Michael Jackson Doctor Pleads Innocent

Before the camera and the world, Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, answered the charge against him, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker.

"To the charge of the offense of involuntary manslaughter a felony Dr. Murray, how do you plead?" Judge Michael Pastor asked Murray.

"Your honor I am an innocent man I therefore plead not guilty," replied Murray.

His attorneys say Murray is ready for trial.

"Dr. Murray is looking forward to the opportunity to finally tell his side of the story," said Ed Chernoff, Murray's attorney.

Prosecutors call the evidence damning. The coroner says Jackson's death was caused by the powerful surgical anesthetic, propofol. Murray admits administering the drug to help Jackson sleep, but denies giving a lethal dose.

At a preliminary hearing this month prosecutors called Jackson's body guard, a paramedic and Murray's girlfriend to show the doctor was on the phone instead of monitoring Jackson. And to show he was frantic to clean up evidence of propofol and other drugs and waited up to 21 minutes before having the bodyguard call 911.

"The most explosive possible defense that we've heard about is that Michael Jackson injected himself with a lethal amount of propofol," said attorney Lisa Bloom.

The trial is scheduled for March 28th. If convicted, Murray could get four years in prison and never practice medicine again.