(Photo: Pool/Getty Images)
Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson on November 7, was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday. The sentence is the maximum allowed under the law.
In his ruling, Judge Michael Pastor of Los Angeles rejected the defense's request for a probation sentence and said the death of the singer was not an accident, but the direct result of Dr. Murray's conduct.
"Michael Jackson died because of the actions of, and the failure to provide the legal duties required of, Dr. Conrad Murray," he said.
The 58-year-old physician from Houston "violated his obligations to his patient and the essence of the Hippocratic oath," Judge Pastor ruled, becoming involved in "a cycle of horrible medicine" that he repeatedly referred to as "medicine madness."
In a strongly worded ruling, Judge Pastor said Murray engaged in an "unacceptable, egregious series of departures from the standard of care" and was a "disgrace to the medical profession." He also chided Dr. Murray for his apparent lack of remorse throughout the proceedings and for accusing Jackson of entrapment in a previously released video statement. "Yikes! Talk about blaming the victim," he said.
Murray had been the subject of a six-week trial that began in October, during which he was portrayed as a personal pharmacy for the legendary pop singer. He was accused of dispensing dangerous amounts of the anesthetic propofol, which coroners say caused the singer's death, on a nightly basis for a two-month period.
Murray, who was paid $150,000 a month for his services beginning in 2009, declined to testify in the proceedings but had maintained his innocence. He was granted 46 days time served of the four-year sentence, and due to overcrowding is not likely to serve the full term in prison.
Prosecution had also been seeking $100 million in restitution to Jackson's children, but Judge Pastor deferred a ruling on that matter until January 23. Dr. Murray will not be present during the restitution hearing.
"Dr. Murray unquestionably violated the trust and confidence of his patient on a repeated and nightly basis."