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Conrad Murray was sentenced to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson’s death, but only served two because of overcrowding in California’s prison.
The doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson walked out of jail a minute after midnight Monday — and went straight for a fast-food meal.
Conrad Murray, 60, slipped out a back exit undetected by dozens of journalists and die-hard Jackson fans outside the county lockup in downtown Los Angeles.
A jail spokesman said the cardiologist was released to a “representative” using the back exit after “there was some thought there may be a safety issue.”
The 6-foot-5 physician looked noticeably thinner with a full head of gray hair when he chowed down on a burger at In-N-Out shortly after his release, photos posted on TMZ.com revealed.
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The ‘Beat It’ singer died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication on June 25, 2009, 18 days before the first of his ‘This Is It’ concerts.
“He did lose some weight, but he was doing great when I spoke to him around 3 a.m. He was elated to be out,” his lawyer Valerie Wass said later on Monday. “I heard something in his voice I’ve never heard before.”
She said her client couldn’t wait to “hug his kid” and “reacclimate” to life on the outside.
“He wants to take some time and see his family,” she said, referring to his actress girlfrnd Nicole Alvarez, 31, and their 4-year-old son.
“Believe me, after you’ve been locked up in this place for two years, it’s a shock emotionally and physically,” she said.
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Murray hopes to start a singing career, according to his former bodyguard.
Murray had been sentenced to the statutory maximum of four years in jail for involuntary manslaughter but only had to serve two years thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court decision on state prison conditions that diverted him to the overcrowded Los Angeles County lockup.
She said the doctor intends to press ahead with his criminal appeal for injecting Jackson with a fatal dose of propofol in 2009. He’ll also fight revocation of his medical licenses in Texas and California.
The cardiologist had suffered some medical problems behind bars and was moved to a larger cell after complaining last year that his cramped quarters were killing him.
Murray intends to remain in the spotlight by pursuing a singing career of his own, the doctor’s former bodyguard told The News recently. “Murray thinks he can make it as a singer in the future,” Jeff Adams said.
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Unhappy Michael Jackson supporters voice their distaste for the decison to let Murray go free early.
A lawyer for the King of Pop’s mom, Katherine Jackson, said she is heartsick he only had to serve two years of a four-year sentence because of a new law. Lawyer Brian Panish said Katherine wants Murray to continue to pay for her son’s death.
Wass, meanwhile, had a testy exchange with a Jackson fan who heckled her outside the jail.
“Michael Jackson fans are all over the globe, and he will be taunted and haunted,” shouted fan Julia Thomas, 40, who also called Murray a “murderer.”
“If you weren’t so ignorant, you would know he was not convicted of murder. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, which is a crime of negligence,” Wass shot back. “He loved Michael.”
Raised in Trinidad and trained in the U.S., Murray was convicted of Jackson’s involuntary manslaughter in November 2011 after a seven week trial.
Jurors found that the Houston cardiologist recklessly gave the “Thriller” singer the surgery-strength anesthetic propofol as an off-label sleep aid in his private bedroom without the proper equipment.
At sentencing, Murray’s judge said the doctor was more focused on his $ 150,000 per month paycheck than his famous patient’s wellbeing and saw no problem with “money for medicine madness.”
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