LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County coroner has ruled MichaAel Jackson’s death a homicide, a law enforcement official said, a finding that makes it more likely criminal charges will be filed against the doctor who was with the pop star when he died.
The coroner determined a fatal combination of drugs was given to Jackson hours before he died June 25 in his rented Los Angeles mansion, according to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings have not been publicly released. Forensic tests found the powerful anesthetic propofol acted together with at least two sedatives to cause Jackson’s death, the official said.
Dr. Conrad Murray, a Las Vegas cardiologist who became Jackson’s personal physician weeks before his death, is the target of a manslaughter investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. According to a search warrant affidavit unsealed Monday in Houston, Murray said to investigators he administered a 25 mg dose of propofol around 10:40 a.m. after spending the night injecting Jackson with two sedatives in an unsuccessful attempt to get him to sleep.
The warrant, dated July 23, states that lethal levels of propofol were found in Jackson’s system. Besides the propofol and two sedatives, the coroner’s toxicology report found other substances in Jackson’s system but they were not believed to have been a factor in the singer’s death, the official said.
Murray has spoken to police and last week released a video saying he “told the truth and I have faith the truth will prevail.” His attorney, Edward Chernoff, had no immediate comment but has previously said Murray never administered anything that “should have” killed Jackson.