Michael Jackson's former personal physician pleaded not guilty Tuesday to an involuntary manslaughter charge in the death of the former King of Pop in 2009, dpa reported.
"I'm an innocent man, Your Honour," cardiologist Dr
Conrad Murray, 57, told Los Angeles Judge Michael Pastor when asked for his plea.
Pastor ruled earlier this month that there was enough evidence against Murray for him to stand trial, and the court case will begin on March 28.
The ruling by Pastor came after six days of hearings in which the prosecutor presented evidence that Murray veered drastically from standard medical procedure in his treatment of Jackson, who died in June 2009 from an accidental overdose of the hospital grade anesthetic propofol mixed with other drugs.
Murray was the personal physician hired to care for Jackson through his comeback tour. According to witnesses called by the prosecution, Murray tried to hide evidence of Jackson's propofol use, failed to monitor the singer's condition, delayed calling for help, ordered hundreds of vials of the drug for Jackson's use and failed to tell emergency room doctors that Jackson had taken the powerful sedative as a sleeping aid.
The physician faces a maximum of four years in prison if found guilty.