LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles County coroner's office has just confirmed that it has ruled Michael Jackson's death to be a homicide, caused primarily by " propofol intoxication."
The coroner's office confirms it found lethal levels of the powerful anesthetic propofol in Jackson's body. The death was caused by a mix of drugs meant to treat insomnia, officials say.
The drugs PROPOFOL and LORAZEPAM were found to be the primary drugs responsible for Mr. Jackson's death. Other drugs detected were: Midazolam, Diazepam, Lidocaine and Ephedrine, coroner's officials say.
The final Coroner's report, including the complete toxicology report will remain on Security Hold at the request of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney.
The finding makes it more likely criminal charges will be filed against Jackson's personal doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who was with the pop star when he died. Murray is the target of a manslaughter probe headed by Los Angeles police.
According to a search warrant released earlir this week, Dr. Murray, told LAPD detectives that he had been treating Jackson for insomnia for about six weeks and had been giving him 50 milligrams of propofol each night using an IV.
Murray told detectives that he was worried about Jackson's health and feared he was becoming adicted to the dangerous drug. Murray says he tried to wean Jackson off propofol and lowered the dosage to 25 milligrams. He also mixed in two other sedatives, lorazepam and midazolam.
On the morning Jackson died, Dr. Murray gave him valium at 1:30 a.m. to help him sleep and wanted to avoid using propofol. When the valium didn't work he injected lorazepam at 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. but that didn't work either. He also tried midazolam to help Jackson fall asleep, but it also failed.
Over the next few hours, Murray said he gave Jackson various drugs. Then at 10:40 a.m., Murray administered 25 milligrams of propofol after Jackson repeatedly demanded the drug, according to the court record.
Murray has already acknowledged obtaining and administering the powerful anesthetic propofol to Jackson the morning that he died. In an interview with police, Murray reportedly told them that he left Jackson alone under the influence of the medication to make telephone calls to his Houston office and family members.
When he returned, he discovered Jackson not breathing, sources said. He performed CPR, and one of Jackson's staff members called 911. The 50-year-old pop star was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center, where he was later declared dead.
Murray's lawyer, Ed Chernoff, says police have twisted his client's account of his last hours with Jackson. Chernoff says Murray never told investigators that he left the pop star alone and returned to find him not breathing.
"Much of what was in the search warrant affidavit is factual. However, unfortunately, much is police theory. Most egregiously, the timeline reported by law enforcement was not obtained through interviews with Dr. Murray, as was implied by the affidavit. Dr. Murray simply never told investigators that he found Michael Jackson at 11:00 am not breathing. He also never said that he waited a mere ten minutes before leaving to make several phone calls. In fact, Dr. Murray never said that he left Michael Jackson's room to make phone calls at all," Chernoff said in a statement.
Murray's home in Las Vegas and offices in Nevada and Houston have been searched in recent weeks by Los Angeles police and federal agents.
The doctor had previously denied any wrongdoing, saying he did not administer any medications that should have led to Jackson's death.
According to the Houston search warrant, Murray told investigators he wasn't the first doctor to administer propofol to Jackson. Murray stated he had asked Jackson what other physicians were treating him and with what, but Jackson would not tell him.
Jackson family publicist Ken Sunshine issued the following statement Monday:
"The Jackson family has full confidence in the legal process, and commends the ongoing efforts of the L.A. County Coroner, the L.A. District Attorney and the L.A. Police Department. The family looks forward to the day that justice can be served."
Officials: Jackson's Death Caused By Acute Intoxication Propofol
(Getty Images / September 3, 2009)
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