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Jackson fans, family cheer Murray's guilty verdict

world Updated: Nov 08, 2011 07:26 IST

Reuters
Highlight Story

Michael Jackson fans cheered and his family members hailed as a triumph the verdict that found Dr. Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the singer's death.


The "Thriller" singer died in June 2009 at age 50 from an overdose of sedatives and the surgical anesthetic propofol, which Murray, his personal physician, administered to Jackson as a sleep aid.


Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, and elder sister Rebbie cried silently as the guilty verdict was read. As she left the courtroom, Katherine was asked by reporters if she was pleased and her answer was simply: "I am."

Brother Jermaine told reporters, "Justice was served. Michael is with us." Other family members including father Joe Jackson, and siblings La Toya and Randy were whisked away from the court building in cars and did not talk to the media.

But on Twitter, La Toya posted: "VICTORY!!!!!!" and later tweeted, "Michael I love you and I will continue to fight until ALL are brought to justice!"
Murray faces up to four years in jail when he is sentenced on Nov. 29.

Prosecutors said they were "gratified" at the outcome.

"We finally want to extend our sympathies to the Jackson family -- especially to Prince, Paris and Blanket. They have lost a beloved father. Nothing can make up for that loss," said Los Angeles district attorney Steve Cooley.

'Mixed Emotions'

Asked by reporters if he was disappointed, Murray's attorney, J Michael Flanagan, told reporters: "Of course", but the defense did not make a statement.

Jackson's friends weighed-in, too. Civil rights activist Al Sharpton released a statement saying he had "mixed emotions" that Murray wasn't given greater punishment, but "was pleased that this jury didn't blame Michael for his own death."

The six-week trial took place without much of the media hype and fan attention surrounding Jackson's 2005 trial on charges of child molestation, but by the time the verdict was handed down on Monday afternoon, around 100 fans had gathered outside the Los Angeles courthouse and cheered the verdict.

Some fans shouted "thank you judge," and passersby honked their car horns. Fans sang and danced to Jackson's songs such as "Beat It" and the old Jackson Five hit "ABC."

Dana Brenklin, 35, of Los Angeles, burst into tears when the verdict was read.

"It's not going to bring back Michael but for 2 years, I had a project -- justice for Michael Jackson -- and I got what I wanted. Hopefully they'll strip his (Murray's) license and I hope he can't practice medicine ever," Brenklin said.

A 32-year-old Los Angeles man calling himself Scorpio, who was dressed like Jackson in cream military suit with sunglasses and one sequined glove, called the verdict, "brilliant."

"This is one of the happiest days of my life and I'm sure the family's life," said Scorpio. "Now his mother can relax and rest and not worry about court in the morning."