Conrad Murray to Keep California Medical License
ABC 7 KABC-TV Los Angeles, CA
June 6, 2010
by By Carlos Granda and Miriam Hernandrz
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) - A Los Angeles Superior court judge ruled during a Monday hearing to let Michael Jackson's personal doctor keep his California medical license.
The attorney general's office Monday asked the judge to suspend Conrad Murray's medical license. A previous judge allowed Murray to continue practicing medicine as long as he doesn't administer heavy anesthetics such as propofol, the drug believed to have caused Jackson's death almost one year ago.
L.A. Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor ruled that the conditions of bail, including that Murray could keep practicing medicine in California, were decided properly by the other judge and that he does not have the jurisdiction or the authority to change that. He added the medical board can move ahead with an investigation if it wants.
"The judge in the last hearing did say that he will acknowledge the fact that Conrad Murray will not be able to use propofol, however Conrad Murray is still practicing medicine. We are against that," community activist Eddie Jones said outside the hearing.
Several members of Jackson's family, including his father Joe, mother Katherine, sister LaToya and brothers Jermaine and Randy, attended the hearing.
Murray was with the pop music legend when he died last June at the age of 50. After a lengthy police investigation, Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He maintains that nothing he did should have killed Jackson.
Attorney General Jerry Brown asserted that Murray was reckless and that he is a danger to the public in California. He also says that his license should be suspended until the criminal case is resolved.
The California Medical Board has also pushed for Murray's California license to be revoked until the pending criminal proceedings are concluded.
However, Murray's attorneys argue that matter has already been settled. L.A. Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz declined to suspend Murray's license in February.
Losing his California license could have been potentially devastating for Murray, say his attorneys. Though Murray doesn't have his practice in California, he does have practices in Nevada and Texas. Murray's attorney Ed Chernoff says if the cardiologist lost his California license, it would jeopardize his licenses in those other states.
Deputy Attorney General Trina Saunders said that Murray has promised not to practice medicine in California, but there is currently nothing preventing him from doing so.
Monday's motion was heard by L.A. Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor. The hearing took take place at approximately 12:30 p.m. and also covered pretrial matters for Murray's manslaughter charges.
Police presence was ramped up in response to the throngs of chanting fans who held up placards and crowded downtown during the hearing. The fans who came to support the family were very angry at the judge's decision.
"We're outraged at the judge's decision today. We're outraged that there's no justice for Michael Jackson," said Jackson supporter Erin Jacobs. "We're outraged that the defense and the prosecuting attorneys are delaying this over and over. It is going to be a year that Michael Jackson has been gone and we still have no justice."
Meanwhile, the preliminary hearing in the case has been postponed until August 23. Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter and remains free on $75,000 bail.