LOS ANGELES - (AP) - Michael Jackson's doctor was convicted Mondayof involuntary manslaughter in the pop star's death for supplyingan insomnia-plagued Jackson with a powerful operating-roomanesthetic to help him sleep as he rehearsed for his big comeback.
Dr. Conrad Murray sat stone-faced, his chin held high, as heheard the verdict that could send him to prison for up to fouryears and cost him his license to practice medicine. He washandcuffed and immediately led off to jail without bail to awaitsentencing Nov. 29.
The verdict marked the latest chapter in one of pop culture'smost shocking tragedies - the 2009 drug-overdose death of the Kingof Pop at age 50 as he was about to mount a series of heavilypromoted concerts in London that he hoped would turn his careeraround after a slide prompted by child-molestation allegations andyears of bizarre behavior.
A shriek broke the silence in the packed courtroom when thejury's decision was read, and the crowd outside the courthouseerupted in cheers. Jubilant Jackson fans sang "Beat It" and heldsigns that read "Guilty" and "Killer." Drivers honked theirhorns.
Members of Jackson's family wept, and his mother, KatherineJackson, said, "I feel better now." His sister La Toya said shewas overjoyed and added: "Michael was looking over us."
Members of the jury were escorted from the building and notavailable for comment.
Defense attorney Ed Chernoff said later in the day the verdictwas a disappointment and would be appealed. Asked how Murray tookthe verdict, Chernoff said, "he's a pretty strong guy."
Regarding Murray's future, he said, "the keys to his handcuffsbelong to the judge. We certainly would like to do anything we canto keep him from going to prison."
The jury deliberated less than nine hours after a six-week trialthat depicted Jackson as a tormented genius on the brink of whatmight have been his greatest triumph but for one impediment -extreme insomnia.
To watch the sentencing of Dr. Conrad Murray, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.