Dr. Conrad Murray could spend the majority of his sentence under house arrest if convicted of Michael Jackson’s involuntary manslaughter.
The pop icon died in June 2009 of acute Propofol intoxication. The drug is usually used to put surgery patients to sleep and Murray has been accused of administering it to Jackson to ease his insomnia.
The star’s personal physician is currently on trial in Los Angeles, and has denied the allegations.
If convicted Murray faces a maximum of four years in state prison. However, TMZ reports it is unlikely he will be incarcerated in such a facility.
A law was passed in California at the beginning of the month which aims to ease overcrowding in state prisons. People who are convicted of non-violent crimes will instead be ordered to county jail.
Involuntary manslaughter is classed as such a felony, meaning Murray would likely be sent to county jail if found guilty.
Legal officials have also told TMZ Murray would probably only be incarcerated for half of any time he’s sentenced to.
‘But there’s a twist… Murray could actually serve way less than two years. Because of severe overcrowding, inmates are eligible for house arrest, based on two factors – their prior criminal history, and risk to the community. Murray has a clean record and, as one law enforcement official put it, he poses no risk,’ reports the site.
It means that the doctor could be given an electronic monitoring bracelet and ordered to serve his time at home. However, it is thought he will spend time in prison for at least some of his sentence.
So far the jury has heard from a number of medical professionals who have cast doubt on the way Murray treated Jackson.
He’s been accused of using an alias to get Propofol for the King of Pop and of not concentrating fully when administering the drug to him. It’s also been claimed that he waited to call for an ambulance after the singer started experiencing difficulties.
Murray has claimed Jackson gave himself the fatal dose of the anaesthetic. However, earlier this week he changed his defence. He had previously alleged Jackson swallowed the drug, but his lawyers stated an independent study by their team showed that would not lead to death. It’s thought Murray’s attorneys will now argue Jackson injected himself with the drug.