Michael Jackson’s personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor made the decision to send the case to trial after a number of witnesses raised questions over Dr Murray’s professional conduct on June 25 2009, the day the ‘Thriller’ singer died of acute intoxication by the hospital grade anaesthetic Propofol.
During the preliminary hearing – where the prosecution had to convince the judge there is sufficient evidence for a full trial - witnesses included paramedics who attended the home where Michael died, his personal bodyguard and a Los Angeles detective who interviewed Dr Murray.
The prosecution sought to show Dr. Murray had administered Propofol to his client on the day of his death before leaving him unmonitored.
Court testimonies further alleged Dr. Murray had not appeared to know how to correctly administer CPR, had tried to hide evidence of the medication he had been giving Michael and that by the time he called medics his client had already passed away.
The six-day hearing ended with testimony from two doctors who said they felt Dr. Murray acted outside of standard of medical care.
In addition to ordering the trial, Judge Pastor granted a request by the California Medical Board to suspend Dr. Murray’s license to practise medicine in California. The judge did, however, refuse to increase the medic’s bail from $75,000 (€57,560).
Dr. Murray, 57, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, but faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
In summing up, one of his three lawyers, Joseph Low, told the court Dr Murray did not administer enough Propofol to kill Michael and claimed the singer had taken the powerful anaesthetic himself.
Referring to the allegation Dr. Murray had killed his client, he said: "That defies common sense. Most importantly it defies everything you've heard about Dr. Murray and what a good doctor he is and how much he cares about Michael Jackson.
"I do not believe Conrad Murray should be held responsible for killing Michael Jackson because he couldn't breathe life back into him. Sometimes when it's your time to go, there's nothing you can do."
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren angrily disagreed, countering: “In contrast to Mr Low's comment, let me just say, it was not Michael Jackson's time to go. Because of Dr. Murray's actions, Michael's children are left without a father."
Dr Murray's next hearing will be on for January 25, when a date will be set for trial.