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Jackson doctor's case assigned to trial judge

April 5, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Michael Jackson's former doctor, Conrad Murray, appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday.Dr. Murray made his second court appearance Monday on an involuntary manslaughter charge, related to the death of singer Michael Jackson.

Much of the action was happening outside of the courtroom where a crowd of the pop star's fans gathered to support the Jackson family and to protest.

"I would like to see the charges increased to second-degree murder," said Cheryl Miller, a Jackson fan.

"How come Conrad isn't in handcuffs? How come he is being treated like royalty? To me he shouldn't even be a doctor," said Sarah Swift, a Jackson fan.

"Justice is sending this doctor to jail and taking away his license is the least they can do. We'll take it from there," said Jamie Khawhaa, a Jackson fan. "But we are taking it one step at a time and we just want to see that happen today."

However, none of these issues were addressed in court on Monday. The case was transferred to a new judge, Michael E. Pastor.

Judge Pastor denied cameras in the courtroom, and ordered Murray to appear back in court on June 14 to set the preliminary hearing.

A large contingent of Jackson family members had been expected but only five appeared. Jackson's mother, Katherine, his father, Joe, and siblings Janet, Jermaine and Randy sat quietly in the spectator section and made no comments to the press.

Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the King of Pop's death. He has admitted giving Jackson propofol, a powerful anesthesia. The coroner's office concluded that drug caused Jackson's death last June.

Murray has entered a not guilty plea and is currently free on $75,000 bail. As a condition of his bail, Murray has been ordered not to administer any anesthetic.

Jackson was 50 and about to launch a series of comeback shows in London when he died after being rushed to a hospital from his Beverly Hills home.

Murray, who signed on in May at $150,000 per month to keep Jackson healthy through the comeback tour, told police he had been treating him for insomnia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.