Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Michael Jackson's doctor could face homicide charge over death

Dr Conrad Murray was Michael Jackson's cardiologist
Michael Jackson 1958-2009
Michael Jackson performing in London in 1993

Michael Jackson's personal doctor could be charged over his death following an apparent ruling of homicide in the case.

The Associated Press reported a law enforcement official claiming the Los Angeles County coroner had determined the singer died after being given a lethal cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs.

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Meanwhile, court documents have shown that Dr Conrad Murray administered the powerful sedative Propofol just hours before the King of Pop collapsed.

The physician's lawyer Ed Chernoff refused to comment on the reported homicide ruling, adding that most “anonymous” claims since Jackson's death had later been proven wrong.

LA County Coroner's office has refused to confirm or deny the report by the Associated Press.

Captain John Kades, of the coroner's department, said: “We have not released any information on the Jackson case. We do not know where this information is coming from.”

Under US law, homicide could refer to murder or negligent or reckless manslaughter. Reports that the coroner had decided in favour of a homicide ruling came as court documents confirmed that authorities believe a lethal dosage of Propofol killed the 50-year-old singer.

The documents also said Dr Murray told police that in the days before Jackson's demise he had administered several drugs to Jackson to help him sleep.

These included Propofol, which he administered via an intravenous line.

But he feared that the singer was becoming addicted to the drug and halved his dosage from 50 milligrams a night to 25 milligrams.

Dr Murray told officers that during the morning, he tried to induce sleep without the use of Propofol.

But after giving the singer a cocktail of other drugs, he turned to propofol following persistent requests from Jackson himself.

The last time Dr Murray administered the medication was 10.40am on June 25 — just hours before Jackson's heart stopped.

Court reports suggested that the physician left Jackson's side soon after giving him the drug, claims he has since denied.

The physician has increasingly become the focus of police efforts to establish the cause of Jackson's death.

To date, two offices and a pharmacy connected to Dr Murray have been searched by police, as has his own home.

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