Michael Jackson’s doctor pleaded not guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of the pop star at a brief hearing that had all the trappings of another sensational celebrity courtroom drama.
Dr. Conrad Murray, accused of giving Jackson a fatal dose of an anesthetic to help him sleep, appeared in court in a gray suit and burgundy tie as Jackson’s father Joe, mother Katherine, and siblings LaToya, Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Randy watched from courtroom seats behind prosecutors.
Neither Murray nor the Jacksons showed much emotion as the six-foot-five Murray entered his plea through his attorney Ed Chernoff, but as he emerged from court, Joe Jackson declared, “My son was murdered.”
“We need justice,” he added before leaving with family members in a fleet of Cadillac Escalades.
On Monday night, Joe Jackson told CNN’s Larry King that he doesn’t believe Murray is the only person responsible for his son’s death. “To me, he’s just the fall guy. There’s other people I think involved with this whole thing,” Joe Jackson said, without elaborating.
Joe Jackson also told King his son believed his life was in danger. “Michael said it himself that he would be killed,” Joe Jackson said. “He even told his kids that he would be murdered.”
Earlier, several people shouted “murderer” as Murray walked past a crowd of hundreds of reporters and Jackson fans on his way to a courthouse adjacent to Los Angeles International Airport. Others held signs urging “Justice For Michael.”
Murray, 56, a Houston cardiologist who was with Jackson when he died June 25, entered his plea just hours after he was charged.