Conrad Murray trial for Michael Jackson death delayed until September
The trial against Conrad Murray, the doctor charged with involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death, has been delayed until September, OnTheRedCarpet.com has learned.
The Superior Court Judge, Michael Pastor, delayed opening statements on Monday, which had initially been set for next week. The judge says he will release potential jurors who have started the screening process.
A new jury selection will begin on September 8 with new prospective jurors, who will fill out a lengthy questionnaire. Opening statements will begin later in September.
According to the wire service, attorneys for Murray asked to delay the trial to prepare for new prosecution experts expected to be called as witnesses. Murray had been seeking a speedy trial but has waived that right to allow his attorneys to prepare for the experts.
Judge Pastor says the need for fundamental fairness requires a delay.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
The two photos feature a fully clothed and nude Jackson during his autopsy. The prosecution wants to demonstrate that the singer was healthy at the time of death to counter Murray's defense team's claim that Jackson, in desperate financial straits, felt he could not carry out his European concerts unless he could overcome intense insomnia. They say he was so desperate for sleep that he overdosed himself on the anesthetic propofol while his doctor was out of the room.
Jackson died at age 50 on June 25, 2009 in his Los Angeles home from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol and two other sedatives that were prescribed by Murray. His death was classified as a homicide.
Defense attorneys tried to bar the autopsy pictures from being shown, saying they will inflame the passions of the jury and called them "graphic."
However, Judge Pastor said the photos were "not gruesome. They're not graphic. They're not inflammatory."
Pastor also ruled in favor of the prosecution's request to show clips of Jackson in excerpts from the concert movie "This Is It."
"These video clips are completely at odds with someone who, as the defense has claimed, would recklessly take his own life just hours after the last clip was filmed," prosecutors told the Associated Press.