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Michael Jackson’s doctor to stay in jail during appeal

This news story was published on February 24, 2012.
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By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — A judge ruled Friday that the doctor convicted in Michael Jackson’s death must remain behind bars while lawyers appeal his case.

Dr. Conrad Murray had asked to be released from jail, where he is serving four years for involuntary manslaughter, but Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor denied the bail motion, saying the physician was a flight risk.

“The bottom line is the defense does not have significant property or employment or family ties in the Los Angeles or California area,” Pastor said of Murray, a native of the Caribbean who practiced medicine in Nevada and Texas.

The judge said that even with his medical licenses revoked, Murray remained a danger to society.

“If he were to go to another country, that country might very well allow him to practice medicine,” Pastor said.

Pastor cited comments Murray made in a documentary last year that, the judge said, suggested Murray stood by his decision to use a surgical anesthetic to treat Jackson’s insomnia.

“Perhaps Dr. Murray is the only person on the planet that believes this,” Pastor said. Murray, who was convicted in November, was not in court for the brief hearing.

One of his attorneys, J. Michael Flanagan, said the doctor was being held in solitary confinement “23 hours of the day and sometimes 24” and had lost “30 to 40 pounds.”

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