AP Photo/Isaac Brekken
AP Photo/Isaac Brekken
E! News has confirmed that Michael Jackson's doctor is currently residing in the medical ward of the Los Angeles County Jail, and reports are trickling out (again) that the man convicted of involuntary manslaughter may be on suicide watch.
So how's he doing?
"A person's medical or mental health status in the Los Angeles County Jail is protected under the law," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore tells E! News. But while there was no official comment on Murray's condition by his jailers, the doctor's team is not holding back.
And they are painting a disconcerting picture of Murray, currently eight days into a 22-day span behind bars before his sentencing on Nov. 29.
Defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan tells E! News that he waited more than an hour this morning at the jail in an attempt to see Murray, but was told that the doctor was being held in the medical unit of the facility. After an excessive wait time, Flanagan left frustrated and without having seen his client.
"He didn't think he would be found guilty," his media representative Miranda Sevcik tells E! News, explaining why the doctor has remained in the med ward. "He didn't mentally prepare himself. He is a very positive person and he didn't prepare for this outcome."
She added that Murray is "obviously distraught" in his current environment.
"When someone isn't prepared, it hits them doubly hard."
Murray will be in jail until at least Nov. 29, when he's due to be sentenced by Judge Michael Pastor. His attorneys are hoping that the doctor will not be sent to prison despite his conviction (he could face up to four years), as he is not a flight risk or a danger to society and has always cooperated with the investigations into his case.
"To say that he is a danger to the community and public is outrageous."
Of course, the Murray team may be preparing for the sentencing, but it's currently one member short.
Defense team attorney Matt Alford failed to appear in court this morning for a contempt hearing, resulting in Pastor issuing, but holding, a bench warrant for his arrest.
The hearing was ordered early on in the Michael Jackson manslaughter trial, when Alford appeared on the Today show and publicly criticized a prosecution witness as well as discussed the jury—not only was it a bad decision, but his timing couldn't have been poorer as he made the comments just hours after Pastor warned attorneys not to blab about the case.
As for his excuse, Alford phoned the court yesterday and said he was currently in (not on) trial in Houston and unable to attend. Pastor ordered him to prove it in writing, and he, too, has been ordered back to court on Nov. 29.
Which is shaping up to be quite the big day for Team Murray.