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Michael Jackson’s doctor guilty of manslaughter

LOS ANGELES - Michael Jackson’s personal doctor was found guilty on Monday of involuntary manslaughter in the pop star’s drug-related death in 2009 but may not spend much time in jail.

Dr. Conrad Murray, 58, was led away in handcuffs after the jury in Los Angeles reached a unanimous verdict. Dozens of fans outside the court erupted in cheers and some burst into tears.

“Justice was served. Michael is with us,” said Jackson’s brother Jermaine.

Murray faces up to four years behind bars when he is sentenced on Nov. 29 but may spend only months in Los Angeles’ overcrowded cells.

Murray pleaded not guilty to giving the “Thriller” singer a fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol - normally used in surgery - that was ruled the main cause of his death at the age of 50.

Prosecutors argued Murray was grossly negligent in administering the propofol to help Jackson sleep. Defense lawyers claimed Jackson delivered the fatal dose to himself.

The judge ordered Murray, who had been free on bail for two years, held in custody until his sentencing. The doctor did not testify at the six-week trial and looked impassive as the guilty verdict was announced in the packed courtroom.

Jackson’s mother Katherine and sister Rebbie cried silently at the result. Other family members in court included his siblings La Toya and Randy, along with his father Joe. “I am,” Katherine Jackson said when reporters asked if she was pleased with the verdict.

Jackson was found lifeless at his Los Angeles mansion on June 25, 2009, about three weeks before he was due to begin a series of concerts in London aimed at returning him to the limelight after the humiliation of his 2005 trial and acquittal on child molestation allegations.

Murray admitted giving Jackson a small dose of propofol to help him sleep. But his lawyers argued the singer was dependent on the drug and likely gave himself an extra, fatal dose - and swallowed a handful of sedatives - without Murray knowing.

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

“유죄 ! … 당신이 마이클 잭슨 죽였다”

주치의 머리 유죄 평결
마취제 프로포폴 과다 처방
과실치사로 최고 4년 징역
법정서 수갑 채워 수감

“유죄(guilty)” “유죄” “유죄”….

  7일(현지시간) 미국 로스앤젤레스(LA) 형사법원. 마이클 패스터 판사가 13명의 배심원에게 일일이 평결을 묻자 한결같이 “유죄”라고 답했다. 피고 콘래드 머리(Conrad Murray·58) 박사는 얼굴을 떨궜다. ‘팝의 황제’ 마이클 잭슨(Michael Jackson)의 주치의였던 그는 법정에서 구속됐다. 뒷짐 지어진 손목엔 수갑이 채워졌다. 지난 9월 27일부터 6주 동안 이어져온 재판에서 머리 박사의 과실치사 혐의에 유죄 평결이 내려졌다고 뉴욕 타임스(NYT)를 비롯한 미국 언론이 전했다.

 잭슨 죽음의 비밀을 둘러싼 재판이었던 만큼 검찰과 변호인단의 공방은 치열했다. 양측은 22일에 걸쳐 무려 49명의 증인을 법정으로 불렀다. 검찰이 33명, 변호인이 16명을 동원했다. 검찰은 주치의로 한 달에 15만 달러(약 1억6800만원)나 받은 머리 박사가 강력한 마취제인 프로포폴을 과다하게 처방해 잭슨을 죽음으로 몰아갔다고 주장했다. 잭슨의 목숨이 위태로운 순간에도 그를 제대로 돌보지 않았다는 것이다. 변호인단은 잭슨이 이미 약물에 중독돼 있었다고 맞섰다. 사망 당일에도 주치의가 자리를 비운 사이 잭슨이 스스로 과다한 양의 약물을 직접 주사했다고 반박했다.

 재판 과정에서 그동안 알려지지 않은 비화도 속속 드러났다. 유난히 어린이를 좋아했던 잭슨이 “내겐 어린 시절이 없었다”며 눈물지었다는 사연은 팬들의 심금을 울렸다. 그가 늘 침대 곁에 인형을 놓아 두었던 사실도 공개됐다. 잭슨의 인간적 면모가 알려지면서 그에 대한 추모와 동정 여론은 더 높아졌다. 이날 잭슨 팬들은 법원 앞 거리를 가득 메우고 “머리는 살인자” “유죄! 유죄!”라고 쓴 팻말을 흔들며 머리 박사의 유죄 평결에 환호했다. 재판을 지켜본 잭슨의 가족들도 검사를 부둥켜안고 기뻐했다.

 머리 박사에 대한 선고 공판은 11월 29일 내려질 예정이다. 과실치사 혐의의 최고형량은 징역 4년이다. 유죄 평결을 받는 순간 머리의 의사면허는 자동 정지됐다. 다만 그가 초범인 데다 잭슨을 해칠 의도가 없었던 점을 고려할 때 법정 최고형을 받지는 않을 것으로 보인다. 일각에선 그가 잭슨 팬들의 여론 재판에 ‘희생양’이 됐다는 지적도 나온다. 도주 우려가 없는 그에게 법정에서 수갑을 채워 구속한 것은 지나친 처사라는 비판도 있다.

[이 게시물은 Admin님에 의해 2011-11-10 08:42:40 Korean News에서 복사 됨]


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