Trial Cleared in Death of Michael Jackson

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(Courtesy: CNN)

By Alan Duke

LOS ANGELES (CNN) — The lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson’s three children and mother that accuses a concert promoter of contributing to the pop icon’s death can go to trial, a Los Angeles judge tentatively ruled Monday.

The trial for the wrongful death lawsuit against AEG Live, filed by Jackson matriarch Katherine Jackson and his children, Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson, is set for April. A final order on Monday’s decision has not been issued yet.

The judge has ordered Dr. Conrad Murray, who the suit contends was hired and supervised by AEG Live executives, to meet with Jackson lawyers next month for a deposition. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s 2009 death.

The judge’s decision would allow the suit to move ahead on the contention that AEG Live was negligent in hiring Murray.

Murray was working as Jackson’s full-time personal physician as the star prepared for his 2009 comeback concerts promoted by AEG Live.

Murray lawyer Valerie Wass said she would advise Murray to invoke his Fifth Amendment right to not answer questions.

“But Dr. Murray has a mind of his own,” Wass said. “If he decided to answer a question, those parties don’t know what he’s going to say.”

Murray’s video-recorded deposition is set to take place on March 18 in the Los Angeles County Jail where he has been serving a four-year prison sentence since November 2011. He could be released on parole later this year.

Murray has never been questioned under oath about Jackson’s death. He did not testify at his own trial that ended with his conviction in November 2011.

For much more on this case and Michael Jackson’s death, click here.