As part of their ongoing investigation into whether prescription drugs played a role in the death of [artist id=”1102″]Michael Jackson[/artist], the Los Angeles Police Department has executed at least three search warrants on different physicians over the past week. The Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed sources familiar with the investigation, reported that the warrants were an attempt to reconstruct the singer’s medical history, a job complicated by the fact that Jackson was treated by a number of different physicians over the years.
At least five of those doctors who prescribed medication to Jackson are under investigation, and detectives from the LAPD’s robbery-homicide division — who are assisting in the case due to its high-profile nature — executed searches over the past week. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Superior Court confirmed that a judge signed off on three searches but would not specify what detectives were looking for and whether or not they found it.
To date, police have confirmed that they removed some unnamed prescription drugs from Jackson’s rented Beverly Hills-area home, and they emerged from a second search with two bags of medical evidence. Though a number of former friends, advisors and medical personnel have come forward since the singer’s death to tell stories about his alleged struggles with addiction to prescription medicine , it has not yet been determined if prescription drugs played a role in his sudden death following cardiac arrest on June 25. Results of toxicology tests performed after the initial autopsy proved inconclusive and are expected to take several more weeks.
A spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Administration confirmed last week that the federal agency has joined in the investigation into Jackson’s death, and the Times, quoting an unnamed source, reported that “numerous bottles” of the powerful anesthetic Diprivan (also known as Propofol) — some full, some empty and none with prescription labels — were found at Jackson’s home. The drug, used in doctors’ offices for minor surgical procedures, is not available for prescription and, experts told MTV, is very dangerous if not administered by trained personnel in a clinical setting. A registered nurse who allegedly worked for Jackson has said that Jackson pleaded for Diprivan just days before his death in order to treat his chronic insomnia.
Edward Chernoff, a lawyer for cardiologist Dr. Conrad Murray, who was by Jackson’s side the day he died, would not discuss with TMZ whether his client administered Diprivan to Jackson. Murray has not been named as a suspect in the case, but LAPD officers have interviewed him, and an unnamed source told the gossip site that the information Murray gave police regarding drugs at Jackson’s home prompted officials to obtain a search warrant from a judge. The subsequent searches of the rented home turned up the Diprivan, and while Chernoff denied that his client gave Jackson the powerful painkillers Demerol and OxyContin before the singer’s death, he reportedly told TMZ, “I have no statement on whether the Dr. prescribed or administered Propofol. … We’re confident whatever the doctor prescribed did not kill Michael Jackson.”
A spokesperson for Chernoff told MTV News that, going forward, per an agreement reached with LAPD investigators, Murray (and Chernoff) are not allowed to discuss any medical issues related to Jackson with the press, including any medication the doctor may or may not have prescribed/ administered to the singer.
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