(Edited from AP, Los Angeles) Michael Jackson’s family sat solemnly across the courtroom from the doctor charged in the death of the pop legend, listening as a judge said Monday he could not suspend Dr. Conrad Murray’s medical license in California and that it could take months for the case to go to trial.

“I want to give this case priority,” Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said. “It is a very serious matter for Dr. Murray, for the Jackson family and the community at large.”

(Edited from AP, Los Angeles) Michael Jackson’s family sat solemnly across the courtroom from the doctor charged in the death of the pop legend, listening as a judge said Monday he could not suspend Dr. Conrad Murray’s medical license in California and that it could take months for the case to go to trial.

“I want to give this case priority,” Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said. “It is a very serious matter for Dr. Murray, for the Jackson family and the community at large.”

Pastor said the schedules of everyone involved in the case and the need for preparation time required that a preliminary hearing be moved back to at least Aug. 23, with a requirement to start within 60 days after that. A trial date can’t be set until that process concludes.

Several members of Jackson’s family, including his father Joe, mother Katherine, sister LaToya and brothers Jermaine and Randy, attended the hearing.

Murray sat expressionless beside his attorneys. Asked if he waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing, the doctor quietly replied, “Yes, sir.”

Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death last June.

Outside the courthouse, Jackson supporters raised signs and shouted “Justice for Michael.” They were often drowned out by protesters with bullhorns calling for justice in the separate trial of a white San Francisco Bay Area transit officer accused of shooting and killing an unarmed black man last year.

Together, the two groups included several hundred people.

Pastor told Deputy District Attorney General Trina Saunders the medical board had the option of holding an administrative hearing on the license. He also said she could appeal his ruling.

Pastor said he might revisit the issue if there was new information.

California authorities have sought the suspension since Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter in February. He is accused of giving the pop star a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol.

The pop music legend died after Murray, his personal physician, administered propofol and other drugs to help him sleep.

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