LOS ANGELES — A partner of a defense attorney for Michael Jackson's doctor failed to show up for a contempt hearing Tuesday, prompting the judge to issue but hold a bench warrant for his arrest.
Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said Matt Alford left a phone message with the court Monday saying he was in trial in Houston and could not attend. Pastor said he wants details in writing.
The judge ordered Alford to appear Nov. 29, the same day Dr. Conrad Murray is scheduled to be sentenced for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Jackson. Murray remains in jail.
Pastor threatened to hold Alford in contempt in September after he appeared on NBC's "Today" show criticizing a prosecution witness and commenting about the jury.
The judge said he was shocked because the comments came only hours after he had warned defense attorneys not to comment on the case outside court. Alford is a partner of Murray's lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff but did not participate in the trial.
The judge ordered Alford to file documents explaining why he could not get excused from his trial in Houston to attend the hearing and whether he approached the judge there to let him go.
Another contempt hearing is scheduled Wednesday for Dr. Paul White, a defense witness who was accused of making derogatory comments about the prosecution to a reporter.
White also blurted out a comment to jurors during his testimony in possible violation of a judge's ruling.
In another bit of post-trial business, the judge accepted an apology from a Jackson fan who took a photo in the courthouse hallway during the trial.
Amy Kimes, 43, a leader of the group Justice 4 MJ, said she made a mistake.
She blamed the stress of the trial for her action in posting the photo on Facebook, but said she took it down quickly when she realized she had broken the court rule. She was banned from the courtroom for the balance of the trial.
"I don't want to add any more to the stress factor," said Pastor. "As far as I'm concerned there are no further proceedings. You did the right thing."