- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The civil attorney for the doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson says his client is coping with tight jail security and his isolation, and remains optimistic that he will win an upcoming appeal.

Charles Peckham says sheriff’s deputies appear to be enforcing more security on Conrad Murray than on other prisoners at Los Angeles’ main men’s jail.

Peckham likened the heavy shackles left on Murray during a meeting Tuesday as treatment more appropriate for the fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter.

Murray is expected to serve roughly two years of a four-year jail sentence for the involuntary manslaughter death of Jackson in June 2009.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore says Murray has extra security because of his notoriety and deputies are being “extra cautious” for his safety.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

The doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson asked a court Tuesday to appoint a publicly funded attorney to handle his appeal because he cannot afford to hire counsel.

Dr. Conrad Murray filed an amended notice of appeal stating he is indigent and unable to pay for an appellate lawyer to try to overturn his involuntary manslaughter conviction.

The 58-year-old cardiologist intends to argue his case before the California 2nd District Court of Appeal, based in Los Angeles.

Murray’s filing states that a court-appointed attorney would decide how to frame the appeal after reviewing transcripts and rulings from the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that felony convicts have a constitutional right to assistance of counsel.

A jury convicted Murray last month in Jackson’s June 2009 death. Murray is expected to serve roughly two years in jail, half of the four-year sentence that Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor handed down on Nov. 29.

Murray’s had sought to present evidence to jurors about Jackson’s finances, details of his deal for a series of comeback concerts, and information about other doctors treating the pop superstar. But the judge refused and stated the trial would be about Murray’s care of the singer.

The Houston-based doctor had been giving Jackson nightly doses of the powerful anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid. The drug is normally given in hospital settings with extensive monitoring equipment, but testimony showed Murray had only basic equipment and left Jackson’s bedside on the morning of his death.

Pastor has scheduled a hearing for Jan. 23 to decide whether to order Murray to pay any restitution to Jackson’s family or reimburse them for funeral expenses, which totaled more than $1.8 million.

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