Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images
Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images
Conrad Murray's defense team has brought out the heavy artillery: a note from mom.
Since the physician was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the June 25, 2009, death of Michael Jackson, Murray's attorneys have amassed several dozen letters from his friends, family, patients and colleagues in an effort to get the judge thinking more about probation than prison when it comes time to sentence Murray tomorrow.
"Nothing like this has ever happened to him before," asserted Murray's mother, Milta Rush, in a letter obtained by E! News. "He has never been in trouble with the law before and I am barely standing, scared and worried sick about him being incarcerated."
At least one legal expert would probably advise Rush not to lose too much sleep tonight.
Even if L.A. Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor sentences him to the maximum penalty of four years in state prison, says veteran defense attorney Troy Slaten, "It won't make too much difference because of the realignment law that went into effect Oct. 1."
The new law will see largely nonviolent offenders who otherwise would have been eligible for state prison instead be sentenced to terms in county jail—which, in California and L.A. County, in particular, are notoriously crowded.
"Even if he sentences him to the high term of four years, he is not going to state prison," Slaten told E! News. "Three years in state prison doesn't mean you go to state prison anymore.
"There is just no room for him in state prison, so he will go to county jail," he continued. "And there is no room in county jail for him either. He will probably do 10 to 20 percent [of his sentence], but it's entirely up to the sheriff. And the sheriff doesn't want him county jail, it is too much risk for the sheriff. He is probably going to be entitled to some kind of alternative—work release or house arrest."
Due to who the victim in the case was, Murray would most definitely be considered a high-profile inmate.
"He is not going to be riding the bus up to San Quentin," Slaten added. "I just don't see that happening."
Neither does L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who called the new law of the land a "completely potentially failed system."
But Murray's mother is hoping that her son, who has been locked up since his conviction on Nov. 7, won't have to spend any more time behind bars at all.
"I sympathize with Mrs. Jackson as a mother," Rush's letter to the judge continued. "I feel her pain for having lost her son...I am sorry for her loss. Judge Pastor, Conrad is my son and as a mother I must say I know him inside out. He is sorry for what happened to Michael and had no ill intent towards him. I humbly beg for your heartfelt consideration of everything I have said about Conrad, and ask for your compassion and leniency in giving him probation or community service."
Murray is due in court at 8 a.m. Tuesday for sentencing; E! Online will be streaming live from the courthouse.