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Forum staff reports, Published January 26 2011

Jackson’s doctor pleads not guilty in star’s death

Michael Jackson’s doctor pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the pop superstar’s death as the case moved rapidly toward a trial that will likely be televised.

“Your honor, I am an innocent man,” Dr. Conrad Murray told Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor in a soft voice.

Lawyers for Murray, who is accused of giving Jackson a lethal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol and other sedatives, said they would be ready to go to trial within the 60-day statutory time limit.

The judge scheduled the trial to begin March 28 and set a pretrial hearing for Feb. 7.