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LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 29: In this CNN screen grab, Dr. Conrad Murray listens as he sits in court during his sentencing for the involuntary manslaughter of singer Michael Jackson at the Los Angeles Superior Court on November 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Judge Michael E. Pastor sentenced Murray to four years in county jail for his involuntary manslaughter conviction of Jackson. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
Dr. Conrad Murray, the personal physician who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, was denied a request to be released from jail, a judge ruled Friday.
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Murray -- who is currently in solitary confinement in a Los Angeles County jail -- had asked to be released on his own recognizance, arguing that the appeals process could take "well over a year," according to his Jan. 27 court filing.
Attorney J. Michael Flanagan had submitted a declaration from Valerie G. Wass, the lawyer handling Murray's appeal, who said she will present "at least one argument raising a substantial legal question" which could lead to reversal of Murray's conviction. If he remains jailed, they said, he could serve his entire sentence before the appeal is decided.
Flanagan suggested that the four-year sentence imposed on Murray was excessive.
"It is difficult to understand how a 58-year-old man with no prior record, who was convicted of one count of a crime that does not involve intended consequences or malice could be given an upper-term sentence," he wrote in his motion.
Murray actually turned 59 on Sunday.
Prosecutors David Walgren and Deborah Brazil said in their reply motion that Murray was properly sentenced in the star's death and would be a flight risk and a danger to the community if released. They said he practiced "dangerous and experimental medicine" on Jackson leading to his death.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor agreed, denying the request, saying he considers Murray a flight risk.
Murray was convicted Nov. 7 of involuntary manslaughter after a trial focusing on use of the anesthetic propofol. Jackson died of an overdose of the drug in June 2009 while in Murray's care.
Murray's four-year jail sentence is the highest penalty that could be imposed for that crime. Under current sentencing guidelines he will probably serve half of that term.
Flanagan has said Murray knows he cannot work as a doctor but would find other employment. He said Murray is extremely sorrowful about Jackson's death.