*A lawyer for Dr. Conrad Murray has blasted Los Angeles prison officials for treating Michael Jackson’s former physician “like Hannibal Lecter,” insisting it’s “offensive” to keep him in isolation and heavily shackled.
The doctor has been behind bars since early November, when he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the fatal dose of anesthetic propofol, which cost the King of Pop his life in 2009.
Murray was subsequently sentenced to four years in prison, and his civil attorney Charles Peckham claims the doctor is being held under tight security in his cell at Men’s Central Jail, and even had his hands and feet cuffed when the two met for a brief meeting on Tuesday.
Peckham likens the doctor’s unfair treatment to that of Anthony Hopkins’ serial killer character Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs.”
“Treating him like Hannibal Lecter is offensive,” he tells the Associated Press. “This man who saved lives made a mistake, and they’re going to make him pay like a mass murderer.”
Murray’s former defense attorney, J. Michael Flanagan, was also shocked to see Murray all tied up during a recent visit, adding, “He can’t even scratch his nose.”
But sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore is adamant the extra security measures are necessary for Murray’s own safety.
Whitmore says, “(Murray) is a real target because of his notoriety and because of the Michael Jackson connection. We’re just being extra cautious right now. This is because of his notoriety. It’s not so much the crime itself.”
A probation report suggests Murray was suicidal at the start of his incarceration, and he was admitted to a prison medical ward while he was being held in custody at the Los Angeles County Jail prior to his sentencing.
Peckham is representing Murray in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against him by Michael’s father, Joe Jackson.
Murray is planning to appeal his involuntary manslaughter conviction and he filed papers in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday asking for a public-funded attorney to be assigned to his case as he could not afford his own legal counsel.