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27 Sep 2011



Dr Conrad Murray: Trial timeline

Dr Conrad Murray
Dr Murray was raised on the Caribbean island of Grenada by his maternal grandparents (photo: Houston Chronicle)


Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is to stand trial over the singer's death.

He is charged with involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors say he caused the pop star's death by administering a powerful anaesthetic, propofol.

Dr Murray has denied the charges.

It has taken more than two years for the trial to come to court. BBC News looks back over the events that led to the court case.

1983 Conrad Murray graduates from Texas Southern University in Houston with a degree in pre-medicine and biological sciences. He continues his medical studies in Nashville, Tennessee, before completing his training in California and the University of Arizona where he studies cardiology.

2000 Dr Murray opens a practice in Las Vegas, expanding with a second clinic in Houston in 2006. Serving both ends of the community, he also provides medical care to deprived areas.

Michael Jackson in rehearsals
Jackson was rehearsing for his 50-date London residency when he died

2006 Dr Murray meets Michael Jackson after treating one of his children in Las Vegas, and the pair strike up a friendship.

May, 2009 Dr Murray is hired by promoters AEG Live, at Jackson's request, as the star's personal physician ahead of his This is It 50-date concert comeback in London. He is put on a salary of more than $150,000 (£96,000) a month.

25 June, 2009 Dr Murray finds Jackson unconscious in the bedroom of his Los Angeles mansion. Paramedics are called to the house while Dr Murray is performing CPR, according to a recording of the 911 emergency call. He travels with the singer in an ambulance to UCLA medical centre where Jackson later dies.

28 June, 2009 Los Angeles police interview Dr Murray for three hours. His spokeswoman insists he is "not a suspect".

22 July, 2009 - The doctor's clinic in Houston is raided by officers from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) looking for evidence of manslaughter.

28 July, 2009 Dr Murray's home is also raided. The search warrant allows "authorised investigators to look for medical records relating to Michael Jackson and all of his reported aliases". A computer hard drive and mobile phones are seized, and a pharmacy in Las Vegas is later raided in connection with the case.

29 July, 2009 Court documents filed in Nevada show that Dr Murray is heavily in debt, owing more than $780,000 (£501,000) in judgements against him and his medical practice, outstanding mortgage payments on his house, child support and credit cards.

29 August, 2009 Jackson's death is ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles coroner, who says the cause of death was "acute propofol intoxication". A cocktail of drugs - also including sedatives Midazolam and Diazepam, the painkiller Lidocaine and the stimulant Ephedrine - were detected in his body.

21 November, 2009 Court documents reveal that Dr Murray bought five bottles of propofol in May 2009, at around the same time he was hired as Jackson's physician. The papers show that the doctor spent $853 (£515) to purchase the drug in Las Vegas, and then transported it to Los Angeles. The DEA says he has not broken any laws in doing so.

8 February, 2010 Dr Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter. He pleads not guilty and is released on $75,000 (£48,000) bail. The judge says he can continue to practice medicine, but bans him from administering anaesthetic agents, "specifically propofol".

14 June, 2010 Judge Michael Pastor refuses a request to bar Dr Murray from practising medicine in California.

25 June, 2010 Michael Jackson's father, Joseph, files a wrongful death lawsuit against the physician.

8 December, 2010 California medical board allows Dr Murray to keep his medical license.

4 January, 2011 Preliminary hearings begin. Prosecutors allege that Dr Murray "hid drugs" before calling paramedics on the day Jackson died. They also state that he did not perform CPR properly and omitted to tell paramedics that he had given Jackson propofol.

11 January, 2011 Dr Murray is ordered to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter. He faces up to four years in prison if found guilty.

25 January, 2011 The doctor officially enters a plea of not guilty. "I am an innocent man," Dr Murray says in court.

Dr Conrad Murray
The doctor has maintained his innocence throughout the last two years

3 March, 2011 The trial is delayed to allow both sides more time to prepare.

April, 2011 Jury selection begins. Because of the high-profile nature of the case, 500 people are called to the preliminary selection process. Potential jurors face a 30-page form, which asks questions such as "have you ever considered yourself a fan of Michael Jackson?"

2 May, 2011 The trial is delayed again, as Dr Murray's lawyers ask for extra time to prepare for new prosecution witnesses.

25 July, 2011 Rehearsal footage from Michael Jackson's This Is It tour cannot be used as evidence, the judge rules.

30 August, 2011Michael Jackson's dermatologist is barred from giving evidence at the trial. Dr Murray's lawyers had planned to argue that Arnold Klein had administered the singer with painkillers for "no valid reason" but prosecutors said they were attempting to transfer responsibility for his death away from Dr Murray. Testimony from five other doctors who treated Jackson is also disallowed.

24 September, 2011 The jury is finalised. Half of the chosen panelists are Caucasian, five are Hispanic and one is African-American. The jurors have a wide range of professions, including a bus driver, paralegal and a bookseller.

27 September, 2011 Opening arguments are due in the trial, which is to be televised. Judge Michael Pastor says the case is expected to last as long as five weeks before the jury retires to consider their verdict. 

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