Los Angeles - A California appeals court unanimously upheld on Wednesday the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Michael Jackson's former doctor, saying there was evidence of his guilt in the star's 2009 death.
Conrad Murray got a four-year jail sentence in 2011 for the singer's death from an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol administered by the medic.
The doctor, who was looking after Jackson as he rehearsed in Los Angeles for a series of comeback concerts in London, served two of the four years in prison, and was let out early for good behaviour and due to prison overcrowding.
He had appealed his sentence, saying there was insufficient proof of his guilt and that the jury should have been isolated during the entire length of the trial.
A three-judge panel of the California 2nd District Court of Appeal condemned Murray's behaviour, saying his “false and misleading statements” and “his efforts to clean up the scene... show a consciousness of guilt.”
Murray's “callous disregard for Mr Jackson's health and safety was shown throughout the trial from the manner in which he administered a number of dangerous drugs to Mr Jackson without the appropriate medical equipment, precautions or personnel in place, and to the manner in which he left Mr Jackson unattended,” the judges said.
“The evidence demonstrated that Mr Jackson was a vulnerable victim and that appellant was in a position of trust, and that appellant violated the trust relationship by breaching standards of professional conduct in numerous respects.”
The panel also found that the evidence presented at sentencing showed that Murray “failed to take responsibility and displayed a lack of remorse throughout the proceedings.”
Murray's lawyer Valerie Wass said the decision was “disappointing but not unexpected.”
She called Murray's appeal “merely the first step,” hinting at further legal action possibly with the California Supreme Court. - Sapa-AFP