With final autopsy results reportedly expected as early as the end of this week, the mystery surrounding the June 25 death of pop icon [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] could soon be solved. On Monday, The Associated Press reported that Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, administered a dose of the powerful anesthetic Diprivan, the drug authorities believe killed the singer, according to a law-enforcement source.
TMZ reported that during an interview with police two days after Jackson's death, Murray himself told Los Angeles Police Department detectives that he had given the intravenously administered drug to his client hours before his passing. Citing unnamed multiple law enforcement sources, the site claims that Murray allegedly hooked Jackson up to an IV drip of the drug — typically used for sedation during medical procedures in doctor's offices or hospitals — and either wasn't paying attention, fell asleep or left the room when the singer's heart stopped beating. TMZ also reported that there was no EKG machine or pulse oximeter found in Jackson's home, though those machines are usually used to monitor the pulse of a patient being administered Propofol (also known as Diprivan).
According to the Los Angeles Times, Murray has been described in court papers as the subject of a manslaughter investigation into Jackson's death, and last week officials carted away evidence from the doctor's Houston office and a nearby storage locker in connection with their manslaughter probe.
In a statement released on Monday, Murray's lawyer, Edward Chernoff, responded to the AP story about his client's alleged administration of Diprivan to Jackson. "It's a waste of time responding to all these timed 'leaks' from 'anonymous' sources," Chernoff wrote. "I feel like a horse swatting flies. Everyone needs to take a breath and wait for these long delayed toxicology results. I have no doubt they want to make a case — for goodness sakes, it's Michael Jackson! But things tend to shake out when all the facts are made known, and I'm sure that will happen here as well."
Chernoff has said in the past that his client is a witness in the investigation and not a suspect and that he never administered or prescribed any medications that could have killed Jackson, 50. The attorney has referred specifically to OxyContin and Demerol as drugs his client didn't dispense, but has made no claims about whether Murray gave Jackson Diprivan. A spokesperson for Chernoff could not be reached for further comment at press time and representatives from the LAPD and Los Angeles County Coroner's office have repeatedly declined requests to comment on the ongoing investigation.
Should the Jackson investigation officially turn into a manslaughter case — no charges have been filed to date — prosecutors would have to provide clear evidence that his doctor, or other health care providers, acted in a reckless or negligent manner, thereby causing the singer's death.
On Monday, coroner's office chief investigator Craig Harvey said he expected to release the final results of the autopsy on Jackson this week.