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Conrad Murray's attorneys want jury sequestered

Dr. Conrad Murray is seen in court in Los Angeles in this undated photo.

July 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
With the Casey Anthony trial in mind, a lawyer for Michael Jackson's doctor said the jury should be sequestered to avoid any influence by media pundits.

Attorney J. Michael Flanagan says said the televised, involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray could be prejudiced by media commentators -- specifically Nancy Grace.

At a pretrial hearing Wednesday, Flanagan referred to "the recent case in Florida" and told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor that Murray's trial was expected to get even wider coverage. He said telling jurors not to watch TV would be insufficient.

When asked if Flanagan would want jurors sequestered around the clock during the trial, the lawyer said, "Every time Nancy Grace is on TV."

"We would like a decision made on the evidence that appears in this courtroom rather than commentary on the Nancy Grace show," he said.

The judged rejected the argument and turned down Flanagan's request, saying it's unnecessary and the courts can't afford to put up jurors at a hotel. But he said he would sequester jurors during the day, requiring them to eat lunch together in the jury room and not allow them to wander around the civic center. Jurors will be instructed not to pay attention to publicity about the trial.

Pastor will also review 16 hours of raw footage of Michael Jackson's rehearsals before deciding if the jury should see it. Prosecutors and defense attorneys spent two weeks examining more than 100 hours of video and have submitted requests for excerpts. The prosecution wants 12 hours; the defense seeks four hours of video.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to causing Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, with an overdose of propofol and other sedatives.

Jury selection in the case will begin on Sept. 8. Opening statements are expected in late September.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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