The doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson asked a court yesterday to appoint a publicly funded attorney to handle his appeal because he cannot afford to hire counsel.
Dr Conrad Murray filed an amended notice of appeal stating he is indigent and unable to pay for an appellate lawyer to try to overturn his involuntary manslaughter conviction.
The 58-year-old cardiologist intends to argue his case before the California 2nd District Court of Appeal, based in Los Angeles.
Murray’s filing states that a court-appointed attorney would decide how to frame the appeal after reviewing transcripts and rulings from the case.
The US Supreme Court has ruled that felony convicts have a constitutional right to assistance of counsel.
A jury convicted Murray last month in Jackson’s June 2009 death. Murray is expected to serve roughly two years in jail, half of the four-year sentence that Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor handed down on November 29.
Murray’s had sought to present evidence to jurors about Jackson’s finances, details of his deal for a series of comeback concerts, and information about other doctors treating the pop superstar. But the judge refused and stated the trial would be about Murray’s care of the singer.
The Houston-based doctor had been giving Jackson nightly doses of the powerful anaesthetic propofol as a sleep aid. The drug is normally given in hospital settings with extensive monitoring equipment, but testimony showed Murray had only basic equipment and left Jackson’s bedside on the morning of his death.
Pastor has scheduled a hearing for January 23 to decide whether to order Murray to pay any restitution to Jackson’s family or reimburse them for funeral expenses, which totalled more than $1.8 million.
Jackson’s estate estimated the singer would have earned at least $100 million if he had performed his ‘This Is It’ concerts planned for London’s O2 arena.
Murray will lose his medical licence. He remains in a single-man cell in the Men’s Central Jail, which is the address he listed on his appeals filings.