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New judge delays license decision for Jackson doctor

By Alan Duke, CNN
A hearing on a possible suspension of Dr. Conrad Murray's California medical license is postponed until June 14.
A hearing on a possible suspension of Dr. Conrad Murray's California medical license is postponed until June 14.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Case assigned to Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor
  • AG: Doctor "demonstrated a serious lack of judgment" in Michael Jackson's death
  • Coroner concluded Jackson's death was the result of "acute propofol intoxication"

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- The appointment of a new judge to preside over the criminal trial of Dr. Conrad Murray delayed for two months a decision on if Michael Jackson's last doctor can keep his California medical license.

Jackson's parents and three siblings came to court Monday to hear the state medical board argue for Murray's license suspension, but Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor put the hearing off until June 14.

A group of Jackson fans hissed and groaned loudly as Murray walked by them in the court hallway, but the doctor remained stone-faced. Deputies who separated them warned the fans that they would be escorted out if there were other outbursts.

Murray spoke only a few words in court, replying, "Yes, your honor," when Pastor asked if he agreed to the delay. He also waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing.

Video: How much propofol was Jackson given?
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Michael Jackson's parents Joe and Kathryn, brothers Jermaine and Randy, and sister Janet Jackson sat just a few feet away from Murray during the hearing. About a dozen members of the public -- mostly Michael Jackson fans -- sat behind them.

The Los Angeles coroner concluded Jackson's June 25 death was the result of "acute propofol intoxication."

Murray told investigators he gave Jackson propofol, a powerful anesthetic, to help him sleep.

The California medical board wants the court to ban him from practicing medicine as a condition of his $75,000 bail, which was set by another judge when Murray pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter at his February arraignment.

At the time, a judge prohibited him from using any anesthesia on patients, but refused the prosecution's request to suspend his license.

The state is trying again with a new judge in charge of the case.

Murray's treatment of Jackson "demonstrated a serious lack of judgment that should prohibit him from practicing medicine," California Attorney General Jerry Brown said. The state lawyer representing the medical board objected when the judge indicated he would delay a decision on Murray's license.

"In the interest of the medical board in protecting the public, it should not be put on hold," said Deputy Attorney General Trina Saunders. "It should be heard as soon as practical."

Murray defense lawyer Ed Chernoff called the delay "just a fine idea."

Murray has no California patients, although he has resumed his medical practices in Houston, Texas, and Las Vegas, Nevada, Chernoff said.

The suspension of Murray's California license would have a "domino effect" on his practices in other states, Chernoff said.

The loss of the practices in Nevada and Texas "would be financially and personally devastating," he said. "He will likely be faced with the inability to adequately defend himself of the charges facing him in the Superior Court of California."

The doctor is "hanging on by a thread" financially and could not afford to pay for his legal defense if he loses his medical license, according to his lawyer.

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