*Dr. Conrad Murray, who is charged in the death of Michael Jackson, lost a bid in California court Thursday to resolve a child support issue that threatens his Nevada medical license.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Commissioner John Schroeder rejected Dr. Murray’s request for a court order relieving him of an obligation to pay about $16,000 in back child support to the mother of his 12-year-old son.
“We didn’t get the court order that we were seeking,” Charles Peckham, a Houston lawyer representing Murray, told The Associated Press. “This puts Dr. Murray’s ability to pay future child support at risk, if the state of Nevada pulls his medical license.”
A prosecutor in Las Vegas had said Nevada would stop efforts to revoke Murray’s license for failure to pay the support if Murray got the California court order approving the deal.
Murray, 57, has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Jackson. Murray told Los Angeles police he administered the anesthetic propofol to Jackson for insomnia. He is free on $75,000 bail pending trial.
“Losing his medical license would jeopardize his legal defense,” said Miranda Sevcik, a spokeswoman for Murray’s Houston-based criminal attorney Edward Chernoff. “He’ll essentially still be in the same creek but will lose his paddle.”
Nenita Malibiran, the mother of Murray’s child, offered to forgive Murray’s back debt as long as he remained current with the payments of $1,003 a month he has been making since November, Peckham said. However, Malibiran balked at a requirement by the California Department of Child Support Services that she also relieve the state agency of jurisdiction in the case, Peckham said.
Malibiran’s court testimony was taken by telephone, and Murray was not required to appear at the hearing.
A hearing was set for June 25 before a Clark County Family Court hearing officer in Las Vegas, where Murray lives. Ironically, the date marks the first anniversary of Jackson’s death in Los Angeles.
Gerard Costantin, a deputy Clark County district attorney, said Murray could face suspension of his Nevada medical license as early as August, depending on the hearing master’s recommendation and possible appeals.
Nevada law allows Family Court judges to order suspensions of medical, professional and recreational licenses for nonpayment of child support.