anesthetic in a home setting," Geragos told "GMA."

Murray pleaded not guilty Monday, capping an eight-month investigation and kicking off what is expected to be a closely watched celebrity trial. Los Angeles prosecutors have said the Houston-based cardiologist allegedly administered a lethal cocktail of painkillers and anesthetics to Jackson hours before he died on June 25.

It's won't be a simple case for either the defense or the prosecution, experts warned.

"It's not going to be an easy case for the prosecution and it's not going to be an easy case for Dr. Murray," ABC News legal consultant Dana Cole said.

Even just finding impartial jurors will likely be difficult.

"He's infamous because of the death of a celebrity," Geragos said of Murray. "It's going to be tough to get a fair trial in Los Angeles."

Jackson's family and his fans seemed pleased Murray had finally been charged.

"Nobody was there but him, so he's guilty," Katherine Jackson, MJ's mother, said. "He's just trying to save his own behind."

Jackson fans who came to the courthouse to show support for the Gloved One agreed.

"He should spend the rest of his life in prison, absolutely," one fan said.

New Details of Michael Jackson Autopsy Released

An investigator's narrative released Monday by the L.A. County's coroner's office included new details of the June evening Jackson's body was found. Jackson's bedroom is described as outfitted with the usual furnishings: a queen-sized bed, chairs, a dresser and a television.

There was also "a green oxygen tank" beside the bed and bottles of prescription medication scattered over several tables, along with medical supplies such as latex gloves, a box of catheters, disposable needles and alcohol pads.

The 51-page coroner's report also described Jackson's vitiligo, the pigmentation-lightening disease the singer was said to have suffered with. His skin had "patches of light and dark pigmented area. His hair "was sparse" and woven into a wig. His lips and eyebrows had been permanently tattooed.

The autopsy report concludes that "the cause of death is acute propofol intoxication" and that "the standard care for administering propofol was not met ... Recommended equipment for patient monitoring, precision dosing, and resuscitation were not present."

Murray appeared in court Monday in a gray suit. Seated behind the prosecution were several of Jackson's family members including his father Joe, mother Katherine, and sibling Jermaine, Tito, Jackie, Randy and LaToya.

A judge set bail at $75,000 and Murray was ordered to stop administering sedatives in his medical practice.

"I don't want you sedating people," Judge Keith Schwartz told Murray who will be permitted to continue practicing cardiology and write some prescriptions.

Murray, 56, has been in Los Angeles for the past two weeks, meeting with his defense team and waiting for the District Attorney to formally charge him.

Earlier this month, Murray hired J. Michael Flanagan, an L.A.-based defense attorney, who is reportedly the only attorney in California to have ever won an acquittal on an involuntary manslaughter case involving propofol.

In 2004, Flanagan successfully defended a nurse, Amy Brunner, accused and ultimately acquitted of involuntary manslaughter.

Brunner was accused of leaving a syringe full of propofol out for another nurse to administer to an 80-year-old cancer patient who died within minutes of receiving the shot.

"I'm probably the only attorney in town that has successfully tried a propofol case involving death," Flanagan told TMZ earlier this month.

According to police reports, Murray found Jackson dead in the singer's Los Angeles rental home before administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation and requesting that a Jackson employee call 911.

The coroner also cited the powerful sedative benzodiazepine as contributing to the singer's death. A toxicology screen and search of Jackson's home found several other drugs in the singer's body and bedroom.

ABC News' Jim Vojtech and Kaitlyn Folmer contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

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