Conrad Murray's preliminary hearing starts Tuesday

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David McNew/AFP/Getty Images

File picture dated April 5, 2010 shows Dr. Conrad Murray in court at his hearing on involuntary manslaughter charges in the 2009 death of pop star Michael Jackson in Los Angeles Superior Court in downtown Los Angeles. Murray has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The doctor accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop star Michael Jackson is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

Cardiologist Conrad Murray was Michael Jackson’s personal physician. He treated the performer’s chronic insomnia with propofol. Jackson died nearly 18 months ago after an overdose of the powerful hospital sedative.

A preliminary hearing helps a judge determine if there’s sufficient evidence to try a defendant. LA County District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons expects this one to take two weeks.

"You have to remember it involves a lot of medical issues, and those are very complex issues," says Gibbons. "So the prosecutor has said in court that he’ll be calling about 30 witnesses give or take."

Conrad Murray has pleaded not guilty. He’s acknowledged administering propofol, but his attorneys say he did nothing that should have hurt Michael Jackson. If the case goes to trial, and if Murray is convicted, he faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.

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