Los Angeles Michael Jackson’s family sat solemnly across the courtroom from the doctor charged in the death of the pop legend, listening as a judge said Monday he could not suspend Dr. Conrad Murray’s medical license in California and that it could take months for the case to go to trial.
“I want to give this case priority,” Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said. “It is a very serious matter for Dr. Murray, for the Jackson family and the community at large.”
Pastor said the schedules of everyone involved in the case and the need for preparation time required that a preliminary hearing be moved back to at least Aug. 23, with a requirement to start within 60 days after that. A trial date can’t be set until that process concludes.
Several members of Jackson’s family, including his father Joe, mother Katherine, sister LaToya and brothers Jermaine and Randy, attended the hearing.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death last June.
At Monday’s hearing, a group of Jackson fans sat in the back of the courtroom wearing T-shirts with his image and the message, “We are his voice now.”
Outside the courthouse, Jackson supporters raised signs and shouted “Justice for Michael.”