Conrad Robert Murray
February 19, 1953
|Education||Texas Southern University |
Meharry Medical College
|Known for||Personal physician of Michael Jackson at the time of his death in 2009|
|Criminal charge(s)||Involuntary manslaughter|
|Criminal penalty||Four years in jail; he only served two years|
|Criminal status||Released on October 28, 2013|
|Children||Che Giovanni Murray|
Conrad Robert Murray (born February 19, 1953) is a Grenadian former cardiologist who was the personal physician of Michael Jackson at the time of his death in 2009. Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for improperly administering the anesthetic drug that led to the pop singer's death, and later served two years out of the original four-year prison sentence he was given.
Murray was raised by his maternal grandparents, who were farmers in Grenada until he joined his mother, Milta, in Trinidad and Tobago when he was seven years old. He grew up poor in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago. He did not meet his father, Rawle Andrew, also a physician, until he was 25. Andrew, who died in 2001, was devoted to providing medical services to the poor. Murray finished high school and worked as a volunteer elementary school teacher in Trinidad for a while.[ambiguous] After teaching, he worked to save up for college tuition as a customs clerk and insurance underwriter.
In 1973, Murray moved to Houston, Texas, where his father worked, to attend Texas Southern University, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in pre-med and biological sciences. Murray continued his education at Meharry Medical College, in Nashville, Tennessee, the same school his father attended, and the first school in the South for African Americans. He began his internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Murray completed it at the Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. He then completed a cardiology fellowship at the University of Arizona.
Murray worked at the Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego as an associate director of its cardiology fellowship training program. In 1990, he opened a private practice in Las Vegas. In 2006, he founded the Acres Homes Heart and Vascular Institute in Houston. Murray met Michael Jackson in 2006, in Las Vegas, and treated his daughter Paris when she fell ill. Jackson hired Murray to be his exclusive personal physician prior to his tour in July 2009. Jackson insisted that Murray be employed by his show promoter, AEG Live, for $150,000 monthly. However, AEG later claimed that there was never a contract with Murray. Murray and AEG agree that Murray was never paid. In 2018, Murray released a memoir, This Is It!, which detailed his experience as Michael Jackson's physician. The book was poorly received by critics.
In May 2009, he began working as Jackson's personal physician. By that time, Murray had reportedly fathered seven children by six different women. He was in arrears on the mortgage for the Las Vegas home occupied by his first wife and children and owed child support to the mothers of children outside of his marriage, which he could not pay due to the amount of money he owed to Michael Jackson's family. He was married to Blanche, his second wife, whom he met at medical school, and helped pay rent for another woman, Nicole Alvarez. Murray met Alvarez at a gentlemen's club in Las Vegas when she worked as a stripper, and Alvarez gave birth to their son Che Giovanni Murray in March 2009. Another relationship, with a cocktail waitress from Houston, was also reported.
Murray was at risk of losing his California medical license due to unpaid child support to one of his children and owed $13,000 to a California woman, Nenita Malibiran. Murray was a defendant in numerous civil lawsuits (though none for medical malpractice). By 2008, he had accumulated over $600,000 in court judgments against him for medical equipment and unpaid rent for his practices in Texas and Nevada. He also owed $71,000 for student loans at Meharry Medical College. Murray filed for bankruptcy in 2002, in California. Murray expected to go back to jail in September.
Michael Jackson's death and trial
On June 25, 2009, only weeks after hiring Murray, Michael Jackson died due to a lethal dose of propofol administered by Murray. Court documents released in August 2009 revealed that the coroner's preliminary conclusion indicated that Jackson overdosed on propofol. However, the coroner's office declined to comment on reports claiming that the death was ruled a homicide. Several offices of doctors who were believed to have treated Jackson were searched. Based on the autopsy and toxicology findings, the cause of Jackson's death was determined to be acute propofol intoxication with a contributory benzodiazepine effect and the manner of death to be a homicide, eventually, so that the focus of the investigation shifted toward Murray. He admitted administering 25 mg of propofol intravenously, for insomnia, on the night of Jackson's death. He claimed that he tried treating him with other drugs and that he only administered the propofol after Jackson insisted, according to a police affidavit. Murray said he worried that Jackson had become dependent on the drug as a sleep aid, and was trying to wean him from it. Propofol is usually given in a hospital or a clinical setting with close monitoring, mostly used for general anesthesia during surgery, is not indicated or approved as a sleep aid and is administered only by anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists or anesthesia assistants who have extensive training in the use and monitoring of anesthetics. Any FDA approved drug can be used off-label. Murray had no such training at all.
In February 2011, Murray was formally charged with involuntary manslaughter. On September 27, 2011, Murray went on trial in Los Angeles and was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on November 7, 2011. His bail was revoked and he was remanded to custody pending his November 29 sentencing date. He received the maximum penalty of four years in prison. His Texas medical license was revoked, and his California and Nevada licenses were suspended. After serving two years, Murray was released on parole on October 28, 2013.
Jackson's father, Joe Jackson, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Murray in 2010 but dropped it in 2012. Also in 2010, Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, and three children, filed a separate wrongful death suit against AEG, claiming that the company was negligent in hiring Murray; the jury ruled in favor of AEG in 2013.
In 2016, Inside Edition reported that Murray was "still visiting patients," although Murray claimed that he does not charge patients anything for his services, that he is only "providing a consultation" without prescribing medication, and that therefore he "is not breaking the law."
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- Mikulan, Steven. "Michael Jackson, Conrad Murray and the Stripper". the wrap.com. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
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- "Coroner's preliminary finding: Jackson overdosed on propofol". CNN. August 24, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2019
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- Duke, Alan (November 30, 2011) Conrad Murray sentenced to four years behind bars, CNN, Retrieved June 24, 2016.
- Duke, Alan (October 28, 2013) Conrad Murray completes jail time for killing Michael Jackson CNN, Retrieved February 22, 2019.
- "Joe Jackson Files Wrongful Death Suit Against Dr. Conrad Murray". Fox News Channel. June 25, 2010.
- Michael Jackson's Father Drops Wrongful Death Suit Against Conrad Murray. RollingStone.com. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
- Mohney, G. (October 18, 2013). "Michael Jackson's Former Doctor Conrad Murray Released From Jail". ABCNews.com. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
- "Michael Jackson's Doctor Conrad Murray Is Still Visiting Patients After Losing Medical License". Inside Edition. May 20, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2019.