The doctor convicted in Michael Jackson’s death sees the jury’s verdict in a wrongful death civil trial as “justice.”
“I cried because, for once, the world was allowed to hear some of the facts at they pertain to this matter — a lot of facts that have been suppressed, much of which I was denied and my attorneys could not present during my criminal trial,” Dr. Conrad Murray said on NBC’s “Today” on Thursday.
He described himself as “relieved.”
A jury found Wednesday that concert promoter AEG Live was not liable in Jackson’s death. The jury found that AEG Live had hired Conrad Murray, but that Murray was competent.
“The jury’s decision completely vindicates AEG Live, confirming what we have known from the start — that although Michael Jackson’s death was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making,” AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam said.
The jury rejected Putnam’s contention that AEG Live did not hire Murray, but the conclusion that the doctor was not “unfit or incompetent” got the company off the hook for a potential billion dollar judgment.
The decision ended a five-month trial, but likely began a years-long appeal process.
It will not help Murray’s appeal on his criminal conviction, however.
And the jury foreman disputed suggestions by Murray’s legal team that the verdict supports his case. The foreman added that he would not want Murray treating him.
Jackson lawyer: ‘We found the truth’
“AEG has denied for years, and continues to deny, that they hired Dr. Conrad Murray,” Katherine Jackson’s lawyers said in a statement released late Wednesday. “The jury found unanimously that AEG hired Dr. Murray. AEG has repeated the mantra that this lawsuit was a shakedown. Such a statement is a slap in the face of the entire judicial system that allowed this case to get to a jury.”
While the verdict means no money in damages for the Jacksons, the statement suggested they believe they gained something from the trial. “We have said from the beginning that this case was a search for the truth,” it said. “We found the truth. AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray, the man who is in jail for killing Michael Jackson.”
Jackson lawyers, who were discussing the grounds for an appeal even before the verdict was read, indicated the legal fight is not over. “All options regarding the balance of the jury verdict are being considered,” their statement said.
Katherine Jackson, 83, sat with nephew Trent Jackson and a lawyer for the reading of the verdict in a large Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday. She played a word game on her iPad while sitting on a hallway bench to pass the time before the reading. None of her sons, daughters or grandchildren attended court Wednesday.
Jurors became Jackson fans
Testimony by 58 witnesses over 83 days included intimate revelations by those closest to the singer — pulling back the curtain on Jackson’s dreams, passions, pain and fears. It shed light into his intractable insomnia that led to Jackson’s death from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol just days before the planned premiere of his comeback concert.