Contempt charge vs. Conrad Murray lawyer?

LOS ANGELES - The judge presiding over the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's physician at the time of his death, Dr. Conrad Murray, threatened Murray's lawyers with a contempt charge over a nationally-televised interview the law partner of lead defense counsel Ed Chernoff did Friday.

In the interview, attorney Matt Alford criticized a key prosecution witness, Jackson's bodyguard Alberto Alvarez.

Alvarez testified Thursday that Murray ordered him to place vials of medication in a bag before calling 911. Defense attorneys have repeatedly challenged his account.

Special coverage: The trial of Dr. Conrad Murray

Prosecutors complained, and Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor watched the interview during a break.

He told attorneys he was shocked and had watched the interview "with my mouth open." The interview was done hours after the judge warned attorneys not to comment about the case outside court.

Pastor ordered Alford to appear for a contempt hearing on Nov. 15 and described him as a witness after Chernoff told Pastor to hold him in contempt instead of his partner.

All the discussions about the interview were held outside the presence of jurors, who are under strict orders to avoid media coverage about the case.