Jackson’s doctor evades fans, as freed early from jail

Jackson’s doctor evades fans, as freed early from jail

LOS ANGELES - Michael Jackson's former doctor Conrad Murray was released from jail Monday after serving two years of a four-year sentence for the late pop icon's death in 2009, officials said.

Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for giving Jackson the drug that killed him, evaded Jackson fans and cameramen as he left the Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles shortly after midnight.

His release was brought forward due to good behaviour and prison overcrowding.

The 60-year-old physician eluded hecklers outside the jail, where a small group of Jackson fans booed his release.

"My client received the maximum term possible," said his lawyer Valerie Wass, who is expected to represent Murray in an appeal against his conviction, filed in April this year.

"This is a man that had no (criminal) prior record. He had 20 years of exemplary service as a physician... They didn't let him out a minute early," she added.

A Jackson family statement countered: "It is clear Conrad Murray... killed Michael Jackson. We hope he can never practice medicine again... and hurt another patient."

Jackson died on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol at his rented mansion in the plush Holmby Hills district west of Los Angeles.

Murray was jailed for four years in November 2011 for giving Jackson propofol to help him sleep as he rehearsed for a comeback series of concerts in London, four years after the pop star's acquittal on child molestation charges.

Earlier this month a jury rejected a civil lawsuit brought by Jackson's family, who claimed that tour promoter AEG Live negligently hired Murray, a cardiologist, to take care of the star for the doomed "This Is It" tour.

Murray's whereabouts after his release were not immediately clear.

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