Judge Michael Pastor spoke at length on the “horrific violation” of trust which Dr. Murray had committed. He stressed that this was not one single mistake of giving Michael Jackson Propofol, but was a systematic abandonment of his duties as a doctor, which involved him in a web of lies and deceit for some considerable time.
He said Murray lied to pharmacists to get the Propofol, to Michael Jackson’s security staff, to emergency services battling to save the singer’s life and throughout his interviews to the police.
The judge seemed most contemptuous of Conrad Murray at the point where taped recordings of Michael Jackson clearly sedated and slurring his words. The recordings were made without Jackson’s knowledge: something which the judge described as a “horrific violation of trust,” his “insurance policy” in case something went bad in the future.
Judge Pastor also pointed out that perhaps Dr. Murray had an eye on the value of the tapes, which he might sell at a later date.
He mentioned the TV documentary in which Conrad Murray was involved, which was filmed all through the trial. In it, Murray says “I don’t feel guilty”. In fact, he said he had never felt guilty.
“Yipes!” was Judge Pastor’s response to Murray’s defense team at attempting to blame the victim himself.
He said the argument that Michael Jackson was an addict and wanted Propofol, in fact repeatedly asked for it, was no defense at all. As a doctor, Murra should have been above giving in to that. He was contemptuous of the defense team’s argument that Murray was just a “bystander” to what was Michael Jackson’s inevitable fate.
It was these findings which led Judge Michael Pastor to reject the defense’s request for probation. Basically, he said it was pointless without recognition of guilt and remorse, of which Murray has shown none.
He stressed again that the crime was not just a one-off incident. It was a “sophisticated scheme” using “insidious means.” He “abandoned his patient, not just once but several times. He was, is and remains “dangerous”, the judge said.
His main reason for that view was that he says that Murray appears “offended” by his patient’s death, as if it was no fault of his, so he could not know what would happen in the future.
What Conrad Murray did was “medical madness for money, fame and prestige,” said Judge Pastor.
The judge said he had no powers to sentence Murray to state prison but he imposed the maximum sentence of 4 years in jail. The days he has already served in custody will count toward this sentence an d with good behavior days 46 days will be deducted.
A separate restitution hearing is scheduled for January 23. Dr. Murray waived his right to be present at the hearing. But he also has 60 days in which to appeal the involuntary manslaughter conviction and the sentence. His defense team said they expected to file and appeal in the next couple of days.
Conrad Murray left court to begin his 4 year sentence, this time not in handcuffs as he was after his initial conviction.