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Conrad Murray Won’t Face the Music Until May 9th

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Despite Dr. Conrad Murray's plea that his trial for Michael Jackson's death not be delayed, the judge overseeing the involuntary manslaughter case has decided to push back the start date, sort of. Jury selection will continue as scheduled on March 24th, but actual opening statements won't commence until May 9th, as opposed to the days immediately after the jury has been finalized. The delay allows Murray's defense team to get their business in order -- earlier this week, the judge was "distressed" because Murray and his lawyers weren't adequately prepared to go to trial yet -- and it allows both the defense and prosecution to fully disclose the evidence both sides are holding, including photographs from Jackson's autopsy, surveillance footage from Jackson's estate the night of his death, and a list of the defense's expert witnesses.

Having a few extra weeks to prepare for trial is something that any defendant would gladly take, but Murray was more concerned that a delay would make it extremely difficult for him to pay his lawyers. Murray has already lost his medical license in California, and there's a good chance a similar decision could come in Nevada and Texas, where he has medical practices. If he loses his license in those states, he'd be unable to pay his lawyers, and then the defense would be really unprepared to stand trial. "It is only acceptable to me if this is not strung along over a long period of time," Murray told the judge regarding a delay in opening statements. "I don't want to lose my constitutional right to speedy trial." Murray only agreed to the postponed opening statements when the judge allowed for jury selection to continue as scheduled.

Murray is accused of administering the fatal dose of the sedative Propofol to Jackson the night of the King of Pop's death. He has pleaded not guilty.

[Photo: Toby Canham/Getty Images]

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