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Michael Jackson doctor's attorney receives death threats

The attorney who defended Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, is under attack with threats against her life.
November 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The attorney who defended Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, is under attack with hate messages and threats against her life. Angry Michael Jackson fans are venting their fury and frustration at attorney Valerie Wass.

Wass defended Conrad Murray, appealing his conviction for the involuntary manslaughter death of pop star Michael Jackson.

Wass says new online attacks cross the line. Someone posted her email address in a tweet last week. Then came messages she says she could not ignore.

"I'm getting emails that talk about 'You're dead wrong,' or they use the word 'dead,' or Twitters that say 'One blow to the head' or something like that," said Wass.

She is forwarding the worst of them to the FBI to be investigated, while sending a message to her online attackers.

"I want them to know that making threats can be a violation of penal code section 422, criminal threats, which is a felony," said Wass. "So they shouldn't take this lightly."

Wass says the alleged threats came after a clash on the night of Murray's recent release from jail.

"This is about Dr. Murray the murderer," said one person in a crowd.

"You know what, if you weren't so ignorant you would know he was not convicted of murder, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter," said Wass.

"It should've been murder," said the person in the crowd.

"You know what, I don't even want to address that," said Wass during the confrontation.

Wass later called the Murray protesters a small, insignificant group within the larger base of Jackson fans. But to some ardent Jackson followers, those are fighting words.

"Of course Michael Jackson fans are angry that they are called 'insignificant,' of course they would be angry about that, but it's really not enough to hurl a death threat at them," said Karlene Taylor, a fan of Michael Jackson.

Taylor was with the fan who heckled Wass the night in question. Taylor says the fan was right and blames Wass for the exchange.

"She should have just ignored it," said Taylor. "When you're having a press conference you ignore hecklers. That's what most people do, most professional speakers."

The war of words is exploding on social media. Some fans are calling for peace. Others are condemning Murray and Wass.

"I see those tweet handles but I don't know of any of those people. They're probably not even in the United States," said Taylor.

Wass says she is turning up the heat to find out.

"I am taking it seriously," Wass said.

An FBI spokesperson says the bureau does not confirm or deny its investigative activity.

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