LOS ANGELES – Nearly seven months after Michael Jackson’s death, the official investigation of his death is edging toward conclusion with prosecutors prepared to seek an indictment of Jackson’s doctor on a charge of involuntary manslaughter, the Associated Press has learned.
The fate of Dr. Conrad Murray has been the subject of speculation since he found Jackson unconscious in his home in Los Angeles last June. Jackson was preparing for a strenuous concert comeback in London, and Murray, a cardiologist, had been hired as his personal physician for the tour.
A law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation remains open said Friday that Murray would be prosecuted on a theory of gross negligence alleging that his treatment of Jackson was an extreme departure from the standard of care normally followed by physicians.
The coroner has ruled Jackson’s death at age 50 was a homicide caused by acute intoxication by the powerful anesthetic propofol, with other sedatives a contributing factor.
Propofol depresses breathing and heart rate while lowering blood pressure, so it’s supposed to be administered by an anesthesia professional in a medical setting.
The singer died after Murray administered propofol and two other sedatives to get the chronic insomniac to sleep, court documents state. Murray told police he left the room to use the bathroom; phone records show he also made calls for 47 minutes around the time Jackson encountered problems.
When Murray realized Jackson was unresponsive, he began frantic efforts to revive him, but Jackson never regained consciousness.
The coroner found the propofol was administered to Jackson without any medical need and that recommended resuscitation equipment was missing.
As the police investigation neared an end, criminal attorney J. Michael Flanagan said Friday he had been hired to join Houston attorney Edward Chernoff in representing Murray.