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Associated Press, Published November 29 2011

Michael Jackson's doctor gets maximum sentence of four years

LOS ANGELES – The doctor convicted in the overdose death of Michael Jackson was sentenced to the maximum four years behind bars Tuesday by a judge who denounced him as a reckless physician whose actions were a “disgrace to the medical profession.”

Dr. Conrad Murray sat stoically with his hands crossed as Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor repeatedly chastised him for what he called a “horrific violation of trust” while caring for Jackson.

However, Pastor conceded his sentence was constrained by a recent change in California law that requires Murray to serve his sentence in county jail rather than state prison.

Sheriff’s officials later said Murray will serve a little less than two years behind bars while housed in a one-man cell and kept away from other prisoners.

The judge was relentless in his bashing of the 58-year-old Murray, saying he lied repeatedly and had not shown remorse for his actions in the treatment of Jackson. Pastor also said Murray’s heavy use of the powerful anesthetic propofol to help Jackson battle insomnia violated his sworn obligation.

Pastor also said Murray has “absolutely no sense of fault, and is and remains dangerous” to the community.

Defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan contended that nothing said during the hearing would have changed the judge’s mind about the sentence.

Michael Jackson’s family told Pastor in a statement read earlier that they were not seeking revenge but wanted Murray to receive a stiff sentence that served as a warning to opportunistic doctors.

Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a six-week trial that presented the most detailed account yet of Jackson’s final hours but left many questions about Murray’s treatment of the superstar with propofol.

Murray did not directly address the court. After sentencing, he mouthed the words “I love you” to his mother and girlfriend in the courtroom.

A probation report released after sentencing said Murray was listed as suicidal and mentally disturbed in jail records before his sentencing.