The doctor being investigated in Michael Jackson’s death told a court he can’t afford to pay $13,000 in child support and other debts because he was forced to close his medical practice in Las Vegas after physical threats against him and his staff.
A family court in Las Vegas set a Nov. 16 hearing to consider a recommendation that Dr. Conrad Murray be arrested for not appearing in court this month to explain the unpaid support.
A ruling on the recommendation had been expected last week, but Murray’s lawyer Chris Aaron objected, saying in court documents the 56-year-old doctor supposedly didn’t receive notice of the hearing.
It was not immediately clear whether Clark County District Attorney David Roger would fight the objection over the arrest recommendation. His office said he planned to file a response by today.
Roger previously said he planned to ask the state medical board to suspend Murray’s license. Nevada laws allow prosecutors to go after professional licenses belonging to those behind on child support.
Murray had serious financial problems when he signed on in May at $150,000 a month to serve as Jackson’s personnel physician through a series of comeback shows planned in London, according to court records.
The cardiologist owed at least $780,000 for settlements against his business, outstanding mortgage payments on his house, delinquent student loans, child support and credit cards.
An ongoing homicide investigation by Los Angeles police continues to be focused squarely on Murray, who told investigators he administered a powerful anesthetic to Jackson shortly before he died June 25. No charges have been filed as of yet.
Yale Galanter and Malcolm LaVergne, lawyers for convicted felon O.J. Simpson, have filed papers with the Nevada Supreme Court claiming, according to the brief, “The District Court committed numerous reversible errors, including, inflicting itself into the trial proceedings, chastising the attorneys in the presence of the jury, making rulings from the bench that were not based in the law and wholly without any authority.”
In October 2008, Simpson and Clarence C.J. Steward were convicted on armed robbery and kidnapping charges in District Judge Jackie Glass’ courtroom. The charges stemmed from a Palace Station hotel room hold-up where Simpson and several others claimed they were retrieving possessions that had previously been stolen from Simpson.
District Judge Glass sentenced Simpson to 9 to 33 years in prison; he has been serving his time at the Lovelock Correctional Center northeast of Reno.
District Attorney David Roger prosectued the case wtih Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Owens. Roger is confident the guilty verdict will stand. “Judge Jackie Glass and the members of the jury did a great job with this trial during which the jurors saw Mr. Simpson for the criminal he is,” Roger said.
Simpson’s legal team claims that Simpson was denied a fair trial because Judge Glass limited questioning of potential jurors regarding personal biases about Simpson’s acquittal on double-murder charges in 1995. They also claim there were errors in jury instructions, prosecutorial misconduct and that the kidnapping and robbery convictions were redundant.
It’s not unusual for guilty verdicts to find their way to the appeals process and rather routine to claim misconduct and jury errors. And from the night the verdict was announced most court watchers have been looking for the Simpson appeal to surface. It can take 12 months or more to complete the appeals review so for now we will wait for the next chapter in the fallen hero archives of O.J. Simpson.
(Previous Las Vegas Backstage Access articles on February 22 and April 8.)