There’s finally some closure for Michael Jackson’s family and his fans, over two years after his death. Dr Conrad Murray has been sentenced to serve four years in prison following his conviction for involuntary manslaughter in the death of the King of Pop.
Earlier in November, the medic was found guilty of administering the dose of anaesthetic propofol which cost MJ his life in 2009. Murray was placed in custody immediately after the completion of the six-week trial.
The case returned to the spotlight for sentencing on 29 November, when prosecutors asked LA Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor to punish Murray by handing him the maximum sentence of four years behind bars; they also requested the doctor pay the late singer's three children $100 million in restitution for the loss of their dad.
The Jackson family also issued a statement to the judge, which was read out in court by their attorney Brian Panish.
The statement read in part: "There is no way to adequately describe the loss of a beloved father, son, brother, and friend. We are not here to seek revenge... We respectfully request that you impose a sentence to remind physicians that they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder."
Meanwhile, defence attorney Ed Chernoff urged Judge Pastor for leniency and asked him to give the disgraced medic probation instead of prison time.
In his plea to the court official, Chernoff acknowledged that Murray had been wrong to provide Jackson the powerful drug to treat his insomnia problems, but asked Judge Pastor to consider his entire, previously untarnished, medical history in his sentencing.
Chernoff also admitted his client would never be able to realistically pay the $100 million demanded by the prosecutors.
After hearing both arguments, Judge Pastor ruled that Murray had engaged in "a pattern of deceit and lies" as he tried to keep his propofol prescriptions to Jackson under wraps, even refusing to offer key medical details to the emergency workers who tried to save the King of Pop's life when he was admitted to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on 25 June, 2009.
As a result, Judge Pastor rejected the request for probation and ordered Murray to serve the maximum time of four years behind bars, insisting the "reckless" doctor showed "no sense of remorse" and is "a danger to the community".
Murray must also pay an $800 restitution fine, in addition to other court fees.
However, Judge Pastor has postponed ruling on the amount of compensation due to Jackson's family and will hear the case for "appropriate restitution" at a later court hearing.
Murray refused the right to address the court before the punishment was handed down to him and remained expressionless as he was sentenced. He will serve the time at Los Angeles County Jail.
Jackson's parents Katherine and Joe, and siblings LaToya, Jermaine, Randy and Rebbie were all in court to hear the ruling, while Murray was supported by his mum Milta Rush, who insisted her son was really a good person in a letter submitted to support the defence team's request for probation.
The judge received 34 letters of support for Dr. Murray in the days leading up to his sentencing.