Jackson's doctor pleads not guilty

Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter over the pop star's death.

He entered the plea at Los Angeles Superior Court as the judge set a trial date for March 28.

The physician was with the singer when he died at a rented home in the city on June 25, 2009.

Murray, who faces up to four years in prison if convicted, has had his licence to practise medicine suspended as a condition for his bail.

Murray was ordered to stand trial after a hearing at the same LA court two weeks ago.

The court was told he tried to help Michael Jackson overcome debilitating insomnia with the powerful surgical anaesthetic propofol.

Authorities say the 50-year-old singer died of an overdose of propofol along with other drugs.

During the six-day preliminary hearing, witnesses testified Murray was slow to call for help on the morning of Jackson's death.

It was also alleged he tried to hide evidence of propofol in the singer's bedroom.

Defence lawyers have suggested the Thriller singer may have injected himself with the fatal dose of propofol.

The court heard the drug was used as a sleep aid while Jackson rehearsed for a series of planned comeback concerts in London.

Involuntary manslaughter is defined as unintentional killing without malice and is a lesser charge than murder.

(c) Sky News 2011

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