LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors plan to charge Michael Jackson's doctor with manslaughter rather than take the case to a grand jury, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press Tuesday.
Prosecutors will file a criminal complaint against Dr. Conrad Murray, who practices in Houston, instead of taking the case before a grand jury, which is done in private, the official said.
The person is not authorized to speak publicly about the case and only spoke on condition of anonymity.
The complaint would be the prelude to a public hearing in which a judge would weigh testimony from witnesses to decide if there is probable cause to try him on an involuntary manslaughter charge.
Jackson died June 25 from an anesthetic overdose. Murray maintains nothing he gave Jackson should have killed him.
Murray arrived in Los Angeles last weekend in anticipation of a charging decision from the district attorney's office, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.
"Dr. Murray is in Los Angeles for a dual purpose — on family business and to be available for law enforcement," said spokeswoman Miranda Sevcik. "We're trying to be as cooperative as we can."
There is no official word on when an announcement about any charges might come. David Walgren, the deputy Los Angeles County district attorney handling the case, declined to comment Tuesday.
The district attorney's office has for weeks been working closely with Los Angeles Police Department investigators to build a case against Murray.
Jackson, 50, hired Murray to be his personal physician as he prepared for a strenuous series of comeback performances in London. He died in Los Angeles after Murray administered the powerful general anesthetic propofol and two other sedatives to get the chronic insomniac to sleep, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office, which ruled the death a homicide.
Murray has denied any criminal wrongdoing.
"We continue to maintain that Dr. Murray neither prescribed nor administered anything that should have killed Michael Jackson," Sevcik said.
Associated Press reporter Ken Ritter contributed from Las Vegas.