Judge Michael Pastor ordered Murray, who treated Jackson up until the night before his death, to not only go to trial but also suspended his medical license, which may hinder his ability to afford his legal fees. "If you do that, he's dead in the water. He has no practice anymore. His patients have no doctor," Murray's attorney, Ed Chernoff, pleaded with Judge Pastor. Murray has 24 hours to notify medical boards in the state of Nevada and Texas of the suspension.
The preliminary hearings for the case began on Jan. 4 and showcased mounting evidence implicating Murray in Jackson's death and depleting the strength of his defense team, which was said to argue that the King of Pop killed himself. "It was not Michael Jackson's time to go. Michael Jackson is not here today because of the negligence and reckless acts of Dr. Murray," noted Deputy District Attorney David Walgren in his closing statements.
According to witness testimony, Murray purchased several vials of the anesthesia Propofol two months before Jackson's death, waited 20 minutes to call 911 after finding the 50-year-old unresponsive in his bedroom and hid evidence. "We are disappointed but not surprised. We knew we would be in trial and that's where we're going to end up," said Chernoff.
Jackson suffered a cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009. A coroner ruled that his death was brought on by acute Propofol intoxication. The drug was being administered to him by Murray, to reportedly treat his insomnia. Family members of the pop star have been very vocal in blaming the 57-year-old doctor for his death. "I'm happy so far," sister LaToya said leaving the courtroom Tuesday, while her brother Randy thanked prosecutors for their work.
Murray is scheduled to appear for a hearing Jan. 25, at which point a trial date will be set. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.