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Michael Jackson's doctor pleads not guilty to manslaughter charges

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Dr Conrad Murray arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court to deny "unlawfully, and without malice, killing Michael Joseph Jackson"
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 Photo: © Rex

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Members of the late singer's family - (from left) his father Joe, Marlon, LaToya and Tito - were present to see Michael's personal physician released on bail after pleading not guilty
 Photo: © Rex

09 FEBRUARY 2010

Michael Jackson's grieving family have appeared in court to see the man accused of causing the late singer's death plead not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

The superstar's father and mother, Joe and Katherine, his brothers Jermaine, Marlon, Tito, Jackie and Randy, and his younger sister LaToya were all present to see his personal physician face charges over the singer's passing.

Dr Conrad Murray denied "unlawfully, and without malice, killing Michael Joseph Jackson" at Los Angeles Superior Court and was released on bail of $75,000 - £48,000 – after surrendering his passport.

Judge Keith Schwartz told softly-spoken Dr Murray - hired by Michael in May 2009 on a $150,000 a month salary - that he was allowed to continue practicing medicine but he must not "under any circumstances use any anaesthetic agents".

The doctor, originally from Grenada, had always maintained he had neither prescribed nor administered anything that should have killed the singer.

The next hearing has been set for April 5.

If he is convicted over the 50-year-old's death – Michael died at his LA home on June 25 2009 - Dr Murray could face a four-year jail term.

Speaking about his feelings on the charge of involuntary manslaughter as the family arrived, Jermaine simply said: "It's not enough", while his father Joe said they were: "looking for justice."

Before the charges were filed, Dr Murray's lawyer commented: "We'll make bail, we'll plead not guilty and we'll fight like hell."

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