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Conrad Murray requests public defender

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 6:02 PM EST, Wed December 14, 2011
Conrad Murray's trial lawyers are no longer involved in his case as he seeks to appeal his conviction.
Conrad Murray's trial lawyers are no longer involved in his case as he seeks to appeal his conviction.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dr. Conrad Murray tells the court he's indigent
  • Murray files a petition for an attorney to be appointed for his appeal
  • Michael Jackson's doctor is serving a four-year jail sentence
  • A jury convicted Murray of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's 2009 death

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Dr. Conrad Murray asked for the court to appoint and pay for an attorney to handle his appeal of last month's involuntary manslaughter conviction in the death of Michael Jackson.

The lawyers whom Murray hired to defend him through his trial are no longer involved in his case, and he told the Los Angeles Superior Court in a filing Tuesday he has no money to retain a new attorney.

"The defendant is indigent and respectfully requests the appointment of counsel on appeal," Murray said in his petition. "The issues on appeal will be determined by the counsel after review of the record."

Murray filed notice that he would appeal his conviction earlier this month, days after he was sentenced to four years in the Los Angeles County Jail.

A jury found Murray guilty of being responsible for Jackson's 2009 death in a trial that ended last month.

The appeal notice was filed "In Pro Per," legalese to indicate he was representing himself at the time. The return address on the document is the jail where Murray has resided since his conviction.

Murray's trial lawyers have complained that a series of pretrial decisions by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor limited their ability to defend the doctor.

Pastor blocked their efforts to introduce evidence and testimony about Jackson's past drug use and his finances.

The defense argued that Jackson's fear of financial ruin if his comeback concerts were canceled led him to self-administer the drugs that killed him in a desperate search for sleep.

The judge did not allow them to call to the stand other doctors they believe would testify they used propofol to put Jackson to sleep for years before his death.

Murray's four-year sentence, unless overturned on appeal, is expected to keep the doctor in jail for only two years since state rules give him credit for two days served for every one day behind bars.

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