Michael Jackson Investigators Taking Cues From Anna Nicole Smith Case?

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We've talked about the O.J. factor and how it's making investigators in the Michael Jackson case act with such extreme patience and caution at every turn.

Basically, there's no rush, and they don't want to let another winnable, high-profile case go by the wayside because they got sloppy like with the Juice.

But there's another reason the case is dragging on for months - Anna Nicole Smith. Her ex-beau Howard K. Stern will likely go to trial on multiple drug-related felony charges stemming from the model's addiction woes and death.

Because the case is similarly compliex, prosecutors are probably watching that case to determine the specific charges Dr. Conrad Murray should face.

Murray, who has been blamed by the Jackson family for MJ's death, has maintained his innocence throughout the process and has returned to work.

Dr. Conrad Murray Picture

How Dr. Conrad Murray is charged may hinge on the Anna Nicole Smith case.

While some Jacksons have called him a murderer, it's clear there was no premeditated killing of Michael, and how to prosecute him is a murky task.

"It's not like prosecutors think there's a propofol murderer out there," says Robin Sax, former Los Angeles prosecutor, saying he's not a flight risk.

Yet another factor slowing things down: the feds.

"At the very least," retired Drug Enforcement Administration supervisory special agent Gregory D. Lee says, "Murray runs the risk of losing his license."

That seems like a given, but like the LAPD, the DEA is still determining what, if any, more serious federal drug charges will be filed against the doc.

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Michael Jackson Biography

Michael Jackson mug shot
Michael Jackson was the King of Pop, with the best-selling album of all-time and more than a dozen massive hits. After years of physical... More »
Gary, Indiana
Full Name
Michael Joseph Jackson