LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles prosecutors on Monday plan to file a criminal case in the death of Michael Jackson that is expected to include a charge of involuntary manslaughter against the singer’s doctor.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office said on Friday details of its case would be released on Monday, and gave no further details.
But sources close to the case said Dr. Conrad Murray, who has been under investigation for months, would be charged with the crime of unlawfully killing another person without malice or intent. If convicted, he faces up to four years in jail.
A criminal case against Murray was widely expected to be filed this week because he has been in Los Angeles meeting with his legal team, and his attorney Ed Chernoff said the Houston cardiologist would surrender himself voluntarily if charged.
As recently as Thursday, Chernoff issued a statement saying he and the Los Angeles district attorney were discussing booking and arraignment procedures.
But by Friday, media outlets reported that charges were delayed because of squabbling between police and prosecutors over how to handle Murray’s arrest. Other reports said Chernoff balked when the district attorney demanded Murray be handcuffed and walked into a courthouse in front of TV cameras.
Chernoff’s spokeswoman Miranda Sevcik told Reuters, “he (Chernoff) felt an arrest of Dr. Murray would be a waste of money, time and resources ... what the district attorney wanted I don’t know. Our only request was to surrender Dr. Murray.”
Los Angeles district attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said there was “no truth” to reports of feuding among police and the D.A. or over arrangements to take Murray into custody.
“We did not file a case today because the necessary paperwork has to be prepared,” Gibbons said.
Jermaine Jackson, who with Michael was one of the members of Motown singing sensations The Jackson 5, told celebrity news television show “Entertainment Tonight” that his family was furious at the way the case was being handled.
“I think he (Murray) should be cuffed, he should be fingerprinted, he should have his mugshot just like they did my brother,” Jermaine said, referring to when Michael Jackson was arrested over allegations of child molestation.
Murray was with “Thriller” singer Jackson when he died on June 25 and has admitted giving the 50-year-old pop star a dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol to help him sleep.
The Los Angeles coroner’s office ruled that Jackson’s death was a homicide, caused principally by propofol and the sedative lorazepam. A cocktail of other painkillers, sedatives and a stimulant were also found in his body.
Murray has repeatedly insisted he did nothing wrong and has told investigators he was not the first doctor to give Jackson propofol, according to court records.
Murray was hired in May 2009 to care for Jackson while the entertainer prepared for a series of comeback concerts in London aimed at reviving a career sidelined by his 2005 trial and acquittal on charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy.
Jackson’s sudden death prompted a worldwide outpouring of grief for the singer, who started his career as a child and whose 1982 album “Thriller” remains the world’s best-selling album.
Additional reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Eric Beech