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Michael Jackson's doctor on suicide watch

Published: 9:50AM Tuesday November 08, 2011 Source: ONE News

Michael Jackson's doctor has been placed on a suicide watch at the LA County Jail.

Earlier today, Conrad Murray, 58, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter at a court in Los Angeles this morning.

Murray had pleaded not guilty to giving Jackson singer a fatal dose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol - normally used in surgery - that was ruled the main cause of the singer's death.

After the verdict Murray was led away in handcuffs to be remanded in custody for sentencing on November 29.

An anonymous law enforcement source revealed to the LA Times that Murray has been placed under a suicide watch since he has been in custody.

ONE News US correspondent Tim Wilson said that while Conrad waits for the November 29 court hearing, he will also be kept away from the general population in jail for his own safety.

The jury of seven men and five women reached a unanimous decision following nine hours of deliberation.

However, even if Murray is sentenced to the maximum four years, legal experts say involuntary manslaughter is not considered a serious felony in California law and carries a stipulation that only 50% of any sentence must be served behind bars.

Because of jail overcrowding, officials could release him after only months.

Stan Goldman, a professor at Loyola Law School, said he'd be "surprised if a year from today Conrad Murray was still behind bars".

Murray painted as reckless

Murray had been on trial for the past six weeks following the death of Jackson from an overdose on June 25, 2009.

Attorneys for the Houston-based cardiologist claimed that Jackson was addicted to the drug and self-administered the fatal dose when Murray left his bedroom.

But prosecutors painted Murray as reckless, leaving Jackson while he was under the effects of propofol.

The doctor was hired to care for Jackson as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts in 2009.

Jackson's family welcome verdict

The family of Michael Jackson have welcomed the guilty verdict handed down to the singer's doctor today.

Watching the verdict in court were members of Michael's family, including the star's father Joe Jackson and mother Katherine.

Katherine Jackson and elder sister Rebbie cried silently as the guilty verdict was read.

As she left the courtroom, Katherine was asked by reporters if she was pleased and her answer was simply: "I am."

Brother Jermaine told reporters, "Justice was served. Michael is with us."

Other family members including Joe Jackson, and siblings La Toya and Randy were whisked away from the court building in cars and did not talk to the media.

But on Twitter, La Toya posted: "VICTORY!!!!!!" and later tweeted, "Michael I love you and I will continue to fight until ALL are brought to justice!"

Upon the delivery of the verdict, fans of Michael could be heard chanting "lock him up," and "throw away the key."

Defence case

Entertainment correspondent Kathryn Morgan told TV ONE's Breakfast from Los Angeles that the defence case hadn't been as strong as many people thought it would be.

Halfway through the trial they changed tack about what defence they were going to use.

"And their key witness was held in contempt of court and fined for disclosing a private conversation he had with Dr Murray," she said.

She said prosecutors have done a good job "tugging on the heartstrings by referring to Michael Jackson's children".

Morgan believes that at the end of last week, when both groups had one last chance to win over the jury, "the prosecution probably did give a better performance".