Lawyers for Michael Jackson's doctor met on Wednesday to discuss their client's defense strategy in the event he's charged in the death of the singer. Dr. Conrad Murray and his legal team had received no word from prosecutors about a decision from the district attorney but lead attorney Ed Chernoff said his client was ready to surrender to authorities in the event a charge is filed.
"We are prepared for whatever occurs," Chernoff said. "We have time to meet and strategize for possible scenarios, but in reality we've had eight months to do that."
The arrival of Murray and Chernoff in recent days from Houston led to a new round of speculation that a charge could be announced this week. District Attorney's spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said she had no word on when any developments were likely. Chernoff was waiting for news in a Los Angeles-area hotel, while Murray was at a friend's house in Santa Monica, where a crowd of paparazzi was waiting outside.
"There's no joy in representing someone who shouldn't be charged in the first place," Chernoff said. "There's some truth to the proposition that the waiting is the hardest part." Two law enforcement officials have told The Associated Press that prosecutors are going to charge Murray with involuntary manslaughter but gave no timetable on when that would happen. Both officials requested anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss the case.
Police have been investigating Murray since Jackson's death on June 25. The doctor told detectives he'd given the singer a powerful anesthetic and other sedatives to get the chronic insomniac star to sleep. Jackson died soon after and investigators have been gathering evidence to try to show Murray was negligent in administering the drugs.
Murray maintains nothing he gave Jackson should have killed him. Meanwhile on Wednesday, a judge in Las Vegas found Murray in default on a nearly $132,000 debt related to office medical equipment and services.
Murray had no lawyer in the case. He has long-standing personal and professional debts, and faced near foreclosure last summer on his Las Vegas country club home.